0.5 per cent of students test positive for asymptomatic COVID-19 in week five

This continues the consecutive decrease in cases, but Graham Virgo warns next week’s stats look ‘disappointing’

23 students at the University of Cambridge have tested positive for asymptomatic COVID-19 in the fifth week of testing, new figures reveal. This is a significant decrease from the 38 cases of the previous week. However, the number of students tested also fell to 4,612, a reduction of 882 from the previous week’s 5,494 contributed swabs. Of these, the number of swabs deemed ‘void’  was 12.

The trend of a consecutive fall in the percentage of positive cases within college accommodation has continued, from 0.9 per cent in the week 12th – 18th October, 0.8 per cent in the week 19th – 25th October, 0.7 per cent in the week 26th October – 1st November, and now 0.5 per cent in the week 2nd-6th November.

However, when Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Virgo spoke to The Tab this week, he indicated that the statistics for this week (9th-13th November), which have yet to be published, looks less promising. He said: “Infection rates have gone up a bit this week” and that “I am aware that things have moved the wrong way.”

Professor Virgo also said that he had spoken to Public Health Officials about the rise in cases and that all remained confident about the measures currently being taken by colleges to prevent the spread of the virus. Full numbers are expected to be released on the 20th November.

The current number of students who agreed to take part in the programme has slightly decreased from 12,383 last week to 12,372. This amounts to 4 out of 5 eligible students. The number of false positive tests across all five weeks is 1 in 472 (0.2 per cent).

The email sent to students with the latest figures also noted some slight changes to individual confirmatory tests, which will now be delivered to accommodation and self-administered rather than taking place at the university testing pod.

Altogether, it is currently estimated that 1 in 200 students living in college accommodation have COVID-19 without experiencing symptoms. 

Featured image: Kgohsend, Creative Commons Licences, and screenshots from Stay Safe Cambridge Uni via their website