A ‘small number’ of non-teaching staff at St Mary’s University, Twickenham have tested positive for coronavirus.

A statement released by the university today (October 5) said: “We can confirm that a small number of non-teaching staff have tested positive for Coronavirus (COVID-19).

“The team members affected are in contact with NHS Test and Trace and the university has deep cleaned the offices and facilities used by them.

“The university is in contact with Public Health England and is following their guidance to ensure the safety of staff and students, and to minimise the impact on campus operations and the student experience.”

It comes after around 50 students at the Royal College of Music were told to self-isolate in the Prince Consort Village in Hammersmith last week after “a small cluster of confirmed cases.”

There was also a reported case at Royal Holloway University of London, which has much of its campus in Surrey.

Richmond and Twickenham Times:

Stock image provided by Richmond Council

The cases follow reports of students being locked down in major cities, including Manchester and Edinburgh.

Last week, Richmond Council outlined the ways it is working with local universities and colleges as students return.

Cllr Penny Frost, chair of the education committee, said: “We are doing everything we can to protect us all during the pandemic. Our universities and colleges are working hard to provide Covid-safe facilities.

 “Students are very welcome in our borough – however, we must all stay alert in order to control the virus and save lives. Therefore, it is incredibly important to communicate to students the risks of transmitting coronavirus.

“My message to students is you can play your part and help control the spread of the virus by following social distancing guidance on and off campus – when you’re travelling, shopping, in cafes, bars and restaurants – so that your uni can stay open and the local community and your family will stay safe.”

The council and its public health team have been working with local universities to establish containment procedures and support for those required to self-isolate or testing positive for COVID-19.

The council said it is working on regular communications with students, staff and unions to ensure compliance with national guidance.

Universities are being asked to place restrictions of guests on campus and in residencies, and reduce offline social events and putting fresher’s activities online.