CoronavirusStudent update: 25 September 2020

Important message from the Principal: Break the chain in Covid-19 transmission

Dear Strathclyde Students,

In my previous message I confirmed my commitment, and that of the wider University, to ensuring your health and wellbeing in a safe and supported environment. I asked for your support and cooperation in ensuring we achieve this together by abiding by the Strathclyde Covid-19 Community Commitment.

I write today to ask you to go further to break the chain of Covid-19 transmission.

The number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Scotland is rising sharply, especially in the student population. While the numbers vary by institution and residence, there has been a significant increase in cases in several parts of the country, including within the City of Glasgow area.

Whilst the vast majority of students living in our residences have abided by physical distancing rules and have adhered to the clear legal requirements by not socialising with others outwith their ‘households’, there have been breaches across our residences, resulting in Covid-19 cases. Such reckless behaviour puts the health, safety and wellbeing of everyone in our community at risk.

If you, or a close contact, contracts the Covid-19 virus, you will have to self-isolate for two weeks. None of us wants this to happen. As new, tighter government rules come into force, I am asking you to avoid all socialising outside of your immediate household. Above all, you must not hold parties in your flat, or mix with other households, even in the residences, or attend gatherings outside of more than six people. We also strongly advise that you should avoid all hospitality venues, such as bars and restaurants, in the coming days, to help break the transmission chain.

I appreciate that these restrictions are unwelcome - especially as you settle into University life and establish new friendships. However, given the seriousness of the situation, we must take swift action to avoid a much worse outcome for ourselves, for those we love and care about, and for the wider community. Each one of us has a role to play in stopping the further spread of the virus, with all the dreadful consequences this could bring. 

In common with other Scottish Universities, we will take a strict approach to breaches of student discipline that put fellow students and staff at risk. While we will first advise and warn students, we will escalate this to formal disciplinary action under our Student Discipline Procedure if this is necessary. The discipline procedure has already been invoked following incidents on campus and investigations are underway which may result in significant sanctions for the students involved. I am disappointed that this action has been necessary and I urge you to adhere strictly to the government guidance and uphold your personal legal obligations.

In these challenging times, we all need support and advice at various points. The University has an extensive range of student support services to help you all of which are accessible online. If you need support or wish to report activity or irresponsible behaviour, please do so through “Report & Support”.

Our outstanding Student Executive team within Strath Union are also working hard to support our student community and are planning a programme of innovative activities so you can have fun, while remaining within the rules. We are all in this together, and are here for every member of the University community. 

Finally, if you have not already done so, I would strongly encourage you to download the NHS Protect Scotland app. It is an important means of identifying those at risk of transmission following contact with someone who has the virus. If you receive a positive Covid-19 test result, or have been asked by the NHS to self-isolate, or you are displaying symptoms, please notify us via covidnotifications@strath.ac.uk.

Best wishes,
Jim