University status and response to COVID-19
University status and response to COVID-19

University status and response to COVID-19

 Last updated 26 April 2022

The University is currently at Level 0 of its Business Continuity Planning (BCP) framework. All COVID-19 restrictions have been removed from University premises (excluding hospital buildings where NHS guidance continues to apply).

Because the virus is still in circulation, we continue to ask staff and students to take steps to minimise the spread and avoid disruption.

If Government restrictions are reintroduced the University has contingency plans in place to ensure it can continue to deliver its mission of teaching and research.

The last two years have been incredibly difficult for many of us. We extend our thanks to the whole community and recognise extraordinary efforts of our staff, students and the wider Oxford community during the pandemic.

University COVID-19 testing data

**Update 25 April 2022** Reporting of University COVID-19 positive cases has now ended
The University’s Early Alert Service reporting system closed on 31 March. For information about the overall number of COVID-19 cases in Oxfordshire visit the county’s COVID-19 Dashboard.

BCP frequently asked questions

What happens if there is a move by the government to reimpose additional restrictions in future?

We are committed to maintaining the highest standards of education and research regardless of the impact of the ongoing pandemic in line with government guidance. The University is remaining in close touch with public health authorities and is prepared to adapt to moves between local COVID alert levels as necessary. If there are more restrictive local or national measures put in place, it is likely that the University as a whole will consider whether to change its emergency response phase in consultation with local authorities, directors of public health (DsPH) and PHE health protection teams (HPTs). In these instances, physical access to buildings may be restricted – while education and research activities will continue wherever possible in remote form, drawing on the experiences of the last academic year. 

How will decisions be taken about moving between different stages of the University’s business continuity framework?

Decisions about changes in the University’s overall business continuity status are taken by the University Silver emergency planning group. Decisions about particular departments moving between different stages of the business continuity framework are taken by the relevant division, on a recommendation by the department. Colleges will make decisions about their own business continuity statuses. These decisions will likely be in consultation with Public Health England or local authorities in light of conditions at the time.

How is the University working with local authorities and public health groups to manage its response to COVID-19 cases?

We have been working closely with local authorities, both direct, as well as through partnerships such as the Local Resilience Forum’s Children's Services & Education Working Group. We are also part of the Multi-Agency Operational Cell (MOAC) which is chaired by a local public health consultant, and which is developing the Oxfordshire Coronavirus Incident Management Plan for higher education settings. We have run preparation exercises with local agencies, and our contingency plans have been sent to the Oxfordshire Director of Public Health.

What are the governance arrangements for the University’s response to COVID-19?

The University’s Crisis Management Framework was activated in response to the pandemic, Within this framework, Silver and Bronze Groups are, respectively, the strategic and tactical groups that coordinate the collegiate University’s response to the pandemic. Silver Group is chaired by the Vice-Chancellor, while Bronze is chaired by the Registrar. The University’s regular governance arrangements (e.g. Committees) continue to operate as normal.

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