25 May 2021: the Covid vulnerability questionnaire for staff has been updated to reflect changes in ALAMA's methodology for assessing risk levels. In particular, the  COVID age score generated through the questionnaire is not the only factor used to estimate an individuals vulnerability. Your overall risk level will also depend on your immunity status (E.g. if you have previously had the virus and / or have received at least one vaccination), local infection rates (viral prevalence) and the nature of your work. The Managers Guide to Assessing Vulnerability explains how the score you receive from the questionnaire should be adjusted in light of these factors, to determine your overall risk level. If you have previously completed the questionnaire you are strongly encouraged to do so again so that your score can be interpreted in line with the updated Managers Guide to Assessing Vulnerability.

What is 'COVID vulnerability' and why is it important?

'COVID Vulnerability' is essentially a measure of risk – it is a combination of the likelihood that an individual will become infected with the virus, and the possibility that, once infected, they will develop serious illness.

It varies according to age, sex, ethnicity, and underlying health (comorbidities), and is reduced by any personal immunity acquired through previous infection and/or vaccination.

A person’s risk of serious Covid-19 is determined by their vulnerability in combination with the risk that they get infected. The risk of getting infected depends on the prevalence of virus in the local community (which can vary over time), and on individual circumstances and activities that predispose to contact with the virus.  Also, like vulnerability, it may be reduced by personal immunity resulting from previous infection and/or vaccination.

The likelihood that someone will get the infection through work can be reduced through control measures that minimise workplace exposure (also referred to as making the workplace 'COVID Secure' - see our COVID secure arrangement pages for details on how the University intends to achieve this)

What is the 'COVID-age' Questionnaire?

It is an easy to use questionnaire developed by the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisers (ALAMA) that helps assess an individual's vulnerability to COVID-19 in the absence of previous infection or vaccination.

It is based on published medical evidence for the main risk factors associated with COVID19. i.e. Age; Sex; Ethnicity; Body Mass Index (BMI) and health status.

It works by changing the risk associated with each risk factor into years which are added to (or subtracted from) an individual's actual age to then give a single overall 'COVID age', indicating the individual's level of vulnerability to the effects of the virus.

The University is using it as part of a collection of tools to help us support those individuals who may have a higher 'COVID vulnerability'.  It is also to be used I conjunction with the other COVID safe guidance documents (e.g. guide to completing COVID-safe risk assessments and temporary homeworking guidance).

Completion of the questionnaire is voluntary. At the end of the questionnaire, you will have the option to share the results with your line manager. You should do so, especially if your vulnerability score is 'very high' or 'high', so that you can have an informed discussion about the most appropriate way to assist you to work safely during the current pandemic.

Individuals who fall into the clinically extremely vulnerable group should speak to their line manager regardless of their vulnerability score.

NOTE: Covid-age does not provide an exact measure, so when it is used to calculate vulnerability from medical conditions, and particularly multiple medical conditions, clinical judgement must also be used by a suitably qualified health professional.

The data which you provide will be stored securely and confidentially in accordance with the University's Data Protection Policy. It will be used to provide the results of the questionnaire to you and to your line manager if you choose to share the results with them, and may also be used to produce anonymised statistics.

To access the staff questionnaire, please click on this link:   https://greenwichuniversity.eu.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_3sHNDVfeE7nbHp3

Line managers should follow the advice set out in the Managers Guide to interpreting vulnerability and associated COVID risk assessment guidance. This guidance explains how to adjust the score to include any inherent immunity, the nature of the individuals work, and the current viral prevalence. The resulting overall vulnerability then determines what actions may be required to facilitate a return to on-campus working.

Any queries relating to individual COVID risk assessments should be directed to the Health and Safety Unit (safetyunit@gre.ac.uk).

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