Only 3 new cases of Covid-19 were detected by the University's aysmptomatic screening programme this week Lucas Maddalena

The University’s asymptomatic and symptomatic testing programmes recorded only 6 new cases of Covid-19 this week (23/11-29/11).

This week’s cases are by far the lowest number recorded by both programmes, with only 3 cases identified by asymptomatic screening and 3 cases identified by symptomatic testing.

In anticipation of students returning home for the winter holidays all members of consenting testing pools were screened this week. This means in total 9329 students were screened, over twice the number screened in previous weeks.

Before this week’s figures were released, the lowest number of cases had been recorded in the first week of the programme (05/10-11/10), where 12 cases were identified by asymptomatic screening and 22 were identified by symptomatic testing.

From a total of 2,256 testing pools screened, 1927 samples were received (85.4%) while 31 were reported as void due to a variety of reasons, including inappropriate packaging and leakages.

Only 7 testing pools tested positive and all members of these pools were invited for individual confirmatory results. As of yesterday (29/11), 3 of these testing pools were true positives, 3 were false positives and 1 testing pool still has outstanding results.

Based on this week’s asymptomatic figures, it is estimated that the prevalence of asymptomatic Covid-19 for students living in college accommodation is 1 in 3110 students, a prevalence rate of 0.03%. This low prevalence rate compares to last week’s (16/11-22/11) rate of 0.7% and the previous week’s (09/11-15/11) high rate of 1.5%.

This week's figures are results from the penultimate week of the asymptomatic screening programme as students have been encouraged to return home within a "travel window" between December 3rd and 9th.

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