York coronavirus student did return to his apartment in the city, university confirms

The Vita York student block on Lawrence Street. Photograph: David Lindsay
4 Feb 2020 @ 7.48 pm
| News

A student who contracted coronavirus returned to his apartment but did not come into contact with other residents, the University of York said today.

The unnamed student, who is being treated with a relative at a specialist facility in Newcastle, was not in the Vita Student block on Lawrence Street when he came into contact with the virus but “did return to their room on one occasion and stayed overnight”, the university said, as it moved to reassure other students.

In statement on Tuesday, it said:

  • Public Health England (PHE), as part of its on-going investigation into coronavirus in York, has now confirmed that the diagnosed student has a tenancy at Vita Student, a private student accommodation provider located in the city.

    PHE has also confirmed that the student was not in Vita Student accommodation when they came into contact with the virus, but did return to their room on one occasion and stayed overnight.

    During this brief period the student did not meet other residents or staff at the building or make use of the communal facilities.

    PHE has confirmed that they do not need to undertake any contact tracing with residents of Vita Student.

It said that the apartments are used by both University of York and York St John University students

Reassured by investigation

A room at Vita York
PHE has been working to trace people who had close contact with the pair, who had checked into the Staycity apartment-hotel in York.

The university said the new information does not change its risk assessment of “low” and that there is negligible risk of onward transmission of the virus.

Max Bielby, managing director of Vita Student, said:

  • As confirmed by Public Health England (PHE), the affected student is a resident in our city of York accommodation, and did return to their apartment for an overnight period.

    We are reassured that the PHE investigation has established that the student did not come into contact with any other resident in the Vita York development, and that no additional precautionary measures are required.

The new build section of Vita York
A team from both universities and Vita Student were at the residence this evening to answer any questions and provide other support and guidance.

The statement went on: “We would like to reassure the students at Vita Student accommodation that PHE has stressed that they are not at risk and no further precautionary measures are necessary.

“There are no restrictions of any kind to students’ ability to come and go from their apartments and to attend all classes and seminars as normal.”