Your wellbeing and COVID-19

You should try and limit the contact you have with other members of your household. Spend as little time as possible in shared spaces such as kitchens, bathrooms and sitting areas. Avoid using shared spaces such as kitchens and other living areas while others are present and take your meals back to your room to eat. Observe strict social distancing.

Ask the people you live with to help by bringing your meals to you, helping with cleaning and by giving you space.

Use a separate bathroom from the rest of the household where possible. If a separate bathroom is not available, try and use the facilities last, before cleaning the bathroom using your usual cleaning products. The bathroom should be cleaned regularly.

You should use separate towels from other household members, both for drying yourself after bathing or showering and for drying your hands. Keep your room well-ventilated by opening a window to the outside.

Use a face covering when spending time in shared areas inside your home to minimise the risk of spread to others. Used correctly, they may help to protect others by reducing the transmission of COVID-19 but they do not replace the need to limit your contact with other household members.

The common symptoms are a recent onset of a new continuous cough or a high temperature (over 37.8C) or a loss of, or change in, normal sense of taste or smell. It is critical that everyone knows the possible symptoms of COVID-19 and follows the correct procedures in reporting, self-isolating and testing. This is to ensure that we quickly identify, isolate and restrict further infections.

If you start to feel unwell when at home (student or private accommodation) - do not come to campus.

If you feel unwell while you are on campus – go home immediately.

In both cases:

Contact student.centre@bucks.ac.uk and explain the situation.

Self-isolate: Public Health England has published guidance on self-isolating at home. You must make sure that those you live with know that they must self-isolate for 10 days in line with the UK Government’s guidance. If you live in University-owned accommodation, we will contact your housemates to instruct them to self-isolate. If you live in private accommodation, please take responsibility for protecting others and controlling the pandemic by making members of your household know what they must do.

Arrange a COVID-19 test using the NHS website or call NHS 119. We have the NHS testing centre located in the Workshop building on the High Wycombe campus. You can book to attend this centre through the NHS website. You must book in advance before attending.

Once you have received the results of your test, please email student.centre@bucks.ac.uk to let us know the result.

If you have other symptoms it is unlikely that you have COVID-19. If in doubt contact NHS 111, use the NHS 111 online symptom checker or the NHS COVID-19 App or consult your GP. If you are unwell and you do not have COVID-19 symptoms you should follow notify your course team to tell them if you are not able to attend a learning event (read more here: Bucks Learning Partnership Agreement)

If you test positive for COVID-19:

The University Track and Trace team will contact you to identify any close contacts you may have had with members of staff and other students on campus.

Public Health England will work closely with the University to support and advise the University in this process.

The NHS track and Trace service will contact you to identify who else you might have had close contact with in a social / non university setting

Continue self-isolating and do not attend campus. You can return to campus only after 10 days isolation providing you have not had a fever in the last 48 hrs.

If you test negative:

You can come back to campus when you are feeling well enough.

If you are well enough to do so, you can continue to study while isolated as our hybrid curriculum model provides online alternatives for face-to-face activity. You should discuss any arrangements and questions with your Course Tutor.

This diagram explains the steps that you need to take.

The University is working with the Government to provide free testing for university students and staff using test kits called Laterals Flow devices. These detect COVID in individuals who are not displaying any of the common symptoms (asymptomatic) and produce results very quickly.

We have set up a testing centre in the West Wing of the High Wycombe campus operated by University volunteers and agency staff.

You are strongly encouraged to get tested before coming back to campus and mixing with students and staff. We are asking staff to do the same.

You are also strongly encouraged to get a weekly pair of tests while you continue your face to face studies.

The testing facility is open 10-5 (Monday to Friday) to help keep yourself and your colleagues and our students safe.

You can read full information on the Lateral flow Asymptomatic tests including how they work, what to do in response to the results and how to book a test here.

Once we have confirmation that a student or colleague has tested positive for COVID-19, we will instigate a set of measures to identify and notify those students/staff with whom the individual has had recent contact. This will mean that those affected members of staff and students will be instructed to self-isolate to help contain the spread of the virus. We are working closely with the Local Authority and NHS Track and Trace and they continue to support the University in this.

