234 cases were detected in total across the University's asymptomatic and symptomatic testing programmesLucas maddalena

234 Covid-19 cases were detected last week (09/11-15/11) through the University’s asymptomatic and symptomatic testing programmes.

This total number of cases is the highest since the start of the programme, and is over three times greater than the 70 cases detected in the programmes’ fifth week of operation.

80 cases were identified via the asymptomatic screening programme while a further 154 positive cases were identified via symptomatic testing.

The 80 asymptomatic cases were detected across 67 testing pools, and from this week, all members of these pools were invited for confirmatory tests.

As of yesterday (15/11), all students from these pools had been tested and 59 pools were found to be true positives, with 80 students having individual positive confirmatory results. Meanwhile, 7 pools were false positives and 1 pool still has outstanding results.

From this week’s results, the testing facility estimates that the prevalence of asymptomatic Covid-19 in students living in College accommodation is 1 in 67 students. This gives a prevalence rate of 1.5%, the highest of any testing week by 0.6%.

In total, 80.6% of those able to participate in the programme consented to doing so meaning that 5,339 students’ were screened this week. As in previous weeks of the programme, half of all members of a testing pool were requested to contribute swabs.

From a total of 2,255 testing pools across the University, 1,876 samples were received and processed at the testing facility. Of these, 16 were reported as “void”, for reasons including inappropriate packaging and leaking samples.

In an email sent to all students last Wednesday (11/11) Vice-Chancellor Stephen Toope recognised that the preliminary testing results from this week showed “an increase in the number of positive cases identified through our asymptomatic and symptomatic testing schemes.”


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He continued: “Though this increase is not entirely unexpected, it is a cause for concern. Above all, the increase in positive cases reaffirms the importance of following public health guidelines, and the advice set out by the University and the Colleges.”

This week’s high figures also follow the Department of Education releasing plans for students to return home for the winter holiday. Students will be given a test before their departure, with departure dates staggered between December 3rd and 9th.