The return to campus for University employees will be done in line with the ‘Government’s Resilience and Recovery 2020-2021: Plan for Living with COVID-19.’ This Plan affirms the Government’s commitment to education, and to keeping education operating as much as possible. While in March 2020 the education sector was among the first to be closed, the Plan is now that it will be among the last sectors to close.
This is the office that will coordinate the process for returning to work on campus. It also oversees the University’s Covid-19 risk assessment and management programme. The office is directed by Michael Rafter, Director of Campus Services. All enquiries regarding return to campus working should be directed to email@example.com
Employees should read the
Maynooth University Covid-19 Return to Campus Policy
to inform themselves of their responsibilities and the relevant steps to be followed to ensure their safe return to campus.
In summary, the steps to be followed are as follows
- Prior to returning to campus, all employees are required to complete the Return to Campus Form. Employees should request this form from the RTCO by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Once completed the RTCO will then assess the form and email the employee a link to mandatory Covid-19 induction training and the return to campus checklist.
- The RTCO will then confirm to the employee and the Head of Department that the employee may return to campus on the specified date.
Where a Department requires a visitor or contractor to visit campus, the Department should email the RTCO (email@example.com), ideally, no later than three days prior to their expected arrival. The Department should also provide the email address of the visitor/contractor to the RTCO.
Once notified, the RTCO will issue the relevant access forms for completion by the visitor/contractor.
In the event three days’ notice cannot be provided, please contact the RTCO as soon as you become aware of the need for a visitor or contractor to visit campus.
Please note, no visitor or contractor may come on campus without completing the Visitor Access Form.
Per guidance from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Return to Work Protocol, the University has appointed Lead Workers, whose role is to work with the University to assist in the implementation of Return to Campus measures. Staff may contact the Lead Workers with relevant questions or concerns.
Current MU Lead Workers:
Contact tracing by the HSE may be necessary should a suspected or confirmed case occur on campus. Each employee is responsible for maintaining their Individual Contact Log of close contacts.
For the purposes of the log “Close Contacts” is defined as a person with whom you have:
- spent more than 15 minutes with and at a distance of less than 2m, in any circumstances (indoors or outdoors); or
- spent more than 2 hours per day in the same room as the person, even though they maintain physical distancing.
Individual Contact Log Requirements:
- Each employee should keep a personal contact log for the previous 14 days;
- Individual contact names and locations of persons with whom you have been in close contact;
- This contact list may include work colleagues, students, visitors, or third-party service providers; and
- This list should be stored securely and readily available upon request from the HSE or the University.
A template contact log is available here:
Individual Contact Log Template
Departmental Contact Log Requirement
Each Head of Department or nominee should also compile and maintain departmental workgroup lists of people that would normally work together and identify where multiple staff share an office or laboratory. This log should be kept for a rolling four-week period.
A template departmental log is available here:
Departmental Contact Log Template
Each workplace within the University has been subject to a risk assessment, and the required measures have been put in place in line with public health advice.
Workplace risk assessments are based on information to hand at the time of compilation. In some instances, it may be necessary to carry out a revised risk assessment if the working practices and/or guidelines have changed to such an extent that the circumstances require a new risk assessment. If an employee has a concern or question about a workplace risk assessment, they should discuss their concerns with their Head of Department or nominee or the RTCO.
Risk assessments have been undertaken for all central teaching venues and general circulation spaces to prepare for students returning to campus learning at the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year in September. A minimum spacing of 1.1m between students, and 2m between students and staff will be maintained at all times. Students will be expected to wear face coverings in all classes.
Class sizes will generally be limited to 30 participants.
Postgraduate research students may continue to work on campus, subject to procedures in place for their department, institute or centre.
Please read our document
Frequently Asked Questions - Researchers
Following public health guidelines on hygiene and physical distancing is the key to safe working in the context of Covid-19. Each member of the University community has a responsibility to take steps to halt the spread of Covid-19 and must take personal responsibility for their actions during this period. All staff must adhere to the latest public health advice (See: HSE guidelines) and guidance from the University.
Anyone who exhibits cold or flu-like symptoms should not come to work on campus. They should contact their GP and follow their direct advice.
The guidance below covers general hygiene and public health guidance, and how it will be implemented on the Maynooth University campus.
Employees must ensure to:
- Wash their hands with soap and water regularly, particularly after coughing, sneezing, being in a crowd, etc.
- Not share objects that touch their mouth, for example, bottles or cups
- Use own pens.
- Adopt good respiratory hygiene and cough etiquette.
- Avoid touching their eyes, mouth, or nose.
Employees may also reference the HSE guidelines on Hand, Respiratory and General Hygiene for further guidance.
All members of the University Community should wear a face covering in almost all indoor spaces on campus, with the obvious exceptions, such as, when eating or in private rooms. Face coverings should also be used on public transport and in other crowded places.
There should be a distance of at least two metres, and never less than one metre kept between individuals at all times. Where a distance of two metres cannot be maintained, individuals should wear face coverings or face shields/visors and ensure a one-metre distance at all times. Where necessary and in the context of physical distancing, changes to working practices, physical measures and/or additional control measures should be put in place to minimise risk.
Employees will be provided with five face coverings and one personal bottle of hand sanitizer. Those engaged in teaching roles will be provided with face shields upon request to the RTCO (firstname.lastname@example.org).
When using a face covering, employees should:
- Wash their hands before putting the face covering on, and once on, they should not touch it.
- While wearing a face covering, employees should wash their hands before re-adjusting the face covering and wash their hands again immediately after.
- When removing the face covering, it should be removed from behind, using the ties or ear loops.
- If the face covering is disposable, it should be put straight into a bin. If the face covering is reusable, it should be put it in a plastic bag, and the employee should wash their hands after handling it. Employees should then take it home and put it in a hot wash (over 60 degrees) with detergent.
- In all instances, employees must wash their hands after taking the face covering off.
Where possible, employees should only work with the same group of people when on campus and should leave campus as soon as their on-campus task and/or working hours are completed. Where possible, any meetings should be held on virtual online platforms rather than face to face meetings. Where a virtual meeting cannot occur, meetings in offices must be planned to maintain a two-metre distance between individuals. Attendees of the meeting should not attend if they are symptomatic.
As part of the workplace risk assessment process, any specific actions are needed to facilitate an employee’s safe return to campus, such as limiting the use of shared office space, these will be documented in the workplace risk assessment.
Employees should also minimise their on-campus footprint while on campus and restrict their movements to only those locations that are required to complete the task
Cleaning of work areas, washroom facilities and communal spaces will be conducted at regular intervals. Any high touch/high traffic areas, such as turnstiles, workstations, door handles, locker rooms etc…will be cleaned at least twice per day.
All employees are encouraged to utilise the cleaning products provided to conduct wipe downs of their own work areas regularly.
The campus re-opened 21st Sept. in line with Welcome Week and under Return to Campus protocols and protective measures.
The Library commenced a gradual return to on-campus operations from 29th June and remains open with regulated access.
The University Créche re-opened 29th June under government and public health guidelines.
The Phoenix Restaurant and Starbucks re-opened 21st Sept. with protectives measures in place.
The Bookshop and Centra are open as well.
All events on campus during are cancelled for the time being.