University of Sheffield confirms staff member has coronavirus, as it suspends face-to-face teaching

The University of Sheffield is suspending all face-to-face teaching, after confirming one of its employees has tested positive for coronavirus.

Friday, 13th March 2020, 8:13 pm
Updated Friday, 13th March 2020, 8:13 pm

The Star reported earlier how 11 floors of the university’s Arts Tower had reportedly been closed for a deep clean after a member of staff in its Sheffield School of Architecture was diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.

The university has now issued an official update, confirming that a member of staff is self-isolating after contracting the virus, and saying it is aware of a ‘small number’ of unrelated suspected cases of the virus among students.

“The university remains open, but we have no alternative option, given the current circumstances, but to temporarily suspend face-to-face teaching from Monday 16 March. This means there will be no face-to-face lectures, seminars or tutorials from this time,” it said in a statement.

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The University of Sheffield has confirmed that an employee has tested positive for coronavirus (pic: Google)

“We are making plans to deliver teaching online and will provide updates as soon as possible.

“The university has been notified that one member of staff has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is following PHE advice and self-isolating. We are also aware of a small number of unrelated suspected student cases of the virus.

“We want to assure students and staff that the risk of the virus having passed on to other people on campus is low and the University’s COVID-19 Management Group is working with Public Health England (PHE) and following government guidelines in terms of appropriate next steps.”

There have been just three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Sheffield, according to the latest PHE figures, with no new cases in the city today despite the UK-wide tally rising by 207 to 797, and 10 people in the UK now having died after contracting the virus.

Students at the University of Sheffield have been informed that all university-related international travel is postponed or cancelled with immediate effect.

They have been advised to follow good hygiene practices, washing their hands thoroughly and regularly, and to stay at home for seven days if they have either a high temperature or a new continuous cough.