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Your questions answered

Updated: 27 March 2020

In response to the updated measures announced in the Prime Minister's statement of 23 March, we expect all members of our community to follow the latest government instructions and stay at home.

You should only leave home in order to:

  • shop for basic necessities, as infrequently as possible 
  • take one form of exercise a day e.g. a run, cycle or walk, alone or with members of your household 
  • manage a medical need or provide care or help to a vulnerable person 
  • travel to and from work but only where absolutely necessary.  

Fuller guidance is provided on the official Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

We encourage our staff and students to regularly check their KCL inbox and these coronavirus pages on our website for the latest updates, advice and answers to questions from the College.

We thank every member of our community for their patience and support and for all they are doing to look out for their students, colleagues and friends in this challenging and unsettling time.

What is the general advice for staff and students?

You only need to self-isolate for 14 days if a member of your household is showing symptoms or you are directed to following medical advice, please see the PHE guidance.

Anyone with a ‘new, continuous’ cough or a high temperature is advised to self-isolate for 7 days. 

  • You will need to let your Personal Tutor, Academic Supervisor or Line Manager know if you are self-isolating for 7days. 
  • Notify King’s by completing the self-isolation reporting form
  • You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you are staying at home.

Only use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: 

  • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home 
  • Your condition gets worse 
  • Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days 

Staff and students who are still exhibiting symptoms after 7 days should follow the medical advice provided by NHS 111 online coronavirus service and: 

  • Notify your Personal Tutor, Academic Supervisor or Line Manager know so they can make arrangements to support you and keep them updated. 
  • Notify King’s by completing the self-isolation reporting form

As part of the new measures, testing will only focus on identifying people with the virus in hospital. 

If you live with someone who has symptoms 

  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 

Public Health England has released new guidance for those staying at home because they have symptoms of the virus - a cough or a temperature of 37,8C (100F) or more or live with someone with symptoms. 

If you have any concerns about your health in relation to suspected novel coronavirus, please go to NHS 111 online and follow PHE advice.   


What preventative measures can I take?

Public Health England guidance recommends:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitiser
  • Good personal hygiene
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue. Throw the tissue into a bin immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough

What is good personal hygiene?

  • Showering or bathing regularly
  • Washing hands regularly and especially before handling food
  • Washing your hair
  • Brushing your teeth and cutting fingernails
  • Washing your clothes and bed clothes regularly.

If you are studying or working abroad, you should follow the same precautions and advice given by your host organisation or Government.

Social distancing

The government has now issued measures for everyone to stay at home and only leave for a small number of things:

  • Shopping for basic necessities
  • Medical needs or to provide care or help to a vulnerable person
  • Taking one form of exercise
  • Travel to and from work but only where necessary

We expect all our staff and students to do this.

If you do need to leave your home for one of these four reasons, then you must stay a minimum of 2m apart from others, not in your household, at all times. 


Should I wear a face mask?

Public Health England advises that there is very little benefit from use of face masks outside clinical settings where they form part of a range of measures to prevent transmission of infection.

If you are concerned about the transmission of novel coronavirus, Public Health England guidance recommends good personal, respiratory and hand hygiene, as follows:

  • Regular hand washing with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand rub or hand sanitiser
  • Good personal hygiene
  • When coughing and sneezing cover your mouth and nose with a disposable tissue. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough

It is important that we recognise and respect that some students and staff may wish to use face masks. We would encourage all members of our community to be inclusive and supportive of what is a personal choice.


Have you had any confirmed cases?

We are not able to comment on individual cases. Respecting patient confidentiality and the privacy of individuals is paramount.


What should I do if I feel uncomfortable because I am experiencing threatening or abusive behaviour?

We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously. If any of you are a victim of a hate crime and feel comfortable reporting it immediately, we encourage you contact the Metropolitan Police on 999. Alternatively, you can report the incident to the Police online.

