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Our response to Coronavirus

Safeguarding our community logo

These are extraordinary times. In these pages you’ll find out how Marjon is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how we’ll ensure that no matter what comes our way, we will always put students first.

We will prioritise your safety, your belonging in our community and your long term success. For the last 180 years we’ve offered personalised, innovative teaching that puts students first. We’re not stopping now.

Get tested if you are accessing campus

This page contains information about the Asymptomatic Testing Centre at Plymouth Marjon University which provides free, fast testing for students and staff without symptoms of coronavirus. 

The testing centre is in HDC101. You can book tests by following this link.

Anyone accessing campus should take two tests each week (or one, if you only come to campus once a week). 

Book your tests

Please book two tests a week at the Asymptomatic Testing Centre

Asymptomatic testing FAQS


What is asymptomatic testing?

Asymptomatic means someone who has no symptoms of a disease, in this case coronavirus. Many people who are infected with coronavirus can have no symptoms and still transmit the virus to others without being aware. We can reduce the risk of transmission by identifying those who may not know they have the virus by testing people without symptoms.

This is particularly important when students and staff are returning to campus as they may unknowingly bring the virus with them.


Who should get tested?

Staff and students who are using campus facilities or living on campus should get tested twice a week.

If you are returning to live in Plymouth, you should try to get tested in a local community site before you travel (Note though there are not many of these: there are links to follow on this page.)

If you are already being regularly tested elsewhere, eg as part of a school or health setting – you don’t need to get retested with Marjon – those tests are fine. If they stop, use the Marjon test centre instead.

If you have had covid in the last 90 days, you do not need to start being tested until those 90 days are up.

If you have been vaccinated you should still get tested.


Do I have to get tested if I’m going on placement?

This may be provided as part of your placement, in which case, please use it. 

You can use the centre on campus if you wish, but if you aren’t using campus there not a requirement for you to be tested with us.


How often do I need to get tested?

Get tested twice a week. The centre opens at 8am and is in HDC101. 

If you only come to campus once a week, book to get tested each time, ideally first thing when you arrive. You don’t need to come back on another day just to get tested. Just get tested on each visit.

 

If you are on campus frequently, just book tests for two days a week, not more often.  


Do I have to pay for a test?

No, the tests are free.


How do I book a test?

Please book your tests on Learning Space: two tests a week if you are on campus more than once. It’s critical you book as we expect the test centre to be busy.

Register with the NHS to speed your journey through the test centre. (You can do this on arrival or in advance by registering here.) This will save you five minutes each time you get tested.

 

Finally, if you haven’t already, download Microsoft Power Apps from your app store. Use your usual Marjon details to log in. Select the Test and Trace system. You can now check in at the test centre and in other places on campus.


When is the test centre open?

The testing centre hours will be Sunday 7 March 11am to 5pm, then for the following two weeks, Monday to Friday, 8am to 12noon. We will review the hours during those weeks. Please book your tests on Learning Space

 

Register with the NHS to speed your journey through the test centre. (You can do this on arrival or in advance by registering here.) This will save you five minutes each time you get tested.


I’m self-isolating. Should I get a test?

No. These tests are for students who don't have symptoms and are not close contacts of confirmed cases.

 If you're already self-isolating, you should not leave to get tested until your self-isolation period ends (provided you have not developed symptoms).


I've been vaccinated. Do I need to get tested still?

Yes. If you have been vaccinated, you should still get tested regularly, as for all other members of our community, as you may still carry the virus. 

The clinical advice is that the test will not give a false positive because of your vaccination. 


What if I get a positive test result?

If you test positive:

  • Immediately self-isolate for 10 days.
  • Email coronavirus@marjon.ac.uk to let us know. (We won’t know otherwise.) We will deliver an essentials pack to you if you are on campus.
  • Any close contacts in the last 48 hours will also have to self-isolate.

 

If you test negative:

  • Continue following social distancing rules.
  • Do not assume you are fine to mix with others as the test can be false-negative.

 

 


What does the test involve?

You’ll arrive at the test centre, and check in. This is so we know who has arrived for their test.

Next you will register on the NHS website using a barcode you will be given which is unique to you. This is so that your results can be sent to you. (You can do this on arrival or in advance by registering here.)

