MORE than 500 students at Durham University have tested positive for coronavirus within a week, it has been revealed.

The latest figures released by the university as part of its weekly update on cases, show a total of 516 students and nine members of staff tested positive between October 15 and 22.

This is a drop in cases after 958 students and six members of staff tested positive for the virus in the previous week.

It brings the total number of cases to 1,745 since the start of term, with 20 cases among staff and 1,725 among students.

The university has pointed out the figures were taken from all staff and students - not just those living, studying and working on campus/in Durham.

A Durham University spokesman said: “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."

The spokesperson added: "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.”