By Tony Winterburn • 03 October 2020 • 10:43
Northumbria University says 770 of its students have tested positive for coronavirus.
Hundreds of students at Northumbria University are now self-isolating after testing positive for the virus. A spokesman for the university, in Newcastle, confirmed 770 students had tested positive, 78 of whom are symptomatic.
All infected students, and their close contacts, are self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance. University and College Union (UCU) said it warned the university it was “far too soon for a mass return to campus”.
In a statement, the UCU, which represents lecturers, said: “We told Northumbria University they had a civic duty to put the health of staff, students and the local community first and we take no pleasure in now seeing another preventable crisis play out. “We warned last month that, given the current restrictions in the region, the direction of the infection rate and the problems with test and trace, it was clearly far too soon for a mass return to campus.”
The spokesperson added: “Flatmates and any close contacts are also going into quarantine and have been advised to book a test if they develop symptoms. A public health source has suggested the figures may need to be reconsidered, however. “They (the university) are reporting more cases than the whole of the district of Newcastle. We wonder if they are counting all isolating students – including contacts – rather than cases. The local public health team is investigating. The university only gets self-reported data, after all.”
Other universities across the country have reported outbreaks in recent weeks also.
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