World News – GB – 770 University of Northumbria students tested positive for coronavirus


The University of Northumbria said 770 of its students have tested positive for Covid-19, in one of the largest single-site coronavirus outbreaks in the UK, as other universities in the country have reported an increase in the number of cases

The Newcastle outbreak has brought the total number of cases among students to over 2,000 at 65 universities, most of which tested positive in the last week

Northumbria leaders have said students without Covid could still take classes in person and use shared facilities such as libraries, despite the scale of the outbreak

Andrew Wathey, vice chancellor of the university, told staff in an email: “On Friday we can confirm that we know of 770 students at Northumbria University who have tested positive for Covid-19 , of which 78 were symptomatic These students are all isolating themselves now

« There are a number of reasons people have been tested and I want to reassure you that the vast majority of these students are not sick

« Their roommates and close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days under government guidelines and have been advised to contact NHS 119 to book a test as soon as possible if symptoms appear »

The University of Newcastle has also reported an increase in infections, indicating that 94 students and seven staff have tested positive

The two universities issued a joint statement saying their Covid response teams were trying to track down all staff and students who had come into contact with those infected, as well as helping the hundreds of students isolated with food and other supports including health services

Newcastle City Council has said it is working to manage the outbreak, as part of a ‘joint gold group’ involving universities, local authorities and Public Health England

Northumbria staff said their university had strongly insisted on face-to-face lessons for the majority of students Last month, branches of the University and Union of Colleges (UCU) in Newcastle and of Northumbria said they were « seriously concerned » about the universities’ plans to deal with the epidemics

UCU General Secretary Jo Grady said: “We told Northumbria University that they have a civic duty to put the health of staff, students and the community first. community and we take no pleasure in seeing another preventable crisis unfold Academia and government must immediately tackle this public health crisis « 

A Northumbria staff member told PA Media that classes were often half full as many students were already staying away “We have high levels of anxiety among staff and students who have the feeling that the school is not listening to these concerns about face-to-face teaching, ”said the staff member « There is a lot of frustration because almost everything we deliver face to face could be done much more securely online. »

But Wathey said the size of the outbreak – larger than those seen in UK factories or other individual institutions – « reflects good access and availability of testing, as well as rigorous reporting systems and robust « 

The vice-chancellor said that where universities started their mandate earlier, « the number of student cases increased during integration week, then decreased »

New reports of infections at universities such as Nottingham Trent and Bournemouth have brought the total number of universities with confirmed cases to 65 in just over two weeks

In Scotland, the Universities of Edinburgh and Edinburgh Napier have reported more than 300 confirmed cases among their students, while the University of Glasgow has more than 170 and the University of Aberdeen has reported 99 cases

In England, the University of Manchester announced 221 cases among students and staff just 10 days after the university reopened for the new academic year

At nearby Manchester Metropolitan University, UCU members passed a motion calling on Vice-Chancellor Malcolm Press to step down over his allegedly ‘failed’ handling of the coronavirus outbreak, after more than 1,500 students were sentenced to solitary confinement

The University of Sheffield has recorded more than 200 cases since the start of the week, including 91 positive tests among its students as of Thursday alone

University of Northumbria

News from the world – UK – 770 University of Northumbria students test positive for coronavirus


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