Coronavirus confirmed at University of Exeter Penryn campus

The University of Exeter has confirmed that it has had a number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 at its Cornwall campus.

In a statement issued on social media the university said that the Penryn campus had “fewer than five cases”.

The university has been operating its own testing system for students and staff which provides results in under 24 hours.

In the statement issued this afternoon by registrar Mike Shore-Nye, the university said: “Over the past week, like many universities, we have seen an increase in the number of confirmed Covid-19 cases in our university community.

“Our unique rapid testing system provides results within 24 hours and that means we have been able to identify positive cases coming into Exeter and ensure individual isolation and support immediately.

“Today, we know from Public Health England that of the 58 cases reported in Devon over the past seven days a little over half are attributable to the university. In Cornwall, there are fewer than five cases at the university.

“The Public Health teams have made a careful analysis of all of the cases so far and their assessment is that a number of students have arrived from their home towns and cities, carrying the infection with them, and this has been passed on to their close contacts and housemates.

“At this stage there is no evidence of wider community transmission.

“It’s the news no-one in our community wanted though, and while I know there have been pictures and reports of young people breaking the rules, the vast majority of our 25,000 students have behaved impeccably.

“I also want us to remember that many of these young people are away from home for the first time and already had a difficult start to adulthood with now further pressures and consequences to face. Some will receive sanctions and fines but most deserve our understanding and support.

“The health and welfare of our students, staff and wider community will always be our number one priority, and our Rapid Response Hub is co-ordinating testing and working with Public Health England and the national track and trace programme to share details of any positive cases.

“We are working with local health teams on any actions required and continue to communicate directly with students on the necessity to follow Covid-19 rules fully.”

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