Coronavirus outbreak at Nottingham University as 425 students and eight staff test positive as city 'days' from lockdown
MORE than 400 students and eight staff at the University of Nottingham have tested positive for coronavirus – with the city being “days” from lockdown.
Figures posted on the university’s website showed 425 of its students had been diagnosed with active cases of Covid-19 during the week ending last Friday.
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The figures included 226 students in private accommodation and 106 others living in halls of residence.
Eight members of staff were also classed as "active confirmed cases" over the same time frame.
It comes as university cities such as Nottingham, Sheffield and Oxford could be plunged into lockdown "in days" after missed Covid cases were counted.
Nottingham residents have been told to "brace for a local lockdown" within days, the Telegraph reported.
The city, which is home to Nottingham Trent University and Nottingham University, was not previously on PHE's official Covid watch list.
Nottingham's seven-day infection rate is now 382.4 per 100,000 people – a sharp increase from last week's 59.5.
It means the city, which is not currently in lockdown, now has a higher infection rate than areas that are subject to tougher restrictions.
Last month, Nottingham student Stuart Hawk admittedhe was "foolish" after being fined £10,000 for throwing a house party.
The 19-year-old wrote to neighbours to apologise for a "major lapse of judgement" which led him and the five other housemates to host a 50-person party.
A spokesperson for the university, which has around 35,000 students, said: "Alongside the national Pillar 2 testing regime for people with symptoms of Covid-19, the university has also commenced its own asymptomatic testing programme which will identify cases earlier and more quickly.
"While this will mean that our case data will be higher than other universities, we can identify cases that otherwise would remain undetected and thereby reduce asymptomatic transmission and the number of future cases."
It was revealed yesterday that 474 students and five members of staff at the University of Sheffield have tested positive for Covid-19.
Meanwhile, in Leeds, which has also welcomed students from across the country in the last couple of weeks, has also seen a jump from 316.8 to 114.9 cases per 100,000.
It comes after video footage emerged showing students dancing on tables at a wild party as cases continue to rocket on campuses across the UK.
Dozens of youngsters were filmed chanting and dancing to music at the raucous gathering in a small room.
The mass group broke the rule of six and failed to socially distance at the event last night – believed to have been filmed at Essex University.
Alison Challenger, director of public health for Nottingham, said: “The new data from Public Health England confirms there are more cases of Covid-19 in our city than we were aware of last week.
“Our numbers are now significant. Every ward in the city is seeing an increase in cases, matching the rising trend in confirmed cases of Covid-19 nationally.
“This is very worrying for Nottingham and we are working with Public Health England and with all partners in the city today to urgently consider what next steps need to be taken."
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