Purple flowers in front of the chapel doors

HT2021 Covid: Your Questions Answered

This page provides information about what to do if you think you might have Covid-19, as well as information about number of tests and cases within the College community. 

Page last updated 22 January 2021

1. The main symptoms of Covid are 

  • A new, continuous cough / Coughing a lot for an hour / 3 coughing episodes in 24 hours
  • A change in your ability to taste and smell 
  • High temperature

2. If you have one or more of these symptoms you should:

  • return to your room and self-isolate
  • call the Porters' Lodge on 01865 278900 (7am-11pm). If you need immediate support, the Porters will contact a member of the Welfare Team, and someone will contact you as soon as possible and usually within 30 minutes.
  • contact the Oxford University Covid-19 Test Early Alert Service (EAS Testing) to book a test. 
  • Email covid@spc.ox.ac.uk providing your details including where you live and your mobile number, and confirming you have contacted the Testing Service.

3. The College welfare team, normally the Dean for Welfare, will contact you to take further details and talk to you about the next steps and providing any support you need; further information about this is available below. College may need to inform members of your Household (if you are living in College) that they should also self-isolate. We will not share your identity. College will place signs on the outside door of your household to notify others that you are self-isolating.

4. Follow the advice you receive from the Testing Service. If you are advised you don't need to test and need not isolate you should let College know and take care of yourself and others in the usual way given you feel unwell. If you are advised that you need to be tested, you must continue to self-isolate until you receive the results of the test.

5. If you are tested and your result is negative you and your household need not continue to self-isolate unless someone else is symptomatic and awaiting results. In this case College will confirm that you need not self-isolate.

6. If you are tested and the result is positive, you need to continue to self-isolate for 10 days after the start of your symptoms. Your household will also need to continue to self-isolate for 10 days from the start of your symptoms. College will confirm this with you and your household.

This information is relevant for students self-isolating after arriving from abroad or those who need to self-isolate because they are symptomatic, have tested positive or have been otherwise instructed to self-isolate. 

If you are staying in College accommodation and have to self-isolate, you cannot therefore leave your room to cook for yourself or to collect external food deliveries. College will help support you. College is able to deliver meals from the College kitchen to your door. Should you be required to self isolate this option will be immediately made available to you. We advise you to keep a limited amount of non-perishable ready-to-eat food supplies in your room in case you need to self-isolate.

The College Welfare team will keep in touch with you and assist in making any medical arrangements if necessary.

Further information is available in this leaflet: SPC Guide to Self-Isolation

If you are living in private accommodation away from the College and have to self-isolate, we will stay in touch with you and can help support you if necessary. We advise you to keep some food supplies in case you have to self-isolate, including easy-to-prepare items.

Can I continue to study whilst self isolating?

If you are self-isolating, you can continue to access teaching on your course online, if you feel fit to do so. If you are too unwell to study, you should let your tutors know in the usual way.

If you are due to be taking in-person exams but have to self-isolate, please contact the College Registrar, Catherine Whalley, as soon as possible.

The University has a dedicated testing service in place, the Covid-19 Early Alert Service. This is managed in collaboration with the UK’s national health service, the NHS. The system ensures students and staff can have easy access to a Covid-19 test if they think they have symptoms.

There are two testing sites – one in central Oxford and one in Headington, with an online booking service available. It is free to access. Results will be available within 48 hours, and the University will support Public Health England with contact tracing.

You can find out more about the Covid-19 testing service here.

Since the start of September, the College has had fourteen positive cases amongst students resident in College accommodation. In addition, College is aware of a further seventeen positive cases amongst students living out in non-College accommodation (including University graduate accommodation) since the start of September. Two members of College staff have reported that they have tested positive (via NHS testing) in this same period. 

No students resident in College accommodation are currently self-isolating as a result of having covid symptoms, having tested positive or because of close contact with others in those categories. A small number of students are self-isolating in College accommodation in line with Government guidance about self-isolation when arriving from abroad. 

The College does not have data on tests taken by members of College except via the University’s Early Alert Service unless members of College have informed us of their test and result. The figures below for St Peter's are based only on data from the Early Alert Service. The figures for total tests for St Peter's College only are likely to be underestimates, because students tested outside the University’s EAS receiving a negative result are unlikely to have notified the College of that result:

In the week 9-15 January 2021:

  Total tests Positive tests Positivity rate (% of positive results)
St Peter's 3 0 0.0%
University 222 45 20.3%

Between 20 August 2020 and 15 January 2021:

  Total tests Positive tests Positivity rate (% of positive results)
St Peter's 130 31 23.8%
University 6,237 1,210 19.4%

University data sourced from https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/status. These data tables will be refreshed every Monday.