STUDENTS IN LOCKDOWN IN HALLS AS UNIVERSITIES GRAPPLE WITH INCREASING COVID-19 CASES
Sally Weale, Education Correspondent of the Guardian, writing on Monday 21 September 2020 reported ...
Students locked down after illegal parties at UK universities
St Andrews and Manchester Metropolitan among institutions dealing with Covid outbreaks
Students are in lockdown in their halls of residence and facing periods of self-isolation and disciplinary action as universities grapple with increasing Covid-19 cases just days into the new term.
At least seven universities across the UK are already dealing with cases of Covid-19 among students, with outbreaks linked to illegal freshers’ parties, as well as other isolated cases identified in halls of residence.
Four students at the University of St Andrews tested positive for the virus and 40 more are in isolation following an illegal party at one of the university’s halls last week. Students there have been asked to observe a voluntary lockdown.
There are further cases at Edinburgh Napier, Glasgow, Stirling, Oxford Brookes, Bath and Manchester Metropolitan universities, with fears of more infections as greater numbers of students arrive on campus and the academic term begins.
Scottish universities are experiencing cases earlier because the new term began before it did for many English institutions, but vice-chancellors everywhere are bracing themselves as infections rise across the country and students try to negotiate restrictive regulations designed to keep them safe.
In a statement to St Andrews students, Sally Mapstone, the principal and vice-chancellor, said there had been four new positive cases among students, in addition to three “sporadic cases” reported last week. “These new cases of Covid were acquired in St Andrews, and are all linked to one party in a hall of residence in freshers’ week. Over 40 students are now in enforced isolation as a result.
“Quite apart from the fact that the party broke the law, and our own very clear guidelines on socialising and safe behaviour, the ripples from this single incident have consequences for all of us.”