Coronavirus advice for students and staff

The University of Leicester is continuing to monitor coronavirus, or COVID-19, which is not known to have affected our staff or students.

We are following and sharing guidance and updates from both Public Health England (PHE) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) through our information site.

We also have dedicated information points - students should contact student support and members of staff should contact occupational health.

University of Leicester Professor Mike Barer, Professor of Clinical Microbiology who is leading pioneering work on virus detection, has also shared his top tips to stay healthy:

  1. Wash your hands. If you touch a contaminated surface your hand picks up the virus. Even then you can eliminate the risk of infection if you wash your hands properly. Do this frequently, particularly before eating or after hands may have been contaminated; the Government advice to repeat ‘happy birthday’ twice is a good way to wash for long enough.
  2. Alcohol based hand-rubs can substitute when hand washing is not available. Infected people may cough, sneeze or breathe out the virus that can contaminate exposed surfaces and be moved around on our hands.
  3. Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. These areas are most vulnerable to infection. As far as we know, infections are only transmitted when the virus contacts the mouth nose or eyes, or is breathed in.
  4. When phones are exposed, they can be contaminated. Wiping down any phone you use with an alcohol based wipe will help eliminate contamination.
  5. What about handshakes and masks? As cases of coronavirus grow, avoiding handshakes will reduce your risk – stick to fist or elbow bumps instead. Masks can stop you touching your nose and mouth but have little effect on breathing in virus unless specially designed.

The Department for Education has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 too. Staff, parents and students can contact the helpline on 0800 046 8687 and via email, from 8.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday.