This section of the communicable disease management plan details the immediate actions that must be taken when there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 amongst our staff, students or visitors, on or off campus.

It is designed to be an easy-to-follow set of steps, but it is also recognised that further detailed steps may need to be taken that are associated with specific individual circumstances.

Please note - if a student contacts a member of staff as a result of them being asked to self-isolate, the student should be directed to the University’s FAQs in the first instance.   

 

The plan follows the four “Cs” of incident management: Confirm, Clear, Communicate, Control  

  • Confirm – Is the person exhibiting signs/symptoms of COVID-19?    
  • Clear – Isolate the person from others or isolate others from the person.
  • Communicate - Inform key stakeholders that a suspected/confirmed COVID incident has occurred and of the actions that have been/are being taken.
  • Control – Restrict access to area where the person was working, studying or residing until cleaning can be arranged, and begin investigating where they may have been on campus to assist test and protect.  

This plan is part of a broad range of mitigations put in place by the University to protect its community. This includes detailed information to students and to staff on self-administered Covid testing on a regular, twice weekly basis where asymptomatic. The guidance below relates to those instances where a member of the University community presents with symptoms, or reports a positive outcome as a result of self-administered or other form of test eg PCR.

 

ON CAMPUS

Staff member with suspected symptoms of COVID-19

  1. If a staff member present on campus suspects they have symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately inform Campus Operations (Security) on 2222 and follow the advice and guidance given. Security will remind the member of staff that they should contact their line manager and HR to advise that they have suspected Covid symptoms and that they have acted in line with the advice set out below. Line managers will also contact HR to ensure that such contact has been made.
  2. The staff member will either be asked to remain where they are (if they are able to safely stay away from others), or they will be asked to move to an isolation room. At this point, if they are not already doing so, they must ensure they are wearing their face covering and limit what they touch.
  3. A member of the Security team (the “incident first responder”) will attend the incident location, always making sure that they put on a face covering, disposable gloves and remain 2 metres from the staff member with suspected symptoms. If the staff member is not already doing so, the incident first responder will ask the staff member to wear their face covering.   The incident first responder will ask further questions to ascertain whether first aid or further medical advice is required, or if the staff member can safely get home to self-isolate.
  4. A member of the Security Team will also ask questions on where the member of staff has been on campus and with whom they have been in close contact. In addition to information obtained from the member of staff, details of areas where they have swiped their staff smartcard will be obtained.
  5. If the staff member has an injury or condition that is life threatening, the incident first responder, as a trained first aider, will immediately request help to dial 999 and obtain a DEFIB (if required).  All first aiders have received updated guidance on dealing with suspected COVID cases, but this will be reissued as part of this incident management plan.   
  6. If they have an injury or condition that is non-life threatening, the incident first responder, as a trained first aider, will ask the staff member to self-treat their injury using the guidance and first aid provisions given to them by the incident first responder. This will allow a 2m safe distance to be maintained.
  7. The staff member will be advised to contact NHS Inform to book a PCR test as soon as possible. Further information on booking tests is available here.
  8. If they have driven, walked or cycled to campus, the staff member must exit the building via the least populated route and make their way home, ensuring they do not interact with other people.
  9. If they have used public transport, they should follow the Scottish Government guidance on the use of public transport.
  10. If they are not able to travel home by their own means, the process below should be followed (by the incident first responder) in the order set out:
    • It should be established if a household member can collect the staff member.
    • If not, and the staff member’s home is within travelling distance of the campus, arrangements should be made for a taxi to take them home using Central Taxis (approved for transporting symptomatic individuals home).
  11. The member of staff and members of their household will be required to self-isolate, in line with NHS guidance, The process from that point will depend on the results of the test
  12. Once all the above steps are complete, the incident first responder will inform the duty Senior Management Team member, University Secretary, Director of Operations and Finance, Head of HR, H&S Adviser and Campus Operations Manager and provide them with a copy of their report.  The process will require the incident first responder to upload the report to a folder. This will generate an alert to all relevant staff, advising them of the need to review the report.
  13. As soon as possible, the Campus Operations Manager (or, in their absence, the senior duty member of the Campus Operations team) will arrange for any areas where the member of staff is known to have been to be closed off and cleaned in accordance with agreed protocols. 
  14. The staff member must inform the University of the outcome of the Covid-19 test by forwarding confirmation to Security and HR, and informing their line manager.
  15. If the test is confirmed as negative, the staff member should follow the advice on their return to work. Security will confirm the incident as closed once confirmation is received via the incident report process above.
  16. If the test is confirmed as positive, the member of staff must follow NHS guidance, on self isolation and contact tracing. The confirmed case section of the incident management plan will be implemented. The University will also implement contact tracing in accordance with the NHS Lothian HPT guidance at annex C. The member of staff may be asked to provide details of potential close contacts but should not contact individuals outwith their household directly.
  17. Staff and students will be updated on cases in line with NHS Lothian HPT guidance.

