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Teaching to move online as university takes steps to curb spread of virus

PUBLISHED: 17:42 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:42 13 March 2020

University of Essex vice chancellor Anthony Forster  Picture: UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

University of Essex vice chancellor Anthony Forster Picture: UNIVERSITY OF ESSEX

Archant

The University of Suffolk and University of Essex have shared plans to protect the health of staff and students amid the spread of coronavirus.

In statements released on Friday, the University of Suffolk (UoS) said it would remain fully operational while considering the delivery of online teaching in the event of staff self-isolating.

The University of Essex announced it would suspend all face-to-face delivery of teaching and supervision from Monday, with all teaching, supervision and academic support moving online.

Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster said: 'We have not had any confirmed cases of COVID-19 on our campuses.

'Nevertheless, as the number of cases in the UK increases, we want to take pre-emptive steps to protect members of our community and their families from the risk of infection.

'During recent weeks, university colleagues have been developing a phased approach to protect our community. We are now implementing 'Enhanced Protection' measures, with effect from 9am on Monday, March 16.'

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Libraries and learning facilities will remain open, with social distancing measures implemented, but all university sports facilities will be closed from midnight on Monday.

Until further notice, Wivenhoe Park Day Nursery will remain open, but all public events and gatherings will be suspended.

Prof Forster added: 'It is important to emphasise that our campuses - which are home to thousands of students - will remain open and we will continue to provide key on-campus services for students and staff.

'On-site services and facilities such as health and well-being services, our health centre, information centre, post room, catering outlets and shops will remain open, with social distancing measures implemented.'

Full details of measures are available online.

A spokesman for UoS said: 'Subject to any change in official guidance, it is our intention that the university will continue to remain fully operational.

'We are looking at how we can continue to deliver teaching and other learning support sessions in the event that some academic staff may be required to self-isolate due to potential contact with others who may be infected with the virus. This includes online delivery of teaching.'

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