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Coronavirus: UEA students go into self-isolation

PUBLISHED: 12:54 13 March 2020 | UPDATED: 14:54 13 March 2020

UEA campus in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

UEA campus in Norwich. Picture: Denise Bradley

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The University of East Anglia has moved to reassure students and staff after occupants of on-campus accommodation went into self-isolation.

Students living in a flat on the Norwich campus were advised to self-isolate after contacting the NHS 111 advice line.

Ian Callaghan, UEA chief resource officer, said: 'Following the government's announcement yesterday we have been advised that a student flat on the UEA campus is self-isolating after receiving advice from 111. This is a precautionary measure.

'We understand this news will cause concern and anxiety among our students, staff and the wider community; and indeed there has been speculation on social media.

'Our immediate concerns are for the students in the flat and the continued wellbeing of our UEA staff, students and community.'

The affected flat is thought to be home to 12 students.

One of the students, who said he had come into contact with a person outside the university who has since tested positive for coronavirus, told the university student newspaper Concrete: 'After [the university] found out the situation, student support and security had a meeting to discuss further action and so far we have all individually been contacted and told to self-isolate as a flat'.

MORE: Ill must stay at home to protect others, says Norfolk public health director

While Norfolk has not yet had any confirmed cases of coronavirus it seems to be only a matter of time and people are being urged to take action if they develop symptoms.

The Department of Health announced nationally the number of positive cases now stands at 590, a rise of 190 in 24-hours, though it remains at 32 in the East of England.

The UEA said the affected students were being helped by the university support services during their seven day isolation period.

A spokesman said: 'Student services are providing support and we have resident life team managers who are assigned to each block and they are on-hand to offer advice and all the support they may need while self-isolating.'

MORE: What are coronavirus symptoms and should I self-isolate?

The university is also currently assessing how its academic and leisure activities might be hit by coronavirus measures. A UEA lecture and film screening due to be held in London on March 12 was postponed.

In a message to students, Mr Callaghan said: 'We want to reassure you that the self-isolation is a precautionary measure, and there is no confirmed case of coronavirus on campus.'

- For updates on how coronavirus is affecting Norfolk, please visit our Facebook page here


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