Information about Covid-19 and looking after your health

Information about Covid-19 and looking after your health.

A coronavirus (COVID-19 is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. 

Symptoms of coronavirus include fever, loss of, or changes to your normal sense of taste or smell and a cough that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. 

The symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) are usually mild, but some people can become very unwell. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long term health conditions.

Last reviewed 21 May.

Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how the novel coronavirus spreads from person to person, but similar viruses spread by cough droplets.

Public Health England advises the best way to protect yourself and the wider community is to take social distancing measures. Take the time to read about social distancing, and other principles to help you stay safe outside your home, as it is important you follow them at all times.

There are things you can do to help stop germs like novel coronavirus spreading:

  • Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and hot water, for 20 seconds, especially after using public transport. Use a sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Avoid close contact with people who are unwell.

You can watch the helpful NHS video and step-by-step advice on effective handwashing. Consult the NHS website for further information.

Measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 have evolved and are detailed in the government guides Staying Alert and Safe (Social Distancing) and Meeting with Others Safely (Social Distancing). These are effective immediately and include:

  • Staying safe in public spaces and workplaces by following the ‘COVID-19 secure’ guidelines.
  • Limiting your contact with others – staying at home is the easiest way to do this.
  • Not meeting anyone outside of your household or social bubble indoors or in a private garden – you can visit outdoor public places or exercise with one person from another household.

The government is now making changes to gradually reopen much of society and the economy, but it is essential that people go about their lives in a manner which reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission, whether they are at work, leisure, or using public services. 

When you leave your home, you should continue to follow the guidelines on staying safe outside your home. You should continue to avoid close contact and remain socially distant from anyone you do not live or who is not in your support bubble – even inside other people’s homes.

Last updated 5 November.

Student Support, Health and Wellbeing

Students asking for support should contact our Student Support Health and Wellbeing team via email

Wellbeing resources for our community

Talking helps - It is important to speak to someone you trust about your concerns, whether that is a family member, friend, a fellow student or your colleagues. Please do reach out and support each other.

Be in touch with other people regularly on social media, e-mail or on the phone, as they are still good ways of being close to the people who matter to you.

Look after your physical wellbeing and your sleep. Your physical health and your sleeping pattern have a big impact on how you are feeling emotionally and mentally.

As a member of our University community what happens to you matters to us, and never more so than during this time of the Covid-19 pandemic. If you find yourself experiencing bereavement, then this brief guide is for you. It explains about the nature of grief and where to find support.  

Confidential Support Services for staff

For colleagues having any worries or concerns about any aspect of the current situation, personalised support is available in complete confidentiality from our CIC Employee Support services, who can be contacted at The services include counselling sessions with experienced and practicing counsellors as well as an advisory phone line for legal and debt advice, family care, everyday matters and a managers’ adviceline.

Concerns resulting from being in the home  

The government advice to stay within our homes affects all of us with the degree it affects us very much depending on personal circumstances. These web pages provide a wide range of advice, guidance and support about balancing work and domestic demands but for some colleagues extended periods within the household may present more serious personal risk.  

If you are concerned about your personal safety in any way we would advise you to read the university domestic abuse policy which offers advice and guidance but importantly also gives details of agencies and public bodies who specialise in advice and support in this area. You can also contact you line manager, the Human Resources Team or the chaplaincy for advice and support.

Support bubble

Single adults living alone, or single parents with children under 18, can now form a ‘support bubble’ with one other household. The second household can be of any size but the measure does not include anyone who is shielding. 

Everyone in a support bubble will be able to act as if they live in the same household and spend time together in each other’s homes, not have to stay 2m apart, and will be able to stay overnight.

The bubble must be exclusive and you cannot switch households. If anyone in the bubble has coronavirus symptoms then everyone in both households will have to self-isolate – please see the advice on self-isolation FAQ for more information.

Wellbeing for staff – other resources

To continue to look after your wellbeing, consult our resources on Work, Wellbeing and Covid-19, which includes tips for balancing work and home life, reducing feelings of isolation, managing anxiety and keeping active. 

The stress risk assessment tool is available to help colleagues understand the causes of stress at work and to help them and their line manager put in place changes and support tailored to their needs.

A new 1:1 Wellbeing Supervision service is available to support front-facing staff dealing with students and staff who are experiencing challenge or distress. To book your confidential 1:1 conversation, please click here

Colleagues needing support or advice should contact their line manager or Human Resources by emailing or calling 01227 922514.

Last updated 3 July.

Face mask

In response to the query whether people should wear face masks to protect themselves from COVID-19 infection, the Government has advised that face masks are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and play a very important role in clinical settings, such as hospitals but there’s very little evidence of widespread benefit from their use outside of these clinical settings. Facemasks must be worn correctly, changed frequently, removed properly and disposed of safely in order to be effective.

The government has advised that workplaces should not encourage the precautionary use of extra PPE to protect against COVID-19 outside clinical settings or when responding to a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19. The need for PPE at work must be determined by risk assessment and before relying on PPE such as facemasks, priority must be given to other safety measures such as social distancing that are detailed in the government ‘Working safely during coronavirus COVID-19’ guidance.