If the University is contacted by the media regarding a suspected case this should not be confirmed or denied and the suggested communication in annex A to this plan should be used.

 

Student with suspected symptoms of COVID-19

  1. If a student who is present on campus suspects they have symptoms of COVID-19, they must immediately inform Campus Operations (Security) on 2222 (internal phone number) or 0131 474 0000 (external number) or Accommodation Services (if they live on campus) and follow the advice and guidance given. The student should also advise the School Office (schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk). It is preferable that the student uses their phone to contact staff, and that they do not physically present themselves to security or accommodation. 
  2. The student will either be asked to remain where they are (if they are able to safely stay away from others), or they will be asked to move to an isolation room. At this point they must ensure they are wearing their face covering and limit what they touch.
  3. A member of the Security team (the “incident first responder”) will attend the incident location, and put on a face covering, disposable gloves and remain 2 metres from the student with suspected symptoms. If they are not already doing so, the student will be asked to wear their face covering. The incident first responder will ask further questions to ascertain whether first aid or further medical advice is required or if the student can safely get back to their accommodation or home to self-isolate.
  4. A member of the Security team will also ask questions on where the student has been on campus and with whom they have been in close contact. If the student lives in accommodation on campus, the relevant Accommodation duty manager will be advised, and the student’s flatmates will be informed. In addition to information obtained from the students, details of areas where they have swiped their student smartcards will be obtained where this information is being collected, and the Students’ Union contacted to check for any test and protect details.
  5. If the student has an injury or condition that is life threatening, the incident first responder, as a trained first aider, will immediately request help to dial 999 and obtain a DEFIB (if required). All first aiders have received updated guidance on dealing with suspected COVID cases, but this will be reissued as part of this incident management plan.   
  6. If the student has an injury or condition that is non-life threatening, the incident first responder, as a trained first aider, will ask the student to self-treat their injury using the guidance and first aid provisions given to them by the incident first responder. This will allow a 2m safe distance to be maintained.
  7. The student will be advised to contact NHS Inform to book a PCR test as soon as possible. Further information on booking tests is available here.
  8. If the student is staying in accommodation on campus, the incident first responder will liaise directly with Accommodation Services to ensure that the student is supported and that the necessary mitigating actions are put in place to limit interaction with others.
  9. If the student has driven, walked or cycled to campus, the student should exit the building via the least populated route, and make their way home, ensuring they do not interact with other people.
  10. If they have used public transport, they should follow the Scottish Government guidance on the use of public transport.
  11. If they are not able to travel home by their own means, the process below should be followed in the order set out:
    • It should be established whether a household member can collect them.
    • If not, and the student’s home is within travelling distance of the campus, a taxi should be arranged to take the student home using Central Taxis (approved for transporting symptomatic individuals' home).
  12. If the student lives in student accommodation on campus, assistance will be available, if required, to book a taxi to and from a testing site. The University will meet the cost of the taxi fare.
  13. The student and others in their household will have to self-isolate in line with NHS guidance. If the student lives in student accommodation on campus, Accommodation Services will also contact flatmates. If the incident occurs out of working hours, Security will perform this task. The process from that point will depend on the test result.
  14. Once all the above steps are complete, the incident first responder will inform the duty Senior Leadership team member, University Secretary, Director of Operations and Finance , Health & Safety Adviser, Head of Student Services, Campus Operations Manager and Accommodation Manager (if the student is resident on campus), and provide them with a copy of their report.  The process will require the incident first responder to upload the report to a folder. This will generate an alert to all relevant staff advising them of the need to review the report. This must include the School Office (contact schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk); a member of School Office staff will record the student’s absence appropriately on the student records system as part of the central data collection and reporting.
  15. As soon as possible, the Campus Operations Manager (or, in their absence, the senior duty member of the Campus Operations team) will arrange to close off any areas where the student is known to have been, and to arrange that it is cleaned in accordance with agreed protocols.
  16. The student must advise the University of the outcome of the Covid-19 test by contacting Security. They must also contact Accommodation Services (if they live on campus) and the School Office.
  17. If the test outcome is negative, Security will record the incident as closed once confirmation is received via the incident report process above.  The student may return to campus on confirmation of a negative test outcome.
  18. If the test is positive the student must follow NHS guidance on self-isolation and contact tracing. The University will also implement contact tracing as per the NHS Lothian HPT guidance at annex C. The student may be asked to provide details of potential close contacts but should not contact individuals outwith their household directly. The confirmed case section of the incident management plan will be implemented.
  19. Staff and students will be updated on cases in line with NHS Lothian HPT guidance.

