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Statement from Northumbria University - 14:00 on 19 November

Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 41.

These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

We can also confirm 11 staff members have self-reported they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days, and are now self-isolating.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.  

We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Friday 20th November more than 4,400 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Statement from Northumbria University - 14:00 on 12 November

Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 57.

These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

We can also confirm 8 staff members have self-reported they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days, and are now self-isolating.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.  

We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Friday 13th November more than 4,300 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Statement from Northumbria University - 14:00 on 05 November

Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 38. This is a further reduction from the 67 cases reported last week for the seven-day period 22-28 October, and builds on the fall from 81 for the seven day period 15-21 October.

These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

We can also confirm 7 staff members have self-reported they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days, and are now self-isolating.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.  

We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Friday 6th November more than 4,200 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Statement from Northumbria University - 14:00 on 29 October

Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 67. This is a further reduction from the 81 cases reported last week for the seven-day period 15-21 October, and builds on the fall from 131 for the seven day period 8-14 October.

These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

We can also confirm 7 staff members have self-reported they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days, and are now self-isolating.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.  

We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Friday 30th October more than 4,200 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Statement from Northumbria University - 14:00 on 22 October

Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 81. This marks another significant fall from the 131 cases reported last week for the seven-day period 8-15 October, building further on the fall from 619 for the seven day period 1-7 October.

These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

We can also confirm 2 staff members have self-reported they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days, and are now self-isolating.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.  

We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Friday 23rd October more than 4,000 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Statement from Northumbria University – 14:00 on 15 October

Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 131. This marks a significant fall from the 619 cases reported last week for the seven-day period 1-7 October.

These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

We can also confirm 2 staff members have self-reported they have tested positive for Covid-19 in the last seven days, and are now self-isolating.

The safety and wellbeing of our students and staff are our highest priorities. We are making extensive efforts to both reduce the growth in the numbers of cases and to provide support for our students and staff who are self-isolating.

We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Friday 16 October more than 3,000 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Latest statement from Northumbria University – 13:30 on 9 October 2020

To ensure clarity and accuracy in media reporting, Northumbria University would like to advise journalists of the following:

Our first announcement on Friday 2 October of 770 student cases covered the cumulative number of self-reported positive cases between 17 September and 1 October at our Newcastle campuses.

Together with partners in the City and Newcastle University, it was subsequently agreed that both universities would move to a weekly reporting system. This will be released on Thursdays and will cover the previous seven days of new positive cases of Covid-19 self-reported by students studying at our Newcastle campuses.

The figure of 619 student cases released on Thursday 8 October is Northumbria University’s number of self-reported positive student cases for the last seven days (1-7 October). We can also confirm that the equivalent number for the previous seven days (24-30 September) was 560.

We will report our next figure on our website, as agreed, on Thursday 15 October which will cover new reported cases in the seven day period between 8-14 October.

 

 

Latest statement from Northumbria University – 14:00 on 8 October 2020

“Today we can confirm that the total number of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported in the last seven days by our students studying at our Newcastle campuses is 619.

“These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation.

“We have put in place a self-reporting system to openly encourage staff and students to self-identify if they have been tested positive, and to report if they and their close contacts need to self-isolate. This approach is part of our overall plan to proactively and positively manage the health, wellbeing and safety of our staff and students, and deliver a safe campus experience.

“We are continuing to make extensive efforts to provide support for our students who are self-isolating. By Saturday evening more than 1,800 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff and the Students’ Union, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.”

 

 

Statement on behalf of Newcastle and Northumbria Universities and Newcastle City Council - 1430 on 7 October 2020

In response to the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Newcastle and the impact this is having on our University community, Newcastle and Northumbria Universities have today agreed to move to the Department for Education’s Tier 3 as set out in the DfE’s guidance for universities.

Under Tier 3 guidance, institutions are asked to increase the level of online learning to retain face to face provision for priority courses and in as limited a number of situations as possible.

The Universities are taking this decision on the advice of Newcastle’s Director of Public Health, and in collaboration with Newcastle City Council and in line with their commitment to protect the health and wellbeing of their students, staff and the wider community.

Tier 3 measures will be implemented from tomorrow (Thursday 8 October 2020) for a period of 3 weeks. This will be reviewed on Friday 23rd October.  

This means

  • All programmes will be delivered online unless in-person teaching is an essential part of the course.
  • Newcastle and Northumbria’s campuses will remain open and we will continue to maintain Covid-secure arrangements to make any activity on campus as safe as possible.
  • Research that needs to be done on campus will continue.

In addition to the rising infection rates across the City, we are now seeing large numbers of reported COVID-19 positive cases across the student population.  Both universities and the Council felt it was important that further measures were put in place to limit the spread of the virus.

The Universities will focus on continuing to deliver an outstanding online learning community and experience for every student and supporting students’ welfare through this challenging time.

Eugene Milne, Director of Public Health for Newcastle said:

"We have worked closely with both of our Universities in containing and controlling the large outbreak among students and, while numbers are still growing, those measures show some initial signs of working.

“But as more students arrive in the city we need to take a precautionary approach, so we have collectively taken the decision to escalate the Universities’ Outbreak Control Plans to Tier 3. 

