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Department of Computer Science and Technology



Safe working protocol for the William Gates Building (with effect from 11/04/2022)

The Department's safe working protocol applies to all those people who enter the building.

We need all members of the Department to take individual and collective responsibility in minimising risks to the spread of respiratory infectious disease.  Information on our plans to mitigate risks can be found in the email from the Head of Department below, which was sent to all members of the Department on 11 April 2022:

“Recent Government and University guidelines mean that the measures we can take against covid are now primarily a matter for personal responsibility and courteous and cooperative behaviour.  Of course, to a large extent this always has been the case - we could never check whether someone was carrying out lateral flow tests, for instance.  But we cannot now enforce mask-wearing as a general principle, for instance.

For up-to-date information, please see the University web page for information about Testing and Monitoring Testing and monitoring from April 2022 onwards and more general information on the Stay Safe Uni pages .  We are in the process of modifying our own pages, but this will not be completed immediately.

There is a duty to consider mitigation measures to avoid the spread of infectious diseases in general in the workplace.  We will still monitor public spaces in the Department for CO2 levels, since ventilation is not as good as we had expected in some areas, and this matters for a variety of reasons, including the transmission of respiratory infections other than covid.   Office room ventilation may still be actively monitored if occupants request that.  

People who are concerned about risk factors that need to be taken into account at work may contact Occupational Health for advice, via a management or self-referral   The purpose of a referral to Occupational Health is to provide advice and support to the employee and, where agreed with the employee, their managers.

At the time of writing, covid-19 testing is still available from the University Fen Causeway testing centre.  Limited LFTs are available there - this is primarily so that people who test positive can check whether or not they are (relatively) clear of the virus after a few days.

The University continues to encourage staff and students to continue using face coverings in public University spaces.  People may still wish to wear masks in other contexts, especially if they consider themselves to have high risk factors.  Others may wish to support them by doing the same in meetings, for instance.  Under no circumstances should anyone be implicitly or explicitly criticized for wearing a mask.  We will continue to make masks available for use in the building (at reception).

People should not come into work with symptoms of any respiratory disease (including relatively minor ones such as colds), unless they are sure their condition is not communicable (e.g., hayfever).  People who test positive for or have symptoms of covid should not come into work even if they are symptom free until they test negative on lateral flow tests, where available, or until at least five days after the positive test or symptoms started (as current guidance).  We cannot monitor these principles and cannot enforce them but it is a matter of courteous and cooperative behaviour to act in this way.  Under no circumstances should people with symptoms feel pressured to come into work.  This principle, that there should be no pressure to come into work with symptoms, also applies where there are severe symptoms from non-infectious conditions such as hayfever, since general attitudes to sneezing etc have changed.  

Please feel free to discuss any of this with me or other members of the HoD team should you have concerns.”


Note that the University Fen Causeway testing centre referred to above is now closed.

Further information and guidance about mitigating risks of respiratory infectious disease can be found on the University’s “Stay Safe Uni”
The Department continues to use CO2 as a guide to the risk of infectious respiratory disease, with the recommendation to keep below 800ppm.  The department has a large number of monitors installed to keep a general record of levels in shared spaces and also has two CO2 monitors which can be borrowed from Reception if people are concerned about the number of people or the duration of a meeting.
Meeting rooms should be pre-booked through   The courtyard and the cafe area, which are well ventilated, can also be used for meetings, without the need to book.  Portable whiteboards are provided, please return them to where you found them.
If you need to use GN09, please coordinate with Malcolm Scott who update users on guidance for its use.  

Reducing respiratory communicable disease transmission in the workplace Good practice guidance and risk assessment template