You’ll then be asked to go to a booth, and asked to swab the back of your throat, near your tonsils, and your nostrils. You administer the test yourself with trained team members available to guide you through the process.  Your swab will have your barcode on, to link it to your registration.

You will pass your swab to a team member, and you then leave the centre. You should only be in the centre for around 8-10 minutes. You may have a short queue to get in.

The swab is processed in order to detect whether coronavirus is present. Our team will upload the results anonymously to the NHS website between 20 and 30 minutes after you did the swab. This usually arrives within about 10 minutes of us uploading it. 

The testing centre staff have no access to your results and cannot chase them: results are entirely anonymous.


How long do I need to wait for results?

You don’t need to wait at the centre. Results will be sent to you by SMS and email. This usually arrives within about 30 to 40 minutes of the test.

If you have not got your results from NHS Test and Trace within 24 hours, you should call 119 to determine next steps. They may have your results, or you could come for a re-test.

Ideally, you should get tested with time to get your results before you go to class (for example, plan to arrive on campus early to get tested an hour before your class). We do understand this is not always possible, and sometimes results take longer. 

Whether you have your results or not, you should still always maintain social distancing. 


How will I get my test results?

You’ll receive your results directly from the NHS by email and/or SMS. The University does not receive a copy of your results.

If you test positive, please advise the University at coronavirus@marjon.ac.uk.


Is it safe to go to the test centre?

For your safety this test centre is for students and staff without symptoms only. It is located in HDC 101 and is totally separate to the public Covid-19 test centre which is located at the Sport & Health Centre.

All visitors are advised to wear masks and socially distance. There is a one-way system, five individual testing booths and a booking system which enables control over the flow of visitors.

Please be assured that the testing site is safe and managed in accordance with government guidance.

Entry to the site is from behind the Chaplaincy. This may mean you need to queue outside so if it’s raining, please be ready. It is safer to queue outside than inside.


What happens if I need to self-isolate?

We’ll be there for you. Let us know on coronavirus@marjon.ac.uk and our Coronavirus Support Team will call you.

We’ll deliver you an essentials pack to get you through the first day or so. You can order hot meals from the Hub Restaurant and food from the shop. We’ll also share details of other places you can get deliveries.

We’ll deliver you an essentials pack to get you through the first day or so. You can order hot meals from the Hub Restaurant and food from the shop. We’ll also share details of other places you can get deliveries.


What if a close contact of mine tests positive?

If you are identified as a close contact of someone who tests positive, you must self-isolate for 10 days. 

Please note that if you are a close contact of a positive case, you must self-isolate even if you receive a negative test yourself. The negative test means you were probably not infectious at the time of the test, but you could become infectious.


What do I need to bring to my test?

Please bring a face covering and your smartphone. The NHS registration requires you to access a web link to register and then scan a bar code with your camera. This is the unique ID that connects your test up with you and keeps your results confidential.

If you don’t have a smartphone, please book a test and you can register on a university device on arrival.


What if I need accessibility support to take the test?

The test centre is accessible in a wheelchair. If you will need assistance with administering the test, (in terms of swabbing your throat and nose) please email the details on the confirmatory page of the booking process so that we can organise this.


How is my data handled?

When you book for a test, the University will manage your booking data using your student or staff login details, so that we can let you know about your appointments and any changes. You can find out more about our data protection policy here. By booking a test it is assumed that individuals have provided their permission to participate in testing and for relevant identified parties to process this data.

When you arrive at the test centre, you will register online with NHS Test and Trace, and they will handle your data around your test and the results.

The University is not informed of your result. The people in the test centre will read results anonymously, upload results based on the barcode attached to them, and you will be informed of the result through NHS Test and Trace.

To find out how the Government uses your personal data when you register please go to: Register a coronavirus test (lateral flow test) - GOV.UK (test-for-coronavirus.service.gov.uk). This is the page you will register on when you arrive at the test centre, and the privacy notice is at the bottom of this page.


Data Protection Impact Assessment

The Department for Health and Social Care has conducted a Data Protection Impact Assessment for the management of data relating to the testing processes.

By attending the test site and registering for a test, it is assumed that individuals have provided their permission to participate in testing and for relevant identified parties to process this data.

Returning to campus FAQs


Can I return to campus?

If your course is designated to return, yes, but check your timetable for when your first located session is (it may not be immediately).

