The Universities Vice Chancellor, Charlie Jeffery, confirmed that the University community currently has 16 positive cases of COVID-19, in an email sent to students this morning.
This news comes after a video of University of York students breaking social distancing rules outside a campus accommodation block.
York is not named as an area of concern on the national coronavirus watchlist, however, Sharon Stoltz, the Director of Public Health at City of York Council, outlined that “although Covid-19 cases in York are low compared to the region and nationally, there has been a rise in the number of positive tests across the City”.
Stoltz indicated that a lack of social distancing, social contact and households mixing indoors, are the primary cause of the spread in the City.
The Vice Chancellor reiterated the need to “follow the guidance” to avoid the University – with a population of 22,000 – becoming a coronavirus hotspot.
Jeffery states that “we know we have, and should continue to expect, positive cases within our community”, but goes on to reassure students that appropriate preparations have been made in collaboration with the City Council, the NHS and the other higher and further education institutions in the City.
The most obvious of these “preparations” is the new testing facility on campus, which opens today for appointments for those with symptoms.
The walk-through facility will be located in a segregated and managed area in the Wentworth Way car park.