By Louie Bell, Investigations Editor, and Teddy Coward, Co-Editor-in-Chief
The University of Bristol has confirmed there are now 725 students who have tested positive for Covid-19 and nine members of staff.
The University says seven of the affected staff members have been working from home and not been on campus, whilst two staff members have been on campus.
Today’s figure is 78 more than yesterday, with another 77 students and one more member of staff to have tested positive.
The figure, however, has decreased from the additional 130 cases recorded between Tuesday and Wednesday.
The cumulative figure is now nearing double the 393 cases reported on Monday, when the University began releasing daily figures.
The University has been obtaining the information via its internal self-reporting form, whereby staff and students inform the University if they have tested positive.
In total, the number of positive Covid-19 cases among the community at Bristol University, which consists of approximately 28,000 students and 7,000 staff, stands at 2,097 cases per 100,000 people.
Such an increase has naturally caused a significant spike in the number of cases across the city of Bristol, which yesterday saw its biggest ever daily rise.
Most confirmed cases in Bristol have come from Stoke Bishop and Bristol’s city centre, two areas with large student populations.
In an attempt to stem the outbreak, the University have placed halls of residences into lockdown, which has so far consisted of putting The Courtrooms, in the city centre, and one block of forty students at Hiatt Baker into a two-week quarantine.
All students currently self-isolating at their halls of residence are being provided support from the University, including the delivery of food and medicines, and the collection of laundry and waste.
Mental health and wellbeing resources are available online for those struggling with the implications of being in quarantine.
Following the outbreak at The Courtrooms, the University of Bristol set up two Mobile Testing Units (MTUs) for exclusive use of University students and staff, in addition to its main testing unit at the Victoria Rooms.
These are located at North Village (University Hall) at Stoke Bishop, BS9 1AR, and on University Walk.
The number of confirmed cases has seen renewed calls from Bristol UCU, the union representing the University’s teaching staff, for ‘unnecessary’ in-person teaching to end.
Yesterday, the University rejected this demand and said it would continue to provide its ‘blended learning’ approach of a combination of online and some face-to-face teaching.
In a four-paged response to the UCU’s original motion, University management stated their belief that the safety measures across campus were sufficient and that ‘in-person teaching matters’ for the mental wellbeing of students.
A meeting is due to take place this afternoon between University senior management and the Bristol UCU Executive Committee, which could see the union take up legal proceedings if they are not satisfied by the outcome of the meeting.
Featured Image: Epigram / Cameron Scheijde / Siavash Minoukadeh
Featured Graphics: Epigram / Louie Bell
What do you make of today’s figures? Do you think all teaching should be moved online or not?