Coronavirus News

Last Updated: 5 October 2020

Please contact covid.helpdesk@lst.ac.uk for any questions or concerns.

The health and wellbeing of our students, colleagues, and visitors is our top priority.

Key points

  • Please follow our coronavirus guidelines outlined in the video above strictly.
  • We are pleased to announce that graduation will now be held on December 12th 2020!
  • Our plans and actions will be updated as appropriate, following Government and Public Health England guidance.

For further information on the UK government’s Coronavirus action plan, visit the Coronavirus Action plan webpage on GOV.UK

Information for current students and applicants

We’re ready for you!

We are closely following government guidelines and implementing various safety measures to protect you and to control the virus. We will amend our procedures to reflect any changes to regulations as they arise. We are incorporating extensive cleaning protocols and social distancing practices throughout the campus.

Key measures include:

SOCIAL DISTANCING MEASURES

  • One-way system for entry/exit and in corridors and classrooms where possible.
  • Plastic screens will be introduced at reception and the music studio to protect both students and our employees.
  • There will be increased signage and clear floor markings to help everyone remain at a safe distance and employees are on hand to support.
  • Reduced capacity in our classrooms with increased space between desks to 1m+
  • The teaching experience will vary with small classes being taught face-to-face, larger classes being taught in a hybrid manner (some people in class and some on-line via zoom) and a small number of classes being taught remotely via zoom (this is where faculty are absent from campus because of health concerns).
  • Library will have limited capacity. Residents will be required to use the room and research students will be required to use the research room for study.
  • The chapel will have restricted numbers, some music but, at the moment, no congregational singing. It will be streamed on-line as well.
  • The dining room experience will be different with staggered mealtimes, revised menus, food pre-plated for collection and the maintaining of social distance.
  • Use of face masks will be made compulsory in some areas where 2m social distancing may be difficult.
  • We are reducing the number of students in certain areas to ensure everyone can practice social distancing.
  • There will be restricted access to faculty offices, with individual tutorials being conducted via zoom.
  • Off-campus students will have restricted access to public spaces only.
  • The Student Centre (‘the Stud’) will be available but accessed using appropriate social distancing measures. Face masks will be required in areas where 2m distance cannot be maintained.
  • Gym will have reduced capacity with workout areas of 3m x 3m to allow safe use of equipment.
  • Residential hall areas will have changes; there will be only single rooms available and we are looking at the possibility and practicalities of creating protective bubbles/groupings for each floor/zone to allow some socialising and interaction between residents. We will be organising additional kitchenettes on the 1st and 2nd floor to reduce the number of students using each space. There will be strictly no access for non-residents to resident hall areas without prior permission and guests will not be permitted for visits or overnight stays during the pandemic.

ENHANCED CLEANING REGIMES

  • Cleaning will be carried out with a fully viricidal disinfectant cleaner.
  • We will be increasing the number of cleaning staff/hours, allowing us to increase the volume of cleaning across the campus, with particular attention being paid to areas of high traffic and shared use facilities.
  • We will be introducing sanitisation points across the campus. There will be hand sanitiser dispensers at entry points and also sanitiser spray with disposable blue paper available to help wipe down and clean equipment before and after use. Sanitising wipes will be available for music instruments if needed.
  • There will be some shared spaces such as kitchens, toilets and showers areas temporarily closed for cleaning and disinfecting daily to ensure a thorough and safe clean is conducted.
  • Library material will be cleaned or put out of use for 72 hours before returning to circulation.

FAQs

Will the College be open for students from the beginning of term?

Yes, we have already re-opened the library and have a full maintenance and housekeeping team plus a number of faculty and support staff working as normal back on site.  There is always a chance that a rise in the infection rate, either locally or nationally, may force a change to our current plans, but if this were to happen we would communicate this to you as soon as any decisions are made.

What do I need to do before arriving at College?

ALL students who are planning to come on-site should only do so if they are confident they are not infected with Covid-19.  Therefore,  if you experience ANY symptoms of Covid-19 (high temperature, new and persistent cough, breathing difficulties, loss of taste or smell) or have been in close contact with someone with the virus, you MUST take a Covid-19 test and follow health advice. If you have tested positive for Covid-19 within the 14 days prior to your arrival at College you MUST inform the Engagement Team and your arrival will need to be delayed; you will still be able to access your course and other College events remotely until such time as you arrive in person.

I am travelling from overseas. Do I need to undertake a 14-day quarantine period?

Yes. Currently anyone travelling from certain countries (those not listed as a corridor country) MUST undertake a 14-day quarantine period on arrival in the UK. The current list of Corridor countries (subject to continual change) can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors. If you are travelling from a country not on the list of Corridor countries (this includes any stop off as part of your journey or any holiday) we advise that you plan to arrive in the UK at least 2 weeks before the start of term in order to undertake the 14-day quarantine period. You will need to undertake the 14- day quarantine period whenever you arrive in the UK, but by completing your quarantine before the start of term you will be able to attend on-campus activities in person from the beginning of the term.  Whilst undertaking your 14-day quarantine period, you will NEED to undergo strict self-isolation measures which will prevent you from having any contact with other people. You may choose where you undertake your 14-day quarantine period: either at a private address or at the College. If you are a Tier 4 visa student, you MUST inform the College where you will be staying in the UK prior to your arrival if undertaking your 14-day quarantine period at a private address. If you wish to undertake your 14-day quarantine period at College, you MUST inform our facilities manager urgently. You will be provided with ensuite accommodation and food during this period and you will be allowed some limited access to the College grounds for exercise, but you will not be allowed to leave the College site during this period or to meet with other students. Please note that additional accommodation and food charges will apply if you undertake your quarantine period at College before the start of term.

