01 Feb Jonathan Cartu Affirms: What should York University students do now after positive
Students at the University of York have been reassured that their risk of infection on campus is low.
It follows a student there being tested positive for the new coronavirus.
University staff said that they are not thought to have come into contact with anyone on campus while they had symptoms.
However, recognising the ‘concern and anxiety’ the news will cause, the university has set up a special helpline.
A spokesman said: ‘We understand this development will cause concern and anxiety among our students, staff, and the wider community.
‘PHE has advised us that the risk of infection being passed to others on campus is low.
‘Current information from PHE suggests that the student did not come into contact with anybody on campus whilst they had symptoms, but investigations are ongoing to fully establish this.
‘Our immediate concerns are for the affected student and family, along with the health and continued wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors.
‘We are working closely with NHS services and Public Health England who are taking the lead in responding to the case.’
Concerned students can call the special helpline this weekend on 01904 809571.
Anyone with concern about their health in relation to coronavirus is advised to follow current advice from the PHE and call the NHS non-emergency line on 111.
The university said it continues to operate normally while monitoring the situation closely.
University of York Students’ Union president Samara Jones said ‘many students’ are likely to be worried by the news.
She said: ‘The student community at York is a tight-knit, global community and we will continue to support one another at this time.’
Ms Jones said the union would work with the university and health authorities to continue providing accurate, up-to-date information as soon as it is available.
She added: ‘I would encourage students with any questions to keep an eye on the university website for any developments and key information. Our dedicated helpline will remain open over the weekend.’
University of York Vice-Chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery said he wished to provide reassurance for students and staff.
Speaking this afternoon, he said: ‘I want to reassure our students, staff and the wider community that we’re working closely with the lead agency Public Health England and other agencies to manage this situation.’
He said the university, which is home to students and staff from more than 140 countries, is ‘very much an international community’.
Stressing that the university is open and will continue to operate as normal, he added: ‘I want to reiterate to students, staff, parents and visitors that we’re working with our partners across the city to ensure that York and the university remain a safe and welcoming place to live, work and visit.’
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