Members of a UEA flat on campus will remain in self-isolation for two weeks after one of its residents came in close contact with a person from outside of the University who has since tested positive for coronavirus. 

The flat, which is in Hickling and Barton, has 12 students inside. The student who came in contact with a person who has coronavirus said: “So far we are all okay”. 

He added: “After [the University] found out the situation student support and security had a meeting to discuss further action and so far we have all individually been contacted and told to self-isolate as a flat”.

The student has not yet been tested for the virus. Although he said the NHS told him to self-isolate for 14 days, he added: “There is still a chance that I am not infected and [I] don’t want to cause unnecessary panic or concern.”

There are 32 confirmed cases of coronavirus in the East of England. A number of universities across the UK have suspended face-to-face classes owing to concerns about the virus, which was classed as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation this week.

The symptoms of coronavirus are having a cough, a high temperature, or having shortness of breath. On average it takes five days for symptoms to start showing.

A UEA spokeswoman said: “Following the Government’s announcement yesterday we have been advised that a student flat on the UEA campus is self-isolating after receiving advice from 111. This is a precautionary measure.

“We understand this news will cause concern and anxiety among our students, staff and the wider community; and there has been speculation on social media. Our immediate concerns are for the students in the flat and the continued wellbeing of our UEA staff, students and community.

“We want to reassure you that the self-isolation is a precautionary measure, and there is no confirmed case of COVID-19 on campus. We would advise everyone in our community to follow the relevant public health information, including guidance from the Government and the NHS, and further information is available here https://www.uea.ac.uk/about/media-room/latest-news/statements/covid-19-advice 

“If people have any specific concerns about their health, we ask that you follow current Public Health England advice.   A series of frequently asked questions is available on our website which includes advice on how to self-isolate and what to do if you have specific concerns.

“The University continues to operate normally. We are monitoring the situation closely and we will continue to provide as much advice, care and support to everyone in our community.”

UEA have asked students to contact Student Services at studentsupport@uea.ac.uk or call 01603 592761 if the NHS asks them to self-isolate.

The University also has a dedicated coronavirus advice page on its website.


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