 

If the University is contacted by the media regarding a suspected case this should not be confirmed or denied and the suggested communication in annex A to this plan should be used.

In order to provide additional background information on suspected cases, Accommodation Services, in liaison with Security, should log all incidents that they attend related to breaches of Covid guidelines.

If a student needs support or advice at any stage in the process, they should contact Student Services in the first instance.

Staff member/Student is asymptomatic on campus but records a positive result from a self-administered lateral flow test

If a staff member/student registers a positive result from a self-administered lateral flow test, the staff member or student should call Security on 0131 474 0000 to inform of the positive LFD outcome. The student should also advise the School Office (schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk). The incident management protocol for dealing with this will follow the steps set out above on the basis that the staff member/student has presented with the virus.

 

OFF CAMPUS

Staff member/Student becomes symptomatic while off campus/at home

  1. Staff and Students should access information and symptoms checker online at NHS Inform. They can also arrange to book a test or order a home test. If they are unable to access this service online, they should call 0800 028 2816. 
  2. The Staff member or Student should call QMU Security on 0131 474 0000 to inform them of their symptoms and the advice given by NHS Inform. The student should also advise the School Office (schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk).
  3. If advised to self-isolate and book a test, Security will ask the staff member/student when they were last on campus (last 48hrs) and what areas they visited.
  4. Once all the above steps are complete, Security will inform the duty Senior Leadership Team member, the Head of HR (in the case of a member of staff) , Health & Safety Adviser, Campus Operations Manager and, where relevant, the Accommodation Manager, Student Services and School Office, and provide them with a copy of their report.  The process will require the member of the Security team to upload the report to a folder. This will generate an e-mail to all relevant staff, advising them of the need to review the report. 
  5. As soon as possible, the Campus Operations Manager (or, in their absence, the senior duty member of the Campus Operations team) will arrange for any areas where the student or member of staff is known to have been to be closed off and cleaned in accordance with agreed protocols.

If a student needs support or advice at any stage in the process, they should contact Student Services in the first instance.

Staff member/Student is asymptomatic while off campus/at home, but has a positive result from a self-administered lateral flow test

If a staff member/student registers a positive result from a self-administered lateral flow test, the staff member or student should call Security on 0131 474 0000 to inform of the positive LFD outcome and the advice given by NHS Inform. The student should also advise the School Office (schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk). The incident management protocol for dealing with this will follow the steps set out above on the basis that the staff member/student has presented with the virus.

