Exeter Uni is now in the top 10 Covid-19 hotspots in England
300 Exeter students told us they had tested positive for Covid-19
Exeter Uni is now in the top ten Covid-19 hotspots in England, according to a report from Devon Live.
The Tab Exeter asked students in a poll on Instagram if they had tested positive for Covid-19, in which 12% voted for “Yes” with over 300 votes, whilst the other 88% which accounted for 2,296 students voted for “No.”
Exeter has now ranked 10th with 223 new positive cases between 28th September to 2nd October, following the likes of other universities such as Liverpool and Leeds, with the Manchester Fallowfield area currently taking first place with 594 new positive cases.
Data shows that the main cluster of Covid-19 cases in Exeter are in the Pennsylvania and University area, accounting for 223 confirmed cases. This number is currently significantly higher than cases elsewhere in Exeter, with the next-highest amount of coronavirus cases at 55 in Central Exeter. Most other areas have single-digit figures.
This surge in cases comes after Exeter asked students not to socialise with anyone outside their household for 14 days.
Exeter’s MP Ben Bradshaw has criticised the government for allegedly “forcing” the university to abandon it’s Halo testing and replace it with the NHS national Test and Trace system.
This comes after new controversy surrounding the national system, whereby reportedly 16,000 Covid-19 cases went unreported.
1/ Hearing extremely disturbing reports that the @UniofExeter was forced by the Government last week to stop using its own excellent #Covid19UK testing system, which delivered results in 24 hours max, & instead made to use the shambolic national system which failed to deliver…
— Ben Bradshaw (@BenPBradshaw) October 6, 2020
However, the university has since responded to Bradshaw, stating that they had invited the national Test and Trace system onto campus to help with additional testing of staff and students, and that the Halo testing centre is still running.
…help increase capacity and benchmark against other areas. Halo continues to be part of our testing options and all organisations are working together to respond to the needs of students and staff (2/2)
— University of Exeter (@UniofExeter) October 6, 2020
In a Registrar email to students yesterday, Mike Shore-Nye, Registrar for the university stated: “Over the past seven days we have seen a continuing rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within our Exeter student community and we have taken targeted action.
“Our rapid testing system means that we have been able to identify the positive cases and ensure individual isolation and support immediately. PHE has confirmed that to date there is still no evidence of transmission to the wider community.
“The Public Health England data for Devon now shows there have been 350 cases in Exeter over the last 7 days and we know from our close working with PHE colleagues that most of those cases are from the University. We are expecting the cases to continue to rise over the coming days as the data comes through and then to level out as our additional measures make an impact.
“We continue to assess the situation daily and work alongside PHE, Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Cornwall Council on any further actions required.
“They support the steps that we are taking and have praised the ways in which our students and staff have responded.”