More than 1,800 students and staff at universities in the north-east of England, currently under more severe localized lockdowns, have tested positive for the coronavirus in the past week.
Newcastle University said 1,003 students and 12 staff were confirmed to have been infected with coronavirus last week, up from 94 last Friday. At the University of Northumbria, there were also 619 new cases and the University of Durham confirmed 219 cases in college students last week.
Most universities plan to switch to online education for at least three weeks, except in cases where in-person lessons are essential.
Newcastle University said “the overwhelming majority of cases” came from “social and residential settings” and said appropriate steps were being taken to protect everyone on campus.
“We expected to see the cases increase in light of the increase in cases both locally and nationally and all higher education (higher education) institutions need to deal with this on an ongoing basis,” said a spokesperson.
“We are confident that we have put in place appropriate measures to protect all of us while we are on campus and to reduce the potential for transmission in our community,” the spokesperson said.
Durham University has asked students living at two colleges to stay on campus next week following the surge in cases and Northumbria University said it “continues to make tremendous efforts” to providing support to its self-isolated students with online concierge services or food packages delivered by staff and the student union.
Meanwhile, the University of Leeds said 555 students and three staff tested positive between September 28 and October 4.
“We are keenly aware that behind every issue is someone with their own unique needs and concerns, and ensuring everyone’s safety, health and well-being is our top priority,” said the university’s vice-chancellor. , Professor Simone Buitendijk.
Manchester’s two main universities – Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University – had previously announced the suspension of all in-person teaching for the remainder of October, except for a few hands-on training courses.
In a joint statement, the universities told local media they had met with public health authorities and Manchester City Council following a “significant increase in the number of COVID cases in the city of Manchester”.
It comes against a backdrop of growing concerns for the welfare of students on college campuses, with numerous issues accessing essentials when they enter mandatory quarantine.
Universities UK, the organization that represents the country’s leading universities, this week released a checklist for universities supporting self-isolating students.
“Self-isolation is essential to contain the spread of COVID-19. Where it is necessary for students to isolate themselves, academic staff and student unions go to great lengths to care for their physical and emotional well-being, including access to testing and health care , mental health support, lifelong online learning, safe social interaction, food deliveries, laundry and financial support, ”said Alistair Jarvis, Managing Director of Universities UK.
“This checklist builds on previous guidelines published by Universities UK to ensure that universities continue to provide every student with the support they need,” he said.
(This story was not edited by GalacticGaming staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)