Nearly 1,000 staff and students at Durham University test positive for coronavirus in a week

NEARLY 1,000 staff and students at Durham University have tested positive for coronavirus in just one week.

A total of 958 students and six members of staff tested positive in the week leading up to October 14.

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The startling rise comes after 222 students and members of staff tested positive for the virus the previous week.

It brings the total number of cases to 1,220 since the start of term, with 11 cases among staff and 1,209 among students.

The figures were released by Durham University as part of its weekly update on the number of cases.

A spokesman for the university said: "Over the last seven days, the number of reported positive coronavirus cases in students and staff has been steady, with approximately 100-150 new reported cases each day.

"We are proactively and regularly monitoring and managing the situation with local and national public health experts and taking appropriate action where required.

"We have proactively managed the two significant outbreaks we have faced, in two of our colleges St Mary's College and Collingwood College, by introducing new measures for our students living in those colleges.


"Working with Durham County Council's Public Health Team, these measures were put in place on October 8 to limit movement of students within these colleges to further restrict the spread of coronavirus.

"The new measures are in addition to the current Government restrictions.

"We continue to communicate regularly with our staff and students, to promote expected behaviours and to reinforce key information on the Government restrictions and additional guidance in place on university campus in the interests of everybody's health, safety and wellbeing.

"Our teaching and wider student experience activity continues both online and face-to-face, in Covid-secure setting."

Several other universities, including Northumbria, have dealt with similar outbreaks.

Northumbria first announced 770 cases followed by 619 a week later.

But yesterday it said cases had dropped to 131 in the last week.

Around 56 universities across the UK have had at least one confirmed case.

Union bosses have described the outbreaks on university campuses as "a preventable crisis".

Some lecturers are poised to vote for strike action over safety concerns.

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