Updated: University of York student is one of the two UK coronavirus patients

File photograph of buildings on the Heslington East campus at the University of York. Photograph: Anna Gowthorpe/PA Wire
1 Feb 2020 @ 12.05 pm
| News

One of the first two people to test positive for coronavirus in the UK is a student at the University of York.

The pair – two members of the same family – are being treated at a specialist unit in Newcastle.

They had checked in to the Staycity apartment-hotel in York on Wednesday and were taken to hospital that evening.

Health chiefs confirmed on Friday that they had tested positive for the virus – which has killed 259 people in China.

Concern and anxiety

The Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne, where the two patients who have tested positive for coronavirus in England are in a high consequence infectious disease unit. Photograph: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
The university has advised people concerned about their health in relation to the disease to call 111, and have also set up a call centre over the weekend.

Concerned students can call on 01904 809571.

Vice-chancellor Professor Charlie Jeffery said:

  • Our immediate concerns are for the affected student and family, along with the health and continued wellbeing of our students, staff, and the residents and visitors of our city.

    We understand this development will cause concern and anxiety.

    I want to reassure our students, staff and the wider community, that we are working closely with the lead agency, Public Health England, and other agencies to manage this situation.

The hotel firm has said the apartment involved has been thoroughly disinfected and PHE has been providing support.

The two patients are being treated by Newcastle upon Tyne Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust in its specialist Airborne High Consequences Infectious Disease Centre (HCID).

Professor Sharon Peacock said PHE is contacting people who had close contact – defined as being within two metres of the infected person for 15 minutes – with the pair.

In a statement issued on Saturday evening, the university said:

  • the diagnosed student was not on campus or in student accommodation for the period before they were exposed to the virus
  • the diagnosed student was not on campus or in student accommodation after being exposed to the virus.