‘Don’t be complacent’ plea to Exeter students as Covid case numbers begin to drop

Students at the University of Exeter have been warned not to be complacent as number of coronavirus cases continue to drop.

A ‘cluster’ of the virus in the Pennsylvania and University area has now fallen to 72 cases – from 322 ten days ago, writes Local Democracy Reporter Daniel Clark.

Mike Shore-Nye, registrar and secretary at the university, said: “There is good news this week that the number of new positive Covid-19 cases are beginning to fall in Exeter and we are beginning to contain the outbreak.

“Dr Virginia Pearson, director of public health for Devon, says that we have seen a ‘successful reduction in student cases with no sign of significant spread thanks to the swift actions of the University and other partners in working together to contain the situation’.

“But we must not be complacent. The pandemic is not going away and therefore we must adapt and expect to change the way we live, work, study and socialise for the long-term.

“The last few weeks have shown us that we can prevent the spread of Covid-19 by following the advice of public health experts – give people space who are not in your household, wear a mask in crowded spaces and wash your hands regularly and thoroughly.

“If you have symptoms, get a test and isolate. If you test positive isolate for at least ten days.

“I know this can be difficult, particularly for our younger students away from home for the first time in a difficult and unfamiliar social situation.

“We are acutely aware of the impact on mental health and wellbeing and the restrictions on social life so integral to university life.

“The upside though if we stick to the rules is that we can enable more social interaction, support more society activities and offer more teaching on campus.”

He added: “Living in the Covid-19 pandemic does not have to define us and there is so much we can do if we follow the guidelines.

“I know that so many of you are and I hope that you can help us persuade your friends and peers who are not to act for the good of the wider community.

“You may also have seen in the media over the weekend that the police issued fines to several students in our halls for breaking the Covid-19 rules and this does a huge disservice to the vast majority of our students who are abiding by the rules.

“We cannot and will not allow a minority of students to damage your and our standing in the wider community.”

University of Exeter students are being asked to not to mix indoors with anyone not in their household until at least October 26, when the restriction will be reviewed.

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No new Covid-related deaths in East Devon or Exeter in latest weekly stats

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