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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update for staff and students - 6 October 2020

Dear Colleagues and Students,

I want to update you on the latest Covid-19 cases in our university community and the figures being reported by Public Health England (PHE).

Over the past seven days we have seen a continuing rise in the number of confirmed COVID-19 cases within our Exeter student community and we have taken targeted action. Our rapid testing system means that we have been able to identify the positive cases and ensure individual isolation and support immediately. PHE has confirmed that to date there is still no evidence of transmission to the wider community.

The Public Health England data for Devon now shows there have been 350 cases in Exeter over the last 7 days and we know from our close working with PHE colleagues that most of those cases are from the University. We are expecting the cases to continue to rise over the coming days as the data comes through and then to level out as our additional measures make an impact.

We continue to assess the situation daily and work alongside PHE, Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Cornwall Council on any further actions required. They support the steps that we are taking and have praised the ways in which our students and staff have responded.

Over the past 7 days we have seen a significant commitment from students in both following the Covid-19 guidance and the additional measures we have put in place. Alongside the rapid test and trace system this is how we, as a community, will fight the spread of this virus. We are also working hard to ensure that we have the right support in place for students who are self-isolating due to a positive test result, waiting for a test result or identified as a close contact of a positive case.

We are keeping our approach to teaching under constant review and, in the continued absence of any evidence to date of onward transmission associated with face-to-face teaching, we are maintaining our blended learning model. To keep everyone safe in our teaching spaces, please do ensure that you follow the hands-face-space protocols and the measures we have in place for your protection.

I plan to update you again on Friday with the latest figures and progress on the measures we are taking.

Best,

Mike

Mike Shore-Nye
Registrar and Secretary