223 students will isolate in Homerton's West House accommodationN Chadwick

223 students in Homerton were told to self-isolate last night (16/10) by the Collegiate University’s Incident Management Team following 18 positive Covid-19 cases across 11 households in the College’s West House accommodation.

The decision for all 223 residents of West House accommodation, the freshers’ accommodation block, to isolate was made after the College received advice from Public Health England and the University based on the University’s screening programme.

In a statement on their website, the College details that they have chosen to take “this preventative step to reduce the chance of transmission within the wider College, the University and the city.”

Residents in West House accommodation were told they had to isolate at 9:30pm last night (16/10) with immediate effect. Students were told in an email that “if you are currently in West House, remain in your room. If you are elsewhere in College or in Cambridge, return to your room as soon as you can” and if you are not in Cambridge, “please do not return before contacting” the Senior Tutor.

According to the statement “the students in affected households are self-isolating, and the College has brought in additional staff over the weekend to support them. Advice on medical issues and support for mental health and wellbeing is being made available.”

Homerton’s Principal and Senior Tutor will be hosting an open Q&A this morning to discuss the West House self-isolation, with any “member of the Homerton community” able to attend.


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The news comes amidst reports of “administrative errors made by the college” in regards to the asymptomatic screening program.

In an email seen by Varsity, it was revealed that the asymptomatic screening program “assembled and delivered the tests kits for this coming Monday out of sequence and at the last minute, because the Database was left in unusable state by members of the college staff a week ago, which mucked with our production and distribution processes, and caused some serious issues to the IT of the program.”

They also highlighted specific errors made by the College, for example, “reports of the college porters taking one pools test kit and issuing it as a ‘spare’ to a second pool who had lost theirs.”

In response to these issues a spokesperson for Homerton said: “there was an administrative error in the database of Homerton students, and we understand that some students who had been told to expect a testing kit, did not receive it. This is unfortunate, and clearly distressing for the students concerned. It is being looked into by the College and the University.”

However the spokesperson stressed that the administrative errors “did not affect the decision, or the timing of the decision, to place West House in self-isolation.”