Cases have been reported in a number of different collegesLucas Maddalena

A University spokesperson confirmed yesterday (09/10) to Varsity that “there are 11 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the University of Cambridge, according to the most recently available figures.”

The spokesperson continued: “All students required to isolate are being supported by their College”.

Although the University did not confirm which colleges the positive cases were in, Varsity confirmed two positive cases in Queens’ dating back to the 26th September.

Varsity also understands that, before Thursday (08/10), there were positive cases in Magdalene and two in Gonville and Caius.

On Thursday, Varsity was also alerted to two positive cases in Churchill as well as one case in Trinity Hall. On Friday (09/10) Pembroke also reported two positive cases.

The positive cases come during the first week of the University’s asymptomatic screening programme. The testing programme, which was announced as an opportunity to test all students living in college accommodation, has been scaled down for the first week. Due to capacity limitations, only 2 people per household have been tested this week.

In an email sent to all students yesterday (09/10) by Dr Ben Warne, Clinical Lead for the Asymptomatic Screening Programme, and Dr Nicholas Matheson, Lead Principal Investigator for the Asymptomatic Screening Programme, it was revealed that approximately 3,500 students have already been screened.

The email continued: “To allow us to resolve some outstanding issues with our systems, whilst continuing to monitor the number of infections, the programme will operate at reduced scale again next week. This means that, as with this week, up to two students per pool will be requested to contribute a swab.”


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They said: “Getting the programme up and running in time for the start of term has been very challenging. We are sorry for the delays in communication and reporting this week, but would like to thank you for your patience and your continued support.”

The University’s testing programme is innovative in testing asymptomatic students in a group in order to reduce the number of required tests. One of the reasons for this, a University spokesperson detailed to Cambridgeshire Live, is “to provide innovation to increase capacity”. If successful this testing strategy could be used across the country.

Magdalene, Gonville and Caius, Churchill, and Trinity Hall were all contacted for comment.