Durham University has officially asked all livers-in from St Mary’s College and Collingwood College to remain on campus and only attend university activities for the next seven days.
This follows a high number of students at each college testing positive for coronavirus: 50 of the total 300 students living in St Mary’s and 50 of the total 500 students at Collingwood.
Whilst some students are already self-isolating within the two colleges, those who are not have been asked to remain on campus, not travel into the City centre, and only take journeys relating to their education or managed University activities for the next week.
This announcement consists of an additional precaution for students to follow the UK Government and University regulations to limit the spread of coronavirus, which has now reached a total of 251 self-reported student cases within the Durham Community.
Jeremy Cook, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Colleges and Student Experience), at Durham University, said: “The health, safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and the communities of which we are part has been our top priority throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and remains so.
“We have worked tirelessly to achieve as safe and successful start to the new academic year as possible, including introducing a wide range of measures to reduce the risk of Covid-19 spreading and developing a comprehensive Outbreak Response Plan, which sets out how we would work with partners to respond to different possible scenarios and which has been approved by Durham County Council’s Public Health Team and the Department for Education.
“We are working very closely with partners including Durham County Council’s Public Health Team to ensure our planning is co-ordinated and we are in very regular contact with our students, staff and the local community to share the latest information and receive feedback.
“We have been actively monitoring coronavirus case numbers across the University community throughout the pandemic and have implemented a range of carefully considered, progressive measures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. This has included the self-isolation of a number of ‘households’ within our Colleges.
“Having reassessed case numbers with colleagues from the Public Health Team today, we have decided that further measures are appropriate at this stage.
“Effective immediately, we are asking students who are living in our St Mary’s and Collingwood Colleges but not currently self-isolating to remain on the University campus and only undertake journeys relating to their education or managed University activities for the next seven days.
“We anticipate this request remaining active for seven days, though we will keep this, and the situation across our campus, under constant review.
“We would like to thank our students who have responded to the local and national Covid-19 restrictions so positively and ask for their full co-operation with today’s request.”
All students in self-isolation are to receive ongoing welfare including access to hot, healthy food, support with essential services and supplies, and continued access to their education online.