University announces suspension of classroom teaching from Monday amid COVID-19 virus outbreak

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Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Bradley has today announced the decision to end classroom teaching of all forms from Monday 16th March until the end of term on Friday 20th March amid the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak.

In a statement released on Friday morning, the Vice-Chancellor has said that ‘no member of the campus community has tested positive for the virus’, but the decision has been taken ‘to safeguard the health and well-being of our students and staff.’

The University itself will remain open, but ‘core activities will be taken differently.’

The Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences have postponed their Applicant Visit Day scheduled to take place tomorrow, Saturday March the 13th.

Today’s news follows a speech made by Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday afternoon, in which he called the coronavirus ‘the worst public health crisis for a generation.’

At the time of writing, 10 people in the U.K. have died from the coronavirus.

The full statement from the Vice-Chancellor reads:

Given the decision by the UK government yesterday to move into the delay phase of combating the Covid-19 virus we have decided to end classroom teaching of all forms from Monday 16th March until the end of term (Friday 20th March). Whilst no member of the campus community has tested positive for the virus, this decision has been taken to safeguard the health and well-being of our students and staff. 

Teaching will continue today (Friday 13th March) as normal, but please do not turn up to any teaching activities next week. We will update you when teaching activities return to normal. In the meantime we will endeavour to provide teaching by alternative means. As you will appreciate this is an unprecedented situation, so please bear with us while we work to make these alternative arrangements. Your department will be in contact shortly with details of the arrangements for different courses.

This does not mean that the University is closing and students living on campus will be able to continue to do so. It may mean, however, that we organise some of our core activities differently.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you for your patience and understanding at this challenging time.

Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve Bradley

The University have said:

Lancaster University has a dedicated team closely monitoring the global situation with Covid-19 and is issuing regular advice and guidance to students and staff, reflecting updates from the World Health Organisation and Public Health England.

Given the decision by the UK government yesterday to move into the delay phase of combating the Covid-19 virus, we have decided to end classroom teaching of all forms from Monday 16th March until the end of term (Friday 20th March). Whilst no member of the campus community has tested positive, this decision has been taken to safeguard the health and well-being of our students and staff.

We are committed to keeping our staff and students informed of the very latest advice from relevant authorities and are responding to any concerns.

In line with updated advice from Public Health England, we are advising any students and staff who have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough to stay at home for seven days, to follow the stay at home guidance and alert the University so we can offer support.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office has advised that UK nationals in China who are able to leave should do so. We are giving staff and students advice on travel and health, based on official guidance from the World Health Organisation, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. We are proactively contacting staff and students who may be affected by travel limitations to offer advice and support.

We are promoting general advice which is to follow the public health guidance and good levels of personal hygiene and we are directing students to the NHS helpline if they are worried about symptoms. Advice is displayed around campus on our e-screens or available from the following webpage.

Lancaster University

The University has set up a dedicated mailbox to support students and staff with specific queries: coronaqueries@lancaster.ac.uk. This is being monitored regularly.

Update: Lancaster SU close the Sugarhouse

(15:45, 13th March 2020)

Lancaster SU have released a statement stating they are closing the Sugarhouse nightclub as a precaution.

In response to the spread of Coronavirus across the country, the decision was taken by the Students’ Union to close The Sugarhouse for the immediate future.
 
This is not a decision that was taken lightly, but we believe it to be in the best interests of the health and safety of students who attend the venue and staff who work there.

This decision follows the University’s move to suspend classroom teaching and endeavour to provide alternative means from Monday 16th March.

The Students’ Union will keep this decision under review and as soon as it is felt that it is safe to reopen, we will do so.
 
Student staff at Sugarhouse have been informed of this decision and the reasons for it.
 
A member of the Sugarhouse Management will be on site tonight between 8pm-9pm should students wish to collect any lost property or coats left in the cloakroom.
 
If you have any queries, please email help@lancastersu.co.uk .  

Lancaster SU Spokesperson.

This is an ongoing story.

Olivia Kenny

Hi! I'm Olivia (but everyone calls me Liv) and I'm the Associate Editor for SCAN for 2019-2020. I was previously the News Editor and have contributed to the section since the beginning of my first year. Now in my third year, SCAN is a huge part of my University life. Feel free to drop me an email if you have any questions, I'd love to hear from you!

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