COVID Secure is the term used in government guidance to describe what an organisation needs to achieve to manage Coronavirus risk. Here is how we’ve addressed the five steps to this:
We’ve provided hand sanitiser around the College at building entrances initially, and now are rolling out to cover multiple floors of larger buildings
We’ve established an enhanced cleaning rota that is reviewed ongoingly based on departmental feedback and requests and this includes door handles and push panels, handrails, toilets and other frequently touched features of our buildings and busy areas. In terms of keyboards and mice etc, we’re following a benchmarked approach in line with other Further Education and Higher Education establishments whereby sanitising wipes are made available at point of use, for users of shared equipment in order for them to take ownership of ensuring the equipment is clean before use.
We’ve put up signs to remind all of us and students to socially distance and to only access buildings that they are authorised to be in.
The 2m rule is everyone’s default objective where it possibly can be and in offices, department heads schedule and enforce rotas to control who is in on which day to prevent unnecessary breaches at adjoining workstations. Breaches of the 2m rule, using the 1m rule as a reference, are only made if mitigations can be put in place, for example screens, face coverings, back to back, side to side working. In classrooms, where a commercial sector guidance applies to an activity – for example hair and beauty – specific mitigations are followed, including masks and visors. In other classrooms a view is taken at department level as to what is possible and practical. Teaching staff may choose to wear face coverings or visors if they feel more comfortable and these are made available on request by the College for teachers. We’re following government guidance on this and don’t recommend that students wear face coverings in classrooms in general but that they do in communal areas and in classroom areas where there is prolonged periods of proximity activity.
Keeping windows open in all areas where possible is another government guidance requirement that supplements social distancing requirements and is encouraged across campus especially in classrooms
We have also tried to minimise shared workstations and in particularly shared keyboards and mice but have needed to accept the reality that eliminating this completely isn’t sustainable in terms of students but also in some cases members of staff. There are cleaning or quarantine processes in place for equipment trolleys but our overlying message is that users must also take responsibility for their own safety themselves, using equipment wipes provided and washing their hands and sanitising after use
We have used floor signage across the College to help people keep to a 2m distance
In communal areas with higher footfall we have enforced a face covering policy, as the physical constraints of our infrastructure do not permit effective one-way systems.
All third party visitors to College are also kept to a minimum, only visiting physically where critical and switching to online meetings if not. All physical visitors to the college are registered in advance via the reception booking system for test and trace records.
In addition to the points already covered the college has abandoned non-critical / essential activity where social distancing cannot be adhered to or has found safe ways of doing it
It has kept essential close proximity activities to as low a duration as possible
It has utilised screens and barriers in high footfall / transaction orientated settings to separate people from each other
It has adopted back-to-back or side-to-side working whenever possible
It has naturally staggering arrival and departure times through a flexibly structured timetable
And it has reduced the number of people each person has contact with by using ‘bubbles’ and a restricted return to campus strategy