An email apparently sent to students today, a copy of which has been shared with The Star, informs them that a member of staff in the Sheffield School of Architecture has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.
“We understand that this will cause you concern but our colleague is now self-isolating and we want to reassure you that the university is carefully monitoring the situation,” the message states.
“We are following guidance provided by the university and UK government and we are taking all action necessary to ensure your safety and wellbeing.
“We are closing Arts Tower floors 9 to 19 immediately (Friday 13 March 2020) until 9am on Wednesday 18 March 2020 for cleaning, in line with UK government guidelines.
“We will be in touch regarding teaching arrangements for the beginning of next week as soon as possible.”
The email was sent by Professor Karim Hadjri, head of school at the Sheffield School of Architecture, and is headed ‘please read immediate action required’.
It advises students to look out for updates from the university via email and on its coronavirus page.
The latter was last updated yesterday, Thursday, March 12, at 8.40pm.
It states: “The university remains open and at this time the latest advice and guidance states everyone should continue with their routine as normally as possible.
“There are currently no confirmed cases of coronavirus at the University of Sheffield.”
It adds that all university-related international travel is postponed or cancelled with immediate effect and that, in line with government advice, anyone with a high temperature or a new continuous cough should stay at home for seven days.
David Marriott, deputy manager of Forge TV, who broke the news, said the email had been shared by several students and he had seen students leaving the Arts Tower ‘in their droves’ this afternoon, taking coursework with them.
There have so far been three confirmed cases of coronavirus in Sheffield, according to Public Health England, and 797 across the UK, with no new cases officially confirmed in Sheffield today.