A statement from our Vice-Chancellor, Professor Sir David Eastwood - Friday 13 March 2020 (update at 15:30)
I wanted to write to you at this unprecedented time recognising that that many people will understandably be feeling anxious about COVID-19 and what might happen in the coming days and weeks.
Firstly I want to reassure you that should the University be notified of a confirmed case of COVID-19 among our staff or students I will write to you to advise you that this is the case. However, at the moment we are not aware of anyone who has been tested positive among the University community and therefore it is important that we continue to operate as normal for as long as it is safe and appropriate to do so.
You will have seen from other correspondence that colleagues across the University are working hard to put plans in place so that we can be ready to deal with whatever the government and Public Health England (the government’s official body) advises. This might include extending the Easter break for students, moving to online delivery of teaching, increasing homeworking where appropriate, or reducing the activity that takes place on campus. Birmingham is also playing an important role in the global research effort in relation to COVID-19 with academic colleagues in a number of our Colleges contributing significantly to this work.
Our priority remains the health, safety and wellbeing of our community, and as part of this I would encourage everyone to be thoughtful and supportive towards each other and ensure that we remain the diverse, welcoming, and affirming community that we are all so proud of. The attached WHO advice around protecting our mental health in relation to COVID-19 is also particularly helpful.
With best wishes,
Vice-Chancellor and Principal