ENHANCED TESTING FOR CORONAVIRUS FOR STUDENTS TO PREVENT COVID-19 OUTBREAKS
Under the heading 'More Covid testing planned when thousands of students arrive in Nottingham' Matt Jarram (Senior Digital Reporter and Crime Correspondent of the Nottingham Post) reported on Sunday 23 August 2020 that 'enhanced testing of students' is being explored as a way of managing potential Covid-19 outbreaks when students return to the city. ...
The University of Nottingham is exploring the 'enhanced testing of students" to manage any potential outbreaks of Covid-19.Students will be arriving in Nottingham for the new term from September, many of whom will be arriving in the city for the very first time.
Measures are already being put in place by the University of Nottingham as well as Nottingham Trent University to manage any potential spread of the coronavirus.
Student landlords are being advised to tell returning students to arrive days apart rather than all at the same time, and to only bring one family member with them.
International students will also be fully supported during their two week quarantine period to ensure that their transition to the UK is safe.
The University of Nottingham is even exploring the 'enhanced testing of students.' This will complement the work they are already doing.
Scientists at the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University are already contributing essential expertise to help develop a safe and effective vaccine to prevent Covid-19.
A spokeswoman for the University of Nottingham said: "Building on the research expertise within the university and the contribution we have made to the national testing effort, we are exploring enhanced testing of students to support fast and effective local outbreak management.
"We will be working closely with the University of Nottingham’s Cripps Health Centre, one of the UK’s largest GP surgeries, to ensure that students have access to outstanding primary care - and that other healthcare providers in Nottingham are able to balance the needs of the entire city’s residents.
"The purpose-built facilities within Cripps Health Centre are designed to allow the building to be split into segregated secure zones as a response to a range of public health emergencies, including pandemics."
A spokesperson for Nottingham Trent University added: "NTU will continue to follow all Government guidance in relation to social distancing, and full details will be communicated to students before they arrive on campus in late September.
"International students will be fully supported during their two week quarantine period to ensure that their transition to the UK is safe."
Giles Inman, business development manager for East Midlands Property Owners Group, based in Lenton, represents around 600 landlords in the city.
He said: "If there is a HMO with five students they will come in over a five day period and they can only bring one parent. Do not bring both parents or grandparents.
"It is not official guidance but it is all about being sensible.
"We are suggesting that landlords come up with templates to ensure shared facilities are kept clean all the time.
"This is to reduce the risk of Covid-19 otherwise it will be 14 days quarantine in their bedrooms."
He said work is also being carried out to ensure that if students are struck with the coronavirus they can be supported.
"How are they going to get their food? How is that going to pan out?," he added.
"It is working through all this. They are young people at the end of the day - 18 or 19-years-old."
Allison Challenger, director for Public Health at Nottingham City Council, said: "We are very interested in the return of universities and houses of multiple occupation.
"We are featuring it as one of our key areas to look at in our local outbreak control plan.
"We have had various colleagues meeting together for some time now to understand that if there looked to be an outbreak there what would be needed to be put in place to manage that.
"We are working with local authority colleagues and universities to make sure we are communicating with students before they get to university and working with the city and county in terms of how this may look when we get to the end of September."
Editor's Note: This comment has been uploaded to the Nottingham Post website:
GardenTiger: Perhaps it is time that some attention were given to the recommendations being made by, for example Independent SAGE and others (Scottish versions of SAGE) regarding testing of all students. And, perhaps it is timely to consider, just as people returning to the UK from red listed countries are expected to quarantine for 14 days, that all students should be Covid-19 tested before they come to university, tested when they arrive, quarantined for 14 days, tested again, and then retested regularly afterwards. Also, any infringements, such as the house parties that so regularly plague our neighbourhoods, should result in immediate removal from their courses. Of course, the only students who need to be here for face-to-face teaching are those with practical classes. The rest need to stay at home and distance-learn.