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Durham University

Covid-19 Response

Cases of Covid-19 within our community

From Monday 5 October 2020, we will publish regular updates on the number of cases of coronavirus which have been reported to us by staff and students, through our own reporting systems. More information on identifying symptoms and reporting cases of Covid-19 is available below.

We are managing cases of Covid-19 on campus in conjunction with Durham County Council Public Health colleagues. All affected staff and students are self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance, and are receiving our full support.

Lateral Flow Test pilot

On Thursday 29 October, student and staff participation in the Lateral Flow Test (LFT) pilot commenced. The LFT aims to reduce the spread of Covid-19 by identifying those who are unaware that they are infectious and enabling them to self-isolate and book an NHS PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test, helping to break the chain of transmission and reduce the infection rate.

Staff and students have responded positively to the pilot and a large number have volunteered to participate. It is anticipated that the number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 within our University community will increase temporarily, as asymptomatic carriers of the virus are tested and identified.

If a student/staff member returns a positive LFT result, they are required to self-isolate, undertake a PCR test and follow Government and University guidance. In the case of a student, their College household is required to self-isolate

The chart below shows total reported cases per day for the previous 14 days, including those identified in the LFT pilot, along with a seven-day rolling average.

Last updated: 4/12/2020

We are proactively and regularly monitoring and managing the situation with local and national public health experts and taking appropriate action where required.

We continue to communicate regularly with our staff and students, to promote expected behaviours and to reinforce key information on the Government restrictions and additional guidance in place on University campus in the interests of everybody’s health, safety and wellbeing.

Our teaching and wider student experience activity continues both online and face-to-face, in Covid-secure settings.

Please note that these figures are taken from all staff and students - not just those living, studying and working on campus/in Durham City*.

We have around 4,000 staff members and 20,500 students (of which approx. 2,500 are currently studying entirely online for Term 1).

The total number of cases across County Durham can be found at

*We are unable to comment on individual cases of Covid-19 within our community, for example the location or severity of cases.

When we are notified by students or staff of a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19, or that someone is having to self-isolate because of close contact or being in the same household as someone else with a confirmed case of Covid-19, we follow detailed processes and procedures to ensure their health and wellbeing, and to reduce onward transmission.

When a member of the University community tests positive, they self-isolate with their household in line with government guidelines.

We are in regular contact with Durham County Council, Public Health England and other partners to make sure that we are sharing information (not personal information) about the local situation and responding to the latest guidance.