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Approved by Wandsworth Council’s Director of Public Health. 8 October 2020. 

Version 1.41

Our Outbreak Management Plan focusses on eight themes that form a framework for our response to various scenarios.

  1. Prevention: put in place control measures following Government guidelines.

  2. Identification and management: work with The London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) and the London Borough of Wandsworth to support the identification of individuals and emerging outbreaks; control and risk mitigation to reduce spread of COVID-19.

  3. High risk contexts: identify and plan mitigation measures to manage high-risk University locations and staff and student communities (including BAME).

  4. Isolation in halls of residence and the community: provide practical support (food and medicines) to students in halls of residence; provide information and advice on Government guidance to students and staff living in the community.

  5. Testing: facilitate national and local testing policies for contacts.

  6. Contact tracing: use identified sources of existing St George’s information (such as timetables) to help PHE to identify the contacts of any person diagnosed with COVID-19. See our data protection privacy notice.

  7. Data collection: use secure data management systems to keep a record of who is a confirmed case and information relevant to contact tracing. See our data protection privacy notice.

  8. Engagement and communication: keep staff and students informed with current University and Government guidance.

Outbreak scenarios

The following 5 scenarios are considered below, mapped to the 8 themes. For definitions of confirmed and possible COVID-19, and of being identified as a contact, see the glossary below. 

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Scenario 1: A confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 at St George’s, either a single identified diagnosis of COVID-19 or an outbreak
1. Prevention

St George’s follows St George's, University of London Return to Site Key Principles and associated guidance.

2. Identification and management

Positive case usually identified by NHS Test & Trace portal; GPs, NHS, or Staff/Student; Occupational Health also possible sources.

University contact email for St George’s students is and for staff is For 2 or more cases University will contact London Coronavirus Response Cell.

Communicate with students/staff to request they let us know if they test positive for COVID-19.

Those who have possible COVID-19, or test positive, to isolate for 10 days.

Line managers encouraged to keep in touch with staff who are isolating.

PHE standard definition: If 2 or more diagnoses of COVID-19 in 14 days, PHE send in the Health Protection Team & if those diagnosed with COVID-19 are linked, an outbreak will be declared & PHE will establish measures to be taken. 

3. High risk contexts

Follow current guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

If an infected staff member or student, lives with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, signpost to Government advice on households with somebody at increased risk.  

If infected student is a Halls resident, consider moving higher risk flatmates to alternative accommodation.

Implement systems for safeguarding of staff and students beyond immediate outbreak control (health & wellbeing; equality, diversity & inclusion).

4. Isolation 

Direct to Government guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection.

Support welfare of those isolating & advise to monitor for worsening symptoms; provide details of contacts.

Any staff/student who is a close contact of somebody isolating to follow PHE instructions.

Students / staff taking care of, or sharing accommodation with, a person with COVID-19, follow instructions from PHE (and Occupational Health where appropriate) on when to return to campus.

Implement Halls isolation protocol for students isolating in student accommodation including welfare checks, food delivery, and Government cleaning guidance.

5. Testing

Provide advice that those who are unwell should self-isolate for at least 10 days, in line with Government guidance, inform if a student or if a staff member, and request a test. 

6. Contact tracing

Encourage people who test positive to respond to contact tracing.

Augment conventional contact tracing with St George’s information, e.g. timetables/ registers.  

Support staff to staff / students who are contacts of those testing positive to isolate in line with latest guidance.

7. Data collection

Use secure systems to safely manage and store records of who is a confirmed case and information relevant to contact tracing (held as special category data for legitimate interests specified purposes – see our data protection and privacy notice).

8. Communications 

Communication protocol including specific strands on:

  • Outbreak management measures in place
  • Personal responsibilities: prevention and management
  • Emphasising responsibility of individuals to community for reporting illness
  • Media management
  • Following PHE/South London Protection Team advice in event of a local outbreak
  • Other key stakeholders 
  • SGUL – Beth Okona-Mensah, Single Point Of Contact :
Scenario 2: Multiple diagnoses of COVID-19 (2 or more linked diagnoses within 14 days)

An outbreak will be identified and managed by Public Health England (PHE) London Coronavirus Response Cell (LCRC) in close collaboration with the South London Health Protection Team, St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and St George’s, University of London. LCRC will undertake a risk assessment and provide appropriate support. For media enquiries, PHE will provide support via their communications teams.

