A London uni only told students about campus Covid cases a day after it told staff

Students had to wait a full working day to find out the news

A London uni only told students about Covid cases on campus a day after it told staff.

St Mary’s, based in Twickenham, sent an alert to staff on Sunday night informing them that two staff members working in the SU and the uni’s sports facilities had tested positive, but waited until Monday evening to let students know.

The uni says it will now send information to students at the same time “where possible”.

British unis are coming under increasing pressure to be transparent about campus Covid cases, with a number opting to run public dashboards displaying stats. However, some, including Bristol say they won’t be sharing case numbers with students.

Screenshots of the communications seen by The Tab reveal how the St Mary’s waited a full working day after telling staff to inform students. In that time, the news of cases had made its way into the local press. The first update was sent to staff at 20:22 on Sunday night.


The second update, almost identical to the first, was sent to students at 17:08 on Monday evening.


In a statement, a spokesperson from St Mary’s University, Twickenham and St Mary’s Students’ Union said: “The University and the Students’ Union have been supporting a small number of non-teaching staff who have tested positive for COVID-19. We have taken all measures to ensure that the campus remains safe and open. The offices and facilities used by the affected staff members have been deep cleaned. As an additional precaution on top of the NHS Test and Trace activity, some of their colleagues have been asked to work remotely for the time being. The University is keeping its communications under review, and where possible future communications will be issued to students and staff simultaneously.

“The Students’ Union are running a diverse range of activities for Freshers’ Fortnight. The majority of events are online or off campus. All of the events are compliant with the latest government guidance on social distancing. The events being advertised this week are all virtual, apart from one off campus event taking place at a nearby venue – this event will be fully compliant with government guidelines to ensure all attendees are kept safe.”

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