Coronavirus Info

College Coronavirus Updates

  • The College is providing free Lateral Flow Testing Kits to Staff and Students who wish to participate in home Covid-19 testing. They are available for collection from the Library on each campus. Click the dropdown below for more information (10/5/21).
  • The following curriculum provision has resumed on site: Students whereby it is necessary for them to attend College to complete practical/vocational training and/or assessments' as instructed by their Course Co-ordinator (21/4/21).
  • All learners, staff and visitors must wear face coverings at all times whilst on campus, (including situations where the 2 metre social distance can be maintained) unless they have an exemption or are working in a single person room. Those with exemptions must be identified with an appropriate lanyard (6/1/21).

Covid‑19 Guidance

The College has produced guidance for both staff and students outlining the actions to take to help prevent the spread of Covid‑19.

Reporting Forms

If you have any Covid‑19 symptoms or have tested positive on a Lateral Flow Testing kit do not come into College. Please use the appropriate absence form to notify the College.

If you have been absent from College due to Covid‑19 you must complete the Covid‑19 Return to Campus form before returning to College.

Student Support student.support@nrc.ac.uk
Admissions admissions@nrc.ac.uk
Canvas CILT@nrc.ac.uk
Careers careers@nrc.ac.uk
Counselling support@inspirewellbeing.org
Education Support educationsupport@nrc.ac.uk
Exams Ballymena/Magherafelt: ta.exams@nrc.ac.uk
  Newtownabbey: na.exams@nrc.ac.uk
  Coleraine/Ballymoney: cr.exams@nrc.ac.uk
HR hr@nrc.ac.uk
IT Support servicedesk@nrc.ac.uk
Library nrc.library@nrc.ac.uk
Safeguarding safe@nrc.ac.uk
Student Finance StudentFinance@nrc.ac.uk
Students’ Union studentsunion@nrc.ac.uk
The Clinic 028 7034 6028 or https://sh24.org.uk/

Further guidance for staff on the Covid-19 safety measures is outlined within the Addendum Version 1.3 of the Framework for Safe Resumption of On-site Educational Provision and Related Activity issued by the Department for the Economy

Prior to returning on-campus all staff must:

  1. Complete the Covid-19 Practical Online Training Module and ResilienceTraining.
  2. Complete the Health Declaration Form.
  3. Read carefully and comply with the guidelines on Canvas.

We would also encourage you to download the contact-tracing smartphone app – Stop COVID NI mobile App.

All staff, students and visitors must wear face coverings at all times whilst on campus, (including situations where the 2 metre social distance can be maintained) unless they have an exemption or are working in a single person room. Those with exemptions must be identified with an appropriate lanyard.

Below are some of the controls introduced by the College to help prevent the spread of Covid-19:

Campus

  • Social distancing markers – 2 metres.
  • Reduced interaction through zoning of buildings.
  • Screens and barriers.
  • Hand sanitising stations/sanitiser wipes provided to wipe down work area and equipment used before and after class.
  • Enhanced cleaning of touch points.
  • Queue control – limited access to areas.
  • Specific seat arrangements in offices to ensure safe working distances.
  • Meeting and shared spaces – large gatherings prohibited - reduce capacity of spaces.

Catering and Social Spaces

  • Staggered lunch-times.
  • Designated zone areas to allow catering and cleaning resources to manage peak times.
  • Staff and students encouraged to bring food and beverage items from home.

Learning

  • Numbers allowed in teaching areas restricted to allow social distancing.  Staff should contact their CAM’s for further details and to enable coordination of classroom/teaching space use with restricted numbers. These should be agreed in advance of bringing students onto campus. 
  • Each classroom has an easy guide sheet on the teaching desk to ensure that staff are familiar with the procedures and that these can be shared with students.
  • Clean and wipe down workstations and equipment before starting and finishing classes.
  • PPE in teaching environments will be in line with guidance available at the time.
  • Online, blended and face-to-face learning.
  • Access to workstations and classrooms based on curriculum need.
  • Contact tracing – e-registers must be marked within the first 15 minutes of every class.

Safety Champions

  • Each campus will have a dedicated safety champion to help you stay safe and adhere to the guidelines.

Student Life

  • Online and on-campus services including student support, library, student finance, education support and careers.
  • Online induction.

Working from Home

  • To help reduce the number of persons onsite, some staff who are not in student facing roles will still work from home. Advice on working from home is available and further resources on online learning are available on Canvas.
  • See guidance for maintaining data protection security whilst working from home.
  • It’s important to check in with your manager at least once a day; remain connected by keeping communication lines open.
  • If you encounter problems with your IT, you should email the Service Desk at servicedesk@nrc.ac.uk

Reporting Forms

Should you have any queries please email marketing@nrc.ac.uk.

