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Department of Chemistry Internal Pages

 

COVID-19 Information

Department COVID-19 Information

The purpose of this page is to keep you informed on how the Department is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, and to provide useful links and resources.

The intention is to return to normal as far as possible, with greater occupancy of the building and less working from home than of late. However, the possibility of COVID-19 infection being spread in the Department remains a significant risk and we must therefore continue to take steps to mitigate this. The key steps are

  1. Those with symptoms of COVID-19, or who have received a positive result on a lateral flow test, or who have been instructed to isolate by NHS Test and Trace must not come into the Department until their COVID-19 status is clarified by the appropriate tests and/or the required period of isolation has been completed (see below for further details).
  2. The use of face coverings (unless medically exempt).
  3. Maintaining social distance.
  4. Maximizing ventilation.
  5. Frequent hand washing and/or use of sanitizer.
  6. Enhanced cleaning regimen
  7. Participation in regular asymptomatic testing.
  8. Vaccination.

Action in the case of suspected infection

  1. Those with symptoms of COVID-19 (listed here), or who have received a positive result on a lateral flow test, should not come into the Department but must immediately request a PCR test according to the procedures advertised on the University website (link).
  2. Those requesting a test must report this by EMAIL to covid@ch.cam.ac.uk; the same EMAIL should be used to report the outcome of the test.
  3. If the test is positive the subsequent instructions from NHS Test and Trace must be followed.
  4. If a member of you household tests positive for COVID-19 then you are not necessarily required to self-isolate. Follow this link for the relevant rules. Nevertheless it is prudent to be aware of the possibility of the infection being passed on in this situation.

General operating procedures

  1. In public areas and circulation spaces face coverings must be used (unless the person is medically exempt); the only exception is when eating or drinking when seated in the Cyber Café or some other space where eating is normally permitted.
  2. In corridors and on stairways, walk on the left in single file and pass quickly.
  3. At pinch points (doorways, turnstiles) stand back to allow people to pass.
  4. Lifts are only to be use when carrying heavy items or by people who cannot use the stairs
  5. Practice social distancing (1 m+) at all times.
  6. Wash hands frequently and/or use sanitiser.
  7. Keep windows open as much as possible to enhance ventilation.

If you feel any information is missing or needs updating, please contact: Chloe Barker

Pages updated: 11/10/2021


Useful links

Risk assessment tools

Departmental policies and procedures

 

What do I do if I have symptoms of coronavirus?

Those with symptoms, or who have received a positive result on a lateral flow test, should not come into the Department but must immediately request a PCR test according to the procedures advertised on the University website.

Those requesting a test must report this by EMAIL to covid@ch.cam.ac.uk; the same EMAIL should be used to report the outcome of the test.

What should I do if I receive a positive test for COVID-19?

If a member of the Department receives a positive test for COVID-19 they should immediately pass on this information to the Senior Team by emailing covid@ch.cam.ac.uk  

The relevant line manager or PI should also be informed by email, text or phone, as appropriate.

Subsequent instructions from NHS Test and Trace must be followed.

What should I do if I don't have symptoms, but a member of my household does?

Please see the current government guidelines.

Do I need to wear a face covering in the Department?

Face coverings must be used in public areas and circulation spaces (unless the person is medically exempt); the only exception is when eating or drinking when seated in the Cyber Café or some other space where eating is normally permitted.

What are the rules for Research Groups?

  1. Each PI will establish procedures for work in their own areas. These procedures are in addition to the general Departmental procedures.

  2. Each PI will be responsible for making sure that these procedures are obeyed.

  3. In formulating their procedures PIs will pay attention to the importance of ventilation and how this determines the maximum number of people in shared spaces, which should be posted on the door. The University’s ventilation risk assessment tool is available here.

  4. Face-to-face group meetings and seminars can resume subject to the maximum occupancy indicated for the lecture theatres and meeting rooms.

  5. Bona fide scientific visitors are welcome in the Department; their host is responsible for ensuring that the local rules are obeyed.

What personal actions should I take to reduce the risk in the Department?

To further protect us all members of the Department are strongly encouraged to:

  1. Take up the offer of vaccination if they feel able to do so.

  2. Participate in the Colleges’ asymptomatic testing program if it is available to them.

  3. If not part of the Colleges’ asymptomatic testing program, undertake regular self-testing using lateral flow tests

What are the guidelines for supervisions?

There are a number of locations around the Department which can be used for undergraduate supervision. Regardless of the location used supervisors are reminded of the need to maintain social distance, maximise ventilation, and use appropriate cleaning between sessions. Everyone should continue to use face coverings, with the exception of supervisions in single-occupancy offices where they are not required (but are recommended).

1. The Cyber Café can be used after service hours (15:30) on weekdays and at any time during the weekend.
2. The Library can be used after 14:00 on weekdays and at any time during the weekend.
3. In both these locations white boards are provided for supervisors to use. Suitable pens can bepurchased from Stores or the Cyber Café.
4. These areas are available on a first-come, first-served basis: no booking is possible.

Lecture theatres and seminar rooms, when not booked for other activities can also be used, as can the balcony over the foyer to the BMS lecture theatre. Seminar rooms cannot be pre-booked for supervisions.

Can I invite a visitor to the Department?

Bona fide scientific visitors are welcome in the Department; their host is responsible for ensuring that the local rules are obeyed.

What do I do if I think the proper procedures aren't being followed?

Members of the department who have concerns over the proper implementation of these procedures are invited to raise these matters with their line manager or PI. The Head of Department and Support Services Manager are also available to listen to your concerns on a confidential basis.

Can I use a Lecture Theatre or Meeting Room?

Meetings and seminars can resume subject to the maximum occupancy indicated for the lecture theatres and meeting rooms.