Hundreds of students to self-isolate after suspected outbreak

NHS Tayside is investigating a single positive case of Covid-19 and a 'small number' of suspected cases linked to Parker House.

Hundreds of students to self-isolate after suspected outbreak Google 2020
Dundee: The students at Parker House have been ordered to self-isolate.

Hundreds of students have been ordered to self-isolate following a suspected coronavirus outbreak at a halls of residence.

NHS Tayside’s health protection team is investigating a single positive case of Covid-19 and a “small number” of suspected cases linked to Parker House in Dundee, a private student accommodation.

Close contacts of the positive case – a student at Abertay University – are being contacted.

As a precaution to prevent the spread of the virus, all 500 residents staying at the halls have been told to quarantine until further contact tracing has been completed.

Dr Daniel Chandler, associate director of public health, said: “We know from outbreaks in other university settings across Scotland that the virus can spread very quickly in student accommodation.

“Therefore, as a precautionary measure, we are contacting all residents of Parker House and advising them to self-isolate immediately.

“Further investigation and contact tracing are continuing and we will review this advice in the coming days. It is really important that any residents who develop symptoms book a test as soon as possible.”

Professor Nigel Seaton, principal of Abertay University, said the students are being supported to self-isolate safely.

He added: “The university already has enhanced cleaning and safety measures in place on campus, in line with national guidance, and the campus will remain open.

“We have contacted students and staff to remind them of their personal responsibilities in relation to Covid safety and to inform them of [Tuesday’s] changes in Scottish Government guidance.”

Meanwhile, a number of students at Aberdeen University have also tested positive for Covid-19.

All residents of Wavell House halls of residence within Hillhead Student Village have been told to self-isolate for two weeks unless advised otherwise.

An Aberdeen University spokesperson said: “All those affected are being supported by the accommodation team to ensure they have access to food and other supplies.

“Affected areas of Wavell House are also being given a deep clean.  Assistance will be provided to affected students to support the need for them to study online while self-isolating. 

“We appreciate this will be an anxious time for many but the safety of our staff, student and wider community are paramount. At the same time, it is vital that we all work together to comply with the guidelines to help keep our community safe and mitigate the risk of further spread.”