 

Confirmed case

1 Staff

  1. If the test is positive, the staff member must follow NHS guidance, on self-isolation and contact tracing and inform Security, their line manager and the Head of HR. As indicated above, Security will upload a report which will generate an e-mail to all relevant staff advising them of the need to review the report.
  2. The NHS Health Protection Team (HPT) will have been informed independently of the University that there is a positive test and will have in place a process for contacting the University. The key point of contact for the HPT is Campus Operations (Security).
  3. As HPT should have been informed around the same time as the University, and in order to minimise delay, the Lead Officer will also arrange for HPT to be contacted by the University.
  4. In order to keep the Scottish Government informed on cases, the University Secretary will arrange for the Scottish Government Advanced Learning & Science Directorate (Coronavirus Management Team) to be contacted.
  5. The Lead Officer will ensure that members of the incident management group as detailed below are informed. A WhatsApp group has been set up to facilitate urgent contact. All members of the group should, where feasible, identify an alternate in the event that they are not available, and their teams should be informed to stand by to implement any decisions made as a priority.

Members of the Incident Management Group

Director of Operations & Finance (Lead Officer)

University Secretary                                                   

Head of Human Resources 

Head of Planning                                            

Director of Marketing & Communications                               

Deputy Director of Estates and Commercial 

Assistant Secretary, External Liaison and Student Services

Assistant Secretary, Registry and Academic Administration              

Head of Student Services                              

Health & Safety Adviser                                                          

Head of Accommodation & Campus Operations                                    

Student President                                                                    

Student Union General Manager                                                        

NHS Lothian Health Protection Team (HPT) 

 

6. The Lead Officer will arrange meetings of the incident management group as required. A WhatsApp group has been set up to facilitate urgent contact. If a decision/action is required rapidly, and it is not possible for the group to meet, the Lead Officer will be responsible for ensuring the decision/action is made/implemented.

7. If they are capable of doing so, and if they have not done so already when presenting as symptomatic, the member of staff should provide details of where they were working and with whom they have been in close contact. Access to the area(s) will be restricted unless and until cleaning has taken place, and information on contacts will be used to assist with the Test and Protect process. In addition to information obtained from the member of staff, details of areas where they have swiped their staff smartcard will be obtained. Members of staff should not contact other members of staff who are potential close contacts directly as this will be done in line with NHS Lothian HPT guidance.

8. HPT will provide guidance on the need for the self-isolation of others living with the member of staff. See also the NHS Lothian HPT at annex C.

9. Members of staff and students will be updated on cases in line with NHS Lothian HPT guidance. The Director of Marketing & Communications will co-ordinate internal and external communication, taking advice from HPT as appropriate. Additional information on communications is available in the annexes to this plan.

 

