Tuesday 14 December 2021

All staff email

Omicron variant update/Covid boosters

Dear colleagues,

The situation in regard to the Omicron variant continues to be concerning. We need to act to protect ourselves and each other.

I am writing therefore to remind everyone that our policy of working from home if you can is now in place.

I would also urge everyone to take advantage of the enhanced programme for booster vaccines as soon as you are eligible:

We know that more than 90% of our student community have been vaccinated already and I am writing today to encourage all of our students to get a booster as soon as they are eligible (which the vast majority already are). The healthcare data released at the weekend clearly shows that having three vaccine jabs provides up to 75% protection against Omicron, while two doses given more than three months ago provides much less protection.

There is now new guidance about testing and isolation requirements for Omicron cases. The Government has also said that, for fully vaccinated adults, it intends from 14 December to introduce daily Lateral Flow tests for contacts of confirmed positive cases. If you are identified as a contact please continue to follow NHS advice closely.

It continues to be really important to take regular Lateral Flow tests, which are readily available for all, including at our on-campus test centre, and to follow NHS guidance closely if you test positive.

We want to ensure that staff and students have as safe an environment as possible. Please take all the steps you can to keep yourselves and each other safe. We will continue to update our Covid pages with any further changes to guidance or other relevant information,

Finally you may be aware that the NHS is seeking volunteers to help at local vaccination centres. If you would like to help, Nimbuscare would like to hear from you. I am delighted that we are also supporting the national booster campaign by hosting a vaccination centre for Nimbuscare in our Sports Centre on Campus West from Thursday. This centre will be for booked appointments only, and should be on the national booking site from later this week.

I hope you all have a safe and restful break over the festive season.

Best wishes

Charlie

Vice-Chancellor and President