“It is essential that changes are made to stop the virus spreading. Minimising opportunities for the virus to grow by moving more learning online and maintaining COVID-secure arrangements on campus are additional preventative measures on top of what was implemented previously. 

"We will continue to work closely with both Universities to look at the impact of these measures and to discuss when they can be safely removed.

"A large number of students are already self-isolating and we are supporting efforts to provide them the support and resources they need in partnership with support services from both universities. Already, hundreds of food parcels have been delivered and we will continue to prioritise students’ welfare and wellbeing. I would appeal once again to the small number who are not following the guidance to think about the risk this poses not only to themselves but also the vulnerable people in the communities around them. 

"The spread of the virus in our city is not specific to our student population and we must all continue to follow social distancing guidelines, wear face coverings where appropriate and stick to the latest local guidance. We must all work together to defeat this virus and we must all do our bit." 

 

 

Latest statement from Northumbria University - 1700 on 6 October 2020

The University would like to clarify how it will report ongoing Covid-19 cases. On Thursday we will provide updated information on the previous seven days of new cases of Covid-19 self-reported by students studying at our Newcastle campus. We believe this offers a consistent approach and the most accurate number available for reporting purposes, and most importantly for managing all student welfare and education matters. The University intend to update the figures on a weekly basis by posting the information on our website.

 

 

Latest statement from Northumbria University - 1700 on 3 October 2020

Northumbria University want to clarify the recorded figure of 770 published yesterday is the cumulative number of students who have reported testing positive since they started to return to University for the start of term in mid-September. Those affected live in different student and non-student accommodation and have been advised to self-isolate in line with national guidance to try and limit further spread of the virus.

The new self-reported cases on 2nd October were 78, which is the lowest daily figure for 5 days and whilst this is encouraging, we remain vigilant to further cases in our university community.

We have put in place a self-reporting system to openly encourage staff and students to self-identify if they have been tested positive, and to report if they and their close contacts need to self-isolate.

Encouragement to report, combined with messaging about the importance of testing, self-isolation where needed, and good access and availability of local testing, have resulted in good engagement and a relatively high number of self-reported cases. The vast majority of students testing positive have taken up testing through NHS testing sites across Newcastle, including a mobile testing unit located close to the university.

This approach is part of our overall plan to proactively and positively manage the health, wellbeing and safety of our staff and students, and deliver a safe campus experience.

At Northumbria we have made strenuous efforts to provide a blended learning offer to students, build a Covid management plan in collaboration with public health bodies, and created a Covid-secure campus.

Our reporting process has allowed us to manage both the physical and emotional wellbeing of our students, reduce the risk of spread of the disease and continue to deliver a robust educational experience for our students.

We have a duty of care for our staff and students and are taking the right steps to ensure their health, welfare and safety, and that of the communities they live in.

Northumbria University’s Covid Response Teams are working closely with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England North East and Newcastle City Council in response to cases of COVID-19 in students reported since the start of term in mid-September, to help reduce the spread of the virus and keep students, colleagues and the community safe. 

We are also making extensive efforts to provide support for our staff and students who find themselves isolating for whatever reason.

By Saturday evening more than 1,000 students will have been supported with access to online concierge services or food parcels delivered by our staff, the Students’ Union and community volunteers, as well as one to one contact by our welfare team to identify any other support they may require.

 

 

Latest statement from Northumbria University - 1700 on 2 October 2020

At Northumbria University we believe we have a duty to our students, staff and wider community to provide the best possible teaching and research, despite the challenges that we face locally, nationally and globally. We are committed to ensuring that we provide the teaching and learning experience this generation of students deserves. Throughout this, the health safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and community is paramount.

As of Friday 2 October, we can confirm that we are aware of 770 Northumbria University students who have tested positive for Covid-19 of whom 78 are symptomatic. These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance, and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear.

We are supporting all students who are self-isolating, providing them with food and other essential items, as well as welfare support including 24/7 online mental health support and one-to-one support from our wellbeing teams where required which is accessible through multiple channels.   We are supporting students with food, laundry, cleaning materials and other welfare support, working together with our Students’ Union, the City Council and other partners.  

Northumbria University students are able to continue their learning remotely with additional academic support in place to make sure they are not being disadvantaged if they miss any face to face teaching during their isolation period.

The increase in numbers comes in the week after students returned to university and reflects the good access to and availability of testing, as well as rigorous and robust reporting systems. In parts of the UK where universities started term earlier, numbers of student cases surged in induction week, and then reduced.

We are making it clear to students that if they break the rules they will be subject to fines from police and disciplinary action by the Universities which may include fines, final warnings or expulsion.

Both Northumbria and Newcastle Universities have Covid Response Teams on call that are working closely with NHS Test and Trace, Public Health England North East and the City to identify and get in touch with anyone who has been in close contact with those affected. This is so we can help reduce the spread of the virus and keep our colleagues, students and the community safe.  We are also encouraging all students and staff to download the NHS Covid-19 App and as part of our efforts to control the spread of the virus we are also undertaking enhanced cleaning in the spaces used by these students. 

Both universities have been driving campaigns with their 50,000 students prior to, and since, their arrival in the City to reinforce their role in keeping themselves, each other and the wider community safe. We are committed to doing everything we can to minimise risks and to ensure that the return of our students to the region happens as safely as possible for everyone.


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