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Coronavirus: More than 80 positive cases among Dundee students

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More than 80 students in Dundee have now tested positive for coronavirus.

Sixty-eight residents of Parker House student halls have been confirmed as positive cases, as well as 16 at nearby Meadowside Halls, bringing the total to 84 as of 1pm on Monday.

All residents of Parker House are continuing to self isolate but only positive cases at Meadowside are quarantining.

NHS Tayside’s public health team is also investigating a “small number” of cases at other student halls in the city but have not identified them.

They said all university and college campuses and accommodation, other than Parker House, remain open.

Contact tracing is ongoing and all students have been offered home testing kits.

Dr Daniel Chandler, NHS Tayside associate director of public health and chairman of the incident management team (IMT), said: “We are continuing to work closely with our colleagues to monitor this ongoing situation and to ensure there is support in place for students should they need it.

“There have been no reports of positive cases experiencing serious illness or complications.

“Contract tracing is continuing and I would encourage all students who develop symptoms to self-isolate and book a test as soon as possible.

“Our advice to students who are self-isolating remains to stay in their accommodation.

“The Scottish Government has advised that students who require the support and care of a friend, family member or other supportive person to comply with the requirement to self-isolate can return home. This must be arranged through your accommodation provider to ensure students are collected safely and the risk of spread of Covid-19 is minimised.

“It is very important to continue to follow the guidance on self-isolating to ensure any return home can be done as safely as possible.”

Parker House is home to around 500 students from Dundee and Abertay universities, while Meadowside Halls houses 69 Abertay students.

Police Scotland thanked students for following the isolation guidelines and the IMT is now reviewing whether the 14-day isolation period can be reduced if students test negative.

Police Scotland Chief Inspector Ross Fitzgerald said: “We are grateful for the support and cooperation of students across the city who have demonstrated the utmost concern for the wellbeing of members of their local communities, through high levels of adherence to Covid-19 regulations, social distancing measures and specifically the more challenging aspects of self-isolation.

“Given many of these students are coping with a recent move to a new city or are living away from home for the first time, it is understood that the level of disruption to their normal support mechanisms is substantial. All agencies continue to work closely in support of our student communities at this time and share their determination to limit the spread of the virus.”

A joint statement by Professor David Maguire, interim principal and vice-chancellor, of Dundee University and Scott Quinn, President of Dundee University Students’ Association, said the “vast majority” of students have followed coronavirus guidelines.

It said: “We appreciate the developing situation around Covid-19 has been difficult to follow, as guidelines and regulations have been changing at speed.

“A lot has been asked of you, and will continue to be asked of you, but you are all responding tremendously well.

“The evidence from the weekend is that the vast majority of you have followed our Covid Code and all of the regulations.

“Tayside Police and our own security teams have reported excellent behaviour across campus and the wider area on what is one of our busiest weekends of the year, as students arrive in your thousands, and asked that we also pass on their thanks.

“There will be more challenges ahead, there will be more demands placed on all of us. By working together, being responsible, and staying safe we can still make the most of the Dundee experience.”