Brighton’s two universities have released an open letter saying health and safety is their highest priority.
Last night, staff and students were informed of a small number of positive coronavirus tests amongst students, who are now self-isolating along with their housemates.
The news follows outbreaks at universities in Scotland and Manchester which have led to hundreds of students having to self isolate in student accommodation.
In the open letter, Professor Adam Tickell of the University of Sussex and Professor Debra Humphris of the University of Brighton stress their institutions’ commitment to public health.
Staff and students at both universities are being asked to abide by a community commitment, pledging to act responsibly and show empathy, respect and due consideration to the health and wellbeing of all they come into contact with.
They say both universities have also taken considerable steps, working in close liaison with Brighton and Hove City Council and the local public health authority, to ensure campuses are Covid-secure environments, in line with official guidance.
- Students arriving from countries with travel restrictions will be fully supported to safely self-isolate in university-managed halls of residence.
- Covid-secure campuses supported by 2m social distancing where possible; reduced building and room capacity; increased ventilation; regular deep cleaning; widespread access to hand sanitiser dispensers and face covering requirements where appropriate.
- Limiting demand for public transport by encouraging only strictly necessary campus visits for staff and students.
Speaking on behalf of the University of Sussex, Professor Adam Tickell said: “I am proud at the way that university staff and students have stepped up to support our local community, NHS and social care sector during the pandemic.
“We are proud to be part of our local community and we will continue to do everything we can to help our city to recover from the impacts of the pandemic.”
On behalf of the University of Brighton, Professor Debra Humphris said: “Whilst some local residents may feel anxious about the arrival of students back into the community I would like to reassure them that the health and safety of our students, staff and local community are our highest priority.”