Our priorities are to save lives, to protect student achievement, and to ensure that you can return to College as safely as possible.

Student Guidance

This Student Guide is designed to provide you with important information returning to college following the Covid-19 pandemic. This guide will be referred to along with the ‘Positive Behaviour Policy: Covid19 Addendum’ during your College induction.

In order to comply with the Public Health Authority, students are expected to act in a responsible manner at all times, which will include (but not limited to) the following instructions:

  • Do not attend college if you have any symptoms of Covid-19, or ill health no matter how mild,

Or/and if

  • You suspect that you may be contagious,

Or/and if

  • You have had recent contact with someone who has been confirmed as having contracted Covid-19

Who should be on site?

  • Only students that have been contacted by a member of college staff and are timetabled to be in a lesson or who are booked into an LRC for a study session, should attend college.
  • Designated Curriculum Area Managers on site will have a list of those courses where students are expected to attend.
  • Students who turn up to college and have not been asked to do so will be sent home.

How should I travel to college?

  • If possible, travel by foot, by bike or car.
  • If you have no alternative but to use public transport, please ensure you follow PHA and Translink guidance on the use of face coverings.

When on college premises

  • Please ensure that you are wearing your college ID badge when on site and that it is available for showing to a member of staff when asked.
  • Upon arrival on site, students are requested to follow the signage to car parking and park in allocated spaces only.
  • Comply with social distancing guidance in and around College.
  • Wear a face covering in corridors and other indoor public areas.
  • All students are required upon arrival on site to wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. Regular hand washing and use of hand sanitiser is promoted across College.
  • Use tissues if needed – Catch it, Bin it, Kill it.
  • Bring bottled water from home; canteen and vending facilities will be limited.
  • Students are required to adhere to all College signage.
  • Bring with you all the equipment you require for class i.e. pens, pencils, paper, rulers etc. You will not be permitted to share this equipment.
  • Wait outside class rooms until asked to enter by your lecturer. Ensure that you maintain social distancing while doing so.
  • Follow any designated one-way systems, e.g. on the stairs, and all floor markings around the college.
  • Follow all instructions given to you by any member of staff. Failure to do so may lead to disciplinary sanctions.
  • You are not permitted to smoke or use e-cigarettes on any part of the campus grounds.

What should I do if I have concerns?

  • If you feel worried or anxious at any time talk to your lecturer in the first instance, or any member of the Student Services or Estates Team
  • If you see someone not adhering to the social distancing rules, report this in confidence to your lecturer or any member of College staff

What about PPE

  • All staff, students and visitors will be required to wear a face covering whilst in corridors and other communal spaces.
  • The PHA advice on face coverings requires them to be worn if 2m social distancing cannot be maintained. If this is the case in College, you will be told of this and provided with an appropriate face covering as well as other required PPE. Any student is entitled to wear a face covering if they wish and all students will be supported in their personal circumstances.
  • Staff in the College may be wearing face coverings, PPE and/or visors, due to the social distancing with designated students and staff members.
  • The College will monitor all PHA advice and amend our procedures and advice accordingly.

End of timetabled classes

  • Once your timetabled classes have finished, the expectation is that you leave the college premises and return home.
  • Loitering in the corridor, canteen, or social areas is not permitted.
  • Personal study can be facilitated in the campus libraries by appointment only

Reporting Forms

  • If you have any Covid-19 symptoms do not come into College.  Please use the absence form to notify the College. 
  • If you have been absent from College due to Covid-19 you must complete the Covid Return form before returning to College. 

Below are some of the controls introduced by the College to help prevent the spread of Covid-19:

Campus

  • Social distancing markers – 2 metres.
  • Reduced interaction through zoning of buildings.
  • Screens and barriers.
  • Hand sanitising stations/sanitiser wipes provided to wipe down work area and equipment used before and after class.
  • Enhanced cleaning of touch points.
  • Queue control – limited access to areas.
  • Specific seat arrangements in offices to ensure safe working distances.
  • Meeting and shared spaces – large gatherings prohibited - reduce capacity of spaces.

Catering and Social Spaces

  • Staggered lunch-times.
  • Designated zone areas to allow catering and cleaning resources to manage peak times.
  • Staff and students encouraged to bring food and beverage items from home.

Learning

  • Numbers allowed in teaching areas restricted to allow social distancing.
  • Clean and wipe down workstations and equipment before starting and finishing classes.
  • PPE in teaching environments will be in line with guidance available at the time.
  • Online, blended and face-to-face learning.
  • Access to workstations and classrooms based on curriculum need.
  • Contact tracing – e-registers must be marked within the first 15 minutes of every class.

