A Hatfield fresher developing Covid-19 symptoms has led to 70 other students being forced to self-isolate for two weeks.
Confirmed by the Master of Hatfield college in a webinar for returning livers-in, the fresher’s household admitted to socialising with other households in his accommodation block. As such, four households of approximately 70 students have been put into self-isolation.
The students have been banned from using the bar and café. Staff must check wristbands and report if any household that ought to be isolating tries to enter the bar.
At Josephine Butler college, a freshers’ representative (frep), whose previous Covid-19 test result was inconclusive, has tested positive for the virus.
A significant number of freps at Josephine Butler are now isolating because of potential exposure, particularly those Frepping at events on Friday.
One of the head freps has been isolating since Friday when another frep tested positive for the virus. In response, Freshers week events at the college were scaled down, and the in-person freshers fair was cancelled.
Palatinate understands that freps who had not received the NHS Covid-19 App notification to say they had had exposure to the virus were allowed to continuing frepping. Following the latest positive test result, more freps will now have to isolate.
For isolating Hatfield students, food packages are delivered to the bottom of their staircases and they have been using the tennis courts for their 20 minutes daily exercise, twice a day. According to the Master, most freshers have been very respectful of the college’s coronavirus rules.
A senior Hatfield Frep echoed this by saying that only a few “repeat offenders have caused most issues”, particularly reports of freshers meeting up with friends from other colleges outside college premises.
He continued that Freps are unable to “patrol Durham shutting down all the meet ups” happening between freshers from different colleges.”
On Friday, a Palatinate reporter witnessed six Stephenson freshers attempting to enter Hatfield, claiming to have lost wristbands.
Freshers week in multiple Durham colleges has been beset by issues related to Covid-19. University College moved its final freshers events online following reports of students mixing with other colleges.
Four households are known to be isolating at St Mary’s College.
Students found to have broken Covid-19 rules, such as a ban on mixing with other households in an indoor or private setting, can face severe punishments such as £500 fines and written warnings in a student’s official university record.
Image: Peter-Ashley via Creative Commons