Universities reopening could seed new coronavirus outbreaks in England, a report shows

A new report by sage indicates that a coronavirus outbreak across England is imminent once the schools go on holiday. The report indicated that students would seed the virus across the country as they return to their homes.

Universities across England are slowly reopening for in-person classes after months of shutdowns that saw most of these institutions migrating to distance learning. The threat of coronavirus, however, is still a challenge and universities have promised to adhere to government protocols to ensure that they minimize the spread of the virus.

Fear of coronavirus outbreaks

The government advisors, however, have expressed fears that on-campus coronavirus spreading was not the only threat facing universities reopening. They indicated that these reopenings may results in new coronavirus outbreaks across England when schools go on holiday.

The Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage) said that they expected some significant coronavirus outbreaks in universities. They urged universities to prepare for such outbreaks.

They continued by indicating that the biggest risk will be when the schools finally go on holiday and students are allowed to travel back home. They indicated that this will lead to the seeding of coronavirus across the country, leading to further outbreaks.

They worried that these holidays will coincide with Christmas and new year celebrations. This would pose a challenge to extended families, who come together during that time to celebrate the end of the year and Christmas, indicating that it will lead to coronavirus outbreaks in multiple locations across the country.

Sage report warnings

Sage, in a document released on September 3rd, warned that controlling coronavirus outbreaks in universities will be a challenge to universities since most cases infecting young people are asymptomatic.

Jo Grady, general secretary of the University and College Union while commenting on the Sage report indicated that it was sobering and highlighted dangers with the reopening of schools. She continued by saying that the report exposed how the universities were wrong in assuming that everything will be business as usual after reopening. She also noted how the government and universities have been ill-prepared during this crisis and their handling of school reopening.

 

Featured image by Pixabay