Press Release

Covid-19: Urgent message for all students

Published on 25 September 2020

An urgent message for all University of Dundee students from Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor.

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Dear Student,

As you will be aware, the number of people testing positive for Covid-19 in Scotland has been rising sharply, especially in the student population. While the numbers vary by institution and residence, we have seen a significant increase in a number of cases in several parts of the country, including at the universities of Abertay, Napier, Glasgow and St Andrews. In Dundee there have been a small number of confirmed cases this week in the Parker House private student accommodation close to Abertay University.

We appreciate the large majority of students have abided by physical distancing rules and avoided socialising with individuals in other student and non-student ‘households’. Even so, there have been some breaches which we believe have helped to spread the virus within Scottish universities.

As we enter Freshers’ Week at Dundee, we must do all we can to help prevent the spread of Covid-19.

As new, tighter Scottish Government rules are now in place, I am asking you to avoid all socialising outside of your household. In halls of residence this is defined as your flat. Above all, you must not hold parties or attend gatherings of more than six people. The data across Scotland points to several of the recent outbreaks being traced to parties and other gatherings. We would also strongly advise you to avoid all hospitality venues such as bars and clubs this weekend.

I appreciate that these restrictions are unwelcome - especially as you settle into University life and establish new friendships, or are returning and renewing existing ones. This is not the start to Semester One that any of us wanted.

However, given the seriousness of the situation, we must take swift action to avoid a much worse outcome for ourselves and the wider community. Everyone has a role to play in stopping the further spread of the virus, with all the dreadful consequences this could bring.

The Scottish Government has also made it clear they will impose further restrictions if there continue to be more cases. Police Scotland have advised that they will take action where students break the law. Action now to prevent the spread of the virus is the only way we will avoid this.

In common with other Scottish universities, we will take a strict ‘Yellow Card / Red Card’ approach to breaches of student discipline that put students and others at risk. While we first want to advise and warn students about minor breaches of discipline, we will not hesitate to escalate this to disciplinary action, including potential suspension from the University.

You should abide by our Covid Code. Our penalties for breaches of this and the public health guidelines are outlined here.

If you have not already done so, please download the NHS Protect Scotland app: https://protect.scot/

I appreciate that in these difficult times, we may all need support and advice at various points. Please do not hesitate to access our support services if you feel we can be of help - we are all in this together, and are here for every member of the University community.

Support from our Enquiry Centre is available via email at enquiry@dundee.ac.uk.

You can also contact specific services:

• University Residences: residences@dundee.ac.uk
• Welfare and support guidance: stayoncourse@dundee.ac.uk
• International Student Support: internationalsupport@dundee.ac.uk

Contact details for all of our Student Services are here.

It is of the utmost importance that we all follow the guidelines. Please respect the Covid Code for the health and safety of us all, students and staff. Adhering to this advice and following clear university and government rules will allow you to get your semester off to a good start and will lay the platform for a great experience at our university.

Best wishes,

Professor David Maguire
Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Enquiries

Roddy Isles

Head of Corporate Communication

+44 (0)1382 384910

R.Isles@dundee.ac.uk