Working Groups to Implement Public Health Guidelines for Higher Education Institutes

The national Implementation Guidelines for Public Health Measures in HEIs set out over 30 specific actions recommended to mitigate the risk of introducing the virus to campus with the return of staff and students in September. The Working Group overseeing the implementation of the guidelines at NUI Galway has identified eight strands of activity, which need to be urgently progressed in August/September 2020 to prepare for the return to campus. These strands of activity are being progressed by eight Sub Groups, with details set out below.

Communications & Behavioural Change Sub Group         

Membership

  • Lorna Farren (lead for Comms)
  • Becky Whay (lead for Behaviour Change)
  • Michelle Miller (lead for Community Pledge)
  • Academic experts on Behavioural Change from the 4 Colleges
  • Students’ Union representative

Scope

  • Communications plan for students and staff returning to campus
  • Communications campaign for external stakeholders
  • Campaign to drive required behavioural change so that our communities adapt to the new reality on campus    

Actions

  • Segmentation of messaging for different stakeholder groups
  • Analysis of expert advice on behavioural change 
  • Development of Comms campaign collateral
  • PR campaign to address public and other external stakeholders

Timeline for completion

Already in train and ongoing throughout AY 2020-21

 

PPE Sub Group

Membership

  • Representative from each College
  • Representative from the Bursar’s Office
  • Representative from HR
  • Representative from Student Services
  • Representative from PCO

Scope

  • To discuss and recommend:
  • Whether wearing of PPE (e.g. face coverings) be mandated in all buildings on campus.
  • Whether PPE be reusable (e.g. washable) or of the single use variety.
  • Coordinate outlets on campus that will sell face coverings to students or staff that do not have any on their person and cannot return to office or home to collect PPE before start of lecture/practical.
  • What to do in the event of a member of staff or a student refuses to wear PPE.
  • To discuss and agree:
  • Quantity and type of PPE to be purchased (by College and Operating Unit)
  • Delivery and storage locations
  • Distribution plan for staff & students
  • Management of supply chain from order to distribution and management of future orders, delivery, storage and distribution        

Actions

  • Planning that face coverings will be required in buildings
  • Face coverings will be reusable
  • Spec for the type of face covering has been confirmed
  • Units asked to estimate the quantity required (mail to UMT)
  • PCO will order face coverings
  • Planning ongoing on delivery, storage and distribution

Timeline for completion

PPE in place for Orientation Week of Sept. 21st

 

Health & Safety and Emergency Planning Sub group

Membership

  • The University Health & Safety Officer
  • Representative from each College
  • Representative from the Bursar’s Office
  • Representative from the Research Office
  • Representative from HR
  • Representative from Student Services

Scope

  • The group will be informed by current Government guidelines and regulations in relation to the safe return to campus activities and will monitor and incorporate any changes to the guidelines and regulations over time.

Actions

  • To discuss and recommend:
  • Health and Safety protocols to be adhered to by all staff and students while on campus
  • What, if any, protocols staff and students will be expected to adhere to while not on campus
  • Steps to be taken if health & safety protocols are breached.

Timeline for completion

Ongoing throughout AY 2020-21

 

 

Student Health & Wellbeing Sub Group

Membership

  • Representatives from SU
  • Head of Chaplaincy & Pastoral Care
  • Head of Student Counselling & Wellbeing
  • Head of Career Development Centre
  • Director of Sports & Physical Activity
  • Representative from each College
  • Representative from Student Accommodation
  • Representative from Communications and Behavioural Change Group
  • Representative from Registry   

Scope

  • This group will focus on ensuring Student Health & Wellbeing issues are identified, prioritised and implemented as we return to campus and will work closely with the Communications and Behavioural Change Group

Actions

  • Incorporate findings of Student Survey (Sem 2, 2020) into planning
  • Development and Implementation of the Community Pledge
  • Development of a Student Self-Isolation Protocol
  • Development of Health and Wellbeing Online Materials
  • Student Experience – Identification of Activities for Students that adhere to Social Distancing

Timeline for completion

Ongoing with particular focus on start of new term

Technology Sub-group  

Membership

  • Conor McMahon
  • Seán O'Farrell
  • Declan Staunton
  • Peter Corrigan (Library)
  • Thomas McArdle (Registry)
  • Members will be added based on requirements

Scope

  • How technology can support:
  • Student declaration of fitness - Daily Wellness declaration
  • Attendance tracking - Tracking of students location and time spent at locations 
  • High level monitoring of levels of activity in buildings
  • Support for contact tracing
  • Provision of safe access to Computer Suites (General Access and Departmental managed suites)

