HUNDREDS of students have tested positive for coronavirus at a Newcastle-upon-Tyne university – days after youngsters were pictured breaking the rule of six.Around 770 people are infected with the virus at Northumbria University – although just ten per cent are showing covid symptoms.
Hundreds of students at Northumbria University have tested positive for coronavirus Credit: PA:Press Association
Friends party in Newcastle on Wednesday night. There is no suggestion those in the photograph tested positive for coronavirus or broke the rule of sixCredit: North News and Pictures
Areas of the north-east are among the worst-hit in the UK
It’s the single-largest outbreak in the UK.
The university is based in the heart of Newcastle, and on Wednesday night, the city centre was packed with revellers – many who admitted they were flouting coronavirus guidelines.
Drinkers were spotted flooding into pubs and bars despite the North East being near coronavirus breaking point.
It comes as another 6,968 people tested positive for coronavirus in the past 24 hours – the third-highest increase ever – while 66 more people lost their lives.
A spokesperson for the university today said: “As of Friday, October 2, we can confirm that we are aware of 770 Northumbria University students who have tested positive for Covid-19, of whom 78 are symptomatic.
“These students are all now self-isolating.
“Their flatmates and any close contacts are also self-isolating for 14 days in line with government guidance and have been advised to contact NHS119 to book a test as soon as possible should symptoms appear.”News of the huge outbreak comes days after young people openly admitted flouting the new rules to get around the social ban.
Bethany Melvin, 22, partied with a group of her girlfriends on Wednesday.
She told The Sun Online: “I want to play out and I want to do what I want to do.
“It’s not very nice for us as me and my friends live at different ends of the city.
“We went into Revolution de Cuba and they asked us if we were in the same household but we obviously lied.”
Eve Drury, 21, from Gateshead, said: “I just don’t think a lot of the new rules make sense either.
“It’s our friend’s birthday so we’re not following the rules to miss that.
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“I just think places want business, and they aren’t really going to be bothered about much else.”
It comes after Chief Medical Officer Professor Chris Whitty warned that the North East had seen a “rapid increase” in infections – despite large swathes being under local lockdown.
He also said there was a “significant uptick in the number of people entering intensive care”.
Boris Johnson recently said the recent spike in cases across the UK could have come from the public becoming more complacent.
He said: “The nation came together in March and April.
“What happened over the summer was a bit of sort of fraying of people’s discipline and attention to those rules.”
Th north-east has recorded 940 cases per 100,000 people since the start of the pandemic – which equates to around 25,097 cases, according to data from Public Health England.
It comes after friends hit the town in Newcastle on Wednesday night – despite a surge in cases. There is no suggestion those in the photograph tested positive for coronavirus
Police in face masks have been on patrol in the city