COVID-19 Policy

Updated 26th May 2020

We are delighted to announce that BioGrad courses will begin again from 6th July 2020. We look forward to seeing you in our laboratories and clinics in the coming months and are working tirelessly to keep our staff, students and the wider community safe.

The following page outlines new codes of practice for BioGrad courses and the newly introduced COVID-19 screening service available free of charge for students arriving for their BioGrad course. We are also offering a heavily subsidised service available for students at the end of the week and also for schools throughout the UK.

COVID-19 course changes: Whilst most of the laboratory and clinical based courses are minimally affected (as we already teach infection control standards in all settings), we have made significant changes to accommodation and are offering free, weekly COVID screening to all students and staff.

The below 4 significant changes have been made for all BioGrad courses from July 2020:

  • All students must attend as ‘residential’ students. Off-site accommodation will not be permitted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Every student will be COVID-19 screened upon arrival on the Sunday evening.
  • Evening activities and group accommodation will not be available until further notice (BioGrad courses will still be approved as Duke of Edinburgh’s GOLD residential awards).
  • Face masks must be worn during all lessons.

The above changes are relevant to courses in July and August 2020 however they are subject to change for courses from September 2020 in line with government advice and restrictions available at the time. You will be informed if there are any major changes to this information before attending your course.

Before you arrive: Students are required to follow government guidelines on social distancing for 14 days before their arrival to reduce their risk of COVID-19 infection. Students who have COVID-19 symptoms, or who are in isolation with a family member with COVID-19 symptoms 14 days before their course start date must contact info@BioGrad.co.uk to change the date of their course. No fees will be charged for students to move course or accommodation.

Group accommodation, group dining and evening activities have been suspended until further notice. To reduce the risk of students coming into contact with COVID-19, we ask that students arrive with their food for the week. Students will be required to have breakfast in their room each morning, bring a packed lunch to the course each day and cook their own evening meal (or order a take-away).

You will need to pack the below items with you:

  • Food for the week (including containers for packed lunches)
  • Face masks for the week

Arrival at Dream Apartments: Check-in is open between 4pm and 6pm on each Sunday evening. You will be met by BioGrad staff at the BioGrad screening tent in the hotel car park. The BioGrad Accommodation/Child Protection officer (Samantha Higgins) will also be on site to answer questions or speak to parents at drop off.

BioGrad staff will explain the plan for the evening and the following morning, provide your sterilised hotel key card and be available to answer any questions you have. Each student will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival by one of our medical staff. Screening finishes at 6pm to allow overnight analysis of samples and you will receive your results before breakfast the following morning. Students who miss the COVID-19 screening will not be permitted to BioGrad the following day.

We will follow the plan you have outlined on your COVID testing form regarding how to contact you and what you would like to do should the test provide a positive result.

You will need the below items at check in (all provided in your booking confirmation email and available to download below):

Negative result: Check-in is open between 4pm and 6pm on each Sunday evening. You will be met by BioGrad staff at the BioGrad screening tent in the hotel car park. The BioGrad Accommodation/Child Protection officer (Samantha Higgins) will also be on site to answer questions or speak to parents at drop off.

Students who test negative for COVID upon arrival will be permitted to start their course as normal on Monday morning.

After testing negative for COVID-19 students may only visit 2 locations in Liverpool for the 5 days of the course, BioGrad laboratories in Liverpool Science Park and Dream Apartments. This will significantly reduce risk of COVID contamination as all BioGrad staff and students are tested weekly.

Positive result: COVID-19 infection rates are still relatively low throughout the UK, we do not anticipate many positive results, especially when students are follow government guidelines on social distancing for 14 days before attending the course. We will assist students who test positive for COVID-19 with empathy and understanding. If the student has no symptoms it is likely that they are an asymptomatic carrier, however we cannot risk other students, our staff and their families who may have risk factors for the infection. On the rare occasion that a student tests positive for COVID-19, they will be informed before 9 am on the Monday morning and will have 2 choices:

  • They may self-isolate in the studio apartment for up to 2 weeks. Dream Apartments will allow one family member to enter the apartment to take care of the student if required. Staff at the apartments will be available to organise food deliveries to the suite. Students selecting this option may need to pay for the additional week accommodation but will not be charged for an additional guest.
  • A student who has tested positive may leave the facilities, but only if collected by a family member or guardian in the car park. The student will be provided with personal protective equipment whilst they exit to avoid contaminating public areas of the hotel. We cannot release students to public transport.

Arrival at Liverpool Science Park: We have closed communal waiting rooms at Liverpool Science Park therefore we recommend that you do not arrive too early for your course. BioGrad staff will be outside Liverpool Science Park (at the base of the Cathedral steps in Mount Pleasant) at 9.30 each morning to meet their students. You will be able to identify BioGrad staff by their BioGrad -branded clothing.

You will need to be wearing the below item in order to gain entry to Liverpool Science Park:

  • Face mask

Additional screening for students: Students will be offered the option of a second test at the end of the course so they can be certain of their COVID status before returning home. BioGrad will not be charging for staff or laboratory costs for this service, however there will be a £72 fee to cover laboratory reagents of the second test.

Further Information: For further information please contact BioGrad via e-mail to info@biograd.co.uk or on 0151 482 9695.

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