Updated 1 April 2020
Household Isolation has been identified as the one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of coronavirus. The guidance from Public Health England for self-isolation due to symptoms of Coronavirus has now been extended to ALL members of a household. Everyone still living in College needs to be prepared to enter Household Isolation.
- What is Household isolation?
For College purposes a household is defined as those people who share a kitchen, bathroom or toilet with a symptomatic person.
At Wolfson, a Household is defined as follows:
- All residents of any self-contained flat (i.e. a flat with its own kitchen, toilet and bathing facilities). This includes shared sets.
- All residents of a single staircase; this includes all rooms on all levels of the staircase. All residents of any single group house.
- All residents of any corridor (This may lead to some rather large households. If someone becomes ill on the second floor of S, the third floor of R, or the first floor of T, all residents of that corridor will be required to go into isolation until we can determine who has shared frequently used surfaces with the symptomatic student).
The criteria for self-isolation are:
· new continuous cough and/or
· high temperature
Anyone who meets these criteria must self-isolate for 7 days, and all other household members who remain well must also self-isolate for up to 14 days OR for 7 days after they become symptomatic.
- What can I do to prepare for Household isolation?
1. Read the 'Stay at Home Guidance for Households with Possible Coronavirus Infection' from beginning to end. In the event that a resident of your College Household becomes symptomatic, you will need to follow this guidance to the letter.
2. Ensure that you are familiar with every person still resident in your household and you know their:
- first and last name
- room number
- @cam email address
- preferred email address (if different to @cam)
- mobile phone number
3. If you don't know the names and contact details of everyone still on your corridor or staircase, please do not go knocking on their doors. Leave a sign-up sheet in your kitchen for your household members to sign.
4. Each member of each household should have at least one designated Self-Isolation Supporter (SIS) who is NOT a member of your designated household. No single SIS should be responsible for more than 2 members of the same Household or for supporting more than 5 individuals in College. Your SIS should also be resident in Wolfson. If you do not know anyone who can support you, contact your Tutor and they will recruit an SIS for you from our list of volunteers. You should have already entered your supporters' names, room numbers and contact details should be entered on the College Census; if not, please do so. From now on Please email COVID19@wolfson.cam.ac.uk if any of the following information changes: your plans to remain in Cambridge (in College-owned or private accommodation), your address, your previously reported status about any vulnerability to more serious COVID-related illness, your status in terms of self- or household-isolation, and the names of 2 nominated SISs.
5. Set up some means of communicating with your entire household, such as a WhatsApp group. This will enable you to notify one another as soon as one of you develops symptoms, so that the others can go immediately into Isolation. You can also use WhatsApp (or similar chat group) to ensure that you do not cross paths in the kitchen and schedule bathing times.
6. Because it has become very difficult to order grocery and other deliveries online (most companies have waiting times of a week or more, and are not accepting new customers), you should ensure you have at least some basic supplies on hand. Don't hoard, but do be prepared for the eventuality that you may need to spend 2 weeks in your room. The closure of all bars, pubs, cafes and restaurants will put even more pressure on existing take-out and delivery services.
- What will happen during a period of Household isolation?
If any member of your household needs to self-isolate, they or somebody in the household should immediately ring the Porters' Lodge (01223 335900) and contact the self-Isolating student's Tutor and the student's Self-Isolation Supporter (SIS). Inform your own Household at once, so that they immediately enter Isolation and inform their own Tutor and SIS. All contact should be made by phone and/or email, not in person.
During a 14-day period of household self-isolation:You will not be permitted to leave your household. You will have to remain on your staircase, in your house, or in your corridor. Your SIS will have to bring you food and supplies but they must not enter your household. Note that it may be difficult for Supporters to obtain food other than the limited catering provided by the Cafeteria.
Households in which vulnerable people are resident will have to follow particularly strict guidelines.
- Your household members will be collectively responsible for cleaning your own rooms and shared bathrooms, toilets and kitchens.
- You will have to follow all guidelines to prevent infection in a shared household; this will result in even more social isolation as household members in isolation should avoid being in contact with each other. One of you might have the flu, whilst one might have COVID-19. It would be very important to protect the person with flu from contracting COVID-19.
- All maintenance will be deferred unless it is essential to preserve the health and safety of a resident or residents.
- Read the experience of a Wolfson students' household isolation.
- How does social distancing actually work in the College environment?
Please take time to read and digest the Government’s advice on staying at home and away from others. The core principles of the advice on social distancing are that you should only leave your room or household for very limited reasons:
- shopping for basic necessities, for example food and medicine, which must be as infrequent as possible. This includes collecting food from the College Servery.
- ne form of exercise a day, for example a run, walk, or cycle - alone or with members of your household. If you exercise with a friend (not from your household) then you should remain at least 2 metres distant from them.
- any medical need, including to donate blood, avoid or escape risk of injury or harm, or to provide care or to help a vulnerable person.
The College gardens should be used responsibly by households and are no longer open to visitors.