Coronavirus Student update 10 December 2021

Dear Strathclyde student,

I hope this finds you well as we move through the formal assessment period, and towards the festive break.

Like many of you, I have been closely monitoring developments around the world in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic. As Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, said in her statement to Parliament on Tuesday, the current data gives a reasonable degree of certainty that the Omicron variant is more transmissible than the Delta variant, and perhaps significantly so.

It will take time for scientists to have a full picture of the impact of this variant, the severity of disease it causes, and its ability to re-infect people. However, what is clear is that we all have a role to play in heightening our compliance with the protections now, and in the weeks ahead.

Our University COVID-19 mitigation measures have been guided by our focus on the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, and already go beyond the Scottish Government’s guidance for the Higher Education sector.  

Today, I am asking for your support once again in adhering to the guidance. This includes: using face coverings on campus unless you are exempt; physical distancing; washing your hands regularly; and, opening windows when meeting indoors.

Importantly, it also means taking regular lateral flow tests, not just twice a week, but each day you intend to mix with people from outside your household.

Free lateral flow tests are now available for collection at Strathclyde Sport reception, in addition to the existing Collection Centre in Livingstone Tower. You can find full details of where and when to pick up tests on our website. Lateral flow tests are also widely available from pharmacies and for online delivery from the UK Government website.

In her statement to Parliament, the First Minister also outlined that Test & Protect is now deploying enhanced contact tracing for all test results with the indicator for the Omicron variant. For these cases, household contacts of close contacts, rather than just the close contacts themselves, are being asked to take a PCR test and isolate.  If you are asked to do this, please do so.

I know the continued COVID-19 mitigations are not what we all hoped for at the end of the year – indeed, quite the opposite.  However, the efforts we are putting in now are playing a vital role in keeping each other, our families, and our communities safe and well. On behalf of the entire University community, I would like to thank you warmly for your ongoing support.

The Scottish Government is now reviewing the COVID situation on a daily basis, and we will keep you up-to-date with the latest information for students. Please remember that, if you test positive for COVID-19, you should let the University know straight away via our reporting form.

Finally, as we move into December and into more wintery weather, it’s more important than ever to take a moment to reflect on your wellbeing. As a reminder, you can find lots of information on our website about staying active, healthy and well.

However, if you feel things are not going so well, please don’t hesitate to contact our Disability and Wellbeing team for help and advice. Full details of our services are available on our website. 

Have a great Friday, and a restful weekend.

Best wishes,