Regular Symptom-Free Testing
I am writing with some important information about symptom-free Lateral Flow Device (LFD) testing for students and staff working or studying on site.
From 12 April the University will provide free testing via the new symptom-free (LFD) testing centres located in easy-to-access sites around Oxford. The nearest testing centre to New College is the University Club on Mansfield Road.
Who should participate?
Testing is voluntary but we strongly encourage everyone who is working or studying on site to get tested twice a week, every week throughout Trinity term, including those staff and students who have been vaccinated or have had COVID-19 more than 90 days ago. We appreciate there will have to be some flexibility in order for staff to attend the testing centres. Staff are requested to talk to their line manager if they need to perform a test inside working hours.
It is possible to order LFD tests via a number of other routes – details of which can be found on the Government website. You may choose to use non-University testing routes (for example, if you are not in Oxford, or you have irregular work patterns) where it minimises travel or is more convenient.
You should not participate if:
- You have symptoms of COVID-19: You should instead book a PCR test via the University’s Early Alert Service and follow the advice you are given when you receive your result (if you develop symptoms between LFD tests, you must stop taking the LFDs and have a PCR test instead).
- You have been asked to self-isolate by a public health official.
– You have had a positive PCR test result in the last 90 days.
Tests should be booked via the Book a Test Button on the symptom-free testing webpage. Booking a test prevents queues and ensures the process is quick and seamless.
At the testing centre your University card will be scanned and you will be given a registration card with barcode sticker. You will be asked to register your test on the NHS Track and Trace system, either on your own phone if you have one with you, or on a device which will be provided. Staff at the site will assist you with how to register.
Performing the tests
– Staff and students will swab themselves and then hand over the swab to an assistant who will perform the test and record it. Staff are on site to support participants while performing their swab.
– Two tests per week should be performed throughout Trinity term. Wherever possible testing should be on the same days each week, e.g. Monday and Thursday or Tuesday and Friday.
– There is no need for staff or students to wait 30 minutes for the result. This will usually be communicated electronically the same day.
– Staff working irregular working patterns should not make special trips into work to perform their LFD tests via University testing sites. You can take tests when you are next working on site, and we would encourage you to use community testing in between where available.
What to do if you test positive
Anyone who tests positive in any LFD tests (including those via community testing or received from the Government via another route), must immediately self-isolate and book a confirmatory PCR test, preferably through the University’s Early Alert Service. You (and your household) should immediately self-isolate and assume you have the virus, pending the result of the confirmatory PCR test.
- If you receive a PCR test result, positive or negative, through a route other than the University Early Alert service (e.g. via the national NHS service), you must report your result by using the Report a Test Button on the University’s testing webpage.
- You will receive further advice from the NHS and the University Results Liaison Team (RLT).
- If you receive your positive result notification at work you should only use public transport to return home if you have no other option. You should strictly follow the safer travel guidance for passengers. Refer to the Safer travel national guidance.
- Because the tests do not pick up every case, you may still be infectious even if you receive a negative result, so it is essential that you continue to follow all COVID precautions.
I would strongly encourage you to participate in the testing if you are required to work on site, as LFD tests are an additional tool in helping to limit the spread of COVID-19. They can detect whether you have COVID-19 before you develop symptoms. Staff taking the tests will help to reduce any potential spread of COVID-19 across the University and community. Further information can be found at www.ox.ac.uk/regular-testing.
Working from home
Reporting Symptoms and Absences
Until further notice the following arrangements will apply in the event that you have symptoms of coronavirus:
If you have coronavirus symptoms, you should contact your line manager, who will discuss with you whether and how you can work from home.
If you have to self-isolate you will be expected to carry on working from home if possible, so long as your symptoms are mild enough that you would ordinarily continue to come in to work.
If you have to self-isolate but are unable to work from home, you will be granted special paid leave at the normal rate of pay for that period.
If you are too unwell to work during the period of self-isolation, you should contact your line manager from home to let them know.
You will not be required to use annual leave to cover a period of self-isolation, and this will not be included in your sickness record. If you are unwell beyond the seven days of self-isolation required by Public Health England advice, then the resulting absence should be treated as sickness absence, and the College’s normal sick leave policy will apply.
Staff are requested to download the information sheet regarding the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.
The IT Office
The New College IT office is fully operational and the team can help you with remote problems, equipment and associated issues. Please use the usual email address to report problems email@example.com rather than contacting individuals.
Microsoft Teams should be used as much as possible for team meetings, chats and virtual keep in touch sessions with colleagues. Most managers are now arranging team meetings through teams but you can arrange your own meetings and chat on-line with anyone in the University.
IT Services Help page
University IT Services
Central IT have a many pages to guide you through working from home:
Central Oxford IT Services have also compiled a useful page of links.
The University has created a page of resources to support those working from home.
Linked in Learning - Training
You will find an abundance of resources on the Linked in Learning pages for everything from remote working, teams videos, Office365 and help guides, use your SSO to login.
New College Library
New College Library is open, for selected services, seven days a week. From 19 April 2021, we are open 8 am till 10 pm (during term time).
|8.00 am till 10.00 pm|
|Browse & Borrow||Yes|
|Click & Collect||Yes|
We have adapted our book borrowing services to enable New College members to select and to borrow the physical library resources they need from New College Library using our ‘Browse & Borrow’ and ‘Click & Collect’ services, as well as via Postal Loans:
Browse & Borrow: 8 am till 10 pm
Click & Collect: 8 am till 10 pm
- ‘Returns’ service
We have adapted our book returns service to enable New College members to return their loans (books, CDs, DVDs, music scores) within an environment prepared in accordance with COVID-19 restrictions:
Returns: 8 am till 10 pm
- Study spaces
We have reconfigured our physical spaces and rearranged routes through the Library to provide New College members with reader seats and study space that conform with social distancing. There is no longer a requirement to book your seat in advance of coming to the Library—we have removed our ‘Stay & Study’ booking system arrangements, as we return towards more normal opening. You simply turn up at the Library and find yourself a seat.
Study spaces: Available 8 am till 10 pm
- Break Passes
Seats are currently still limited in the Library, to accord with social distancing measures, so we provide ‘Break Passes’ in the Library. If you are stepping away from your desk for more than a few minutes, then you should use a Break Pass, otherwise your belongings may be moved to make way for another reader. All you need to do is to write in the start time of your break, then leave the Break Pass on the desk. Busing a Break Pass will allow you to step away from your desk for up to 45 minutes. If you have not returned within 45 minutes of the start of your break, belongings will be removed from the desk to make way for another reader.
To facilitate remote studying during the pandemic, we also provide:
- a book purchase requests service (including ‘home-delivery’ ones), for items not held in the Library; and
- postal loans, for items which are held in the Library and are available to be loaned.
Requests may be placed 24/7.