Coronavirus: General questions

What is coronavirus (COVID-19)?

A coronavirus is a type of virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Wuhan novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

What are the symptoms of coronavirus?

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

These symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness.

The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

How is coronavirus spread?

Because it's a new illness, it is not known exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person. Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.

It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

How serious is the coronavirus?

The infection is not serious for most people, including children.

There is currently no vaccine and most people get better with enough rest, water to drink and medicine for pain.

How likely am I to catch the virus?

The guidance from the NHS changes regularly. You should check the latest NHS information here.

How can I avoid catching or spreading germs?

There are things you can be doing to help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading.

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available. Do this particularly after sports activities, before cooking and eating, before leaving home, after using the toilet and on arrival at University.
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

What is the University doing about coronavirus?

Covid 19 - Our measures for your safety


The University is well prepared for events such as this; we are working closely with our local NHS provider and continue to closely monitor updates from Public Health England and other government departments. We will ensure we implement any NHS and Public Health England advice and take any necessary steps if we are advised to do so.

Roehampton has been planning our response to coronavirus for some time. Emergency Response Teams are working with colleagues across the University to establish our long-term strategy and how we will need to change teaching and assessments, including what happens if students cannot come to campus, how support can be accessed remotely, and   what further steps we may need to take. All departments of the University are involved in this planning.

At the moment the University is open however  we are planning to move towards delivering remote learning, teaching and academic guidance from Wednesday 18 March 2020. Further details, including arrangements regarding assessments and examinations will follow in due course.