Safety Champions

  • Each campus will have a dedicated safety champion to help you stay safe and adhere to the guidelines.

Student Life

  • Online and on-campus services including student support, library, student finance, education support and careers.
  • Online induction.

1. Do I have to wear a face covering?

Yes, all learners, staff and visitors must wear face coverings at all times whilst on campus, (including situations where the 2 metre social distance can be maintained) unless they have an exemption or are working in a single person room. Those with exemptions must be identified with an appropriate lanyard. 

2. I’ve been in contact with someone who has Covid-19 symptoms.

If you have been in contact with someone who was unwell with symptoms you can still attend College if you have NOT developed symptoms.

3. I have been in contact with someone who hasn't quarantined after returning from one of the countries on the quarantine list - do I need to self-isolate?

No, if you develop symptoms then advice given in question 5 must be followed.

4. I live with someone who has symptoms.

You will need to stay at home and self-isolate. If the person with symptoms tests positive for Covid-19, everyone in the household without symptons will need to self-isolate. See Public Health Agency guidance - What should I do if I think I have COVID-19? for further details.

5. I am displaying Covid-19 symptoms.

If you are displaying Covid-19 symptoms do not come into College. You must inform the College by contacting your course co-ordinator/line manager and stay at home. Please follow the Public Health Agency guidance. If you test positive please refer to question 9 for details.

6. I’m in College and have Covid-19 symptoms.

If you become unwell with a new, continuous cough or a high temperature/fever or loss or change in normal sense of smell/taste in College you must inform your lecturer/line manager immediately. For students, your lecturer should then make arrangements to have you sent home immediately by contacting your parent/guardian. An isolation room is also available for the student to wait until they are collected.

7. I’ve been in contact with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

If you have been in close contact with, but do not live with, you must follow the government guidance. You must continue to come to College unless you are displaying the symptoms or advised otherwise by the PHA.

8. I live with someone who has tested positive for Covid-19.

Please inform the College by contacting your course co-ordinator/line manager.  You must stay at home and isolate.  See Public Health Agency guidance for further details on how long household members will be required to isolate.

9. I have tested positive for Covid-19, what do I do?

Please notify the College by contacting your course co-ordinator/line manager. Follow advice given to you by the Contact and Trace team.

10. I have been tested for Covid-19 but the result has come back unclear. Can I return to College?

No, you must have a re-test. You should continue to self-isolate until you receive a negative test result.

11. A student/lecturer in my class has gone home with Covid-19 symptoms.

Unless you are experiencing Covid-19 symptoms or advised otherwise by the Public Health Agency you should continue to come to College. If the individual tests positive for Covid-19 please refer to question 12 for details.

12. A student/lecturer in my class has tested positive for Covid-19.

If the individual subsequently tests positive for COVID-19, the PHA will identify the individual’s ‘high risk’ contacts, including those from the provider’s premises and contact them directly.

The PHA has advised that there is no need to undertake any specific cleaning of any other areas of the provider premises, or to send the rest of the class or other individuals home, as providers’ normal cleaning measures and hand hygiene protocols should protect the other staff and learners.

The PHA will rely primarily on the individual who has tested positive to provide relevant information about their high risk contacts both within and outside the provider setting. Therefore providers should not have a big role to play in the contact tracing process. However, it would be helpful for providers to maintain accurate attendance records, rotas, visitors and delivery logs in case that information is required by the PHA, or by the individual who has tested positive so that they can provide it to the PHA.

The PHA will be responsible for contacting the high risk contacts of the person who has tested positive. The PHA may, in certain circumstances, ask the providers to assist by providing contact details and/or by informing the relevant high risk contact to expect a call from the PHA.

Lateral Flow Testing at the College

Test kits are available free for staff and students to collect from campus libraries. Lateral flow testing is a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of COVID-19, but who may still be spreading the virus. One in three people with Covid-19 have no symptoms.

Help us to keep the College safe for staff, students and visitors by testing at home twice a week.

If you have any questions not answered below contact your line manager or course co-ordinator.


Lateral Flow Testing FAQs

What should you do after the test?  

If anyone tests positive you, your household, any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days.  

You should report a positive result to both NHS Test and Trace and the College. 

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test. 

If the result of the test is unclear (void) you will need to do another test.  

Negative and void results should be reported to NHS Test & Trace

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing and other measures to reduce transmission such as regularly washing your hands.  

If you or anyone in your household gets symptoms of the virus you should follow national guidelines on self-isolation and testing.  