Actions

  • Technology solutions developed for Daily Wellness Declarations and Attendance Monitoring
  • Support students’ technology needs

Timeline for completion

Ongoing to Sept. 28th

 

Staff Sub-group              

Membership

  • Carmel Browne
  • Caroline Loughnane
  • Josephine Hynes
  • Ann Ryan
  • Anne Scott
  • Aengus Parsons
  • Dónal Leech

Scope

  • Self-Declaration/ and managing  risk and high risk staff returning to work
  • Staff groups returning to campus as scheduled
  • Childcare Flexibility Guidance
  • Working from Home
  • Leaves (annual/sick etc)
  • Onboard/Induction new staff
  • PTA/Teaching Support at this time
  • Use of Student Ambassadors to support activity
  • Incorporate findings of Pulse Survey into planning

Actions

  • Agree list of staff required on-campus to run critical services in Support Units and Colleges to prioritise planning for return to campus
  • Communicate process for management of very high risk staff and provide guidelines to managers and staff regarding process for assessment of high risk/risk individuals
  • Clarify parameters for engaging postdocs and PhD students for teaching
  • Guidance for managers of staff where availability of childcare is an issue

Timeline for completion

Ongoing to Sept. 28th

 

Student Residences, Accommodation & Catering Facilities           

Membership

  • Ann Duggan
  • Patricia Walsh
  • Susan Clancy
  • Teresa Kelly
  • SU Health Officer
  • Louise Kelly (International Office)

Scope

  • Action Plan to mitigate risk of virus introduction/ spread in student accommodation
  • Communication/guidelines from private student residences
  • Action plan for on-campus catering and retail  facilities in line with public health guidelines

Actions

  • Implement Specific actions set out in the Public Health Guidelines.
  • Process to house  international students for  14 day restricted movement stay incl meal provision
  • Plan for virtual check-in with emphasis on video productions
  • ACCESS TO AND MOVEMENT WITHIN BUILDINGS- Entrances/ Exits; Signage; Routes; Access Control; Use of Residential  Assistants
  • CLEANING – methodology; budget; use of technology; risks
  • HEALTH AND SAFETY -  Sanitisation stations Contact Tracing; Incident Management
  • Student Engagement Plan of Activities for Students that adhere to Social Distancing
  • Development of a Student Self-Isolation Protocol for Residences

Timeline for completion

Already in train and ongoing throughout AY 2020-21

 

Buildings & Estates Work Plan  

  • John Gibney
  • Buildings & Estates Team with support of staff in all areas           

Scope

  • Planning for return to teaching venues
  • Planning for return to Offices
  • Planning for return of essential Professional Support Services  

Actions

  • TEACHING VENUES – set up and general access to Lecture Theatres, Classrooms, Labs, PC Suites
  • ACCESS TO AND MOVEMENT WITHIN BUILDINGS- Entrances/ Exits; Signage; Routes; Potential use of Student Ambassadors
  • ACCESS TO AND MOVEMENT AROUND CAMPUS - Limit numbers; limit activities;
  • CLEANING – methodology; budget; use of technology; risks
  • ACCESS TO OFFICES – prioritisation and schedule
  • SOCIAL SPACES – designated social spaces for students on campus; wifi access
  • FOOD AND CATERING- Numbers;  Locations; Set Up; Implications for wider campus activities; Self-catering facilities                      
  • HEALTH AND SAFETY -  Hand wash stations externally;  Contact Tracing support; Incident Management support
  • CONSIDER NEED/IMPLICATIONS FOR USE OF TEMPORARY STRUCTURES – Toilets; Hand Wash Stations; Social Spaces; Teaching spaces; Statutory approvals.
  • CLASS SCHEDULING - Staggered starts/finish times; impact of cleaning schedule;
  • STAFF COOPERATION - Accessing classrooms; Getting students into safe seating habits; in-class reminders of safety requirements; safe entrance and exit to classes; Scheduled access to offices.
  • RAPID RESPONSE TO ISSUES AS THEY ARISE POST 28TH SEPT – e.g. capacity issues; hotspots; behavioural issues.
  • REMOTE SITES
  • COMMERCIAL, RETAIL & ACCOMMODATION  - implications for wider campus activities.              
  • MINOR WORKS – e.g. installation of screens at prioritised front-of –house activities
  • BUILDING SERVICES – addressing issues relating to air handling, water services etc.
  • EVENT SUPPORT – facilities and estates support for prioritised events on campus e.g. Orientation

Timeline for completion

Phased basis up to September 28th