Loughborough set for greater restrictions after 458 new uni cases in just 10 days

It’s expected that Loughborough may enter Tier 2 by tomorrow

With a rapid increase in new coronavirus cases, Loughborough’s Council’s concerns are rising, leading to the consideration of a movement into a higher Covid-19 tier in order to manage the spread of the virus.

Jonathan Morgan, leader of Charnwood Borough Council, expects Health Secretary Matt Hancock to make the announcement by Thursday or Friday.

The above graph, from the UK government, puts into perspective the significance of the increase demonstrating a rise in the number of reported coronavirus cases, leading to a significant spike in the 7-day average. Ultimately, the decision for review is due to these current figures which show that the Charnwood case rate is 413.8 per 100,000 population; over double the reported national average of 168.

Unfortunately, despite the measures the University has put in place to limit the risk of spread from what we know as the ‘Lboro Bubble’, additional figures show that the University area has had 458 positive cases reported within the last 10 days.

This supporting the warning from Mike Sandy, the director of public health for Leicestershire County, that current cases are very high in the 17-21s age range and are beginning to impact the over-60s category. Overall, this steep rise is mirroring the current national figures and with an increasing number of students testing positive and going into self-isolation, entry into a new tier may be the next step to controlling the spread of the virus.

However, in a more recent interview with Leicester Mercury, Johnathan Morgan stated: “It can’t just be put down to the students. On the whole, students are not mixing with the wider community though there is some contact in setting like shops. This is a problem across the whole of Charnwood.”

What does this mean?

Moving into a higher risk tier, most likely Tier 2 means: no mixing with other households indoors (including in pubs and restaurants), the rule of six is to remain in place outdoors and Pubs and restaurants must still close at 10 pm. This may also mean a new arrangement for any previous Halloween plans.

If you feel unwell and are concerned please remember to report your symptoms to the NHS and the University’s own Connect and Protect in order to keep the University and local area safe.