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Nearly 80 coronavirus cases have been confirmed among students and staff attending Brighton University.

Despite strict new measures, including reduced class sizes, virtual lectures, and Freshers’ Week events being moved online, the virus has continued to spread since the start of term two weeks ago.

Those infected include 74 students and two staff, as well as someone from a “partner organisation” based at the university.

Of the total 20 new cases have been reported since Tuesday.

The exact locations of the infections are not being revealed “to protect the confidentiality” of those involved, but the university says they are “Brighton and Sussex Medical School students”.

Everyone affected living in halls of residence is being supported by the university’s “residential life advisers”, while those in private accommodation have help from Student Support and Guidance Tutors embedded within each academic school.

The university has 20,000 students and 2,500 staff across its campuses in Brighton and Eastbourne.

The news comes as at least 5,000 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed at more than 80 universities across the UK, according to a report in The Guardian – with only schools said to now have a worse infection rate.

Speaking about the students affected, a Brighton University spokesperson said: “They and their housemates are being fully supported to safely self-isolate and to continue with their studies remotely.

“We wish those who have tested positive a speedy recovery.

“The university has spent many months preparing for the start of term and has put in place a wide range of measures across its campuses to help keep everyone safe.

“The university is working closely with Brighton & Hove City Council, Public Health England and other local partners across the city to co-ordinate our collective efforts to manage the risks.”

Meanwhile, the university’s prayer rooms at Watts (Room 408) in Moulsecoomb have re-opened in line with government guidance on social distancing measures.

  • For details of all the measures the university is taking in response to Covid-19 click here

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