St Andrews student in self-isolation after coronavirus diagnosis

A student at the University of St Andrews has tested positive for coronavirus after visiting Switzerland.

In a message to students and staff, St Andrews vice-chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone said the student is recovering in self-isolation.

The student, who lives alone, developed Covid-19 after arriving back in the UK.

Prof Mapstone said: “Our primary concern is for our student, who is in self-isolation in St Andrews, receiving appropriate medical care and is recovering. Our student services team is in contact with them and providing support.

“The student had recently been in Switzerland and took ill the day after they returned to the UK. They self-isolated and contacted NHS 111 when symptoms first appeared.

“The student lives alone in private accommodation in St Andrews. We have been planning extensively for this eventuality for several weeks and our established protocols and advice have been closely followed.”

St Andrews students were advised this week to prepare for all teaching and assessment to take place online, the university said, with staff working to put in place the technology required for remote teaching and examinations.

Prof Mapstone added: “We understand this development will cause concern amongst our students, staff and the wider community. It is however entirely expected given the rapidly evolving nature of the pandemic.

“We have been advised by NHS Fife health protection team that classes at the university should continue to take place today, which is the last day of teaching before the start of spring break.”

The Scottish Government has not recommended that schools, colleges or universities close amid the pandemic, but First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has said the situation would be “kept under constant review”.

National clinical director Professor Jason Leitch told the BBC on Friday that guidance remains in place, adding such closures are “not necessarily going to happen”.