Emergency Sheffield student coronavirus meeting to be held over Zoom tomorrow

It will discuss the rapid rise in cases

A virtual emergency COVID-19 meeting will be held over Zoom at 1 pm on Friday 9 October to discuss the rapidly growing spread of coronavirus at both The University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University.

The online event is open to all students and staff members at either university in the city.

On the Facebook invitation page for the event, the meeting has been described as a place for staff and students at the university to “have your voice heard and discuss how, as Sheffield’s university community, we can respond to the crisis we are currently facing.”

The meeting has been put together by a small number of current and graduate students from Sheffield Hallam University.

Organisers of the event include members from the Hallam Labour society and the Sheffield Student Socialist Workers Society.

These students have set up the event to form a “localised spin-off” of the National Emergency Student and Staff Assembly which will be held virtually on Saturday 1o October, by the National UCU Solidarity Movement.

The Sheffield Tab spoke to Abby Christie, one of the event organisers. She is also a first year Learning Disability Nursing and Social Work student at Sheffield Hallam.

When asked why she wanted to set up this emergency meeting she told The Sheffield Tab: “We feel there has been little communication from universities and believe it’s important for people to have a platform to have their voices heard and to put pressure on unis, landlords & the government to support us.”

Some topics of discussion for the meeting include how universities and halls plan to support isolating students, rent strikes, tuition fees, and the increasing need for regular staff and student testing.

Over the weekend, coronavirus cases at both Sheffield universities dramatically increased.

Monday 5 October marked the first time that Coronavirus cases at The University of Sheffield exceeded more than 100 positive cases in one day.

A total number of 583 students and six staff members have now been tested positive for COVID-19 at The University of Sheffield since the beginning of semester one began just over a week ago.

Sheffield Hallam cases are also on the rise. In the latest update from the university, there were almost 370 confirmed Coronavirus cases amongst students and staff.

No more restrictions have been put in place just yet in Sheffield but, the notion of a local lockdown has been widely discussed.

Greg Fell, The Director of Public Health in Sheffield issued a warning yesterday and said that a local lockdown is “inevitable”.

He told the BBC: “My sense is it’s a matter of time and it’s a matter of when, not if. I couldn’t judge when but I sense we’ll be in the space that other councils have had an imposed lockdown over the next month.”

For more information on the meeting click here.

You can also email [email protected] to find out how to get involved.

Featured image credit: Nhu Hoang, Sheffield Videos

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