The University has purchased testing kits to provide a faster system for our students and staff.

We are working with a private test company, HALO, which is also supporting a number of other Universities.

These tests are provided for those students and staff who develop COVID-19 symptoms.

The benefit of this new measure is that you and your household can end your isolation at soon as you receive a negative result, meaning there is less disruption for you and your household. However, if you test positive, we can accelerate our track and trace and identify others who need to isolate therefore limiting the spread of the virus.

In all cases, completed tests are sent by priority post or couriered to HALO for rapid results within 24 to 48 hours.

Distribution of test kits will be managed by our University Track and Trace team.

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, contact the Student Centre (student.centre@bucks.ac.uk) and we'll arrange to get a test kit straight to you:

Students in University accommodation will have kits delivered to them in hall by our Fresher Helpers. Completed tests will be couriers or priority posted to HALO for processing

Students in private accommodation will have kits sent by priority post to their home. Simply complete the test send post it back to HALO in the prepaid packaging provided

Full instruction on how to take the test will be provided.

This is a significant investment by the University to support all our students and staff through this pandemic.

Please note - if you are required to isolate because of foreign travel, because a member of your household has tested positive for COVID-19 or because you have had close contact with a positive case identified through Track and Trace activity, you are still required to self-isolate for the full period even if you take a test and the results are negative. This is because the virus can take a number of days to develop.

There are various reasons why you may have to self isolate. You could have COVID symptoms, or have tested positive, you could live with someone else who has symptoms or tested positive or you may be traced as a close contact of a positive case and notified by the NHS App, NHS Track and Trace or the University Track and Trace team, or you may have to quarantine after foreign travel.

In all cases, you must remain in your accommodation and isolate for the notified period and follow the UK Government’s guidance. This is a legal requirement and breaches of the rules carry penalties of significant police fines. It is an important measure to stop the spread of the virus and keep your fellow students, University staff, families and the wider community safe.

Please notify the Student Centre and your tutor so that they can ensure that you are supported through your isolation. If you develop symptoms during the self-isolation period, you will need to contact the Student Centre and let them know that you are now feeling unwell and arrange to get tested yourself (see above).

Please do:

  • Order online and get your food delivered. For thoise in University halls, Reception will let you know when items have arrived and one of our dedicated Fresher's Helpers in hall will deliver to your door between 7am and 11pm, 7 days a week. The Helpers can also take (stamped) post away for you. See more details on food ordering here.
  • If you are well enough, continue to work from home and attend classes online. Please contact your tutor if you need additional support
  • Contact the Student Centre if you need financial or wellbeing support
  • Get to know your flatmates
  • Exercise in your flat and take part in online gym sessions.
  • If you develop symptoms book and go and take a COVID test - but take precautions to avoid contact with others while you do so.

Please do not:

  • Go out to town for shopping – even for food
  • Go out socialising
  • Leave your flat to smoke or socialise with people in other flats or halls
  • Go on to campus
  • Go to your place of work
  • Go to the gym or park to exercise.

If you need any further guidance or support, please contact the Student.Centre@bucks.ac.uk. Please protect yourself and the wider Bucks community and follow the Government guidance to keep us all safe.

Once you have completed your isolation period, you are strongly encouraged to take the free weekly lateral flow tests at the University testing centre if you live in halls or are coming onto our campuses for self-study, practical work or face to face teaching to protect yourself, your fellow students, university staff and the local community – read more here.

When a case of confirmed COVID-19 has been identified, the University track and trace team will work to identify those individuals (students and University staff) who have had close contact with the confirmed case. The team will discuss their movements and contact and use University logs and registers to identify others.

NHS Guidelines define a ‘close contact’ as a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 anytime from two days before the person was symptomatic up to seven days from onset of symptoms (this is when they are infectious to others).

