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Number of Cardiff Uni students isolating quadruples in a week

Is there any hope for this uni year?

The latest figures released by Cardiff University show that out of 30,000 students and 7,000 staff members, over 1,980 students are currently isolating. This is due to either having coronavirus symptoms, or living with people who have tested positive. These figures are up from 510 last Wednesday.

Of this number,243 people have symptoms, 1,287 have been in close contact with someone who has, 216 have had a positive NHS test, and 237 have had a positive university screening test.

73 people tested positive on Wednesday alone, compared with 251 in the entire previous week.

This comes after a spike in university student cases across the UK, with thousands now positive for coronavirus and, as a result, self-isolating. At Nottingham University, there is over 1,200 active cases while at universities across Sheffield there are over 1,800 cases as of Monday.

In reference to the current situation in Cardiff, Gabii, a third year student, told The Cardiff Tab: “Damn, that’s so many. I don’t understand how that could have happened. How have they gotten so high in a local lockdown? Then again, thinking about it, the amount of people I’ve seen meeting up with friends and breaking rules it does make sense”.

Another student, Jamie, has been isolating after coming into contact with another student who should have been isolating. He told The Cardiff Tab: “I haven’t actually been diagnosed with Covid, I’m just awaiting a result. It’s infuriating that the girl I came into contact with wasn’t following rules. Situations like this could have easily been avoided.

“I’ve had a couple of face-to-face lectures that I’ve had to miss because of the situation. It’s also frustrating because people acting stupidly affects the rest of us massively and will put such a downer on the rest of the term if more and more things are restricted.”

A first year student, Sophie, is isolating in private halls. She told The Cardiff Tab: “The flat has been quite tense, obviously we’ve only known each other for a month so we’re still getting to know each other. Having the added stress and strain of being stuck inside all day has definitely caused some clashes. I think it is inevitable that we’re all going to have to isolate at some point while at uni, just because all of a sudden there’s a surge of new people in the city.

“Without wanting to sound like a Tory, young people want to be out and socialising with each other, whether that’s in a pub or not. During lockdown and even when things started to open up again, most people were staying in one place but in the past two months there’s been so much movement across the country with students moving to different areas for uni.”

A Cardiff University spokesperson said: “In the interests of openness and transparency, we took the decision to proactively publish the number of coronavirus (COVID-19) cases on our website.

“The recent increases in cases is, in part, a result of the proactive measures we are taking to help our students access tests – both NHS COVID-19 tests and through our own in-house asymptomatic screening service, which is open to students who are not currently showing symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19). Students will be invited to use this service every four weeks, and can choose to attend an appointment at College House, Hadyn Ellis Building or Talybont Social Centre.

“The NHS Mobile Testing Unit set up in Talybont over the weekend has tested over 1,200 students so far, and is being made available to all students in Cardiff who have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms over the next few days.

“We have also been closely involved in the establishment of a Local Testing Unit on Museum Avenue. Once up and running, it will help overcome some of the logistical challenges that some students have experienced when trying to access an NHS test.

“We are also extremely grateful to our students for telling us if they are self-isolating or if they’ve received a positive test by updating us on SIMS. This is key to making sure we can offer support, and that they can continue their learning.

“Whilst we are aware of examples where students have not observed the rules, the increase in numbers illustrate that vast majority of our students are, and when they have symptoms they are self-isolating and getting themselves tested. We are extremely grateful to our students for doing so.

“Our message is clear: anyone with COVID-19 symptoms needs to self-isolate and tell their household to do the same, book an NHS test and ensure they advise the University via SIMS online.

“We do appreciate this is an extremely challenging time for our students. Information and advice is being constantly updated on our student intranet and students can contact Student Connect if they need further advice or support.”

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