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Reporting and managing potential cases at UCL

Guidance for students and staff on what to do if you or a member of your team feels unwell, has symptoms, tests positive for coronavirus or have been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace.

Please visit the Government and NHS websites for the most up to date information about what to do if you feel unwell, when you should self-isolate, when to contact NHS Test and Trace and what you can do to avoid spreading the virus. 

Remember, you must stay at home and use the UCL Connect to Protect reporting tool if:  

  • you think you may have coronavirus;
  • you have tested positive for the virus;
  • you are waiting for the results of a coronavirus test;
  • you need to self-isolate;
  • or if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate.

Step-by-step guide to reporting and responding to potential cases of coronavirus

I am a student or member of staff and I think I may have coronavirus

If you feel symptomatic or you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate you must stay at home. If you are on campus you must travel to your place of residence as quickly as possible, in line with Government advice.

If you have symptoms of coronavirus you should:
  1. Order a test from the NHS Test and Trace scheme in line with UK Government guidance
  2. Notify UCL through the UCL Connect to Protect tool; 
  3. If you are a member of staff, notify your line manager or supervisor;
  4. Self-isolate in line with NHS guidance.
If you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and need to self-isolate, or need to self-isolate for other reasons, you should:
  1. If you are contacted while on campus you must travel to your place of residence as quickly as possible, in line with Government advice
  2. Notify UCL through the UCL Connect to Protect tool; 
  3. If you are a member of staff, notify your line manager or supervisor;
  4. Self-isolate in line with NHS guidance.
I have tested positive for coronavirus, what should I do?
  1. Update your UCL Connect to Protect tool record;
  2. If you are a member of staff, confirm the result with your line manager or supervisor;
  3. The NHS Test and Trace team will contact you to find out who you have been in contact with; 
  • Ensure you share the following information: UCL’s postcode (WC1E 6BS),  that they are studying or working at a university, that you are studying or working at UCL
  1. Self-isolate in line with NHS guidance.

 A student or someone I manage or supervise thinks they may have coronavirus 

If someone you manage or supervise feels symptomatic or has been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate, they must stay at home. If they are on campus they must travel to their place of residence as quickly as possible, in line with Government advice.

