University testing service reports 5 new cases

News University News

Image Description: An eagle-eye view of the city centre.

In the week preceding 12th February, Oxford University’s Early Alert System detected 5 positive cases from a total of 81 tests. The 7-day morning average as remained steady at around 1 case per day.

Since August of last year, the Early Alert System has conducted 6,598 test, 1,239 of which were positive. The positivity rate of testing overall as been 18.8% but data shows that the positivity rate for the most recent week is 6.2%.

These new numbers come as some students, including biology and chemistry students, have returned to the university in fifth week. Upon arrival, students will get given 3 later flow tests (LFT) which they are highly recommended to take. They should be taken two days apart from each other and the results of each test should be reported to the Early Alert System.

Currently, the average number of cases per 100,000 people is 116.8 in Oxford city. This is below the national average of 157.3 cases per 100,000 people but Oxford City still has the highest COVID rates in all of Oxfordshire.

The University has said it remained at stage 3 of its 5 stage emergency response plan:

“No public access to the University (including museums), except the Botanic Gardens and Arboretum. On-site activity permitted where it cannot be undertaken remotely. On-site research is allowed and encouraged where it cannot be carried out remotely – and enabled by the availability of COVID-secure environment. Teaching and assessment should take place remotely for the majority of taught students. In-person teaching will be permitted from the start of term for those courses/subjects explicitly exempted by Government and in cases where the requirements of Professional, Statutory or Regulatory body accreditation demand it. Libraries will prioritise remote and zero-contact digital services.”

The University website also said that while a limited number of Bodleian libraries remain open, all museums remain closed until further notice. The University also said that: “The Botanic Garden & Harcourt Arboretum are both open; please book before visiting. Wytham Woods is currently closed. The University Parks remain open; please practice social distancing while using the space.”

As cases begin to fall around the country, the Prime Minister is expected to set out the roadmap for ending restrictions next Monday. He said progress must be “cautious but irreversible”.

“The dates that we’ll be setting out will be the dates by which we hope we can do something at the earliest.”


Image Credit: Tian Chen


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