DURHAM University has confirmed it has now had more than 70 confirmed cases of Covid 19 among staff and students.

The university has started publishing weekly updates on the total number of cases of coronavirus which have been reported.

A spokesperson said: “Since the beginning of Term 1, we have had a small, but growing, number of positive cases, which were handled 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.”

In the seven days up to Sunday, October 4, 69 students and one member of staff had reported positive tests.

The latest figures take the total number of reported cases to 79 – 76 among students and three staff.

They relate to all staff and students and not just those living, studying and working on campus or in Durham City.

The Northern Echo:

A spokesperson said: "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."

This week is the first teaching week at the university, which is using a ‘blended teaching’ approach which means most lectures are online.

Freshers are being prioritised for any face-to-face sessions to begin with.

A university executive sits on a fortnightly Covid 19 Community Forum which includes representatives from other local agencies such as councils and police to share information and regular newsletters are published.

Students are emailed regular advice, which this week included a reminder about the importance of social distancing from older residents of the city who may be more vulnerable and how to shop responsibility after concerns were raised by members of the public.