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Coronavirus: 600 Glasgow University students self-isolating after 124 test positive in major outbreak

Two ‘significant cluster’ of infections thought to be linked to socialising during freshers’ week

Chris Baynes
Wednesday 23 September 2020 22:14 BST
At least 124 students have tested positive for coronavirus at Glasgow University
At least 124 students have tested positive for coronavirus at Glasgow University (Getty Images)

More than 600 students at Glasgow University have been told to self-isolate after at least 124 tested positive for coronavirus in a major outbreak at two halls of residence.

The university said the two “significant clusters" of infections were believed to be linked to socialising around 12 and 14 September, the start of freshers’ week.

“The total number of reported cases since the start of term is 124 but the actual number is likely to be higher,” a spokesperson said.

Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, said earlier on Wednesday the "significant outbreak at the University of Glasgow" had impacted on the daily Covid-19 infection figure for the NHS Greater Glasgow area, where a total of 224 cases were recorded by the health board in the past day.

 National clinical director Jason Leitch urged students not to attend house parties after Covid-19 were reported a several universities as infections surge across the country. 

Some students at Dundee and Aberdeen universities have also been asked to self-isolate.

“We need you not to have house parties, I could not be more clear,” Prof Leitch told a daily coronavirus briefing.

The Glasgow outbreaks are linked to the university’s Murano Street and Cairncross halls of residence.

The university said it was “working closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde's public health team to manage these” and was not aware of any student who received hospital treatment.

Prof Leitch said he had spoken to student leaders through the National Union of Students about the latest coronavirus restrictions on Tuesday.

He added: "We discussed what more they could do and what more messaging they could help us with.

"There are now a number of outbreaks in our higher and further education institutions around the country, with significant numbers of positive cases.

“We need every student across Scotland to help us stop the spread of the virus.”

Addressing students directly, he reiterated the government's public health advice on coronavirus and urged people to download the Protect Scotland app.

 It is "vital" those asked to self-isolate do so for a full 14 days by remaining in accommodation and not going out for any reason, he said.Those self-isolating must try to avoid close contact with others in shared accommodation, he stressed.

Confirming a ban on households mixing indoors also applied to student accommodation, he added: "Parties are not allowed. I'm sorry and I hope they come back soon."

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