Use of face coverings on campus

Face coverings should be worn by everyone on campus when inside University buildings, whether in offices, labs and teaching spaces, except when:

  • An activity cannot be performed when wearing a face covering and additional precautions are identified through local risk assessment.
  • You cannot wear a face covering for health, age or equality reasons, as detailed in the government guidance

This policy has been updated on 5th November to reflect current government guidance for the duration of the national restrictions. For this period, you must wear a face covering even if you are:

  • The only person in a room.
  • Seated and more than two metres away from another person.
  • At a service counter which has a screen protecting you,

It is important that we all take care to be kind and respectful if we do see others not wearing a face covering or following other social distancing guidelines. The University supports you in politely approaching others to remind them of our guidelines in the interest of everyone’s health, safety and wellbeing. There will also be Social Distancing ambassadors on campus in September to promote these guidelines to everyone. However, please remember some of us may not be able to wear a face covering for various reasons, and not all reasons for face covering exemption are visible to others. There is no requirement for those who are unable to wear face coverings to have permission or proof that they are exempt.

Use of face coverings outside your home

The Government has advised that evidence suggests that wearing a face covering does not protect the wearer. However, if you (the wearer) are infected but have not yet developed symptoms, it may provide some protection for others you come into close contact with. Face coverings do not replace the need to follow social distancing measures.

In England, you must wear a face covering by law in the following settings:

  • Public transport
  • Indoor transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • Shops and supermarkets
  • Indoor shopping centres
  • Banks, building societies and post offices
  • NHS settings including hospitals, primary and community care settings, such as GP surgeries

Otherwise, the government advises that if you can, you should also wear a face covering in other enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where you will come into contact with people you do not normally meet. This is most relevant for short periods indoors in crowded areas.

Wearing a face covering in everyday life is a personal choice and we would encourage all members of our community to be supportive of the choices people make in this regard.

Please see the government guidance for further information on the use of face coverings,

How do i use a face covering properly? 

Safe wearing of face coverings requires washing hands before and after touching them - including to remove or put them on - and the safe storage of them in individual, sealable plastic bags between use. Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and should be replaced carefully.

  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on, and after removing it
  • When wearing a face covering, avoid touching your face or face covering, as you could contaminate them with germs from your hands
  • Change your face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • Continue to wash your hands regularly
  • Change and wash your face covering daily
  • If the material is washable, wash in line with manufacturer’s instructions. If it’s not washable, dispose of it carefully in your usual waste
  • Practise social distancing wherever possible

Take the time to read the government guidance on how to wear and make a face covering.

It is important to note that face covering is not the same as PPE. Consult the ‘Working safely during coronavirus COVID-19’ guidance for further information.

Last updated 5 November.

You can find out the latest advice and information from Public Health EnglandUniversities UK and the NHS.

The latest travel advice is available from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Department for Education has a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline on:  0800 046 8687 or The opening hours are 8am to 6pm Monday to Friday

Students asking for support should be directed to the Student Support, Health and Wellbeing team on 01227 922675 or email

Colleagues needing support or advice should contact

Last reviewed 18 March.

Christ Church is proud of its friendly and inclusive environment, welcoming students and staff from around the world, and as a community we expect respect to be shown to all.

As the coronavirus spreads globally, we understand that students and staff may be worried about themselves as well as their friends and family members around the world and our thoughts go out to all those affected by this situation. At this difficult time, we ask that as a community we show support to all our fellow students and staff.

At the University we pride ourselves on our culture of dignity and resect, and we do not tolerate racism. If any student or member of staff experience an incident of prejudice or harassment we ask them to use our online Report and Support Tool.

Last reviewed 26 March.

The Commission of Human Medicines (CHM) Expert Working Group on coronavirus (COVID-19) has concluded that there is currently insufficient evidence to establish a link between use of ibuprofen and susceptibility to contracting COVID-19 or the worsening of its symptoms.

The NHS recommends:

‘You can take paracetamol or ibuprofen to treat the symptoms of coronavirus. We recommend that you try paracetamol first, it has fewer side effects than ibuprofen and is the safer choice for most people.

Always follow the instructions that come with your medicine.’

Last updated 17 June.

If you are pregnant or breastfeeding, consult the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists Covid-19 website as well as the PHE ‘Stay at home for households with possible coronavirus infection’ guidance.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists  are advising you that if you think you may have coronavirus or been exposed, you should use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service for further advice. If you feel your symptoms are worsening or if you are not getting better, you should contact your maternity care team or use the NHS 111 online service. 

Mind, the mental health charity, has some helpful advice if you are worried about coronavirus and how it is affecting your wellbeing

Last updated 15 May. 

The University encourages all members of its community to fully cooperate with the NHS ‘Test and Trace’ service.

The NHS ‘Test and Trace’ service: 

  • ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus, and also includes targeted asymptomatic testing of NHS and social care staff and care home residents
  • helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. Please consult the self-isolation FAQs for further information, should you be contacted by the NHS ‘Test and Trace’ service.

The government defines close contact as a person who has been close to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19, anytime from 2 days before the person was symptomatic and up to 7 days from onset of symptoms (when they are infectious to others). Close contacts include: 

  • People you have face-to-face contact with, within one metre, including: being coughed on, having a face-to-face conversation, having skin-to-skin physical contact 
  • People you are in contact with within one metre for one minute or longer without face-to-face contact
  • People you are within two metres for more than 15 minutes
  • People you are travelling with in a small vehicle or close to in a large vehicle or plane
  • Members of your household

Where an interaction between two people has taken place through a plastic screen or physical barrier, this is not considered close contact. 

For further information, please consult the government guidance on how the NHS ‘ Test & Trace’ system works, and the NHS guidance for individuals who have been told by the NHS ‘Test & Trace’ service that they have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for coronavirus.

Last updated 29 July.


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Last edited: 18/11/2020 09:29:00