LARGE STUDENT POPULATIONS IDENTIFIED IN THE FIVE LATEST COVID-19 HOTSPOTS
On Wednesday 7 July 2021, Helen Pidd (North of England Editor) and Niamh McIntyre reported on the Guardian that the five current hotspots of Covid-19 hotspots in England also have some of the largest student populations in England. Nottingham's Lenton & Dunkirk MSOA is one of the five, sitting alongside Leeds Hyde Park at the lower end of infections, with Oxford Central topping the list, followed by Durham City, then North Jesmond in Newcastle upon Tyne. Vaccination rates and problems for students having to self-isolate at the end of tenancies were also featured in the article.
Student areas record highest rates of new Covid infections in England
Five latest hotspots are home to large student populations, with few having received second vaccine dose
England’s current five Covid hotspots are home to some of the largest student populations as the Delta variant rips through young, largely unvaccinated communities.
Those aged 18 to 20 were offered their first vaccination on 17 June, meaning only clinically vulnerable undergraduates had received two doses when cases started to soar in student cities.
Central Oxford, where an estimated 69% of the population are students, this week recorded the highest infection rate in England – 2,144 cases per 100,000 people, almost 10 times the national average of 239 per 100,000. Across the city, 80% of the cases were in the 18-29 age group, according to Ansaf Azhar, Oxfordshire county council’s director for public health.
The Guardian analysed data on cases and vaccinations for middle-layer super output areas (MSOAs) – smaller administrative areas within a local authority.
Durham City, where 73% of residents are students, according to data from the House of Commons Library, has the second-highest infection rates. On Monday, the area had 2,011 cases per 100,000 people.
The large numbers of students self-isolating caused huge problems on 1 July, the day student tenancies typically end across many English cities.
Deri Humphry, a Durham history student, said he was “still fuming” after his landlord evicted him and four flatmates last week despite him receiving a positive result on 30 June. The whole household was told by test and trace to isolate for 10 days but the landlord refused to let them stay.