If you are a student you can report any matters that take place within the King’s community to the Advice & Guidance team by contacting advice@kcl.ac.uk. If you experience any threatening behaviour outside of King’s, please contact the police and the Advice & Guidance team who can support you with this.

If you are a staff member, please consult the Dignity at King's pages which outline our policies and provide guidance on who you can talk to for formal and formal resolutions, as well as anonymous disclosures. If you experience any threatening behaviour, please contact the police.


Travel

What is the advice on international travel for students?

We advise all students, including those of you overseas, to return home if you are able to do so, whether that it is to the UK, to your home country, or to a place you feel most comfortable in.

For students who are studying or working overseas as part of your degree, we can reassure you that you will not be academically disadvantaged if you choose to return home. Students currently on placement are following advice from their host organisations and are in regular contact with teams at King's at this time. King’s has also suspended all global summer exchanges, international internships and industrial placement programmes until the end of the current academic year, up to and including the summer.

In line with Foreign & Commonwealth Office advice, students are advised against independently formulating any plans for study, internships or placements at overseas organisations until the end of the summer. As the situation remains fast-moving, and in line with the above, King's is unable to sign any required Host Agreements for international internships or year-in-industry provision at this time or for the foreseeable future.

We are looking at what financial support may be made available for King’s students who are currently studying or working overseas and who may otherwise be unable to travel. More information on this will be provided to students directly, when available.

As this situation is developing rapidly, we appreciate your patience while we formulate guidance on travel beyond summer and into the 2020/21 academic year.


What is the advice on international travel for staff?

Foreign & Commonwealth Office travel advice is constantly under review, so that it reflects the latest assessment of risks. In response to coronavirus measures the UK government are advising against all non-essential travel. You should check the travel advice to the country you are travelling to.

The FCO now advises all British nationals travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available. This advice was published on 23 March and takes effect immediately. If you are a permanent resident overseas, you should stay and follow the advice of the local authorities in the country you live in.

The measures announced by the Prime Minister on 23 March state that everyone should stay at home and only leave for a limited number of reasons; all international business travel for King’s staff has been suspended.


 

Self-isolation

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation means that you separate yourself from others. Public Health England has released new guidance for those staying at home because they have symptoms of the virus - a cough or a temperature of 37,8C (100F) or more.

You only need to self-isolate for 14 days if a member of your household is showing symptoms or you are directed to following medical advice, please see the PHE guidance.

Anyone with a ‘new, continuous’ cough or a high temperature is advised to self-isolate for 7 days. 

  • You will need to let your Personal Tutor, Academic Supervisor or Line Manager know if you are self-isolating for 7days. 
  • Notify King’s by completing the self-isolation reporting form. 
  • You do not need to contact NHS 111 to tell them you are staying at home.

Only use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if: 

  • You feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home 
  • Your condition gets worse 
  • Your symptoms do not get better after 7 days 

Staff and students who are not able to return after 7 days should follow the medical advice provided by NHS 111 online coronavirus service and: 

  • Notify your Personal Tutor, Academic Supervisor or Line Manager know so they can make arrangements to support you and keep them updated. 
  • Notify King’s by completing the self-isolation reporting form. 

As part of the new measures, testing will only focus on identifying people with the virus in hospital. 

If you live with someone who has symptoms 

  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in the house became ill. 

If you have any concerns about your health in relation to suspected novel coronavirus, please go to NHS 111 online and follow PHE advice.   


Are any King's students or staff self-isolating?

We are not able to comment on individual cases.


What should I do if I have an underlying health condition?

If you have an existing long-term health condition and you are concerned, you should contact your doctor for advice. Students should speak to their personal tutor and staff should speak to their line manager.

Staff can also contact occupational health to seek advice.

If you have a long-term health condition and are concerned that you may have novel coronavirus, please use the NHS 111 coronavirus service.


Further questions

Who can I contact if I have other questions that aren't covered here?

Please contact questions@kcl.ac.uk if you have any additional queries.