Visitors cannot attend Girton Spring Ball if they ‘present flu-like symptoms’ amid coronavirus fears

The Ball will be held this Friday

Girton College’s coronavirus visitor policy was sent to all ticket holders of the Girton Spring Ball, which will be held on Friday 13th March, stating “if visitors are currently presenting flu-like symptoms, regardless of possible contact with a confirmed coronavirus case, they must postpone their visit until they are symptom-free”.

The policy also says “visitors must confirm that they have not recently travelled from, or knowingly been in contact with someone who has travelled from any of the named countries listed in Public Health England advisory information without having undergone the advised action relating to 14 days self-isolation and, if recently symptomatic, they have been screen tested in the UK through NHS111 service and been given a negative result.”

Coronavirus information sheets put up in Girton College. (Photo credit: Max Leadbetter)

The college issued advice on how visitors should act in order to prevent the spread of the virus within the college. They must do the following:

“1. Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds, especially before eating and after visits to the WC.

2. Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available

3. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze

4. Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards

5. Try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell”

The policy offers specific instructions for visitors feeling unwell once they have arrived on Girton site: “Visitors to Girton who start to feel unwell after arrival and/or start to present with flu-like symptoms including a fever, a cough, or difficulty breathing, must make immediate telephone contact with the College Porters Lodge”.

Following this action they advise: “Whilst awaiting instruction, residential visitors should self-isolate in their room and non-residential visitors should sit somewhere away from other people, preferably next to an open window and avoid touching surfaces and door handles as much as possible”.

Girton College told The Cambridge Tab: “Our primary focus is on keeping both the Girton Community and visitors to the College safe and well. We continue to follow the latest guidance from both the Government and the University in respect of Coronavirus. As such we are asking all potential visitors, to the Ball and to all other College events, who are displaying flu-like symptoms and/or travelling from affected areas, to refrain from visiting the College.”

The news follows yesterday’s comment from the UK’s chief medical adviser, Professor Chris Witty, that people will be asked to self-isolate for seven days for showing “even minor” symptoms of a respiratory tract infection or fever. He said this change in the government’s advice could be rolled out in the next two weeks.

Tinchy Stryder, famous for his 2009 hit “Number 1”, which topped the U.K singles charts, is due to headline the ball. The ball celebrates Girton’s 150 year anniversary and 150 years of women at Cambridge. The theme will be ‘Arthouse’.

Figures released yesterday from the Department of Heath and Social Care confirmed the first case of coronavirus in Cambridgeshire. The total number of UK cases as of 9:00 GMT yesterday was 373, with 2,261 tested.

Cover photo credit: Mihnea Maftei