What do campus Covid outbreaks mean for students?

More than 1,000 students across Scotland are self-isolating after cases of Covid-19 were identified in student accommodation in Glasgow, Dundee and Aberdeen.

So what do students need to know about life on campus in the time of coronavirus? We’ve put together the answers to some key questions.

Students who have left their family homes are considered to have formed new households with those they are now living with.

That means they cannot go back home, as households in Scotland are not allowed to mix inside homes.

There was some confusion about this after the Scottish government initially confirmed to BBC Scotland that students who had moved out should not return to their family homes.

Then the national clinical director Prof Jason Leitch said students in halls could return home for the weekend – as long as they are not self-isolating and do not have Covid symptoms.

But he has since said they cannot return home because they are now in separate households. He tweeted: “The law is clear: they can’t meet indoors with another household – even mum and dad. Sorry.”

There are exceptions – for example, to provide care for someone who needs it and for extended households.

It’s essential anyone with Covid-19 symptoms self-isolates immediately and uses the NHS website to book a test.

The entire household needs to self-isolate – even if just one person has symptoms. This means staying at home and not attending classes or social gatherings.

If the test comes back negative, self-isolation can end for everyone. If the test is positive, Test and Protect will be in touch.

Public health officials say it is “vital” those self-isolating do so for a full 14 days.

You should remain in your accommodation – and not go out for any reason, not to attend classes or even to buy essentials like food.

Ask friends who are not self-isolating to get your shopping, or arrange to have it delivered to your door.

During this period you should avoid close contact with others you are living with. Stay 2m away from everyone.

Do not share towels or clothes. Sleep alone. Clean shared toilets, bathrooms and kitchens after every time you have used them.

A walk-in test site in Aberdeen opened on Thursday and a centre in Edinburgh will open on Friday.

Additional sites will open in Glasgow on 2 October, and in Stirling on 5 October.

Mobile testing centres have also been used at Abertay University and at Murano St student village in Glasgow.

Universities Scotland says allowing student accommodation to open means students can attend the university of their choice.

More than half of those are likely be in university-run halls of residence, with at least 27,000 places available across the country.

The highest numbers of students in university accommodation are in Edinburgh and Glasgow, with an estimated 10,000 students living in halls in the capital.

There are also sizeable student populations in Aberdeen, Dundee, Paisley, Stirling and St Andrews – which alone has 4,000 spaces available in university-run accommodation.

In many universities and colleges, a blended approach is being taken – so teaching will happen both online and in person.

Universities Scotland said universities “are offering on-campus experience for students where it is safe and practical to do so and is key to their learning”.

This will be limited to small seminar groups, lab and practical work – where this in-person learning can take place within the guidelines.

Just like similar facilities off campus, libraries, cafes and gyms are open – but there are public health measures in place to try to stop the spread of the virus.

For example, social distancing measures are in place. In many circumstances, capacity has been reduced considerably.

Edinburgh Napier University said its campus capacity has been reduced to 30% of normal capacity.

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Source: https://news.google.com/__i/rss/rd/articles/CBMiL2h0dHBzOi8vd3d3LmJiYy5jby51ay9uZXdzL3VrLXNjb3RsYW5kLTU0Mjc5NDEx0gEzaHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuYmJjLmNvLnVrL25ld3MvYW1wL3VrLXNjb3RsYW5kLTU0Mjc5NDEx?oc=5

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