Student

  1. If the test is positive the student must follow NHS guidance, on self-isolation and contact tracing and inform Security/Accommodation Services (0131 474 0000). As indicated above, Security will upload a report which will generate an e-mail to all relevant staff advising them of the need to review the report
  2. The NHS Health Protection Team (HPT) will have been informed independently of the positive test, and will put in place its process for contacting the University. The key point of contact for the HPT is Campus Operations (Security).
  3. In order to minimise delay, the Lead Officer will also arrange for HPT to be contacted by the University.
  4. In order to keep the Scottish Government informed on cases, the University Secretary will arrange for the Scottish Government Advanced Learning & Science Directorate (Coronavirus Management Team) to be contacted.
  5. If the student lives in accommodation on campus, agreed procedures for Student Accommodation Services will be activated immediately on receipt of the confirmed test result. This will include providing support to other students and implementing additional cleaning as required.
  6. The Lead Officer will ensure that members of the incident management group as detailed above are informed. All members of the group should, where feasible, identify an alternate in the event that they are not available and their teams should be informed to stand by to implement any decisions made as a priority.
  7. The Lead Officer will arrange meetings of the incident management group as required. A WhatsApp group has been set up to facilitate urgent contact. If a decision/action is required rapidly, and it is not possible for the group to meet, the Lead Officer will be responsible for ensuring the decision/action is made/implemented.
  8. If they are capable of doing so, and if they have not done so already when presenting as symptomatic, the student should provide details of where they were working or socialising on campus and with whom they have been in close contract. Access to the area will be restricted unless and until cleaning has taken place and information on contacts will be used to assist with the Test and Protect process. If the student lives in accommodation on campus, their flatmates will also be asked with whom they have been in close contact. In addition to information obtained from the students, details of areas where they have swiped their student smartcards will be obtained. The Student’s Union will also be contacted if the student indicates that they have attended Student’s Union events to check for any test and protect details. The student should not contact other students who are potential close contacts directly as this will be done in line with NHS Lothian HPT guidance.
  9. HPT will provide guidance on the need for the self-isolation of others living with the student.  See also the NHS Lothian HPT guidance at annex C .
  10. Members of staff and students will be updated on cases in line with NHS Lothian HPT guidance. The Director of Marketing and Communications will co-ordinate internal and external communication, taking advice from HPT as appropriate. Additional information on communications is available in the annexes to this plan.

 

More than one confirmed case

  1. The NHS definition of an outbreak is where there are two or more probable/confirmed cases occurring in the University within 14 days.
  2. Communication of additional cases will be along the lines set out in the annexes to this document, and the HPT outbreak management procedure will be initiated.  .

 

Noticeable increase in absence rates

Where there is a noticeable increase in staff/student absence rates due to suspected cases of Covid19, the NHS HPT should be contacted and the Incident Management Group should be convened as above.

Significant absences due to self-isolation while waiting for a test result should be flagged via the Covid Business Continuity Group.

 

Annex A - Outbreak Communications Channels and Tactics

(A stakeholder communications system is set out in Annex B)

 

CHANNELS

Primary

Website

Facebook and Twitter

Moderator

(Intranet if time permits)

SMS – in particular circumstances (via June Ross)

Plus potentially the media

 

Other options 

Signs in University Square

Posters in halls

 

Note on communication tactics HPS has indicated that it might use

HPS will provide an ‘inform and advise letter’ for potential issue through the University; communication to students and staff on same course, in same halls; alert to other universities, colleges.

 

TACTICS

Agree Spokesperson

Principal, or failing that the Lead Officer.

Lead Officer is the signatory of communications to staff and students. If the Lead Officer is not available and the communication is urgent, the communications team member would seek the approval of the Deputy Principal, or University Secretary or the Principal.

 

Some Communications Principles

In an acute situation (eg during closure, first case, etc) Lead Officer and Director of Marketing and Communications to check in with each other at the start and end of each working day, and, if necessary agree arrangements for the weekend, factoring in involvement of HPS as appropriate.

We will never promise communications to the University community for first thing in the morning or at the end of the working day as it can be very challenging to fulfil such specific promises.

We will communicate as early as possible, honestly and aim to minimise fear and confusion. We will aim to keep our communications simple. We will not overdo frequency of communications as this can make people blind to important information when it is published and distract the Incident Team from substantive action. 

             

Draft statement

In the event of an outbreak of confirmed and suspected cases (if there were speculation or we are contacted by the media). 

NB: We will not comment on individual cases but would issue the statement below if required.

We have well established processes in place to mitigate against, but also to respond to reports of suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 amongst our student and staff population. This includes issuing targeted communication as appropriate. Our processes adhere to guidance from Health Protection Scotland. Alongside this, of course, everyone in the University community should follow NHS’s advice to help avoid the spread of coronavirus.  

In the event of an outbreak, communication to staff and students would be along the following lines (any final statement would be agreed between QMU and NHS Lothian Communications)

A number of members of our University community have tested positive for COVID-19. In line with our well established Incident Management arrangements, we are working closely with NHS Lothian Health Protection Team to monitor and to manage the situation, following all national guidance.

