A single positive case of COVID-19 and small number of other possible infections are being investigated at a private accommodation block in Dundee
Hundreds of students in Dundee have been told to isolate after a suspected coronavirus outbreak in a halls of residence.
A single positive case and small number of other possible infections are being investigated linked to Parker House – a private accommodation block.
Contact tracers are attempting to identify anyone who the student at Abertay University may have passed COVID-19 on to but until then all 500 residents must isolate.
This comes after face masks and other face coverings will become mandatory for bar staff, shop workers and waiters, as well as taxi drivers in an effort to fight the increase in cases of the coronavirus throughout England, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced.
Dr Daniel Chandler, associate director of public health, said the virus can “spread very quickly in student accommodation”.
He added: “Further investigation and contact tracing are continuing and we will review this advice in the coming days.
“It is really important that any residents who develop symptoms book a test as soon as possible.”
Professor Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said the affected students are being “supported” and “we will remain in regular daily contact with them”.
The university had already increased cleaning and safety measures so the campus will remain open, he added.
It follows the announcement of tougher restrictions in Scotland as cases across the UK begin to spike for a second time.
From Wednesday, households are banned from mixing indoors.
Those living alone will be able to form extended households, while couples not living together, those who need childcare and tradespeople will be exempt.
A higher education union has previously warned universities could become the “care homes of the second wave of COVID-19”.
This comes after the UK could soon be seeing 49,000 new cases of COVID-19 every day unless further action is taken in order to drive down the current rate of infection in the country, according to the government’s chief scientific adviser.
Jo Grady, head of the UCU, told Sky News just weeks ago that the start of a new academic year is “the biggest migration of people on an annual basis in the UK”.
“That’s a million students, moving across country, cycling in and out of lockdown zones, of bubbles, of homes, into new cities, where we are not tracking those students, we are not testing those students,” she said.
“We are seriously concerned that if the government and universities do not step in and discourage this… we could see universities becoming the care homes of the second wave of COVID-19.”