Covid 19 Photo Oct 2020 87

Covid-19

The latest college guidance on coronavirus (COVID-19) for students, staff, applicants and visitors. If you have any questions please email health@pca.ac.uk

Plymouth College of Art is currently open to staff and students, following a phased return that took place from Monday 8 March, with hybrid learning taking place from Monday 26 April 2021.

Coronavirus restrictions remain in place across the country. In England:

  • Only socialise indoors with people you live with or who are in your support bubble
  • Up to 6 people or 2 households can meet outside
  • Work from home if you can and minimise travel
  • If you have symptoms get a test and stay at home

More information on the new restrictions is provided below.

Students should remain where they are wherever possible, however, they can move on one occasion from their student household on or after 8 March 2021 but before 29 April 2021 to one other household for the purposes of a vacation, and are then (still) allowed to move “back” to university once.

The World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of a new coronavirus disease known as COVID-19 in March 2020. The pandemic has since spread worldwide, causing respiratory symptoms and putting all individuals at risk of infection.

NHS England has identified the following symptoms of COVID-19:

  • a high temperature
  • a new, continuous cough
  • a loss of, or change to, your sense of smell or taste

If you have one or more of these symptoms, medical advice is clear: you must self-isolate for at least 10 days. Anyone else in your household must also self-isolate for 10 days from when you started having symptoms.

  • If your test is positive - you must complete the remainder of your 10-day self-isolation. Anyone who you live with must also complete self-isolation for 10 days from when you started having symptoms.
  • If your test is negative - you and others who you live with no longer need to self-isolate. If you live with someone who has symptoms of Coronavirus or has tested positive, you should self isolate for 10 days and report this to us through the absence/sickness reporting procedure. More guidance on when to self-isolate and for how long is available on the NHS website.

Please remember to fill in the Absence & Illness Reporting Form again after receiving a COVID-19 test result and report positive or negative test results by email to healthupdates@pca.ac.uk.

The following information has been taken from gov.uk/coronavirus.

The ‘stay at home’ rule ended on Monday 29 March but many restrictions will remain in place.
People should continue to work from home where they can and minimise the number of journeys they make where possible, avoiding travel at the busiest times and routes.

Travel abroad will continue to be prohibited, other than for a small number of permitted reasons. Holidays abroad will not be allowed, given it will remain important to manage the risk of imported variants and protect the vaccination programme.

We are now entering the process of lifting lockdown. On Monday 12 April some of the rules on what you can and cannot do changed. Many restrictions remain in place including but not limited to:

  • You must not socialise indoors with anyone you do not live with, unless you have formed a support bubble with them, or another exemption applies.
  • You should continue to work from home if you can and minimise the number of journeys you make where possible.
  • You should get a test and follow the stay at home guidance if you have COVID-19 symptoms.

You can read the ‘COVID-19 Response - Spring 2021’ (the roadmap) for more information on how COVID-19 restrictions will be eased in England. It is underpinned by law.

If you do leave home for a permitted reason, you should always stay local in the village, town, or part of the city where you live. You may leave your local area for a legally permitted reason, such as for work.

If you are clinically extremely vulnerable, the government has updated their advice for those who are clinically vulnerable and shielding - Guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable from COVID-19.

For further details on the rules around lockdown, click here to visit the gov.uk website.

The NHS has issued the following advice on the best way to slow the spread of almost any germs, including COVID-19. It is vital that all staff, students and visitors to the college follow these simple actions to continue protecting one another from the spread of COVID-19.

Remember to:

  • Wash your hands often - use soap and water for at least 20 seconds, and always when you get home or into work.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel - if soap and water are not available.
  • Wear a mask - You must wear a face-covering in enclosed spaces.
  • Use a tissue or your sleeve - Cover your mouth and nose when you cough or sneeze. Remember, don’t use your hands, and make sure you dispose of the tissue straight away. Wash your hands after catching it.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • Make space stay at least 2 metres apart, or 1 metre with a face covering or other precautions in place.

For full information on what to do if you have COVID-19 symptoms, how to get a test, how to report an absence and what measures Plymouth College of Art is taking to maintain a ‘COVID-safe’ campus, please read our FAQs.

This video from the NHS shows the best way to wash your hands. Instructions are also available in an alternative format on the NHS website.

The college is committed to supporting students and ensuring minimal disruption to your studies at this challenging time whilst complying with the latest government guidance. In line with government requirements, all undergraduate and postgraduate teaching was moved online from Monday 7 December 2020 and after further announcements in early January, teaching continued as online only (with no access to campus) until our phased return in March 2021.

From Monday 29 March, Undergraduate and Postgraduate students from all levels are able to book optional access to self-directed study on campus through Connect 2, subject to availability. This continues to be completely optional and if you choose to continue your study at home you will face no detriment to your assessed work. During this period, the campus will be open on Mondays to Friday to students who have booked spaces, with extended opening on Tuesday and Thursday evenings, and limited availability on Wednesdays to fit around online Wednesday Workshop activities.

