This page contains current information and guidance about the UCO's response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. As the situation and surrounding guidance is evolving, the information on this page may be subject to change.

The health and wellbeing of our staff, students, patients and visitors is our priority, and we have been working hard to make adjustments and put additional measures in place to enable students to return while minimising the risks to the UCO community.

We continue to monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and current guidance and will adapt our plans in response to this as appropriate. We would like to offer reassurance to our students that should it not be possible for you to attend the UCO for any period of time we will continue to support your education and well-being remotely.

"Courageous things took place at the UCO when the pandemic started. Faculty staff did a wonderful job at maintaining a sense of community. Staff were checking on our mental and emotional health on a regular basis... and every single [email] was emblazoned with the word 'We'." ~ Sanja Maretic

What to expect as a student

Based on current guidance and restrictions we are planning to deliver the majority of our teaching face-to-face on campus, but are pleased to be able to offer increased flexibility for students to attend some non-practical sessions online if they wish to. In the event of changes to restrictions we have planned for a number of different scenarios to enable us to continue to deliver your course. Please visit our applicants and offer holders page for more information.

We have completed risk assessments for the UCO and have developed policies and protocols which we expect our students and staff to adhere to. These are regularly reviewed in line with the latest information and guidance. You can find current versions of these on this page.  

As part of these measures, we ask that students take part in asymptomatic testing twice a week and that they let us know if they have symptoms of COVID-19, tested positive and or been asked to self-isolate by test and trace. This information helps us manage our response to COVID-19, support national and regional monitoring and ensure safe delivery of our teaching and clinical services, and you will be asked to self-report it using our online reporting system. We are committed to protecting the privacy and security of your personal information and you can read more about how we do this in our privacy notice below. 

We are also really keen for the UCO community to support the vaccination programme. Younger people in particular have lower uptake at the moment. If you have concerns about the vaccine you may find this video helpful. 

Attending the UCO

We ask all students, staff and visitors to the UCO to help protect our community by adhering to the safety measures put in place. You can find details of these measures in the guidance document below, and we would ask everyone to read this document in full before attending the UCO. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact us.

Attending the UCO Clinic as a patient

The UCO Clinic is open to patients. We have put in place measures and screening processes to protect the health and wellbeing of our patients, students and staff and these have been working successfully.

The following documents provide information about our risk assessment for the UCO Clinic and guidance for our students, staff and patients:

To find out more about the measures we've introduced at the UCO Clinic and what to expect from your appointment visit our UCO Clinic website.

Managing an outbreak of COVID-19 at the UCO

The UCO has developed the following draft plan for the management of an early outbreak of COVID-19 at the UCO:

What to do if you experience COVID-19 symptoms or are self-isolating

The common COVID-19 symptoms are currently as follows:

  • a high temperature
  • a new or persistent cough
  • a change or loss of taste and/or smell

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms or are required to self-isolate please do not attend the UCO or UCO Clinic. You should notify Registry or your line manager via the usual channels (or the UCO Clinic if you are a patient unable to attend an appointment) and arrange a test

Please notify us of the results of your test as soon as you are able to, and in the event of a positive result you should continue to self isolate and follow test and trace guidance. If you are a patient experiencing symptoms after a visit to the UCO Clinic please notify the UCO Clinic reception team as soon as possible.

If you start to feel unwell while at the UCO or UCO Clinic, please ensure you are wearing a face mask, isolate yourself and notify a staff member as soon as possible, before returning home to self-isolate until you have completed a test.

COVID-19 guidance from the Government and NHS

Latest advice from the UK Government and the NHS: