Guidance for Staff Returning to Campus
As Ireland continues to deal with the COVID-19 crisis, we have prepared this guide to enable Unit Heads and staff plan for an easing of the current travel/work restrictions and a gradual return to on-campus work and ultimately for the start of a new academic year in September/October.

Return to Campus

What is the process for Returning to Campus?

  1. Read through RTC Protocol and start to populate the Checklist provided
  2. Select COVID-19 co-ordinator(s) for your Unit and inform DCU Health & Safety of their names and email addresses to safety@dcu.ie
  3. COVID-19 co-ordinators will be enrolled by the Health & Safety Office onto the online training
  4. Carry out Risk Assessment of your Unit using the template on this page.
  5. All staff wishing to return to campus must complete the on-line COVID-19 Health declaration and complete the online staff COVID-19 induction training programme . In many cases there will also be some local induction training to ensure all staff are aware of building and the Units layout (shared work  spaces), maximum occupancy levels etc.
  6. Liaise with Estates and Health & Safety to ensure appropriate measures of Units space(s) and the overall building(s) are in place.
  7. Schedule staff members return to campus to ensure maximum occupancy of share workspaces are not exceeded.

Why is DCU SafeZone a tool against the spread of coronavirus?

DCU has to, in line with Government and NPHET guidelines, log who’s in work each day for contact tracing purposes for our own safety and no other reason. So we’re using the technology that we have available to us in the form of the 'Check-in' function on the SafeZone App to make this as easy as possible.

DCU is aware that a small number of staff may not want to put the SafeZone App on their phone. An alternative option is available to everybody by using the SafeZone desktop log-in function from your laptop/PC.

The most important thing is that we have a record, for contract tracing purposes only for the HSE, if you were on campus.

We would prefer not to have paper sign in sheets in every building that everybody is touching with the inherent infection risk and the added responsibility to go around and gather the information and file them.   We have an electronic system in SafeZone that is very simple, doesn’t cost us anything extra and is available in an App format for your mobile phone or desktop version.

How do I source disinfection products?

C19 Coordinators should raise a ticket on DCU Estates Helpdesk and select “COVID Starter Kit” from the drop down menu. You will be provided with disinfectant sachets, blue roll, disinfectant wipes(if available) and a disinfectant spray bottle.  Note: Only tickets raised by C19 Coordinators will be filled.

Depending on location it may be delivered to you or you may be asked to collect at a central location.

Keep an eye on stock levels. To order replacement stock raise a ticket on the DCU Estates Helpdesk and select from the list of materials required:

    • COVID Disinfectant Sachets

    • COVID Disinfectant Blue Roll

    • COVID Disinfectant Wipes

    • COVID Disinfectant Spray Bottle

If you complete a Health Declaration and subsequently leave campus for a period of days, does the declaration need to be completed again before return?

No, a second declaration is not required.

The declaration is a person's health status at a particular moment in time, however this may change over time. The health declaration states that if after returning to campus, you develop symptoms or you have come in contact with an infected case, you must inform your manager promptly and  follow the DCU self‐isolation recommendations.

When should I source signage?

The Estates team, with a local representative(s) from each unit/school/office, should first review the maximum occupancy for the space and based on this determine flows to maintain social distancing.  Signage should then be put in place in order to easily guide the user through the arrangements.

How do I source signage?

A list of approved signage is available from the Health & Safety Office (HSO) and orders will be centrally managed by the HSO. Contact safety@dcu.ie

How do I clean my workstation?

  • Work from the top of the PC monitor down
  • Start by wiping the top of the PC monitor, then front of the monitor
  • Wipe the monitor stand
  • Stand the keyboard on its side and gently tap it to loosen any dust or crumbs from under the keys. They should fall out onto the desk and can be wiped away into the cleaning wipe
  • While the computer is locked gently wipe the keyboard
  • Thoroughly wipe the phone mouthpiece and the earpiece of the headset
  • Wipe down your desk area including the arms of your chair
  • Wipe down contact surfaces on shared equipment using the disinfectant substance provided

Should I wear a facecovering?

The wearing of face coverings (face mask or face visor) on campus is required in all indoor public areas where physical distancing is difficult to maintain such as classrooms/lecture rooms, laboratories, corridors, common areas and before entering toilet facilities

Face coverings should ideally be made of three layers of materials with the two inner layers made from a cotton material and the outer layer a water resistant polyester or similar material. At a minimum, face coverings should be composed of two layers of cotton material.

Unacceptable face coverings include:

  • scarves, bandanas or snoods
  • face coverings with “direct exhaust valves”
  • face coverings that are disrespectful and inappropriate for a campus environment or contain an offensive message or image.

Acceptable face coverings are available to students from the Students Union in GLA and SPC campuses.

Advice on how to wear, wash and dispose of a face covering is available from the HSE.

Should I wear disposable gloves?

Do not wear disposable gloves instead of washing your hands. The virus gets on them in the same way it gets on your hands. Also, your hands can get contaminated when you take them off.

Disposable gloves are worn in medical settings. They are not as effective in daily life.

Wearing disposable gloves can give you a false sense of security.

You might:

  • sneeze or cough into the gloves - this creates a new surface for the virus to live on
  • contaminate yourself when taking off the gloves or touching surfaces
  • not wash your hands as often as you need to and touch your face with contaminated gloves.

Can fieldwork* for research and teaching resume?

Planning for future fieldwork – both for research and teaching – can go ahead following appropriate approvals from Programme Board / Head of School.

A full fieldwork risk assessment (including COVID-19 mitigation measures) will need to be approved before fieldwork can begin.  Approval must be given by the Head of School and the Health & Safety Office.

*Fieldwork is defined as a field trip where practical work or activities are carried out off-campus by staff or students of DCU for the purpose of teaching and/or research in places which are not under University control. In these cases, the University is responsible for the safety of its staff and students and others who are exposed to the activities undertaken by them.

  • Examples of Fieldwork activities:
  • Water Sampling
  • River Profiling
  • Land Surveys & Ordnance Survey
  • Field Data Collection
  • Investigating wildlife
  • Soil Sampling
  • Environmental Science
  • Social survey interviews
  • Traffic Studies
  • Surveys/Interview  
  • Archaeological Digs

How do I take student attendance with the Loop Attendance activity?

The Loop Attendance activity can be used by lecturers to record student attendance at on-campus or online classes. These classes might be whole-module classes or classes involving smaller subsets, such as tutorials. The need to take attendance at on-campus classes is a requirement of COVID-19 public health guidance.