You may also return for your mental health, or because you don’t have suitable study facilities or space at home.

 

If you are self-isolating at home, or have symptoms, do not travel. Do not return until the end of the period of self-isolation. Continue to access your studies online.


What if I’m on a course which is not designated to return?

Please note the exceptions which include that you may return for your mental health, or because you don’t have suitable study facilities or space at home. We have been told a decision will be made on these courses towards the end of the Easter holidays (around mid April). 

The situation in universities in terms of testing uptake and cases will be taken into account for this decision.


Is it safe to return?

Here are some things that might reassure you that risks are manageable:

  • Testing has worked at Marjon to identify cases before they spread. Those cases actually only spread to those who had been very close contacts in accommodation.
  • There has been no evidence from universities of cases spreading in teaching sessions, except for a few cases where it was found that social distancing wasn’t adhered to. If you adhere to social distancing, teaching appears to be very safe. The government have stated they are not concerned about teaching environments but more about the mass movement of lots of students all at once – hence the phased return.

 

  • The campus remains covid secure and our Safeguarding our Community actions are working. This includes cleaning, fogging regime, hand-washing, face-coverings, and social distancing, and it means that when someone is positive it is much less likely to spread.
  • We have fined students in the past who have not stuck to the rules and if needed, we will do so again to deter people. We don’t want to fine anyone, but if there are flagrant breaches of Covid rules, we will have no choice. The police fines are mandatory and if they catch people partying or socialising then their fines are automatic and very high.


What if I don’t want to return?

What if I don’t want to return to campus or located lectures, or am shielding?

Wherever possible, located sessions will also be connected online to support those students not able to attend. Please liaise with your programme lead, so they are aware of the situation and are able to support you as much as possible. Every student will be considered on a case by case basis, depending on the specific programme and the practical requirements within it.

 

For some courses, the practical activity relates directly to assessment and this is why these programmes have been prioritised to return. If you have specific needs or worries, you may be able to work out a way in which you feel comfortable to access the practical sessions or equipment, and so continue to benefit from them. But it is really important that you talk about this to your programme lead, rather than just not come.


How can I travel back to campus?

Ideally travel by private car, and only with people from your household, but you can use public transport following National lockdown: Stay at Home - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk) guidelines. Avoid busy times, wear a face covering, and try to keep away from others.

 

If you are coming from overseas, please read the guidance for students travelling from overseas on pages 27 onwards. You may travel, but only if you are on a course which is restarting located, face-to-face teaching. There are significant rules to be aware of, including the requirements to quarantine on return.


When should I wear a face covering?

Please read the government guidance for face coverings in higher education (page 12).

At Marjon this is when we expect you to wear face coverings:

  • When working in groups in class (facing each other and talking to each other)
  • When inside and not socially distanced
  • When moving around between spaces or in a room (eg in corridors)

 

 

 When you do not need to wear face coverings:

  • If you are exempted, for example because it hinders visual communication, or you are communicating with someone who relies on visual communication
  • When inside, socially distanced and listening/ working rather than talking (eg you are all facing lecturer, listening for a period of time, or sitting in a study space alone)
  • When wearing a face covering would interfere with physical exertion
  • When it would interfere with learning
  • When outside and socially distanced

 

When in doubt, we advise you to wear face coverings to ensure others feel safe.


How do I wear a face covering safely?

To wear a face covering safely you must:

  • Clean your hands before and after touching it, including putting on and taking off
  • Store it in a sealable plastic bag between use
  • Do not wear it if it becomes damp: have a spare with you for this purpose.


Where can I check the latest government guidance?


Is my maintenance loan affected?

The Department for Education and Student Loans Company have both confirmed students will get their second and third loan paid at the same rate as previously – so they don’t intend to change rates even if a student has spent more time living at home due to Covid than in their student accommodation this year.

This is information has been raised and confirmed with NASMA (National Association of Student Money Advisers) meetings with SLC and DFE representatives, (as the online guidelines on the Gov.uk are not quite clear regarding these circumstances).

 

The only change to their funding would be if a student has officially left their student accommodation to move back home fully so are no longer paying for their accommodation. In that circumstance the student would need to let SFE know.

Please note that if you want advice on this you can speak to Debra Smitham dsmitham@marjon.ac.uk 

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