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Last updated: Monday, March 30, 2020 - 14:06

Coronavirus Information

Information for Staff

Updated Monday, March 23rd

Access to Lab-based Research Facilities suspended from 5pm Wed March 18th

From Wednesday, March 18th, at 5.00 pm, we will be closing off access to all academic research laboratories and associated specialist facilities on health and safety grounds as there are insufficient staff/students on campus to ensure the safety of researchers in the higher risk facilities. We are asking all our researchers to work from home as best they can.

Access to classrooms on the Glasnevin Campus

Following a number of requests - we are ensuring that the following classrooms will remain open for staff who may wish to use them to record/stream lectures: lecture rooms on the 3rd floor of DCUBS and the following in the Stokes extension: SAG08, SA101, SA105, SA106, SA216, SA217 and SA301.

Social Distancing

It is crucial at this time that we all observe the social distancing guidelines, in everything that we do, if we are to reduce the risk of the spread of the coronavirus. Please see the joint statement issued today by the Presidents of the Universities and Institutes of Technology (https://www.dcu.ie/news/news/2020/Mar/Message-Students-Presidents-of-Irish-Universities-and-Institutes-of-Technology)

Safe Zone App - Check-in

If you are on campus - it would be really helpful for DCU Security if you would 'Check-in' using the DCU Safe Zone App.  Full details are available at: https://www.dcu.ie/ocoo/safezoneatdcu.shtml  All researchers working in any laboratory type environment must 'Check-in' using the Safe Zone App.

Opening post from areas affected by the coronavirus

We have had a number of queries from staff concerning the handling of post that originated in China.

HSE advice is that you cannot get the virus from handling post that came from China.

What would happen if there was a confirmed case on campus at DCU?

In the event that someone on campus is diagnosed with coronavirus, we would work with the HSE and local emergency services to ensure that the person that is unwell receives the best care.  Protocols are in place for handing both suspected and/or confirmed cases.  This will normally include that individual being kept in isolation at home or in their room in campus residences with their condition being monitored on a regular basis.

We would work with the HSE to understand if anyone that comes into close contact with the unwell person would need medical attention, and to make sure that they are seen to.

We will continue to issue advice to our students and staff via our web pages, our social media accounts and email.

Should I wear a facemask?

It is still unclear whether the use of surgical facemasks by healthy people who might be exposed to 2019-nCoV will be beneficial. This uncertainty is mainly due to the use of a range of masks some of which are not suitable eg normal surgical masks have low filtration efficiency and/or the use of poorly fitting mask that do not create a seal against the face, the risk of infection due to inappropriate use of masks in high-risk settings and the false sense of security offered by wearing a mask.  Also facemasks should only be used once and then disposed of appropriately.

Hence, the current recommendation is that only individuals with a confirmed infection or those caring for individuals with a confirmed infection should wear P3 or higher facemask.

 

What should I do if I’m worried that someone else has contracted coronavirus?

If you are worried that someone has contracted the coronavirus, read the information on this page carefully, and encourage them to stay at home and Phone the HSELive helpline on 1850 24 1850. The latest updates from the HSE can be viewed here

If they are feeling too unwell to call the HSElive helpline, or feel unsure about contacting the number, you should call on their behalf. 

As such, you will be able to help the unwell person by empathising with their situation, remaining calm, following the advice on this page, and following the instructions given to you by medical professionals.

 

I am concerned as either I or a close family member is immune-compromised - what can I do?

It is important to note that the risk of infection with the coronavirus in Ireland remains low – however we appreciate that staff members who themselves are immune-compromised or have close family members who are immune-compromised have additional concerns at this time. 

As you are aware, practicing good personal hygiene such as washing hand regularly or using the alcohol-based hand sanitizers is paramount in such circumstances.

In addition, the COO’s Office compiled a register of staff or students that are immune-compromised (or have close family members that are) and in the event that we feel the risks have increased on campus because of national or more localized developments, we will contact those individuals to discuss options for them to help minimize any risk of infection.

Please email coo@dcu.ie if you wish your name to be added to the register.

Additional information is available from the HSE website: https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/at-risk-groups.html

 

DCU Travel and Personal Accident Insurance Cover

Staff (and PhD students) travelling on University business are covered under the University's Travel and Personal Accident insurance policy. Within this insurance, there is cover for costs incurred due to cancellation, delay, or curtailment of travel. In the main that cover applies in the following situations:

  • Traveller is affected by illness and cannot then travel
  • Travel arrangements are impacted on by the actions of third parties out of control of the traveller, such as when a conferences is cancelled, flights are delayed, etc.
  • Advice from the Irish Government or agency of the Irish Government for individuals to avoid all ‘non-essential travel’ to a specified country or region within a country.

 If a Government Travel Advisory (‘Avoid non-essential travel’ or 'Do Not Travel') is issued for a country I am planning to travel to or I am in at the time what is covered?

It should be noted, that costs incurred before the advice was issued would be covered by the insurance policy. In order words, if at the time of booking there were no travel advisories in place and there after the advisory was up-graded you would be covered by our insurance policy.

However, if you booked flights/travel after an advisory for 'avoid all non-essential travel' or higher was issued, you are not covered by insurance.

If I decide not to travel because of COVID19 concerns, am I covered by insurance?

The Travel Policy provides no cover for costs incurred when a person decides not to travel due to fears or concerns around Covid-19.   In the absence of a Government travel advisory warning against travel or the cancellation of flights, events, etc., any decision not to travel is classed by insurers as 'disinclination to travel' and is not an insurable risk. 

        

Staff Information regarding pay and sick leave as a result of the coronavirus

The Department of Education & Skills has issued a letter to the Presidents of the Universities regarding special arrangements that apply to COVID -19 for all public service employees, a copy of which is available here.

If I have to self-isolate what am my entitlements?

Should an individual be required to self-isolate on medical advice DCU will ensure that any reasonable arrangements necessary will be put in place to continue working. In such circumstances you will be paid in full for the duration of the self-isolation. 

Please note that usual requirements regarding non-attendance at work due to illness will apply, i.e. you should contact your line manager in the first instance to notify them of your absence. Please refer to the University Sick Leave policy.  Where remote working arrangements are not feasible then special leave with full pay will apply.

If I am ill with a confirmed coronavirus case?

Illness related to the Coronavirus will be recorded as special leave and will not affect your sick leave entitlement, however at present normal provisions regarding the recording of illness will apply i.e. you are required to produce a sick cert.

Specific concerns / circumstances

For any individual with particular concerns regarding attendance at work due to circumstances specific to the effect of the virus (including family reasons)  please discuss possible alternative working arrangements with your Line Manager, who will in turn explore and agree options with HR.

Request to update your contact details on CoreHR system

In order to ensure that we have the appropriate current contact details for all staff, please update your personal contact details on your CorePortal which can be accessed at the following link  https://my.corehr.com/pls/coreportal_dcup/cp_por_public_main_page.display_login_page from Monday 16th March. This information is necessary should the University need to contact you regarding the continuity of the University services during this evolving situation. 

Keep Teaching: The following suggestions have been prepared for DCU staff to ensure that the University can continue to support teaching and learning in the event of a situation where there may be limited or restricted campus access. They can be viewed here