World News – GB – Covid: University of Northumbria confirms 770 cases among students


A spokesperson for the university in Newcastle has confirmed that 770 students have tested positive, 78 of them symptomatic

All infected students and their close contacts self-isolate for 14 days according to government guidelines

The University and Collegiate Union (UCU) said it had warned the university that it was « far too early for a massive return to campus »

In a statement, UCU, which represents the faculty, said: « We told Northumbria University that they have a civic duty to bring health to staff, students and the local community in the foreground and we now take no pleasure in seeing yet another preventable crisis play outside

« We warned last month that, given the current restrictions in the region, the direction of the infection rate, and issues with testing and tracing, it was clearly far too early for a massive comeback on the campus « 

The University of Northumbria said the self-isolated students were receiving food, linen, cleaning materials and social assistance from the university, working alongside the students’ union and Newcastle City Council

Ellie Burgoyne, 19, who studies social sciences, has been isolating herself since one of her roommates tested positive a week ago

She said: « The university and the accommodation has been great in supporting us and keeping us as comfortable as possible, because not leaving our apartment for two weeks is not the most fun

« I moved a few weeks ago and immediately noticed how strict our accommodation was when it came to students meeting other apartments, trying to throw parties

« I think it is a common misconception that the students did not listen to the guide, my accommodation was quiet apart from the odd apartment with a few people »

During this time, students will also benefit from additional academic support if they miss face-to-face classes during their period of isolation

The university spokesperson added: « The increase in numbers comes within a week of students returning to university and reflects good access and availability of testing, as well as reporting systems rigorous and robust

« In parts of the UK where universities started the term earlier, the number of student cases increased during integration week, then declined

« We make it clear to students that if they break the rules, they will be subject to police fines and disciplinary action from universities, which may include fines, final warnings or expulsion

« The Universities of Northumbria and Newcastle have on-call Covid response teams who work closely with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England North East and the City to identify and contact anyone who has been in contact close with the people concerned « 

There have been more than 200 cases at the University of Sheffield and 177 University of Liverpool staff and students have tested positive, according to an investigation by the PA News Agency which contacted 140 institutions

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University of Northumbria

News from around the world – GB – Covid: University of Northumbria confirms 770 cases among students


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