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Board member news

Increased testing in University accommodation

9 October 2020
Claire Morgan. Female wearing glasses and a blue jumper smiling at camera.

Dear Student 

I am writing to you to make you aware of increased coronavirus (COVID-19) testing taking place at one of our University Residences. Please don’t be alarmed by my email, my intention is to reassure you that we are doing all we can in prioritising the health and safety of our university community. 

In coordination with the NHS Test, Trace and Protect Team we have agreed to offer students in some of our Talybont South residences a voluntary NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) test.  

This follows an increase in positive tests and students self-isolating in this specific set of residences. You may see community nurses on site this weekend, in personal protective equipment, supported by a Mobile Testing Unit.  

I realise this news may be concerning both to other residents in Talybont and our students more generally. As such, I am keen for all students to be made aware of this increased testing, and to alert you on how we are managing the situation. I am therefore sharing the below letter which is being sent to all those students affected.    

Please note this does not constitute a ‘lockdown’ as we have seen in some other Universities, rather this is a more limited, pre-emptive measure to help control the spread of the virus for the safety and welfare of our students and the wider community. 

Once again, if you need any advice or support, you can contact Student Connect

Best wishes 

Claire Morgan 

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students 

Copy of the letter being sent to students affected in Talybont South:

Dear Resident

We are writing to advise that community nurses from the NHS’s Test, Trace, Protect team will be on Talybont South site from today (Friday 9 October) and over the coming days.

We remain in constant contact with our NHS partners and we’re aware of an increase in the number of residents of Talybont South who are self-isolating and an increase in the number of confirmed NHS cases of coronavirus (COVID-19).

As a result, a team of community nurses will visit the site from today and will be on site over the next few days. There is no cause for alarm. You will be asked to take a voluntary NHS coronavirus (COVID-19) test and self-isolate until the test result is known or until the end of your original self-isolation period if longer.

They will be on hand to discuss any concerns or questions you may have about this test. You will need to advise the University if you are self-isolating via SIMS and update us following the result of your test. 

We want to assure you this is a precautionary and preventative measure to better identify and help stop the spread of the virus, and alongside other measures we’ve put in place, to keep you safe. As per previous government guidance, please do not travel home, and risk further spreading the virus.

This is not a ‘lockdown’ and applies to specific blocks or houses identified in Talybont South only.

It is incredibly important that you support this work and cooperate fully. Please be reassured that our priority is your welfare.  The University has every confidence that you recognise how important this is for your wellbeing and to the community you’re living in.

If you test positive you may be contacted by the Cardiff and Vale Test, Trace, Protect service. A contact tracer will only ever call you from +44 (0)29 2196 1133. They will ask you about your health, who you have been in contact with recently and where you have been. It is important that you answer honestly and provide as much information as you can. This is an important reminder of the need to keep your information up to date in SIMS.

This information will only be used for NHS contact tracing purposes.

A contact tracer will never ask you to make any sort of payment, dial a premium rate number, provide your bank account details, give passwords or PINs, or download any software.  

We are sorry for the inconvenience this will cause but we are asking you to work with us and our NHS partners in the interests of your health and the wider student community.

Finally, we urge you to continue to follow the latest Welsh Government guidance and download the NHS COVID-19 app which allows you check your symptoms, book a test if you need one, check-in to venues, and manage your self-isolation period. On a related note, if you haven’t already – please do register with a local GP.

Further information is also available on our website and student intranet.

Yours sincerely

Claire Morgan

Pro Vice-Chancellor for Education and Students