Covid-19 Keeping safe on campus

How we're keeping safe on campus


Your health, safety and wellbeing are our top priority and we’ve taken a number of steps to help reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our campuses.


Enhanced cleaning

We’ve enhanced our cleaning processes to include the frequent cleaning of touchpoints which include:

  1. Taps and washing facilities
  2. Toilet flushers and seats
  3. Door handles and hand rails
  4. Lifts, machinery, tools and control panels
  5. Canteen tables and communal surfaces
  6. Office equipment


Covid-19 Testing

To keep everyone as safe as possible on campus, during the first week of term we’ll be rolling out college-wide coronavirus testing and we’re encouraging all of our full-time students and apprentices in college that week to take part. This is a rapid test done within our college test site and you’ll be given your result the same day. Where possible, you’ll have two tests 3 – 5 days apart and after that you’ll be able to take tests home. You’re encouraged to test twice weekly.

Testing is important because people without symptoms could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others and by providing testing we can reduce the chance of this happening.


Home Testing

We are asking all students and staff to complete two lateral flow tests per week at home.

Full-time students will be given their kits and instructions by their learning facilitator.

All other students and apprentices should collect their home test kits and step-by-step guide from their campus reception.


Home Testing – Positive Result

If you receive a positive result on a lateral flow test you must self-isolate straight away and get a PCR test within 48 hours. Please continue to self-isolate until you get the result of the PCR test and then follow the advice you're given when you get the result.


Preventing the spread is a team effort 

We can all play our part in helping to stop the spread of the virus. Please do your bit and…

  1. Sanitise and wash your hands regularly. No matter where you are in college, you’ll never be far away from some hand sanitiser whether you’re in a classroom, workshop or one of our communal areas.
  2. Practice good respiratory hygiene by covering your nose and mouth with a tissue when you sneeze or use the inside of your elbow if you haven’t got a tissue.
  3. Avoid touching your mouth, nose, eyes and face.
  4. Be mindful of others. Wherever possible, we’d like you to practice social distancing. Please remember to stay smart and keep apart, be mindful of each other when on campus.
  5. Take the stairs. Lifts are for essential use only and should only be used if you’re unable to take the stairs.

 

Face Coverings

It is no longer a legal requirement for you to wear a face covering when you’re in college however, we recognise that there will be many of you who feel more comfortable continuing to wear one. Ultimately this is a matter of personal choice and we ask that everyone is respectful of personal preferences.

 

Red wristbands

We understand that some of you may still not feel confident being around others in college, which is why we’ve got a red wristband scheme. By wearing a wristband you’re letting others know you’d like them to keep their distance. The wristbands can be picked up from campus receptions for you to wear while you’re in college.

If you notice someone is wearing a red wristband, please respect their wishes and keep your distance.


Self isolation

The guidance in relation to self-isolation has changed over the summer and there is now no need for you to self-isolate when you’re identified as a close contact (even from the same household) if:

  • You are under the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • You are older than 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated. This means 14 days have passed since your second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the NHS.
  • You have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

However, you’re strongly advised to take a PCR test. You don’t need to self-isolate while you wait for your PCR test result and you can continue to come to college.

You must self-isolate when you’re identified as a close contact if:

  • You are older than 18 years and 6 months and have NOT been fully vaccinated (2 doses)

 

For more information on Covid-19 testing visit the NHS website here. https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/testing/

Frequently asked questions

You should not come into college and you need to take an NHS PCR test as soon as possible. You can choose to take the test at a test site near you or use a home test kit. Further information is available here

If there are no available slots at a test site within 48 hours of developing symptoms, you must order a home test kit. This is a Gateshead College policy to ensure we minimise your absence from college wherever possible.

If you have mild symptoms and are still able to continue with your studies, you should do so virtually until you receive your results and your teacher will be in touch with you about this. If you are unwell and unable to come to college, you should report your absence through the normal absence procedure by calling 0191 490 2340, emailing attendance@gateshead.ac.uk

or texting 07950080960.

Throughout this process your teacher will keep in touch with you.

You should not come into college and you should follow the self-isolation guidance that you have been given by the NHS.

