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COVID-19: Questions about placements

Please see the processes in place for students attending, or due to attend, their placements.

If a placement student receives a positive test result for COVID-19 they must follow this process.

  1. Follow all government advice to self-isolate (stay at home).
  2. Follow all instructions from the NHS and engage with the Test and Trace system (including advising Test and Trace that they are connected to the University).
  3. Notify the University using our online form.
  4. If students live in University halls, use the Home at Halls app to notify the Halls Welfare Team.
  5. Let all members of their household know, as they will need to self-isolate in line with government advice.
  6. Report their placement absence immediately to their Placement Coordinator / Administrator and programme lead copying in placements@reading.ac.uk advising the dates they will be able to start or re-join their placement.
  7. Students must inform their Placement Provider/ Supervisor/ Educator that they will not be attending their placement themselves and will be self-isolating for the necessary period. Students should also follow further instructions advised by their placement providers in line with government advice.

If a placement student has COVID-19 symptoms, they should adhere to the following guidance.

  • They should not attend their placement and follow the guidance on our COVID-19 symptoms and testing Essentials webpage.
  • They must also inform their Placement Team and placement provider.
  • If students have downloaded the NHS COVID-19 app, they can also register their positive test result so Public Health England can notify anyone they have been in close contact with (they will not reveal identity).

Useful contacts:

Visit the placements About The Team page for all other placement contacts. Students can also visit our Placement FAQs page which is updated regularly.


Actions for Placement / Training Staff (Academic and Administrative)

As many of our students are undertaking regulated and non-regulated placements as a core element of their programme and are allocated to placements within the community, it will be necessary for placement teams to respond swiftly and with discretion to notifications of a placement student having tested positive or self-isolating due to coronavirus.

Please adhere to the following steps and only involve staff who are directly involved in the placement activity.

  1. Confirm that the student has completed the steps above.
  2. Inform student/s affected that you will be contacting their Placement Provider to ensure their notifications for not attending placement have been received. Please note: In some cases, the placements will be attended by a pair or small group of students, please ensure you do not disclose the names of students affected to one another without prior consent.
  3. Contact placement provider to check notification / reason for student not attending placement has been received and make any arrangements for the placements to re-commence once suitable dates identified in line with student's period of self-isolation. Please note: it may be necessary to arrange the placement at a later point in the academic calendar or by remote option if this is possible.
  4. Identify and resolve with the students and other colleagues any academic issues that this triggers.

Many students undertaking placements during term time will continue to attend face-to-face lectures, visit tutors and attend tutorials. This information will be captured on the form they submit as per our instructions and links above or by the University's COVID-19 Case Management Team who will work with the student to identify and contact close contacts that are University staff or students.

The COVID-19 Case Management Team will also ask all students submitting forms whether they are on a placement or about to go on placement. The students will then be reminded to contact their placement provider and placements@reading.ac.uk.

Contacts outside the University will be dealt with by NHS Test and Trace.

Students may seek advice about whether they should attend their placement if they feel they have been in contact with someone who has tested positive. The following guidance applies:

  • A student who tests positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate and not attend their placement until their isolation period has come to an end provided they are free of symptoms. Although the loss of taste/smell and the cough may continue for some week it is not necessary to continue to isolate if the student is otherwise healthy. If they are unsure, they should contact NHS111 or their GP for advice.
  • A student who lives with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate and not attend their placement until their isolation period has come to an end. They should isolate for 14 days from when the person in their household first developed symptoms or if this is not known the date of the test.
  • A student who has been identified either by the COVID-19 Case Management Team or by NHS Test and Trace as a close contact and has been told to self-isolate should not attend their placement until their specified isolation period has come to an end.
  • Generally other students should attend their placement, but if in doubt you or the student should contact covid-support@reading.ac.uk for guidance.

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