0.3 per cent of Cambridge students tested last week have asymptomatic COVID-19

11 students screened in the asymptomatic testing programme in the week 5th – 11th October have tested positive

In the latest update on the University of Cambridge’s COVID-19 screening programme, sent out to students today, it has been revealed that 11 students have tested positive for the virus in the week from 5th – 11th October when screened as part of the University-wide asymptomatic screening programme.

There were 19 positive pooled test results from a total of 1,832 processed, and members from these 19 positive pools were invited for individual testing. Seven of these pools were false positives (all individual tests in these pools were confirmed negative), one pool has outstanding results (as of Monday 12th October), and 11 pools were true positives.

From this data, it has been estimated that 0.3 per cent of students living in college accommodation “were infected with SARS-CoV-2 without experiencing symptoms”, which equates to approximately one in 315.

Outside of the asymptomatic screening programme, 230 tests had been ordered in the week from 5-11th October for staff and students experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, 22 (10 per cent) of which came back positive. According to the University’s online statistics, one staff member has tested positive for the virus this week, and is now isolating.

The total number of students screened from the week 5th – 11th October was 3,463, and that number will rise with the announcement that the University will be aiming to test every student part of the programme every two weeks. From Monday, half of the students in every pool will be requested to contribute a swab.

Approximately 75 per cent of all eligible students have agreed to participate in the programme – 11,638 in total – with 120 students (0.8 per cent of the eligible body) having declined the opportunity. 3,721 students are “undecided” about taking part in the programme.

Featured image credit: Christian Richardt, Creative Commons, and screenshots from Stay Safe Cambridge Uni