*UPDATED 20th January 2022*

In line with recent Government guidance from Thursday 20th January, face coverings are no longer recommended in classrooms and teaching spaces for staff, and students. You are, of course still able to wear a face covering if you would prefer to.

From Thursday 27th January, face coverings are no longer recommended in communal areas for staff and students.

Upcoming Exam Guidance

As you prepare for your upcoming exams, we wanted to let you know about the measures we are putting in place:

  • Please wear a face covering in communal areas when arriving for your exam as well as when you leave the exam room (unless you are exempt). You don’t need to wear a face covering during your exam, but you are welcome to keep it on if you prefer.
  • Rooms will be cleaned before your exam and we will have plenty of cleaning products available if you wish to clean your table or equipment.
  • We will keep rooms well ventilated, so please wear warm clothing as rooms may feel quite cold.

COVID-19 guidance for students

Reporting a positive test result

You have probably seen updates in the media that if you have no symptoms and test positive on a Lateral Flow Test you are no longer required to arrange a PCR.

We have revised our process in line with this so from the 11th of January if you test positive on an Lateral Flow Test please send a photo of your test device with the result showing to your SPM, Course Leader or Student Services: student.services@abingdon-witney.ac.uk

If you also have symptoms, please book a PCR test and let us know you have done this.

It is now more important than ever that you also log your positive result with the NHS through the government reporting site here Report a COVID-19 rapid lateral flow test result - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) as this result will now trigger NHS Track and Trace processes.

When to self-isolate

You should self-isolate if you have the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature - this means you feel hot or cold to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature).
  • a new, continuous cough - this means coughing a lot more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual).
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste - this means you've noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or smell or taste different to normal.

What to do if you have symptoms

If you have any of the main symptoms of coronavirus:

  1. Get a test to check if you have coronavirus as soon as possible
  2. Stay at home and do not have visitors until you get your test result - only leave your home to have a test
  3. Please notify us via your course leader or SPM if you are self-isolating

If someone in your household has covid symptoms or a positive and you are under 18 years and 6 months, or if you are over 18 and have had both vaccinations, you are not legally required to isolate yourself, however we would ask that you inform your Student Performance Manager or Course Leader so that they can go through the rules with you as the Government guidance can be confusing.

Support for students

We understand that this is a difficult and worrying time for everyone and we want to as much as we can to ease those worries. Our support services for students are fully operational, however we are asking for students to make appointments wherever possible. If you need to speak to someone in the Student Engagement Team and do not have an appointment, please visit Reception, who help you to organise this.

Students and staff who are unwell on campus

It goes without saying, if you feel unwell with COVID symptoms, please stay at home.

However, if you start feeling unwell after you have arrived at college, please alert your tutor or the nearest staff member asap. We have a clear process for staff to follow, which will include making sure you are safe, and getting you home as quickly as possible. Our staff will decide on the best approach depending on your symptoms and other factors such as your age and where you live. Our staff will use additional PPE during this time and will provide you with appropriate equipment too, in order to limit the spread of the virus – please follow all instructions given to you at this time.

Students who have received a positive COVID-19 test result

If you receive notification of a positive test result for COVID-19, you should immediately contact Student Services on student.services@abingdon-witney.ac.uk or if you are an Abingdon student please call 01235 216228 or for Witney and Common Leys students please call 01993 208500, so that we can take the necessary advice to ensure the safety of staff and students.

We recognise that this remains an uncertain time and we continue to review our plans regularly and closely following advice from the Department of Education and as a result, our approach might change throughout the year, but we will let you know if and when that happens.