By Robin Connolly, Co-Editor-in-Chief and Siavash Minoukadeh, Deputy Digital Editor
The University's announcement, made over the weekend, means that Hiatt Baker N Block has become the second accommodation to be placed in a complete 14-day quarantine.
The University has announced that all students in Hiatt Baker N Block will need to self-isolate for 14-days, starting on 10 October.
Students should note that it is only those living in N Block who have received this instruction and that the rest of the Hiatt Baker halls of residence remain unaffected at this time.
As has been the case in The Courtrooms, the students who are self-isolating will be provided with support from the University, including the delivery of food and medication parcels, and the collection of laundry and waste. Mental health and wellbeing resources will also be available online.
Students have been encouraged to continue attending online teaching if they feel well enough to do so.
The announcement comes as cases of COVID-19 continue to rise amongst students and staff, with the latest figures, released 12 October, showing that 393 students and three staff members have tested positive. This marks a sharp rise from a week ago, with the total case count having increased by over 50 per cent over the last seven days.
Students who think they may have been exposed to the virus, or who are showing symptoms, can book a test. A walk-in testing centre is located at the Victoria Rooms, and there are Mobile Testing Units located in Stoke Bishop and the city centre.
The SU have said they are ‘sending love and solidarity’ to the students in lockdown and that students will still be able to take part in welcome activities, including a virtual common room and online ‘Give it a go!’ activities.
Speaking about the lockdown announcement, a spokesperson for the University of Bristol said that ‘Following advice from Public Health England, we have taken the decision to ask 40 students living in a block of four flats at Hiatt Baker Hall to self-isolate, remain in their flats and only socialise with only those in their living circle.
‘We are taking this action to reduce the risk of the virus spreading. We are actively monitoring the situation at Hiatt Baker and will bring in additional measures if needed.
‘We know this is a stressful situation and full support is being offered to those affected. This is available 24/7 via our Student Support and Wellbeing teams.
‘Regular support and contact with students will ensure everyone is kept up-to-date and can ask any questions. Our Residential Life teams are ensuring that everyone has access to food, supplies and clean laundry which will be delivered straight to their door.
‘All affected students will continue to access online teaching if they’re well enough.
‘We will do everything we can to support the students affected. If everyone follows the rules, we hope that this situation will pass, and things can return to relative normality as quickly as possible.
‘We have reminded all students that it is vitally important to observe self-isolation requirements in line with both the law and our acceptable behaviour policy. If necessary, the University will take action to ensure students are following this guidance.’
Featured image: Epigram / Lucy O'Neill
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