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BREAKING: UoB staff members suspected of having coronavirus

The university are closing part of a building for ‘a deep clean’ as a result

University of Birmingham staff members are suspected of contracting coronavirus, The Tab Birmingham can reveal.

The university has responded by closing the “1st floor of the Old Gym to enable a deep clean to take place.”

In an email sent out Sunday evening, the School of Life and Environmental Sciences explain that staff members situated in the LES Student Hub, located on the first floor of the Old Gym, have gone into self-isolation over suspected Coronavirus contraction.

The email states: “Unfortunately it is believed that a number of our professional services staff in the LES Student Hub may have contracted Coronavirus and as such these staff members are staying home to self-isolate in accordance with PHE guidance.

“Our priority is the safety of our students and staff so as a precautionary measure we will be closing the 1st floor of the Old Gym to enable a deep clean to take place.

“We expect this to take up to 48 hours starting tomorrow (Monday 16th March).

“We will contact students via email to confirm when we are able to reopen the LES Student Hub.”

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This development follows on from the university’s recent decision to start moving courses online and to cancel student placements. As of yet, the University of Birmingham have not closed and are not informing students to stay off of campus.

The move to shift teaching online follows on from various other universities, including Durham, Nottingham, Sheffield, Kings and Bristol, but was made before the suspected staff contractions of the virus.

The University of Birmingham has repeatedly stated that they will be abiding by the current PHE recommendation of “following our normal routines” until this guidance changes, as outlined in the FAQs section of their website.

It is currently uncertain whether these suspected cases will affect the university’s stance on this matter.

The University of Birmingham told The Birmingham Tab that “We fully understand the concern and anxiety caused by this rapidly changing situation, and we are aware that a number of students have been in touch over the weekend seeking further guidance. We have not been advised of any positive cases of coronavirus amongst our staff and students but are aware that some staff and students are staying at home or self-isolating as a precaution. We would encourage a proactive, responsible approach for people to stay off campus if they develop  symptoms of a cold including a high temperature or a new continuous cough in line with NHS guidance.

“It is worth reiterating that the University remains open, but that we will also be increasingly moving our teaching provision online. Students should refer to their tutors for specific guidance about their courses as well as our online FAQs and their university emails, as these are the two main ways in which we will be communicating information and updates.”