More than 1,800 students and employees at universities in the north east of England currently under stricter local lockdowns tested positive for coronavirus in the past week.
Newcastle University said 1,003 students and 12 employees were infected with coronavirus in the past week, compared with 94 last Friday. Northumbria University also had 619 new cases and Durham University confirmed 219 student cases in the past week.
Most universities plan to switch to online tuition for at least three weeks, except in cases where face-to-face tuition is essential.
Newcastle University said “the vast majority of cases” are from “social and residential areas” and appropriate measures are being taken to protect everyone on campus.
“We expected cases to increase given the increase in cases at the local and national levels and all higher education institutions must manage this continuously,” a spokesman said.
“We are confident that we will take appropriate measures to protect ourselves all on campus and reduce the transmission potential in our community,” said the spokesman.
Durham University has asked two college students to stay on campus for the next week after the sharp rise in cases, and Northumbria University said it “continues to make an extensive effort” to keep its self-isolating students online -Concierge services or assist food packages delivered by the staff and the student union.
Meanwhile, Leeds University said 555 students and three employees tested positive between September 28 and October 4.
“We are very aware that behind every number there is an individual with their own needs and concerns. Ensuring the safety, health and well-being of all is our absolute priority,” said the University’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Simone Buitendijk.
Manchester’s two main universities – Manchester University and Manchester Metropolitan University – had previously announced that they would suspend all personal tuition for the remainder of October, with the exception of some hands-on training.
In a joint statement, the universities told local media that they had met with health authorities and the Manchester City Council after “the number of COVID cases in the city of Manchester rose significantly”.
This is happening amid growing concerns about the well-being of students on campus. Many report problems accessing essentials when they go into mandatory quarantine.
Universities UK, the organization that represents the country’s leading universities, released a checklist this week as a guide for universities supporting self-isolating students.
“Self-isolation is key to curbing the spread of COVID-19. Where students need to self-isolate, university staff and student unions go to great lengths to ensure both their physical and emotional well-being, including access to testing and health care, Mental health support, continuous online learning, safe social interaction, grocery deliveries, laundry and financial assistance, “said Alistair Jarvis, Chief Executive of Universities UK.
“This checklist builds on previous guidelines published by Universities UK to ensure that universities continue to provide each student with the support they need,” he said.
(This story was not edited by GossipMantri staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)