If they have symptoms of coronavirus you should:
  1. Send them home to their place of residence as quickly as possible, in line with Government advice;
  • Please speak to your line manager In the unlikely event that the individual refuses to leave campus.
  1. Direct them to order a test from the NHS Test and Trace scheme in line with UK Government guidance
  2. Direct them to log their status on the UCL Connect to Protect tool; 
  3. Consider informing people working with them; 
  • Who to inform will depend on the individual circumstances and on where the person has been working. You may wish to speak to them - once they are in a safe space to do this - to determine who might be considered a ‘contact'.
  • There is no requirement for other staff or students to self-isolate or work from home unless they have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace, but they may choose to. Remember, just because they are symptomatic, this doesn’t necessarily mean they have coronavirus.
  • Our local public health team has advised that a 'contact' is defined as someone who has: been within 2 metres for 15 minutes; been within 1 metre for a minute; shared a vehicle; or had physical contact. 
  1. Ensure that everybody in your team continues to follow the good habits and hygiene measures to help prevent the spread of infection and keep our community safe; 
  2. Ensure surfaces which have been used by the symptomatic individual are cleaned;
  • Please refer to the enhanced cleaning protocol. If there is no planned cleaning it is recommended that this is done locally with cleaning wipes provided in your work area.
  1. Ensure that they are safe and they are getting support;
  • If they are a student, provide them with the departmental contact for extenuating circumstances who will consider any extensions or defer deadline deferrals.  
  • If they are a student direct, them to contact Student Support & Wellbeing through askUCL for further support. Students living in UCL accommodation can also get 24/7 support by contacting the hall of residence Duty Mobile to speak with the Residence team or Student Residence Advisers.
  • If they are a member of staff direct them to the free counselling available via the Employee Assistance Programme, Care First. These services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staff can telephone 0800 197 4510 to speak to an independent professional counsellor or information specialist in confidence. 
  1. You may also want to consider the implications on critical work activities with your department head.
If they’ve been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and need to self-isolate, or need to self-isolate for other reasons, you should:
  1. Send them home to their place of residence as quickly as possible if they are on campus, in line with Government advice;
  • Please speak to your line manager In the unlikely event that the individual refuses to leave campus.
  1. Direct them to order a test - if they become symptomatic - from the NHS Test and Trace scheme in line with UK Government guidance
  2. Direct them to log their status on the UCL Connect to Protect tool; 
  3. Ensure that everybody in your team continues to follow the good habits and hygiene measures to help prevent the spread of infection and keep our community safe; 
  4. Ensure surfaces which have been used by the symptomatic individual are cleaned;
  • Please refer to the enhanced cleaning protocol. If there is no planned cleaning it is recommended that this is done locally with cleaning wipes provided in your work area.
  1. Ensure that they are safe and they are getting support;
  • If they are a student, provide them with the departmental contact for extenuating circumstances who will consider any extensions or defer deadline deferrals.  
  • If they are a student direct, them to contact Student Support & Wellbeing through askUCL for further support. Students living in UCL accommodation can also get 24/7 support by contacting the hall of residence Duty Mobile to speak with the Residence team or Student Residence Advisers.
  • If they are a member of staff direct them to the free counselling available via the Employee Assistance Programme, Care First. These services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staff can telephone 0800 197 4510 to speak to an independent professional counsellor or information specialist in confidence. 
  1. You may also want to consider the implications on critical work activities with your department head.
If they have tested positive for coronavirus, you should:
  1. The NHS contact tracing team will be notifying their contacts - you may be asked to confirm who they have been in close contact with; 
  • Our local public health team has advised that a contact is defined as someone who has: been within 2 metres for 15 minutes; been within 1 metre for a minute; shared a vehicle; or had physical contact. 
  • Ensure they share the following information: UCL’s postcode (WC1E 6BS), let the team know that they are studying or working at a university, let the team know they are studying or working at UCL
  1. Direct them to update their status on the UCL Connect to Protect tool; 
  2. Ensure that they are safe and they are getting support;
  • If they are a student provide them with the departmental contact for extenuating circumstances who will consider any extensions or defer deadline deferrals.  
  • If they are a student direct them to contact Student Support & Wellbeing through askUCL for further support. Students living in UCL accommodation can also get 24/7 support by contacting the hall of residence Duty Mobile to speak with the Residence team or Student Residence Advisers.
  • If they are a member of staff direct them to the free counselling available via the Employee Assistance Programme, Care First. These services are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Staff can telephone 0800 197 4510 to speak to an independent professional counsellor or information specialist in confidence. 
  1. Notify the Head of Department;
  2. Cleaning should have taken place since the individual began self-isolating; 
  3. You may also want to consider the implications on critical work activities with your department head.

UCL Connect to Protect

The UCL Connect to Protect tool has been designed with public health experts to help us monitor and respond to coronavirus cases at UCL. We will use the data from the tool, to put in place the necessary infection controls depending on the scale of any outbreak. This does not replace NHS Track and Trace. 

How to use UCL Connect to Protect

Sign in with your UCL sign in details. Once you have signed in, you will be asked the following questions:

  • Whether you are symptomatic, have tested positive for coronavirus, or if you have been contacted by NHS Test and Trace and asked to self-isolate. If you are self-isolating, you will be asked when it started and where you are located. 
  • If you are symptomatic or you have tested positive, you need to make a new report or update a previous report.
  • If you are making a new report, you will be asked about your symptoms, whether you have had a test, where you have been and when. 
  • If you are updating a previous report, you will be asked whether you have had the test (and if this is positive), and to confirm your previous data. 
How we use your data

The personal data you provide is being collected for the primary purposes of managing UCL’s response to the Covid-19 outbreak. For example, we will use the information you provided to identify areas of campus where there is a suspected outbreak of Covid-19 in order to take the necessary mitigation measures.  Your information (which will not include personal identifiers) will only be shared with UCL staff members who require it as part of their role in managing UCL’s response to Covid-19. The personal data you provide will only be stored for as long as UCL requires it for the purpose of identifying Covid-19 outbreaks on campus and to take the necessary mitigation action, after which it will be destroyed. 

Exceptionally, your personal data may also be shared either on request, or proactively, with public health authorities. You information will only be shared where UCL considers it is necessary in the public interest in the area of public health. This could happen, for example, where a public health authority needs to establish whether there is a link between cases to respond to the Covid-19 outbreak. Your personal data will only be shared with local, NHS or UK Government public health authorities. We will limit the information provided to the minimum required by the public health authority for these purposes. If the public health authority only requires information on Covid-19 trends at UCL, we will anonymise the information and your personal data will not be shared.

For more information on the way UCL handles your personal data, as well as our legal basis for processing it and your rights as a data subject, please see the relevant UCL staff or student privacy notice. 

Report a case of coronavirus