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A “significant” coronavirus outbreak at Glasgow University has resulted in 124 cases since the beginning of freshers’ week and 600 students self-isolating across the campus amid warnings that any students found to be breaking the rules will face disciplinary action.
A spokesperson for the university said the actual number of infections was likely to be higher, identifying two clusters at the Murano Street and Cairncross residences, which were linked to social activity at the start of Freshers’ Week, from 12-14 September.
In a statement, the spokesperson said: “We are working closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s public health team to manage these. The student households affected are self-isolating and have access to food and other supplies. Advice on medical issues including mental health and wellbeing is being made available. We have also increased the number of support staff liaising with our residences.”
The university added that environmental health teams had inspected the residences on Wednesday and reported that robust procedures were in place.
“Disciplinary action against any students who break the rules will include termination of student accommodation contracts and suspension from the university,” it added.
As students started term across Scotland, there have been a number of outbreaks across the country.
NHS Tayside confirmed that it was investigating a single positive Covid case and a small number of suspected cases linked to private student accommodation Parker House in Dundee, where all 500 residents have been asked to self-isolate until further contact tracing has been completed.
Four students tested positive at the University of St Andrews in a cluster that was linked to an illegal freshers’ week party in a halls of residence in the north east Fife town. Last Friday, its principal Prof Sally Mapstone asked all students to go into voluntary lockdown over the weekend following a surge in cases nationwide.
Students at the University of Aberdeen have been issued with fines for breaching coronavirus guidelines, after reports of social gatherings outside the Hillhead student village were linked to another cluster which resulted in 72 residents self isolating.
At Wednesday’s Scottish government briefing, clinical director Jason Leitch told students: “We need you not to have house parties, I could not be any clearer.”
He told those who had been asked to self-isolate that it was “vital” they did so for a full 14 days. Leitch said “We understand both for you and for the rest of the country how difficult that demand is. This means that you need to remain in your accommodation and not go out for any reason, not even to buy food and other essentials. The college or university can help support you with advice and guidance and supplies.”
He told them to avoid close contact with others they are living with, keeping two metres away, cleaning shared toilets and kitchens, not sharing towels and clothes, and sleeping alone.
Also speaking at Wednesday’s briefing, first minister Nicola Sturgeon emphasised that the outbreaks were in “no way shape or form” the fault of students, adding: “I know the vast majority of you will already be doing the right things. I want to recognise how tough that is and I want to thank you for it.”
Source: The Guardian
Keyword: ‘Significant’ Covid outbreak at Glasgow University sees 600 self-isolate | Education