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Corona Virus: Tips and Advice

By DomBrowzer 16 Mar 2020

What is the University doing to prepare?

Since the outbreak, the University has been working to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff. We have a dedicated team working on this, and staff from across the University meet daily to assess the current situation, manage our response, including communications, support and advice as the situation changes, and ensure that we have plans in place for any future eventualities.

The University has set up an email address ( where specific enquiries can be sent. In addition, from Monday 16 March we are establishing a University Help Centre with dedicated support which will be able to triage enquiries to the relevant area for response. The help centre will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team drawing expertise from across the University.

We continue to advise everyone to follow the government advice, which is updated regularly as the situation develops.

What are the University plans for teaching and learning?

The University has decided that we should now transition to online provision of teaching and learning. This is not a decision we have taken lightly, and it will not be immediate in all cases. We will use the week commencing Monday 16 March to manage the transition, with a view to ensuring that teaching and learning activities can be delivered online wherever possible by Monday 23 March at the latest.

What does moving to online teaching and learning mean in practice?

Face-to-face teaching will continue week commencing Monday 16 March, unless teaching activities can transition to online and/or remote delivery sooner. Heads of Department will communicate with students if transition to online delivery is completed before Monday 23 March.

From Monday 23 March teaching activities will be delivered online and/or accessed remotely, and face-to-face teaching will be replaced by online teaching, including

  • lecture materials on Blackboard
  • delivery of lectures and tutorials online, either in real time or recorded
  • one-to-one support and supervision delivered by phone, email or videoconferencing

Arrangements for those activities that cannot be delivered online and/or accessed remotely will be made and communicated to students by Heads of Department.

Information on preparing for transition to online and/or remote delivery will be shared with staff and students by Heads of Department during week commencing Monday 16 March.

Arrangements for activities requiring specialist equipment, practical sessions, and studio-based work will be made by the relevant departments and communicated to students and staff by Heads of Department.

Online submission of assessments will continue. Further guidance on assessment practices, including the submission of physical work and examinations during week commencing Monday 16 March.

What are the University plans for research and knowledge transfer facilities?

University research facilities will remain open for staff and students. Specific guidance on conducting face-to-face research has been developed and will be circulated to relevant teams by Dr Lisa Mooney, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation.

What precautions should I take?

The risk to individuals in the UK is moderate. Take simple precautions such as: cover your mouth or nose when you cough or sneeze; use tissues for coughs and sneezes and put them in the bin straight after use; wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap and water.

Please stay at home for seven days if you have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough. Refer to the government's official advice about staying at home.

Check the official NHS advice for more information if you are concerned.

I am returning to the UK/have recently returned from overseas. What should I do?

All students and staff must follow the official government advice for returning travellers returning to the UK from affected areas. Please check this information to see what you need to do if you are about to travel back to the UK, or if you have recently returned to the UK.

What is the University approach to international travel?

The University has taken the decision to postpone or cancel all University-related international travel with immediate effect. This means that overseas travel is cancelled. We do not foresee exceptions to this, but any international trips which individuals deem essential and business critical must be approved by Prof Chris Wigginton, Pro Vice-Chancellor for Global and Academic Partnerships.

What is the University approach to attending external meetings and events?

The default position should be to use remote means of engagement, but you should feel able to make sensible judgements about physical attendance at external meetings or events. 

What is the University approach to on campus events and large-scale meetings?

The University is reviewing currently planned events and large-scale meetings with a view to cancellation, unless there are compelling business reasons to proceed. Convenors of these meetings should use their judgement to postpone, cancel or deliver by alternative means.

What should I do if I develop symptoms?

You should self-isolate for seven days if you have either

  • a high temperature
  • a new continuous cough

This will help to protect others in your community while you are infectious. You should report your absence to your line manager in the normal way. Advice is that you should not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital. You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you’re staying at home but if you continue to feel unwell you may wish to seek further advice from them.

What do I do if I have been asked to self-isolate or stay at home?

If you have been asked to self-isolate, the NHS advice is that you must

  • stay at home and not go to work, university or other public areas.
  • not use public transport or taxis
  • ask friends, family or delivery services to carry out errands for you
  • try to avoid having visitors to your home (friends, family or delivery drivers can drop off groceries for you)

Refer to the government's official advice about staying at home.

Some people are wearing face masks. Do I need to?

Extra measures such as wearing face masks are not necessary. However, some people choose to wear face masks to protect themselves. It is very important that we all recognise and respect this. We encourage all members of our staff and student community to be respectful and supportive of this personal choice.

I have seen reports of people experiencing abuse and harassment. Should I be worried?

Sheffield Hallam is a supportive and inclusive community, and we are very proud of this. We will not tolerate harassment or abuse. If you experience this, or see it happening, please report it. You can do this through Report and Support, either anonymously or with your personal details to get help from a specialist advisor.

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