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08 Oct 2020

Working together to support Bristol’s student community

An update on the confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Bristol.

Bristol City Council and Public Health England (PHE) are working closely with the University of Bristol to support confirmed cases of COVID-19 (coronavirus).

Christina Gray, Bristol’s Director of Public Health, said: “As in other parts of the country, a number of our city’s student population have tested positive for COVID-19.

“Positive cases among the student population was inevitable as universities reopened and the university has had plans in place to respond to this quickly and effectively.  The response highlights that students with symptoms are being proactive in getting tested. We’d like to thank students for being so responsible by doing so and self-isolating until their results come back negative. Students’ physical and mental wellbeing is paramount and we will continue to work closely with the university to ensure students who are self-isolating are fully supported.

“We’d like to give a big thank you to students who are playing their part in the collaborative effort to stop the spread of COVID-19.  This is a huge global challenge and we will only beat this together. If you develop symptoms of the virus, please book a test at: www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/.”

“We ask students to please continue adhering to public health guidance and download the NHS Test and Trace app if they haven’t done so yet, at: www.covid19.nhs.uk.”

119 students and two members of staff have tested positive within a community of almost 28,000 students and 7,000 staff. Any individuals who have been in close contact with the students have been notified and advised to self-isolate for 14 days in line with government advice. The two members of staff who tested positive for the virus have since worked from home and have not attended campus.

Professor Sarah Purdy, Pro Vice Chancellor for Student Experience at the University of Bristol, said: “We continue to monitor the situation closely with PHE and the local public health team, and welfare support is being provided for students and staff. We are committed to ensuring students’ health and safety and protecting the local community and robust plans are in place should the situation escalate.”

In response to the overall rise in coronavirus infections, two Local Testing Sites, open to all citizens, have been opened in Bristol and are working to capacity in response to requests for tests. One of these is located close to the university, at the Victoria Rooms. To support the return of students to the city, two Mobile Testing Sites will also be deployed, for a limited period of time, to increase testing capacity for students on campus.

The number of confirmed cases at the university can be found on their website. This data is being updated bi- weekly on Tuesdays and Fridays, in line with the council’s bi-weekly reports on the latest COVID-19 data for the city.

For the latest public health guidance, visit: www.bristol.gov.uk/coronavirus.