Coronavirus super spreader sparks university party cluster

A coronavirus “super spreader” is being blamed for attending a university house party leading to 32 new infections in Wales.

Andrew Rhodes, registrar and chief operating officer at Swansea University, told Wales Online the person came from “outside the area”.

“In terms of all those who had positive test results, there were 32 – all of those students were from a particular party,” he said.

Mr Rhodes said the university had not seen any new cases on campus, with all of them in private accommodation.

Students have also been warned against ignoring the health department’s COVID-19 rules such as keeping meetings to groups of six or less.

A student walks past the College of Engineering at Swansea University in south Wales.
Thirty-two Swansea University students are sick with COVID after attending a party. Source: Getty Images, file

Anyone who flouts the rules could be expelled.

“We would look at suspension after they have been warned, we are hoping it does not come to that – we have to try to come to a sensible balance,” Mr Rhodes said.

“We have issued six warnings but we have not needed to issue any others.”

The UK currently has more than 460,000 cases of COVID-19, according to Johns Hopkins University data, with more than 42,000 deaths.

Britain’s Health Secretary Matt Hancock introduced more coronavirus restrictions on Thursday (local time) across a wider area of England, including the northern city of Liverpool, extending a tighter regime to try to stem rising COVID-19 cases.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson appealed to people on Wednesday (local time) to adhere to the rules, repeating his desire to not only protect public health but to also keep the economy going.

Earlier this week, the government put much of northeastern England under further restrictions.

"I am today extending these measures that have been in place in the northeast since the start of this week to the Liverpool city region, Warrington, Hartlepool and Middlesbrough," Mr Hancock told parliament.

He said he understood concerns about pubs and restaurants, many of which have been hurt by the introduction of a 10pm curfew in England, Scotland and Wales to try to reduce the second wave of coronavirus cases.

"Our hospitality industry provides so much colour and life in this country," Mr Hancock said.

"And we will do whatever we can to support them while acting fast to keep this virus under control. I know that these measures are hard, and that they are yet another sacrifice."

with Reuters

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