Just 10 new Covid cases recorded at Leeds University in the week before mass-testing

Just 10 new cases of coronavirus were recorded at the University of Leeds in the week before the mass-testing of students.

Wednesday, 2nd December 2020, 4:45 pm
A student wears a face covering at the University of Leeds

The university releases weekly figures online in what it says is a 'bid to improve transparency' about transmission rates at the university.

The latest figures show that 10 people at the university tested positive for the virus between Monday November 23 and Sunday November 29.

Of those, four are students and six are members of staff.

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The figure has halved from the previous week when 21 people tested positive for the virus. The university was later informed of an additional three cases during this period bringing last week's total to 24.

It brings the total number of coronavirus cases confirmed since the start of term to 1,487.

The university is offering all students a free asymptomatic test between November 30 and December 9, allowing those with a negative test result to travel home for Christmas.

Students still living in Leeds are encouraged to book a lateral flow test during this period, which returns results in 20 minutes.

The number of people who test positive for the virus between November 30 and December 6 will be released next Wednesday.

Stagger students’ return to campuses in new year or risk Covid spikes, says Labour

The Government should stagger the return of students to universities in the new year or risk spikes in coronavirus infections, Labour has said.

The party is calling on ministers to allow students on placements – or whose face-to-face teaching is essential – to return to campus first, with other students following later in the term.

The Government must urgently set out its plans for January so students and universities have enough time to prepare for a safe return to campus, Labour said, adding that the delay was “irresponsible”.

Shadow minister for universities Emma Hardy said ministers should avoid a mass migration of students over a short timeframe after the festive break.

But Government guidance on how universities should bring their students back to campus in January has yet to be released.

A Government spokeswoman said: “We understand this has been a very difficult time for students, which is why we have prioritised their education and wellbeing from the start of this pandemic, by supporting universities to provide a blend of online and in-person learning in a Covid-secure way.

“We have set out plans, delivering on our commitment to enable students to return home for the Christmas holidays while minimising the risk of transmission.

“We will provide further guidance in due course on the spring term, which will look to use mass testing on offer and consider the latest scientific advice.”

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