‘Serious consequences’ of coronavirus acknowledged in Vice-Chancellor’s statement

Amid confusion and cancellations, Toope offers an update.

The virus COVID-19 (coronavirus) has so far resulted in the cancellation of several bops and student events, but until now there has not been a university-wide statement released.

The Vice-Chancellor of the university, Prof. Stephen J. Toope, sent an email to all students at the university today (13th March).

The email acknowledges that “this outbreak is likely to have serious consequences for the daily lives of our students and staff,” and that “dedicated teams across the University and Colleges are working to ensure that […]  disruptive effects are contained and minimized.”

The University has created a special COVID-19 Management team, chaired by Dr. Dan Tucker (Chair of the Advisory Group on Communicable Diseases) and Professor Graham Virgo (Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Education), which will act as a liaison between the university and the colleges, as well as advising on policies and protocols to follow.

Students are advised to regularly check the Public Health England (PHE) site, discouraged from any non-essential overseas travel, and to try not to spread the disease to any less-affected countries.

University institutions are told to feel free to cancel events, and that it may be sensible to avoid planning new events in the near future, although ‘no University-wide policy of event cancellation is in place at this stage.’

Toope also addresses the financial impact long periods away from work might have on staff, and confirms that the university will “make every effort to ensure that its staff and students are fully supported, including financially.”

The email states that all students should receive further advice from their senior tutors later today.

Photo credits: David Illiff