Do staff need to give consent?  

Staff do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme.  

Please read the following link on how personal information and test results are shared and the College wide privacy notice and the NHS England privacy notice.  

Do students need to give consent?  

Students do not give written consent to take part in the home testing programme unless the student does not have the capacity to provide informed consent in which case consent in writing must be completed by the parent or legal guardian.  

Please read the information below on how personal information and test results are shared and the College wide privacy notice and the NHS England privacy notice.

Reporting problems or issues with testing  

If there is an issue with the test kit, for example something is missing, please report it by calling 119 and please also tell the College. 

If an accident or injury happens whilst using the test kit, please seek medical care by calling 111 (or 999 if it is an emergency). Please also report what happened using this website:https://coronavirus-yellowcard.mhra.gov.uk/   

What type of tests will be used?  

We will be providing staff with Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests for use at home. They are a fast and simple way to test people who do not have symptoms of Covid-19, but who may still be spreading the virus.   

The tests are easy to use and give results in 30 minutes.   

Further information: https://www.gov.uk/guidance/understanding-lateral-flow-antigen-testing-for-people-without-symptoms   

Are LFD tests accurate?  

Lateral Flow Device tests identify people who are likely to be infectious. These individuals tend to spread the virus to many people and so identifying them through this test is important.   

These tests have been widely and successfully used to detect Covid-19 in asymptomatic individuals and are approved by the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). The speed and convenience of the tests supports the detection of the virus in asymptomatic individuals, who would not otherwise have got tested.  

The tests are highly specific, with low chance of false positives. They are also very sensitive and are able to identify the majority of the most infectious yet asymptomatic individuals. Extensive evaluation has been carried out on the tests and it shows that they are both accurate and sensitive enough to be used in the community for screening and surveillance purposes.   

It is important to remember that these tests are only an aid to help stop the spread of the virus and you should continue to follow other guidance such as on wearing face coverings and social distancing.   

How are LFD tests different to PCR tests?  

There are 2 main types of test to check if you have coronavirus:  

  • Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests check for the genetic material (RNA) of the virus in the sample - you send the sample for processing at a lab; and 
  • Lateral Flow Device (LFD) tests detect proteins called ‘antigens’ produced by the virus - they give rapid results within 30 minutes.  

What does it mean if I have a positive result? 

If you have a positive antigen LFD test result you, your household and any support bubbles you are part of should self-isolate immediately in line with NHS Test and Trace guidance for 10 days. You need to report your result to both NHS Test & Trace and to the College. 

You should order a confirmatory PCR test if you have tested positive. The confirmatory PCR test should be taken within two days of the positive LFD test. 

You can book a test here.  

What does it mean if I have a negative result? 

A negative result does not guarantee that you are not carrying the virus. So, you should continue to follow social distancing, and other measures to reduce transmission such as wearing a face mask and regularly washing your hands. 

Negative results need to be reported to NHS Test & Trace but not the College. 

What if I have a void result? 

If the result of the test is unclear (void), you should take another one. If the next test is also void, you should take a PCR test. You can book a test here

Void results need to be reported to NHS Test & Trace but not the College. 

Do I need to send the test to a lab? 

No. The LFD tests supplied do not need to be sent to a laboratory to get a result and can give a quick result in around 30 minutes. Guidance on self-testing is contained in the ‘Instructions for Use’ leaflet, which comes with the test kit. There is also a useful video to show you how to administer the test.  

How do you report the result? 

Once you have taken the test, you will need to report the result online (whether it is positive, negative or void) using this service. You also need to notify the College of a test result. You will receive a text or email from NHS Test & Trace confirming that you have reported your test result.  

How will personal information and test results be shared? 

To report your result, you will need to share some information about yourself, so that your test result can be traced. 

You need to tell NHS Test & Trace: 

  • your name 
  • your test result 
  • the reference number on the test kit 

You will also need to notify the College of a positive test result.  

Under UK law, Northern Regional College will collect and store test result data because it is in the ‘public interest’. 

The College will only share information with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) if the test kits used are found to be faulty. If this happens, DHSC will use our information to contact people who used the faulty tests, so that they can be tested again.  

When you report test results online, you are sharing information with DHSC. They will share it with your GP, local government, NHS, and Public Health Agency. This is so that they can offer you health services and guidance if you need to self-isolate. They might also use your data anonymously (without your name or contact information) to research COVID-19, and improve our understanding of the virus. 

For more information on how personal data is used for testing please see the detailed privacy notice Coronavirus (COVID-19) testing: privacy information - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Should you have any queries please email marketing@nrc.ac.uk.