My Visa is delayed because of Covid-19. What can I do?

Check with the Visa Office to see if you can get an idea of when your visa is likely to be granted. Contact the Registry Team – ugregistry@lst.ac.uk – about how you can start your course remotely (and then travel to the UK once your visa is granted).

My home-town is now subject to local lock down measures. Can I travel to College?

You will need to follow local requirements for the lock down measures including self-isolation requirements and any that restrict travel. You will not be able to travel to College if local measures (in place at the time of your intended journey to College) do not allow travel outside your local area. If you are subject to a local lock down, please inform the Engagement Team. You will still be able to access your course remotely until such time as you can travel to College.

Will lessons and College activities be happening as usual?

Yes, where possible, and social distancing allows, we are planning for the majority of classes to be delivered fully on-campus. Where necessary, due to a faculty member or student not being able to attend on campus, classes will be delivered in Hybrid mode on-campus and online, via Zoom, simultaneously.  Where the number of students wanting to attend on-campus is larger than the socially distanced number of permitted desks in the allocated classroom, a rota system will be introduced to alternate on-campus / online attendance. All College activities will be subject to Covid-19 secure measures (including social distancing, one-way movement, frequent hand sanitising / washing, temperature checking and face coverings – as appropriate). However, all lessons, College events (including Freshers’ week, Chapel, Tutor Groups) and community events as far as is practically possible, will also be available via Zoom. Some of the more practical activities may be moved to later in the College year in the hope that the risk of infection will have lowered. Please note, as with all of our plans, these arrangements will be subject to alteration, depending on changes to Covid-19 requirements at a national or local level or as the College deems necessary in order to ensure the safety of students, faculty and staff

How will my attendance be calculated?

You will be classed as attending a lesson if you are physically present in the classroom or are actively engaged as a remote learner.

How will Covid-19 affect my on-site accommodation and board?

If you have applied for and have been allocated College accommodation, you will be able to access this from when you arrive at College. Your accommodation will have been thoroughly cleaned before you arrive.  All residents will be expected to help maintain very high standards of cleanliness and hygiene particularly in shared areas, such as shared kitchenettes and bathrooms.  Cleaning products will be available for use and you will be expected to arrange rotas for cleaning shared areas. You will only be allowed to use the bathroom/shower in your corridor. In some cases, it may be necessary to allocate bathrooms to particular students or groups of students.

If you are in full board accommodation, meals will be available as usual in the College dining room. Please ensure that you follow the Covid-secure measures in place in the dining room. You may choose to eat your meals in the dining room, outside or in your own room (subject to dining room requirements). If you are undertaking a 14-day quarantine period, you will NOT be allowed to enter the dining room and arrangements will be put in place to deliver your meals to your room.

On arrival, you will be provided with your room agreement which will cover the academic year. As per usual practice, you will be required to sign the agreement and should already have paid a deposit (specific information about accommodation will be sent out separately). Should a rise in infection mean that the College needs to cease onsite accommodation, or you need to leave the College owing to a rise in infection rates, the College will be flexible in making adjustments to your agreement to respond to these unique circumstances.

Please see relevant guidance: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-on-isolation-for-residential-educational-settings

Will I be expected to wear a face covering in College?

Yes, you will be expected to wear a face covering in all common arears of the College.

Will College facilities be open and available to use?

Yes, wherever it is deemed safe to do so College facilities will be open and in use. This includes the library, student centre (STUD), gym, sports field and laundry. Each facility will have its own set of Covid-secure measures in place to limit the risk of viral transmission.

Will I be able to attend a local church or access local facilities and services?

We encourage all residents to get involved with a local church during their time at LST, but this may still need to be via some virtual means rather than in person for the time being. Most local shops, pubs and restaurants are open with appropriate Covid related measures.

What will happen if I develop Covid-19 symptoms when at College?

As soon as you think you may have ANY symptom(s) of Covid-19 (high temperature, new and persistent cough, breathing difficulties, loss of taste or smell), you MUST:

  • Inform the Facilities Manager (Fred D’Lima / our Covid helpdesk) without delay and follow the information given
  • Stay in your room. Depending on what interaction you have had with others on your corridor, they may be classed as part of your ‘household’ and need to self-isolate for 14 days or until you get a negative Covid test result
  • Book and take a Covid-19 test as soon as possible (see this link for information about how to book a Covid test[1] https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19) and follow the medical advice provided. You must continue to self-isolate until you get a negative Covid test result. If you are well enough, you can access your lessons remotely via Zoom
  • Inform the Facilities Manager (Fred D’Lima / our Covid helpdesk) of the outcome of your Covid test result without delay
  • If you test positive, you and your ‘household’ MUST continue to self-isolate and seek professional medical advice (https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/ or call 111 or 999 (for emergencies). All those in your ‘household’ MUST also book and take a Covid-19 test. You MUST keep the Facilities Manager informed of the situation
  • You (and anyone in your household) may only return to normal activities once you are fully recovered (as confirmed by a test) or once you have obtained a negative Covid test

For anyone who feels too unwell to travel to the test centre, we will have manual test kids available for them to use instead

Prayer

“The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.” Philippians 4:5-6

One of the great privileges of the Christian life is being able to bring our concerns to the Lord in prayer. We pray not to a God who is far away and insensitive to our needs, but to a Father who is near and who loves us. What’s more, as God’s people we can support each other in prayer. In uncertain times we can rely on the constancy of God and the prayers of the saints.

So let’s pray for each other. Our pastoral team would love to hear from you with any specific prayer requests you have – email us on pastoral.team@lst.ac.uk. If you would be happy for your request to be shared with the wider LST community, please do tell us when you email. God bless you.

Rev. Alison Atkinson
Chaplain

Alison Atkinson