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  1. ITV Report

Coronavirus: Region's universities issue guidance

The north east's universities have issued guidance to staff and students in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak.

Northumbria, Newcastle, Sunderland, Teesside, York and York St John Universities have all released statements advising staff and students on their responses to the outbreak.

Northumbria University

Northumbria University has said it is closely following government guidance Credit: PA Images

In a statement Northumbria University said it was closely following government guidance and was ready to change its measures accordingly.

We are following guidance from Public Health England and as well as providing advice and reassurance for students and staff, pointing them to support we and other partners can provide. We are prepared to step up our procedures should that guidance change.

– Northumbria University statement
Newcastle University said it had identified around 300 students connected with the Hubei province in China Credit: PA Images

Newcastle University said it had identified a number of students connected with the Hubei province area of China, where the virus is believed to have originated, and was taking some precautionary measures.

We are hosting around 300 students who we have identified as connected with the Hubei province in China and we are writing to them all to remind them to follow the health protection advice and to offer support to any student concerned about themselves or loved ones.

“We have arranged a dedicated health event for any student arriving from China in the last month ensuring they register with a doctor.

“In line with Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice, the University is advising that staff and students don’t travel to this area.”

– Newcastle University statement

Teesside University

Teesside University has halted all business travel to China for the time being.

“We take the health and safety of all staff and students very seriously. For this reason, we have decided to pause any business travel to China, until there is more clarity around the risk this outbreak could pose to travellers.

“All staff and students have been informed of the symptoms of infection and issued Public Health England’s current advice. We will ensure that any potential cases are referred via the correct channels.”

– Teesside University spokesperson

The University of Sunderland

In its statement, the University of Sunderland said it had support services ready for any students wishing to seek further advice or guidance.

The University is currently following advice from Public Health England (PHE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) in relation to the ongoing situation surrounding the Coronavirus.

“We are advising that staff and students adhere to the latest advice issued by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and avoid all but essential travel to Hubei Province in China for the foreseeable future.

“Any students concerned for themselves or their family regarding the virus can receive support from out University’s Wellbeing services.

– University of Sunderland

York St John University

York St John University said it was also following government guidance Credit: PA Images

York St John University is encouraging anyone planning travel to or from China to access the latest information and advice about the coronavirus outbreak, although we are not aware of any planned travel by staff or students to the Wuhan or Hubei region.

Although the risk to UK travellers is low, we have advised all students and staff to pay close attention to updates from the Foreign Office and travel health websites.

We have updated our travel abroad risk assessment and the University will continue to follow advice from Public Health England. Our University Chaplain and Wellbeing Team are on hand to support any students worried about family and events in China.

– Matt Bellew, Health and Safety Adviser at York St John University

Durham University

Durham University said it was actively monitoring the situation.

The health and wellbeing of our students is our upmost priority. We are monitoring the coronavirus situation and taking advice from Pubic Health England.

“We are reminding our students to maintain good hand, respiratory and personal hygiene and to contact their Colleges if they have any concerns.

– Professor Claire O’Malley, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Global)

University of York

In its statement, the University of York said:

We are providing advice to staff and students in accordance with Public Health England and Foreign Office guidelines.

– University of York