In line with that, a number of people have been contacted because they have been identified as having been in close and sustained contact with those affected, and they are being provided with appropriate support and guidance.

Unless you have been contacted, you should continue to attend classes/work on campus as normal.

The University has a robust approach in place to monitor and mitigate the impact of coronavirus. The campus remains very much open for business as usual, with sensible precautions in place.

If you have any concerns in the meantime, or if you need to book a COVID-19 test because you have developed symptoms (high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste) please visit the NHS Inform website or for non-clinical advice call 0800 028 2816. For guidance on when to self-isolate, see the NHS Inform online guide.

For further advice on coronavirus, see our coronavirus website - https://www.qmu.ac.uk/coronavirus.

 

NHS Communication Team contact details

Media Enquiries & Contacts. NHS Lothian operates a 24/7 service to respond to media enquiries. For enquiries by journalists during normal office hours (9.00am – 5.00pm) please either telephone 0131 465 5644 or email Lothian.Media@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk.

For emergency media enquiries outside normal office hours, please telephone 07770 396958.

Annex B - System for Communication Any COVID-19 Outbreak to Local Stakeholders

This document supplements, and should be read alongside, the University’s COVID-19 Incident Management Plan. It lists stakeholders with whom we might need to communicate in the event of a COVID outbreak, and the person responsible for communicating with each individual stakeholder group. Depending on the situation, we might not need to communicate with all of these stakeholders. Decisions on which stakeholders to communicate with would be situation dependent, and would be decided by the Lead Officer, in conjunction with the Incident Group.

Stakeholder Communicator
Primary  
Communicable diseases contacts at other universities (as per universities and colleges joint plan) Irene Hynd, University Secretary
Other Edinburgh based university communication teams Jane Scott, Director of Marketing and Communications
Court Irene Hynd
Riverside Medical Practice Jessica Lindohf, Head of Student Services 
All students in University accommodation Via Bruce Laing, Paul Sibanda, as Head of Accommodation & Campus Operations or Nicola Anderson, Accommodation Manager as back up. Through ‘Occam’, the Accom team can email all students or residents of particular blocks or flats (but cannot text and cannot verify as read). Paul Sibanda, has a COVID specific protocol for accom (including comms). 
Students on courses where there are affected students June Ross – through SITS, her team can email students or message them via SMS, including by course cohort, or if they are given student numbers.  
All students Jane Scott, involving June Ross if we decide SMS communications is necessary
Students who attended a particular class Through Bruce Laing, we can get details of students who register for a class via ERA. With their student numbers, June Ross can arrange SMS or email messaging. (We cannot tell if a student opens an email or text but SITS will record if they have been sent).
All staff Jane Scott
Reception and security staff Bruce Laing guided by MCO. Reception staff will need to know about comms lines, comms sent and where to direct further queries.
Local media Jane Scott
Facilities users (eg external gym or café users) Bruce Laing
Scottish Government Coronavirus Outbreak Management Team (David Robb)

Irene Hynd, University Secretary

General  MCO can post any communication on the COVID website
Secondary  
East Lothian Council Malcolm Cutt, Director of Operations and Finance
MSP Paul Grice, Principal, via Jane Scott
Local ward councillors Paul Grice, via Jane Scott
Community Council Jane Scott
Less relevant  
Donors Jane Scott
Graduates Association Jane Scott

The communications team and others can draw on the Scottish Government’s coronavirus communications toolkit (for social media assets, posters etc) https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid19/communications-toolkits-and-leaflets/coronavirus-covid-19-communications-toolkit  

Annex C - Advice for Higher Education Institutions on how to respond to COVID-19 outbreaks

NHS Lothian Health Protection Team, September 2021

Identifying close contacts in the HEI:

HEIs should ensure all close contacts in the setting are identified – this can be done by following the below guide on definitions of close contacts and where close contact may have occurred.

