Mass virus outbreak at Northumbria University as 770 students test positive

Northumbria University has been hit by a mass coronavirus outbreak, with at least 770 students testing positive.

Only 78 students were symptomatic, a university spokesperson said as they announced the news late on Friday afternoon.

All 770 are in self-isolation after being infected just a few weeks into the new university year.

A spokesperson for the university said: ‘As of Friday October 2, we can confirm that we are aware of 770 Northumbria University students who have tested positive for Covid-19, of whom 78 are symptomatic.

‘These students are all now self-isolating. Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear.’

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It comes as a new PA survey suggests more than 50 universities in the UK have confirmed Covid-19 cases.

A surge in cases in recent weeks has led to thousands of students having to self-isolate in their halls at some universities – including Manchester Metropolitan and Glasgow University.

There have been more than 200 cases at the University of Sheffield, while 177 University of Liverpool staff and students have tested positive.

Around 56 universities across the country have had at least one confirmed case of Covid-19, an analysis of university responses and media reports suggests.

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