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Hundreds of students have been told to isolate after a suspected Covid-19 outbreak in a halls of residence.
NHS Tayside is investigating a single positive Covid case and a small number of suspected cases linked to private student accommodation Parker House in Dundee.
Close contacts of the positive case, who is a student of Abertay University, are being contacted. All 500 residents at the accommodation have been asked to self-isolate until further contact tracing has been completed.
Dr Daniel Chandler, associate director of public health, said: “We know from outbreaks in other university settings across Scotland that the virus can spread very quickly in student accommodation.
“Therefore, as a precautionary measure, we are contacting all residents of Parker House and advising them to self-isolate immediately.
“Further investigation and contact tracing are continuing and we will review this advice in the coming days.
“It is really important that any residents who develop symptoms book a test as soon as possible.”
Prof Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said: “Our students in Parker House are being supported to self-isolate safely and we will remain in regular daily contact with them.
“The university already has enhanced cleaning and safety measures in place on campus, in line with national guidance, and the campus will remain open.
“We have contacted students and staff to remind them of their personal responsibilities in relation to Covid safety and to inform them of today’s changes in Scottish government guidance.”
Earlier on Tuesday, university officials had to reassure residents in Durham that the influx of more than 17,000 new and returning students will be managed in order to keep the community safe.
In term time, locals living close to the city centre are outnumbered around three to two by undergraduates who have been attracted to one of the world’s top 100 universities.
While being a boost for local businesses, Alan Doig, vice-chairman of City of Durham parish council, said the historic city centre funnelled permanent residents and students into the same spots.
“We only have three supermarkets in the city centre, everything is focused on the market place, it’s a very small enclosed area, and pavements are very narrow,” he said.
“It’s a fairly small environment, never designed for volume.”
Doig has told residents the university will have plans for safely operating on campus, but he wanted more information about how it will manage students’ interactions with the wider public and what will happen in the case of a large outbreak.
Prof Claire O’Malley, vice-chancellor, said: “We are communicating regularly with our students to remind them of the latest Covid-19 guidelines and have updated our student pledge to reflect these responsibilities.”
The university has published its communications with students regarding Covid-19 regulations on its website. Durham City MP Mary Foy has had meetings about precautions it is taking.
Meanwhile, 12 students at Swansea University in Wales have also tested positive for coronavirus. A statement issued by the university on Tuesday said: “Swansea University has been informed that 12 individuals who have been confirmed by Public Health Wales (PHW) to have tested positive for coronavirus, are students at the University.
“Our immediate concerns are for the affected students and their family along with the health and wellbeing of our wider University community.
“We understand that there will be anxiety about this development but can assure students, staff, visitors and the wider community that their safety is our top priority.
“We are working closely with the NHS and PHW who are taking the lead on the response to this development and are following the Track Trace Protect strategy. PHW is keeping us updated as to the circumstances and any further actions.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: Hundreds of Dundee students to isolate after Covid case in halls | UK news