Policy for the Control of Coronavirus

26 May 2020


The aim of this updated policy is to assist employees and visitors to North East Scotland College in providing further advice on:
•  the novel coronavirus, COVID-19 and its effect on society
•  what the College are doing to enable a safe return to training, along with conforming with the variety of government guidelines to help prevent spread of COVID-19
•  a reminder of support information on what to do if someone with suspected or confirmed to have COVID-19

 Information about the virus

A coronavirus is a type of virus and as a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. COVID-19 is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China in January 2020.
The incubation period of COVID-19 is between 2 to 14 days. This means that if a person remains well 14 days after contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus, they have not been infected.

Signs and symptoms of COVID-19

The following symptoms may develop in the 14 days after exposure to someone who has COVID-19 infection:
•  cough
•  difficulty in breathing
•  fever
•  Loss of taste or smell
Generally, these infections can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

How COVID-19 is spread?

 From what we know about other coronaviruses, spread of COVID-19 is most likely to happen when there is close contact (within 2 metres or less) with an infected person. It is likely that the risk increases the longer someone has close contact with an infected person.
Respiratory secretions produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes containing the virus are most likely to be the main means of transmission.
There are 2 main routes by which people can spread COVID-19:
•  infection can be spread to people who are nearby (within 2 metres) or possibly could be inhaled into the lungs.
•  it is also possible that someone may become infected by touching a surface, object or the hand of an infected person that has been contaminated with respiratory secretions and then touching their own mouth, nose, or eyes (such as touching door knob or shaking hands then touching own face)

How long does the virus survive?

How long any respiratory virus survives will depend on a number of factors, for example:
•  what surface the virus is on
•  whether it is exposed to sunlight
 • differences in temperature and humidity
 • exposure to cleaning products
Under most circumstances, the amount of infectious virus on any contaminated surfaces is likely to have decreased significantly by 72 hours.
We know that similar viruses are transferred to and by people’s hands.
Therefore, regular hand hygiene and cleaning of frequently touched surfaces will help to reduce the risk of infection.