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Self-isolation advice for staff

Please find the latest information for staff about self-isolation arrangements due to coronavirus (COVID-19) and how St Catharine’s College is responding to help limit the spread of infections. If staff have any concerns not covered by these FAQs, please contact your line manager.

What is self-isolation?

Self-isolation is when you stay at home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19). This helps stop the virus spreading to other people.

While this advice does not preclude people who are self-isolating from leaving their home for exercise once per day, the College community reasonably expects that students with symptoms will remain indoors to minimise the risk of infection to those around them.

Do I need to self-isolate?

Self-isolate if:

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive* 
  • you're told by the College/University or NHS Test and Trace that you've been in contact with a person with COVID-19*

* From 16 August, you will not need to self-isolate if any of the following apply:

  • you're fully vaccinated – this means 14 days have passed since your final dose of a COVID-19 vaccine given by the NHS
  • you're under 18 years, 6 months old
  • you're taking part or have taken part in a COVID-19 vaccine trial
  • you're not able to get vaccinated for medical reasons

However, all close contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate (for a 10-day period), regardless of their age or vaccination status.

If staff have a close contact with symptoms/a positive test result (but have no symptoms yourself):

  • If you are contacted by the NHS Test and Trace service or via the NHS COVID-19 app, you will be asked for information to check if you are exempt from self-isolation. If you are exempt, you will be advised to request a home PCR test using the Government’s online order form.
  • In the event you receive this advice, please stay at home until you have been able to contact your Head of Department and Maxine Flynn, HR Manager (hr.manager@caths.cam.ac.uk) and arrange to take a PCR test, as soon as possible. 
  • Guidance advises limiting the number of people you meet to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and therefore, depending on your circumstances, you may be instructed not come into work until you have received the result from your PCR test and it is negative. Your line manager will explain whether this means you need to be off work or work from home for a few days while waiting for the test result. Usual pay arrangements will apply during that time and for any period of self-isolation (if required).
  • Anyone who tests positive following a PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age, in order to break onward chains of transmission.
  • All close contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate (for a 10-day period), regardless of their age or vaccination status.

If staff live with someone with symptoms/positive test result:

  • Please stay at home until you have been able to contact your Head of Department and Maxine Flynn, HR Manager (hr.manager@caths.cam.ac.uk) and arrange to take a PCR test, as soon as possible. 
  • Guidance advises limiting the number of people you meet to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and therefore, depending on your circumstances, you may be instructed not come into work until you have received the result from your PCR test and it is negative. Your line manager will explain whether this means you need to be off work or work from home for a few days while waiting for the test result. Usual pay arrangements will apply during that time and for any period of self-isolation (if required).
  • Anyone who tests positive following a PCR test will still be legally required to self-isolate, irrespective of their vaccination status or age, in order to break onward chains of transmission.
  • All close contacts of suspected Omicron cases must self-isolate (for a 10-day period), regardless of their age or vaccination status.

If staff test positive for COVID-19 or have symptoms:

Stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started or when you had the test, regardless of your age or vaccination status.

In addition to the College's existing Absence Reporting and Sick Pay Policy (2019), you should refer to the following guidance that has been developed to reflect circumstances specific to COVID-19:

Please follow the latest official information for anyone self-isolating. If you are unsure about whether you should be self-isolating, please contact your Head of Department or Maxine Flynn, HR Manager (hr.manager@caths.cam.ac.uk