One in five Bristol students say they are self-isolating right now from Covid-19
The poll also found 70% said they knew another Bristol Uni student currently positive with Covid-19
A fifth of Bristol students have said they are currently self-isolating from Covid-19 as infection rates rapidly increase across the city particularly for those aged between 20-29.
Polling from The Bristol Tab taken by more than 900 people, showed that 21% of voters said they were currently self-isolating and that an alarming 70% said they knew a fellow Bristol Uni student who was currently positive with Covid-19.
The sharp spike in cases among student comes as Bristol Uni announced on Friday they’ve opened a new PCR testing site for students, staff and local residents at University Hall car park in Stoke Bishop.
Official figures from the university show that up to the 18th June, there were 62 students that were currently positive with Covid-19 or yet to finish their 10 day self-isolation period. The 7-day rolling average of daily positive tests from students rose from just 1 on 12th June to 9 by the 18th June.
However, the university admit these numbers are primarily based on reports from students themselves and therefore the actual figure is likely to be higher with some students not reporting their positive result to the uni.
What the data does reveal is just how quickly Covid has spread through the student population and accelerated in the past week. While the low vaccination rate of students has clearly had an impact, there are also concerns that not all students are self-isolating when they should be. The Bristol Tab survey found that 43% of respondents said they knew a Bristol Uni student that should be self-isolating currently but aren’t.
Hollie, a second year Biomedical Sciences student, told The Bristol Tab her flat had started taking regular lateral flow tests as a precaution and although they were all initially negative, two of her flatmates have since tested positive. Now faced with 10 days of self-isolating she said: “the hardest part is we’ve finished our exams, I finished mine just five days ago and now we have to isolate and we can’t even really celebrate”.
Hollie also revealed she knew “between 20 to 25 other Bristol students who are isolating right now”.
Cases are also rising in halls with first year Badock resident, Isy, telling The Bristol Tab: “most flats in my block and the block opposite are isolating”.
Although Isy and Hollie both admitted self-isolating this time has not been as bad as it was in first term, Isy said this was largely due to being in a different flat. “Anyone who is in a flat they don’t get along with is just going to have a really hard time”, she said.
Harry, a final year Physics student, who is currently positive with Covid-19 had some perspective explaining: “Covid is bad but watching England against Scotland was far worse”.
Much in the same way there is increasing frustration with Gareth Southgate’s decision to keep leaving Grealish on the bench, students are frustrated they’ve had to wait so long to get vaccinated and are now contracting Covid as a result of so few students having built any immunity.
Although students have begun to receive text invitations to receive their first dose of the vaccine in the past few days, Hollie told us it was too late as she received her message “the day after I started my isolation”.
A University of Bristol spokesperson said: “Reflecting the trend of rising cases across Bristol, over the past week there has been an increase in the number of students who have tested positive for coronavirus.
“We have offered support to those who are currently having to self-isolate. A new mobile testing unit has been opened in Stoke Bishop for local residents, and all staff and students at the University of Bristol who have symptoms of COVID-19. Any students who are registered with our Students’ Health Service will be invited to book an appointment at a special student vaccination clinic in the next few days.
“We are reminding students of the importance of getting regular tests particularly if they start to experience symptoms, including those associated with the new Delta variant, and strongly encourage them to book a vaccine when they are able to.
“We are working closely with colleagues from Bristol City Council and Public Health England to closely monitor the situation.”