Skip to main content
KBS_Icon_questionmark link-ico

Our response to positive Coronavirus cases

The university is adopting a scaled approach to the management of any positive cases of coronavirus among staff and students, in order to maintain the health and wellbeing of our community and continue to provide a high-quality education.

We are committed to providing a blended approach to teaching where possible, but are well prepared to adapt and make changes at short notice and in response to infections in our community and changes in line with local or UK Government guidance. This could include a change in timetabling to moving to online teaching only, working remotely except for essential staff and possibly, the closure of some of our buildings.

Our approach aligns with Public Health England’s (PHE) definitions of what constitutes an outbreak and how they define close contacts. An outbreak is classed by Public Health England as being more than two confirmed cases of coronavirus amongst students/staff who are direct close contacts, proximity contacts or in the same cohort (tutorial group, seminar group, lab session, social club, households or other defined group within the setting) at the university within 14 days.

They define close contacts in three categories:

  • Direct close contacts - direct face-to-face contact for any length of time, including sexual contacts, being coughed on or talked to OR exposure within 1 metre for more than minute
  • Proximity contacts - extended close contact (less than 2m for more than 15 minutes)
  • Travel contacts -travelled in a small vehicle with a positive case

The measures we have developed and implemented including reduced building capacities, 2m social distancing, face coverings and hygiene, are designed to limit the likelihood of close and proximity contact on our campuses. We are committed to keeping our community and the wider public informed and updated if an outbreak should occur.

Management of suspected and confirmed cases

The Personal Health Silver Team will act as the Case Management Team and will track locus and scale of positively confirmed cases. They will escalate any concerns to the Safe Campus Operations Team (SCOT) or the Silver Incident Team. This will be in cases where the potential impact could disrupt the university’s on-campus operations.

They will also work with NHS Test and Trace and local Public Health authorities, including the London Coronavirus Response Cell, to ensure our response is appropriate and in line with current government guidance. This includes on contact tracing for the educational setting which will be done by the university in parallel with NHS Test and Trace who will manage household and social contacts.

Overview of our response framework

We have a detailed process for the management of suspected and confirmed cases. The detailed guidance and some top level FAQs are available on our webpage.

Our response considers the impact of cases within the King’s community and changes to the external environment which may mean the university adapting plans in line with local or national government decisions. 

An individual confirmed positive case – Level One

Action: There may be a temporary closure of a space to allow for additional cleaning. The Personal Health Silver Team will inform Estates and Facilities and agree which areas should be closed and cleaned.

Where the individual lives on campus in one of our residences, household members will be asked to self-isolate in their residence.

Estates and Facilities will notify timetabling and space owners of any rooms that will be taken out of service and provide an estimated return to service date.  

Adjustment of scheduled teaching/working to avoid that space for a limited period may be required. Timetable Services will contact affected faculties where an adjustment to teaching delivery is required. This may include the rescheduling of teaching bubbles to an alternative venue or online provision.

Contact-tracing for a household and social contacts will be managed through NHS Test & Trace.

Contact-tracing for the educational setting will be managed by King’s, supported by the London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) in managing risk assessment as necessary.

Multiple positive cases on a Single Campus – Level Two

Action: There may be temporary closures of a number of spaces/floors within a building(s) to allow for additional cleaning. In this instance, Public Health England may conduct a risk assessment with the university in support of any response.

The Personal Health Silver Team will advise the Safe Campus Operations Team (SCOT) of the scale and impact of the cases and the proposed course of action.  SCOT will form an incident response team and will agree and lead on delivery.

Estates and Facilities will respond to any cleaning and building management needs and will inform timetabling services of any temporary space closures and estimated return to service date.

Timetabling services will liaise with Faculties on adjustments to teaching. Faculties and Directorates should adjust their working in line with their local rollback plans to identify alternative spaces/online delivery.

Contact-tracing for a household and social contacts will be managed through NHS Test & Trace.

Contact-tracing for the educational setting will be managed by King’s, supported by LCRC in managing risk assessment as necessary.

Multiple positive cases across more than one campus – Level Three

Action: This would represent a significant outbreak. In this instance, Public Health England would conduct a risk assessment with the university and building/residence closures may be required.

SCOT will form a Silver Incident Team to lead the rollback process and will be in contact with any affected Faculties and Directorates to ensure the process is managed effectively and that plans are confirmed for return to service at the end of the period of disruption.

Faculties and Directorates will be asked to activate certain aspects or potentially all of their rollback planning while the outbreak is managed and in preparing for reopening. 

Contact-tracing for a household and social contacts will be managed through NHS Test & Trace.

Contact-tracing for the educational setting will be managed by King’s, supported by LCRC in managing risk assessment as necessary.


Our response to changes in the external environment

Confirmation of an outbreak in the local area (for example, Southwark Borough)

Action: The local health department would ask the university to restrict activities in the area. All staff and students on the affected campus would be asked to work and learn from home and will not be able to relocate to another campus, in light of occupancy levels.

Teaching on the affected campus would be rolled back to online and there would be a return to agreed critical research only.

Government announces national restrictions, including a new lockdown period

Action: The university would close, and teaching and research (expect for critical research) would be rolled back in all faculties in line with the university’s COVID Response Framework.