Our response to Covid-19
We are one of the largest universities in the UK, with around 4,000 staff and over 30,000 students.
We are working closely with Sheffield's director of public health and Public Health England on our approach, including our response to potential infection clusters or outbreaks.
We have clear communications in place for our students and staff to promote our shared responsibilities in helping to keep our community Covid-safe.
Many of our students and staff do not live in Sheffield and commute to our campus only when they need to do so. We have a number of students living in accommodation halls in Sheffield provided by the University and our partners, with whom we are working closely. We have a range of support available to those who are self-isolating.
Outbreak management plan
We meet and communicate regularly with Sheffield City Council, the University of Sheffield, local NHS trusts and other colleagues from across the city to monitor and review plans.
The University has established an outbreak response team to coordinate action for clusters or outbreaks of Covid-19 infection. This group has access to reporting data and will review this daily. The team will also work in conjunction with the director of public health at Sheffield City Council. Arrangements are in place for out of hours escalation if this becomes necessary.
For information on what is defined as an outbreak and what is defined as a cluster, see Public Health England's guidance on epidemiological definitions.
Tiers of intervention
The Government’s Covid-19 contain framework sets out how local and national governments may act in areas where there are increased numbers of cases. Areas of intervention will be stepped up and down the tiers depending on the circumstances in the area.
The DfE's guidance on reopening higher education buildings and campuses sets out expectations about the implications of different tiers of intervention for higher education institutions and the suggested response by institutions.
The University has developed comprehensive plans to respond to each tier of intervention if required. The nature of specific outbreaks or interventions will be considered by the University’s Major Incident Gold Group alongside the Outbreak Response Team to assess the circumstances and make changes at the University which adhere to the DfE framework.
If any changes to learning or teaching are to be made we will communicate swiftly to all our students and staff using our official communication channels.