An outbreak is deemed to last 28 days from the last positive diagnosis.

LCRC contact details: 

Scenario 3: When there is substantial community transmission

Local area mitigation strategies will extend across organisations (e.g. schools, business, community organisations) within the community (see Wandsworth Council Local Outbreak Control Plan). Liaison will take place with PHE, South London Protection Team, LCRC (, 03003030450), the local council and St George’s University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust to determine the most appropriate course of action, as instructed through an Incident Management Team (IMT) where called, for example closing buildings. 

In the event of a larger outbreak we will link in with LCRC and Local Authority to arrange / attend an IMT and where advised arrange for a Mobile Testing Unit (MTU) to be set up for mass testing to take place in situ.

Scenario 4: When an infected staff member or student is classified as high risk

Follow current guidance on shielding and protecting people who are clinically extremely vulnerable.

If an infected staff member or student (or a contact), lives with someone at higher risk from coronavirus, signpost to Government advice

Implement systems for safeguarding of staff and students beyond outbreak control (health & wellbeing; equality, diversity & inclusion principles) by carrying out an impact assessment on all plans e.g. blended education and remote support.

Scenario 5: When someone is unwell but unconfirmed with COVID-19
  • Provide advice that those who are unwell should self-isolate for 10 days, inform if a student or if a staff member, and request a test.

  • Provide Government advice on getting to a test centre or ordering a home kit if needed.

  • Those who live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive should self-isolate for 14 days.

  • Those who have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus, may get a text, email, or call from the NHS Test and Trace service and told to self-isolate for 14 days.

  • The relevant Government advice on self-isolation, including when it is safe to stop isolating or if someone should continue to isolate is available at

  • Advice on reducing the chances of spreading any infection to co-habitants is at how to avoid spreading coronavirus to people you live with.

  • Provide clear guidance to all staff/students on what to do if told by a staff member/student that they are ill.

  • Emphasise prevention actions individuals can take.

  • Staff looking after halls of residence are trained on how to protect themselves and residents from spread of COVID-19, and on how to respond if a resident becomes ill. Halls staff will be informed within 24 hours if a resident is self-isolating. All staff will be withdrawn from the area and alternative supplies provided.

Key contact at SGUL

For liaison in relation to Outbreak Management, Incident Management Team and Mobile Testing Units:

Incident Management Team

Should an outbreak of cases which can be linked - and of sufficient magnitude - be confirmed among the University community, an Incident Management Team will be convened in liaison with the London Coronavirus Response Cell and our colleagues in the local public health team. This will be determined on the specific circumstances related to the outbreak. 

The purpose of the Team is to manage outbreaks of coronavirus either in halls or on our campus, contain the spread and support our staff and students. Key stakeholders will form the IMT and this will include representatives from Senior Management, relevant courses and/or programmes, Human Resources and the Student’s Union.

Glossary and definitions

Confirmed case of Coronavirus

Any student, staff member or resident with a laboratory confirmed diagnosis of Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Outbreak of Coronavirus

An incident in which two or more people who meet the criteria above for a confirmed case are linked in time (within a 14-day period) and within the same University building.

End of outbreak

An outbreak is considered concluded when there have been no new cases in a setting for 28 days or more. If a new case appears after the 28-day period, this must be reported as a new outbreak.

Covid-19 diagnostic definition

See government guidance on case definitions.

Definition of contacts 

See government guidance: What do we mean by a contact.

For definition of a contact in a clinical setting: Contact in a clinical setting

Contact details for PHE South London Health Protection Team:

Phone: 0344 326 2052
Fax: 0344 326 7255

Contact details for the London Coronavirus Response Cell 

Phone: 0300 303 0450

Wandsworth Council in/out of hours contact

Out of hours Telephone: 020 8871 7490
In hours Telephone: 020 8871 6000


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