Message to staff and PGR students, 26 August
Staff and PGR students based at our King’s College and Foresterhill campuses can now access buildings without preauthorised agreement. This offers the opportunity to work on campus or visit campus to begin to refamiliarise yourself, as activity begins to build up in earnest as the first half session approaches. FAQs have been developed to answer any questions you may have on the return to campus.
Below are some important updates on the latest decisions from our Campus Planning Group (CPG).
Face coverings and ventilation in workplace environments
We are aware that staff are seeking extra clarity on the appropriate use of face coverings in workplace environments where there is more than one occupant. We have received further clarity from the Scottish Government that face coverings should be worn when moving in buildings, however once you are seated at your desk, face coverings may be removed. This is the same as in hospitality settings. Anyone may of course continue to wear a face covering if they prefer to do so.
Maximum room occupancy numbers are limited primarily by the available space to maintain reasonable separation of people, ensuring appropriate ventilation. We continue to ask staff to follow basic protective measures as we seek to keep our community safe, and you can find further advice in our Covid Campus Guidelines.
More information will follow on face coverings in teaching spaces once we have a further update on national guidance.
Following discussion and agreement at CPG, staff can now hold individual meetings with students (UG, PGT and PGR) in their offices if they both wish, and as long as all guidance is followed.
Testing and vaccine
A reminder that free and regular lateral flow testing is available at our Community Testing Centre on University Road to all our staff and students who do not have symptoms of Covid-19. You can also order test kits online for delivery to your home or collect from your nearest pharmacy. We continue to urge everyone in our community to follow national advice and test themselves twice a week. By doing so you are helping keep our community safe and cases low.
Similarly, we continue to encourage everyone in our community to get both doses of the vaccine unless there are medical reasons that prevent you from doing so – further advice is available via NHSinform
Covid Building Coordinators
Covid Building Coordinators (CBCs)were introduced to provide support to building users, ensuring they understood their responsibilities within buildings whilst restrictions were in place and providing guidance and support to those who requested it.
In light of the relaxation of restrictions allowing staff access to campus buildings without preauthorised access, the role of CBC is no longer required and will be discontinued. Questions which might previously have been put to CBCs should now be directed to email@example.com.
On behalf of Campus Planning Group and the whole community we would like to express our thanks to those who have undertaken the role of CBC – your contribution has been crucial in the management of our campuses over the course of the pandemic, and we greatly appreciate and value your efforts.
Ongoing preparations for academic year
Our preparations for the new academic year continue apace, informed by the Scottish Government’s guidance for the sector, and we will keep you fully informed as things develop.
Throughout this period of change our broad approach will remain the same, with additional protective measures in place in the early weeks of teaching. These include reduced occupancy levels in teaching rooms during first half session and enhanced cleaning and ventilation, as not all students will yet have had the opportunity to be fully vaccinated.
Conversations continue to take place within Schools and Directorates on hybrid working arrangements following our return to campus, informed by our Homeworking Policy and Guidance on Managing and Working in a Hybrid Team. These discussions will be invaluable in helping us shape our working environment in the months to come and we urge you to participate as we seek to establish what level of interest there is for staff to continue to work from home as well as on campus. HR are also continuing to deliver Homeworking/Hybrid Working sessions for managers which can be booked through Course Bookings.
As ever, a reminder that you can find further information on our coronavirus pages and we will continue to keep you updated by email or via our weekly Staff Ezine.
Karl and Tracey
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer