More than a thousand students have presented themselves for testing in the wake of a sharp increase in Covid cases linked to St Andrews University.
However, only a small number of positive cases have been returned from the round of testing, carried out by an incident management team, comprising of NHS Fife’s Health Protection Team, university staff and Fife Council’s Environmental Health Service.
The alarm had been raised after 23 students linked to the St Andrews University tested positive for Covid-19.
Six university halls of residence were hit by the outbreak, while instances were also detected within private accommodation.
Approximately 1,100 people took tests and the small, as yet undisclosed, number of individuals have now been instructed to self-isolate.
Consultant in Public Health and Clinical Lead for Health Protection in Fife, Josie Murray, said: “Testing for Covid-19 is vital in helping us to break the chains of transmission and I’d really like to thank those students who turned up in their numbers to get tested over the last week or so.
“We’re really encouraged to see so few people were found to be carrying the infection. This gives us some reassurance that by acting quickly, the measures taken by the incident management team, and indeed the actions of student population, have helped lessen the opportunity for the virus to spread beyond the affected areas.
“Covid-19 remains highly infectious and can be spread so very easily by those with little or no symptoms at all.
“It is vital, therefore, that we follow the control measures in in place, particularly around gathering indoors, if we are to continue to suppress the virus and get back to doing the things we all enjoy.”
The sudden surge came after weeks of low levels of infection at the university.
There is also understood to be anecdotal evidence the virus had been introduced into the community by someone who is not a student at St Andrews.
Students were told not to leave the town for any Spring Break plans at the weekend and the annual Raisin Weekend celebrations were postponed prematurely over Covid concerns.