Identifying close contacts in the HEI:

  1. Outline the infectious period of the case as below
  2. If the case was at the HEI during their infectious period, identify close contacts as per the below definitions.
  3. Key areas to consider for staff members who may have had close contact with the case:
    • Coffee breaks/break rooms
    • Colleagues who sit or work near the case
    • Smoking breaks
    • Colleagues who travel together
    • Kitchen/lunch rooms
    • Meetings/meeting rooms:
  4. Key areas to consider for students who may have had contact with the case:
    1. Household members in halls of residence/HEI accommodation
    2. Small Tutorials/classes
    3. Workshops
    4. 1:1 teaching/supervisor sessions

5. Include staff members who work on different sites and may have had close contact with the case

6. Could there have been any other staff visitors to the HEI (e.g. other professionals, work/repairs teams, delivery people) who may have had close contact with the case and give them relevant advice as well if they meet the definition of a close contact i.e to self isolate and get a PCR test

 

Definition of a ‘close contact’: close contact is defined as having a person having evidence of the following, during the infective period:

  1. Direct contact:
  • face to face contact with a case within 1 metre for any length of time, including:
    • being coughed on
    • having a face-to-face conversation
    • having skin-to-skin physical contact
  • any contact within 1 metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
  • a person who has travelled in a small vehicle with someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) or in a large vehicle near someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19).
  1. Proximity contact:
  • A person who has been between 1 and 2 metres of someone who has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), for more than 15 minutes cumulatively during period 48 hours prior to and 10 days after the case’s symptom onset

Please note the above criteria are irrespective of wearing a face covering as face coverings are non-medical grade coverings they do not exempt the wearer from being considered a close contact if physical distancing is not maintained with an individual who tests positive. 

Fluid resistant surgical masks (Type IIR) are medical grade masks and protect the wearer. As a result, they do exempt the wearer from being considered a close contact if physical distancing is not maintained. However, this is only in the context of health care settings and trained healthcare staff, who have had proper training on the use of fluid resistant surgical masks and other personal protective equipment (i.e. gloves, aprons, eye protection). Ineffective or improper use of fluid resistant surgical masks and/or breaches in personal protective equipment will not adequately protect the wearer and so the wearer will then be considered a contact if physical distancing is not maintained with an individual who tests positive, and they meet the definition of a contact. 

Definition of Infectious period: the infectious period is defined from 48hrs prior to the onset of symptoms (or positive test if individual has no symptoms) until 10 days after symptom onset (or positive test if individual has no symptoms).

 

Advice for individuals identified as close contacts:

Identified close contacts as above should be advised to self-isolate and get PCR tested. 

  • If over 18 years 4 months and fully vaccinated (i.e. received 2 doses and 14 days passed since 2nd dose): can come out of self isolation if PCR test is negative 
  • If over 18 years 4 months and not fully vaccinated (i.e. not received both doses or not been 14 days since 2nd dose): must complete 10 days of self isolation for 10 days from date of last contact with the confirmed COVID-19 case
  • If under 18 years and 4 months: can come out of self isolation if PCR test is negative
  • If test positive, must complete 10 days of self isolation since positive test (or symptom onset), irrespective of age or vaccination status. 



- N.B. If a close contact has had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days, they do not need to do another PCR test to be exempt from self-isolation, provided they are under 18 or are fully vaccinated and remain asymptomatic.

- N.B. Close contacts who come out of self-isolation because they test negative as above should still be cautious, limit exposure to clinically vulnerable people and monitor for symptoms developing over the next 10 days.

- N.B. If contacts develop symptoms of COVID-19 at any point, they must self isolate (again) and get tested (again).



Symptomatic individuals: must still self-isolate immediately when symptoms of COVID-19 start and get tested, and their household should all self isolate as well until the test result is received

Individuals who test positive for COVID-19: must still self-isolate and complete 10 full days of isolation regardless of vaccination status, or any further test results after their initial positive test.

 

 

QMU COVID Inbox

Our dedicated COVID email is now open for students who want to speak directly to someone at QMU about any COVID-related questions or concerns. 

Show Contacts

QMU COVID Inbox

COVID Help