Coronavirus: 500 Dundee students told to isolate after suspected COVID outbreak in halls of residence

Written by on 23/09/2020

Hundreds of students in Dundee have been told to isolate after a suspected coronavirus outbreak in a halls of residence.

A single positive case and small number of other possible infections are being investigated linked to Parker House – a private accommodation block.

Contact tracers are attempting to identify anyone who the student at Abertay University may have passed COVID-19 on to but until then all 500 residents must isolate.

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Dr Daniel Chandler, associate director of public health, said the virus can “spread very quickly in student accommodation”.

He added: “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.”

Professor Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said the affected students are being “supported” and “we will remain in regular daily contact with them”.

The university had already increased cleaning and safety measures so the campus will remain open, he added.

It follows the announcement of tougher restrictions in Scotland as cases across the UK begin to spike for a second time.

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From Wednesday, households are banned from mixing indoors.

Those living alone will be able to form extended households, while couples not living together, those who need childcare and tradespeople will be exempt.

A higher education union has previously warned universities could become the “care homes of the second wave of COVID-19”.

Jo Grady, head of the UCU, told Sky News just weeks ago that the start of a new academic year is “the biggest migration of people on an annual basis in the UK”.

“That’s a million students, moving across country, cycling in and out of lockdown zones, of bubbles, of homes, into new cities, where we are not tracking those students, we are not testing those students,” she said.

“We are seriously concerned that if the government and universities do not step in and discourage this… we could see universities becoming the care homes of the second wave of COVID-19.”

(c) Sky News 2020: Coronavirus: 500 Dundee students told to isolate after suspected COVID outbreak in halls of residence


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