From 29 March, Postgraduate students, BA (Hons) Fine Art, BA (Hons) Painting, Drawing & Printmaking, and BA (Hons) 3D Design Crafts students will be able to access their studio spaces on campus for self-directed study without needing to book in advance.

Our main Tavistock Place campus will be open to students from 9am until 6pm on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and from 9am until 9pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please remember that Plymouth College of Art will be closed on Saturdays until the week commencing 26 April and will be closed for the Bank Holidays on Friday 2 April and Monday 5 April.

The Library will operate during usual campus opening hours Monday to Thursday, Friday closing at 16.30. From 29 March, ‘Click & Collect’ and ‘Click & Study’ will continue to be in operation for all undergraduate and postgraduate students. Students can use Connect 2 to book a computer, book study spaces (including silent study) and also sessions with library staff. The Library will continue to run a daily virtual Library counter until 1st April and during the Easter student vacation, the library team can be contacted via the library email (library@pca.ac.uk). We currently plan to reopen the library counter following the return to hybrid study, from 26 April.

We are sure you are as eager to return and use the facilities on campus as we are to welcome you back. Self-directed spaces (other than those listed for the courses above) will be bookable subject to availability.

If you need any advice or additional support regarding your studies for this period please initially contact your Subject Leader.

In line with the government guidance announced in February 2021, our Pre-Degree students at our Palace Court and Palace Studios campuses returned to our Hybrid Learning Timetable.
Taught sessions are timetabled in a three-week cycle - a balance of face-to-face learning
opportunities both online and on campus all structured ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff.

In addition to this base hybrid timetable example, some vulnerable students and students who need additional support for additional Maths and English support will have access to additional time on campus. Tutors and support staff will be in contact with learners on an individual basis.

In January 2021, undergraduate and postgraduate deadlines for all hand-ins were moved three weeks later than their original submission date. For undergraduate students due to submit modules on 18, 19 & 21 January, they were given a three week extension to 8, 9 & 11 February. For postgraduate students due to submit modules on 2 or 4 February, they were given a three week extension to 23 or 25 February. These extra three weeks were given to complete their work, in light of the restrictions of Covid-19 during trimester one.

Dissertation submissions (Module 304) also received an extension to 5 March, with supervisors available to give academic advice right up to the submission date.

We want to reassure students that we will take into account the impact that this national lockdown will have on your work and our staff are highly experienced in the assessment and marking of work-in-progress. Visit your student email inbox for more information.

Due to the nationwide lockdown, we were not able to welcome visitors back on-site to experience our state-of-the-art facilities in-person for small-group tours, open days and campus experience events. However, we are now taking bookings for campus tours set to take place from Monday 26 April and we have a range of Open Days taking place from 15 May.

Find out about the virtual events we have coming up by visiting our What’s On page, and book a place at one of our upcoming Online Open Events or take a Virtual Tour.

As part of the mass asymptomatic COVID-19 testing scheme for university students in England coordinated by the Government’s Department for Education and the Office for Students, Plymouth College of Art and University of Plymouth worked together to set up an Asymptomatic Test Site for students in the Main Hall at University of Plymouth campus, just a five minute walk from our Tavistock Place building. This was part of the Government’s NHS national Test & Trace scheme to enable students to travel home safely during the Government's ‘Travel Window’ of 3-9 December 2020, before the Christmas break.

This testing centre is still open, Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm, but is only for students without COVID-19 symptoms (asymptomatic) - to help confirm that they do not have COVID-19 as they may be unaware that they are infectious. Getting tested helps keep you, your family, friends and home communities as safe as possible, and helps break the line of transmission amongst those who might be infected, but are not aware of it.

If you develop symptoms of COVID-19 (any of the following; new continuous cough, high temperature, loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell) then you should stay at home (self-isolate) for 10 days, report your symptoms to us through the absence/sickness reporting procedure, and arrange to have a test.

Go to our Asymptomatic Testing page for more information.

If you live in Plymouth or the surrounding area or have already returned from your holiday address to Plymouth before lockdown rules were enforced and you need a rapid response Lateral Flow Test, you can still book one. Government guidance on travel dictates that you should not travel back and forth from your term time and holiday address during lockdown, however if it is necessary for you to travel in order to return to University, you should arrange to have a Lateral Flow Test before you travel in order to avoid spreading the virus. Check your college email for further details and for the link to book your tests.

For more detailed national guidance on returning to university in 2021, click here for FAQs from the Office for Students (OfS).

We understand that you’ll have questions about returning to campus along with many other queries. We will send out further updates via email and text message as soon as we have details confirmed and ready to share with you.