Covid-19 - Staff Update - face coverings, hygiene procurement, teaching space for recording & office

Staff update - July 23 2020

Dear colleagues,

Another update following the latest meeting of our Campus Planning Group (CPG) earlier this week.

Face coverings

As you may recall from my last CPG update, staff with permission to return to campus are being provided with two reusable face coverings to help control the risk posed by Covid-19. These coverings are currently available for pick up each weekday between 11am and 1pm from Linklater Rooms or Polwarth reception.  Please remember to bring your staff ID card with you to collect this.  

All students and staff who will be on campus will be able to collect coverings and are expected to wear these - or their own washable face covering - when entering a University controlled building, or in any location where physical distancing is hard to maintain.  

Face coverings used elsewhere should not be used in a laboratory environment to prevent any chemical contamination being taken outside of the lab. Instead disposable coverings are being ordered and will be available for use in labs.

It is important to recognise that not everyone can wear a face covering. Individuals can be exempt from wearing a covering if:

  • they have a disability or health condition that means they cannot put a covering on
  • a covering will cause them severe distress or anxiety
  • they need to communicate with someone who relies on lip reading
  • they have a reasonable need to eat, drink or take medicine.

Coverings may impact on those who rely on reading lips to follow conversation and making use of technology in situations where coverings are required can help support this.

Guidance has been prepared on face coverings. Any additional questions or concerns around coverings should be sent to coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Procurement of hygiene products

The University has taken delivery of hand sanitiser gels and wipes which have been pre-ordered by Schools and departments.  Arrangements are in place to distribute these items across the University.

Going forward, additional hygiene products needed to protect against Covid-19 should be ordered and paid for directly by Schools. A named person, contact phone number and exact delivery address must be provided directly to the supplier when ordering, along with suitable arrangements to receive deliveries.  Please bear in mind that many buildings are not currently occupied and Security will not be able to receive deliveries of items.

For areas where there is no confirmed date for a return to physically work on campus before January, it may not be necessary to place an order now.   This can be done nearer the time of return, but with awareness that there may be extended lead in times for ordering and delivery.

Procurement will provide details of suppliers and availability of items to assist with the sourcing of the products.  These are available on these pages and will be updated weekly.

Access to teaching space for recording

To help staff prepare teaching for blended learning two rooms - Meston 009 and 011 - are being opened on the Old Aberdeen campus and another - 0:054 in Polwarth - is available at Foresterhill.

These rooms will provide recording equipment - including access to a visualiser - to allow staff to record teaching. They will also offer an alternative space for the preparation of teaching materials for staff with limited broadband connectivity at home.

These rooms are in buildings already open for research. If there is further demand for space, consideration will be given to opening additional spaces - within the constraints of building access restrictions.

To make the process as simple as possible, anyone wishing to make use of one of these spaces must follow the guidance available here.

We hope the opening of these spaces will be helpful to staff and if it is felt that additional equipment would be helpful in these spaces, please let mediaservices@abdn.ac.uk

know and we will try to accommodate where possible.

Access to offices to collect essential teaching and research materials, office chairs and IT equipment

Some staff and PGR students would still like to visit campus and collect items from their office and to meet this need a new schedule of building access times has been prepared.

From next week there will be opportunities for all staff and PGR students to gain access to offices for essential materials during designated times without making an appointment. Access programmes for Old Aberdeen and Foresterhill and guidelines for entry must be read before accessing campus.

Please note that you should not remove your desktop PC without approval from servicedesk@abdn.ac.uk -  it will not work off campus without being reconfigured. You can, however, take your monitor, mouse, keyboard, office chair and any other peripherals you require. Please remember to record what equipment you take off campus here.

For staff who would still like to request delivery of IT equipment and teaching or research materials, for example because you or someone in your household is shielding, or you are otherwise prevented from visiting campus, please continue to use the web form.  

Thank you again for your hard work and commitment during what are still proving to be testing times.

Best wishes

Debbie Dyker
Acting Director of Operations