The testing figures revealed a large decrease from the previous weekLUCAS MADDALENA

The number of cases identified by the University’s testing programmes this week (16/11-22/11) totalled 52, the lowest number of new cases since the first week (05/10-11/10) of screening.

The low level of cases this week follows last week’s figures which detected the highest level of cases since the start of the screening programme. The 234 cases identified last week was a dramatic three-fold increase from the previous week of testing.

The asymptomatic screening programme detected 27 positive cases. The University’s symptomatic testing also identified 25 positive cases this week from 188 tests.

The University estimates that the Covid-19 asymptomatic prevalence rate is 0.7%, or 1 in 154 students living in college accommodation, again a decrease from the previous week when it was 1 in 67 students (1.5%).

77.8% of testing pools contributed swabs to the asymptomatic screening programme this week meaning 4,138 students’ were screened. As in previous weeks of the programme, half of students from each testing pool were requested to contribute swabs.

However, from today (23/11) and for the next two weeks, the asymptomatic programme will be testing every participating student on a weekly basis in order to ensure that students “are able to return home safely at the end of term.”

24 of the 1,755 received samples were reported as void for reasons including inappropriate packaging and leaking conditions.

Participation in the screening programme remains incomplete with 81.2% of eligible students consenting to take part while 15.5% of students remain ‘undecided’ and 3.4% declined to participate.

Members of all 22 positive pools were invited for individual tests. 27 students had positive confirmatory individual results across 17 testing pools while 5 pools were found to be false positives.

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