CoronavirusStudent update two: 25 September 2020

Dear Strathclyde Student,

Earlier today, I wrote to you outlining a range of measures that are being put in place in Scotland’s universities this weekend to help break the chain of coronavirus transmission.  We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure the health and wellbeing of our University community.

The vast majority of you have been engaging with the guidance positively, adhering to social distancing rules and keeping yourselves, each other and all of us safe.

As of today, we have received fewer than 15 reports of positive Covid-19 cases.  However, there is absolutely no room for complacency.  This number includes a small cluster of confirmed cases within our Garnett and James Young Halls of Residence, and we are working closely with our colleagues in Public Health to trace the contacts of those affected and minimise the risk of any further transmission.

While we can feel proud of the way Strathclyders have adopted the Scottish Government safety rules to date, we need to keep going, and redouble our efforts.  Cases across Scotland are rising sharply, and it is imperative that we work together to keep our community safe.

It is for this reason that universities and the First Minister are asking you, in addition to the ongoing advice not to mix with other households, to avoid socialising in bars, restaurants and cafes this weekend (from Friday 25 to Sunday 27 September).

We know that this is a big ask of Scotland’s students, and goes beyond what is being asked of the general public at this time.  We are grateful for the steps you are taking to help reduce the spread of the virus and to stay safe.

Next week, our Student Experience team will roll-out a ‘buddy scheme’, where members of staff will pair with self-isolating students to make daily contact by phone or Zoom. We know this is a difficult time, and we want to ensure your health and wellbeing, identify any concerns or worries you may have, and offer any practical help the University can provide.

As a University, we have worked hard to move our student support services online.  Please do continue to engage with staff virtually, and keep up to speed with opportunities to attend virtual events and activities for students, from the popular online Library Lounges, to dedicated café Zoom chats for international students.

Our fantastic Students’ Association is also a great source of information and events, and I’d encourage you to check out the Strath Union website for more detail.

A new set of wellbeing drop-in sessions will begin for students living on campus next week, and a positive mental health campaign will also be rolled out shortly. You can also access wellbeing advice and support on our website.

Thank you again for your continued support. As a reminder:

Enjoy the long weekend, and please stay safe.
Jim