Four new Covid cases confirmed at St Andrews after halls party in Freshers’ Week

Over 40 St Andrews students are having to isolate after the illegal party

There are four new positive cases of coronavirus at St Andrews Uni, and over 40 are now isolating, due to a halls party in Freshers’ Week.

As the country is expected to face a new set of lockdown restrictions, St. Andrews Principal Sally Mapstone has asked students to continue to support the voluntary lockdown, which was introduced on Friday evening.

The email thanked students who restricted their own activity this weekend and Principal Mapstone stated she was aware of  the “sacrifices” many students made.

The Principal said: “I am sorry to say that last night, four new positive cases were confirmed amongst our students.” These students all have “comparatively mild illness” and are receiving the support they need.

The email then went on to say: “These new cases of Covid were acquired in St. Andrews, and are all linked to one party in a hall of residence in Freshers’ Week. Over 40 students are now in enforced isolation as a result.”

It continued: “Quite apart from the fact the party broke the law, and our own very clear guidance on socialising and safe behaviour, the ripples from this single incident have consequences for all of us.”

Students were told: “The next few days are especially important.” They have been urged to “not socialise with anyone outside your household group” and to, “not arrange or attend parties unless they are only attended by your immediate household group.”

However, students “should continue to attend the in person teaching already underway in some of our practical-based degree modules, to go to work if you have a job, and to take exercise as normal.”

The University is to re-start “some of the activity which was cancelled over this weekend.” Services such as the bookable study spaces will re-open, and some sporting activities will once again commence.

When asked for comment the university said: “Appropriate action will be taken against any students found breaking social distancing rules.”

Principal Mapstone ended the email by informing students the university “remain committed to our plans to phase-in in-person teaching this semester, in line with clear current Scottish Government policy and guidance and under strictly-controlled, fully risk-assessed conditions.”

Students will be notified of any “implications” which come as a result of the expected “news of increased national restrictions at both a Scottish and UK level.”

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