As Universities and schools return after the summer break and Pandemic a number of incidents have already occurred of Covid 19 spreading between students. The Government brought in a raft of measures to try and stem the tide of the virus, but it is proving difficult for students to stick to.
Now 2,500 students at elite Swiss school in quarantine after ‘off-campus partying.’ Additionally a “significant” coronavirus outbreak at Glasgow University has resulted in 124 cases since the beginning of freshers’ week and 600 students self-isolating across the campus.
The Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne said 11 students had tested positive for coronavirus but none required hospital treatment.
Swiss health authorities have ordered a quarantine for 2,500 students at a prestigious hospitality management school in the city of Lausanne after “significant outbreaks” of Covid-19 that are a suspected result of off-campus partying.
Authorities in Switzerland’s Vaud region said all undergraduates at the Ecole Hoteliere de Lausanne (Lausanne Hospitality Management University) have been ordered to quarantine, both on and off-campus, because the number of outbreaks “made a more targeted closure impossible”.
The World Health Organisation, national health authorities and others have cautioned that young people, who tend to have milder Covid-19 symptoms than older groups, have been a key driver for the continued spread of coronavirus in recent weeks, particularly in Europe.
“The earliest elements of an investigation indicate that the organisation of one or more parties was at the origin of these many outbreaks of infection,” the Vaud regional office said in a statement, adding that the parties seemed to take place before new containment measures in the region were announced on September 15.
School administrators are taking “all necessary measures” to ensure classes continue online, the statement said.
University spokesman Sherif Mamdouh said the situation is “not ideal” but the university had taken precautions in recent months.
He said 11 students had tested positive for coronavirus but none required hospital treatment.
Mr Mamdouh said the quarantine affects 2,500 undergraduates. The university has a total student body of about 3,500, including people pursuing advanced degrees.
He said hundreds of students living in dormitories on campus will be subject to the quarantine.
The outbreak at Glasgow University was linked to social activity at the start of freshers’ week, from 12-14 September.
The university said: “We are working closely with NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde’s public health team to manage these. The student households affected are self-isolating and have access to food and other supplies.
“Advice on medical issues including mental health and wellbeing is being made available. We have also increased the number of support staff liaising with our residences.”
Other Scottish University outbreaks
Four students also tested positive at the University of St Andrews in a cluster that was linked to an illegal freshers’ week party.
A number of students have tested positive for Covid-19 at Aberdeen University and self-isolation measures are in place in one halls of residence.
Hundreds of students in Dundee have been told to self-isolate following a suspected coronavirus outbreak at a halls of residence linked to the Uni.
At Wednesday’s Scottish government briefing, clinical director Jason Leitch told students: “We need you not to have house parties, I could not be any clearer.”
Record number of students due to start degrees
A record number of students are set to start degree courses in the UK this autumn despite fears about significant deferrals amid the coronavirus pandemic, figures suggest.
Overall, a total of 515,650 people, both from the UK and overseas, have confirmed places – up 4% on the same point last year, according to data published by the university admissions service.
The number of overseas students, from outside the EU, due to take up places has risen by 9% to 44,300 despite concerns that travel restrictions would deter international students from studying in the UK.
But the number of EU students accepted has fallen by 2%, with 29,630 confirmed, Ucas figures show.
A record 28,030 school leavers from the most disadvantaged backgrounds across the UK have also been accepted into university – up 8% on the equivalent point last year, according to the analysis.
Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said: “It was always clear that domestic demand would be up, despite the reduction in 18-year olds, because the alternatives to more education are so poor this year.
“It was also always likely that EU numbers would be down, given the Brexit uncertainties and shenanigans. No one predicted such a big increase in non-EU international students and we have to wait to see if they will all actually arrive and then stay the course.
“But it is a great testament to the underlying strength of our higher education sector, as well as a reflection of the improved migration regime and rising geopolitical tensions between China and the US, that so many people still want to come and study at our fantastic institutions.”