Many of our Members remained with us since last year and were joined by new Members throughout the Autumn. A range of measures are in place to ensure their safety, security and wellbeing during their time with us.
We are continuing to keep Members informed about how we are managing the COVID-19 risks facing the UK, following best advice from the Government.
Regular “All Members” emails help Members to keep in touch with the College’s latest advice. These provide updates on:
- The latest UK government policy applicable to life at Goodenough College
- Numbers of Members and staff who are self-isolating and the number who have tested positive.
- Measures to support social distancing
- Core services, such as cleaning and catering
- Health, welfare and financial support services
- Key College- and Member-led events
- Practical information (e.g. advice on areas that are open and how to access them)
The College’s COVID-19 management response team (including the Chair of the Members’ Council) meets regularly to monitor the changing situation around the pandemic, the latest Government guidance and to review the measures in place to protect Members.
To maintain our high standard of care, and to support our Members during what is a very difficult time, we have introduced a wide range of safety and hygiene measures to stay COVID-19 secure.
The College has consulted with, and received support from, Public Health England’s Health Protection Team on our arrangements to keep our Members and staff safe. We continue to work to be fully compliant with the Government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 as that develops.
Further information is available on the measures being taken to ensure we operate a safe working environment in the College.
Measures to support social distancing
Following the introduction of new three-tier national restrictions in England, London was placed in Tier Two (High Alert) from 2 December 2020. Please see the Government website for full details on the restrictions in place.
The Housekeeping Service resumed single room cleaning services (and bookable cleaning of studios and flats) on 2 December. (Members who don’t want their room cleaned can swap linen and bin bags at their door.) The College’s cleaners continue to clean all shared kitchens and bathrooms and to undertake frequent cleaning of all communal areas.
Under the Tier Two Government regulations, Members can meet indoors with the family members they live with and their social bubbler but they must avoid meeting people they don’t live with. Members are also able to socialise outdoors, including in an external garden or a public space, in groups of up to six people – following the ‘rule of six’.
The following communal spaces around the College are open with limited capacity or opening times:
- Great Hall – under Tier Two regulations, the Great Hall is open for seated dining (with a restricted seating capacity) as well as offering a takeaway meal service for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Opening hours and the range of dishes on the menu remain the same as in October.
- Libraries – open with lower seating capacity and reduced opening hours.
- Media rooms – these have limited capacity but are still available to Members to print.
- The Chapel – this is not open for services but it can be used individually for those of all faiths and none for quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation. Under Tier Two a Sunday Service will take place in the College’s Churchill Room which can accommodate more socially distanced worshippers.
- Music Rooms.
- Mecklenburgh Square Garden (from 2 December the tennis courts will be available for use – pre-booking is required).
All open areas have signage to show the maximum numbers who can safely use the space and any other conditions such as whether it is compulsory to wear face coverings in the area. Clubs and societies and Member events are running at the College in a blended way, with the reintroduction of some face-to-face educational events (socially distanced for restricted numbers).
In line with Government guidance, Members are asked to wear face coverings in enclosed public spaces where social distancing isn’t possible and where they will come into contact with people they don’t normally meet. This includes in the libraries, the Chapel and the servery area of the Great Hall dining room.
Members are also encouraged to wear face coverings in other public spaces around the College. Materials and guidance on making face coverings has been given to Members currently on site.
Following Government policy on “social bubbles”, Members can have one guest (the same one each time) visit them in their room and stay overnight if they wish. Members don’t need to observe the two-metre social distance from their social bubbler but they must observe the two-metre distance from all other people. (For families living in College, childcare support is still permitted in addition to their social bubbler.)
Social bubblers have to be registered with the Reception team and sign in and out when they visit. No other guests are permitted within the College and, to protect Members and staff, sublets are not permitted at present.
Social bubblers are not allowed to mix with other Members, including those in their “Living Circle” and they must wear a face covering in all public areas of the College, including corridors.
Under the Government Regulations there are a few circumstances in which people are allowed to meet others from outside their household or support bubble in larger groups. Full details of these circumstances, and the penalties in place for failing to follow the law, can be found in the Government Regulations.
Despite all the special measures in place, community life at the College remains strong and we are working with Members to make their time under lockdown as easy as possible. See Life during the pandemic and Pastoral and healthcare support to find out more about what we are doing.
Supporting Members who are unwell or vulnerable
If a Member shows symptoms of COVID-19 we support them throughout the time they need to self-isolate. Members in rooms without a private bathroom are moved to en suite rooms for the period of their isolation. Free meals are delivered to their door, and staff make regular ‘check-ins’ to ensure that those who are unwell are comfortable physically and in good mental health and to provide help with any other needs.
We have assessed all of those who have another health condition which increases their vulnerability to serious illness should they contract Coronavirus. We have made provision for alternative accommodation if this is more suitable and will support them if they are required to undergo an extended period of isolation.
Arrangements for staff
Goodenough’s front line employees – the reception team, cleaners, catering, facilities management and maintenance staff – are our everyday heroes.
All of the College’s staff, contractors and any third parties who are working on site are informed of, and required to strictly adhere to, our risk assessments and procedures, which include the latest Government public health advice relevant to their role.
(Updated 02 December 2020)