This could be a person who:

  • spends significant time in the same household
  • is a sexual partner
  • has had face-to-face contact (within one metre), including:
  • being coughed on
  • having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
  • contact within one metre for one minute
  • has been within two metres of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 for more than 15 minutes
  • has travelled in a small vehicle, or in a large vehicle or plane
  • Where an interaction between two people has taken place through a screen, this would not be considered close contact.
  • Guidelines advise that the wearing of face coverings or personal protective equipment (PPE) is not a mitigation for close contact and so even if this was being worn at the time, the contact will be considered close contact.  Only full medical-grade PPE worn in health and care settings will be considered as a mitigation

If you have tested positive and are contacted by NHS Track and Trace or the University you'll need to be ready to answer these questions so consider keeping a contact diary or simple record of where you have been to aid any conversation

The Student Union have produced a handy form you can download and use here: https://www.bucksstudentsunion.org/contact-diary/.

In the first instance you should contact your tutor who may be able to resolve your issue easily, or help you get the extra support you need. You may also want to contact the Learning Development Unit to help with study skills.

If you are having technical problems you should contact IT if you can’t find the help you need on its pages.

If you need specific support, contact the Learning Development Unit on ldu@bucks.ac.uk or the Disability Service disability.service@bucks.ac.uk. Or if you are struggling with your mental health or wellbeing we are here for you too. You have several options:

You can order online and get your food delivered. The Reception in your hall of residence will let you know when items have arrived and one of our dedicated Fresher's Helpers in hall will deliver to your door between 7am and 11pm, 7 days a week. The Helpers can also take (stamped) post away for you. See more details on food ordering here.

If you are experiencing any financial concerns, explore our bursaries and financial pages on our website and contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre on SUAdvice@bucks.ac.uk.

If you are finding it difficult to secure a food delivery, please contact the Student Information Centre student.centre@bucks.ac.uk who can offer short-term, emergency assistance through our Bucks New University Foodbank. Please note, Foodbank options are limited and we respectfully ask that students attempt to arrange a delivery prior to contacting the Student Information Centre.

This can be a stressful time for many different reasons and all elements of your wellbeing is our priority. All students have access to online support 24/7 from TogetherAll, or the The Multifaith Chaplaincy is available for chats and support, or our counselling service can help, please email counselling@bucks.ac.uk.

The University has a duty of care to safeguard staff, students and visitors at our COVID-secure campuses and accommodation. We expect everyone to play their part and follow social distancing, guidance on wearing face coverings, rules on social mixing and other measures in place to help reduce the risk of infection in our University community and more widely. Our Student Code of Conduct for this academic year sets out our expectations around student behaviour and the process for managing incidents of student misconduct or breaches of the Code. In particular, we expect students to behave in a responsible manner; act within the law; comply with reasonable instructions; and adhere to health and safety requirements.

If they do not have symptoms, unless you have been specifically instructed by the University or by NHS App or NHS Track and Trace, you do not have to isolate.

If that person has COVID symptoms you too will need to self-isolate for a period of 10 days. Contact student.centre@bucks.ac.uk and explain the situation.

The current Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advises against all but essential international travel. If you do have to travel you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days when you arrive back in the UK. Travel to some countries and territories is currently exempt from that rule. Travel from some countries may mean that you have to quarantine in a Government approved hotel and take a series of tests (all at your own expense) so check the Government advice before you plan any travel.

Please continue to follow Government and University rules, for instance wearing a face-covering unless you are exempt (if you are exempt, you can pick up a special lanyard from the Student Centre). Please follow social distancing rules, on and off our campuses, and wash your hands regularly. Emma Binnie, our Head of Students and Wellbeing has recorded a message for you with some reminders about how we call all keep each other safe, which you can view here.

As of 9am on 13/04/21 we have:

  • 0 Current Students
  • 0 Current Staff

The numbers reported are considered as active cases, where an individual has tested positive for COVID-19 (either with a PCR test or since 27/01/21 with a lateral flow test) and is in the 10-day isolation period or has passed that period but is still reporting that they are unwell.

Our University Track and Trace team will get in touch as soon as we know if you or a member of staff have been in close contact with anyone from the University community who has tested positive for COVID-19. You’ll then need to self-isolate. We’ll make sure you have all the information you require, along with how to contact us if you need to speak to someone.

In total since 01/09/20 we have had the following number of COVID-19 positive cases (including the current active cases above):

  • 202 Students
  • 36 Staff

For context, we have over 6,100 students studying on our campuses and 750 staff members at Buckinghamshire New University. All of our data is shared with Public Health England and the Department of Education.