Becca Bashford | News Editor
This afternoon (Monday 9 March), the University of Sussex sent an official email to staff informing them that a second individual associated with the University has been diagnosed with Coronavirus (COVID-19).
The email clarifies that the individual is self-isolating off campus, and that Public Health England have not enforced any special measures, therefore the campus will remain open and run as usual.
The email reads:
“We are committed to a proactive and transparent approach to communicating with you about the evolving Covid-19 coronavirus situation, so we are providing you with an update.
Public Health England have notified us that a second individual associated with the University has tested positive for Covid-19. The person is currently self-isolating off campus and, as you would expect, the University is in close contact with PHE about this case.
PHE have reconfirmed with us that we do not need to put in place any special measures or to change the running of the institution, so the campus continues to be open as usual.
Our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. That is why we have been stringently planning for a variety of scenarios, which you will have seen from our previous emails and communications. We have also ensured that there is a very good flow of information between the University and health authorities to support this.
For now, all staff are encouraged to familiarise themselves with the information on our coronavirus web pages, which includes links to NHS advice on health and hygiene and government guidance on travel.
We will continue to keep you informed so that we can all take proactive steps to prepare and respond.”
Currently, the UK is dealing with 280 confirmed cases of coronavirus. The current advice from Public Health England (PHE) is to call NHS 111 if you suspect you are exhibiting symptoms of the virus, or if you have travelled to affected areas within the last 14 days. The importance of washing your hands regularly and avoiding touching your face, eyes, and mouth has been stressed by medical professionals globally.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is said to chair an emergency Cobra meeting today, where the government and scientific advisers will look at ways to limit the spread of the virus. The meeting is expected to explore the possibility of “social distancing” measures, such as the closure of schools and banning of large gatherings.
The Government has issued a four-part plan to tackle the spread of coronavirus, which you can read here: Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK.
This story is developing. Stay tuned for more updates.