You should report your absence through the normal absence procedure by calling 0191 490 2340, emailing attendance@gateshead.ac.uk or texting 07950080960.

If you have mild symptoms and are still able to continue with your studies, you should do so virtually and your teacher will be in touch with you about this.

Throughout this process your teacher will keep in touch with you.

You’ll need to self-isolate immediately and take an NHS PCR test to confirm this positive result - click here for more information.

The rest of your household do not need to isolate while you wait for your result if:

They are under the age of 18 years and 6 months

They are older than 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated. This means 14 days have passed since your second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the NHS.

They have taken part in or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial

They are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

It is important that you continue to self-isolate until you receive the result of the NHS test.

You’ll also need to let your teacher know that you have had a positive home test result and you’ll need to revert to studying remotely if you are well enough to do so.

If your PCR test comes back negative, then this overrides the positive result of your lateral flow test and you can come back into college.


There is now no need for you to self-isolate when you’re identified as a close contact even when you are from the same household if:

  • You are under the age of 18 years and 6 months
  • You are older than 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated. This means 14 days have passed since your second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the NHS.
  • You have taken part in or are currently part of an approved COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • You are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

You are however strongly advised to take a PCR test. You don’t need to self-isolate while you wait for your PCR test result and you can continue to come into college.

However, you must self-isolate when you’re identified as a close contact if:

  • You are older than 18 years and 6 months and have NOT been fully vaccinated (2 doses)

 

If you’re displaying no symptoms and have not been contacted by NHS Track and Trace, you should come into college as normal.

If you or anyone in your household then starts to display any symptoms of Covid-19:

- A high temperature

- A new continuous cough

- A loss of change to your sense of smell or taste

Please ensure the symptomatic person takes an NHS PCR test. You can choose to take the test at a test site near you or use a home test kit. Further information is available here.

If you are contacted by NHS Track and Trace, you should follow the guidance they give you.

Although the tests are voluntary, we are encouraging every full-time student to be part of the college testing programme to keep everyone as safe as possible on campus.

Testing is important because people without symptoms could be carrying the virus and may spread it to others and by being tested we can reduce the chance of this happening.


You can pick up home testing kits and instructions from your campus reception when you’re in college and do lateral flow tests at home on a twice weekly basis.

Testing is voluntary to help keep everyone as safe as possible. If you don’t want to take part in either the rapid testing programme in college or the home testing, you will still be able to come into college.

You’ll need to self-isolate immediately and take an NHS PCR test to confirm this positive result - click here for more information.

The rest of your household do not need to isolate while you wait for your result if:

They are under the age of 18 years and 6 months

They are older than 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated. This means 14 days have passed since your second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the NHS.

They have taken part in or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial

They are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

It is important that you continue to self-isolate until you receive the result of the NHS test.

You’ll also need to let your teacher know that you have had a positive home test result and you’ll need to revert to studying remotely if you are well enough to do so.

If your PCR test comes back negative, then this overrides the positive result of your lateral flow test and you can come back into college.


You’ll need to do another home test. If you then receive 2 void tests in a row, you’ll need to take an NHS PCR test - click here for more information.

The rest of your household do not need to isolate while you wait for your result if:

They are under the age of 18 years and 6 months

They are older than 18 years and 6 months and fully vaccinated. This means 14 days have passed since your second dose of a Covid-19 vaccine by the NHS.

They have taken part in or are currently part of an approved Covid-19 vaccine trial

They are not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

It is important that you continue to self-isolate until you receive the result of the NHS test.

You’ll also need to let your teacher know that you have had 2 void home test results and you’ll need to revert to studying remotely until you receive your PCR test result.

It is no longer a legal requirement for you to wear a face covering when you’re in college however, we recognise that there will be many of you who feel more comfortable continuing to wear one. Ultimately this is a matter of personal choice and we ask that everyone is respectful of personal preferences.

 

You will only need to self-isolate if you are identified as a close contact by NHS Test and Trace and if you are older than 18 years and 6 months and have NOT been fully vaccinated (2 doses).