The University’s testing service has confirmed 212 cases of COVID-19 among students and staff for the week 24th-30th October, with a positivity rate of 29.2%. This marks the third consecutive week in which the number of new cases has remained constant and brings the total number of confirmed cases since the implementation of the University’s testing service on August 20th to 708.

The University’s Status and Response website states that the figures released do not include positive test results received outside of the University testing service. It notes further that “due to the time interval between a test being done and the result becoming available, it is expected that there will be a mismatch between actual results and those confirmed to us on any given day”.

On Saturday, Oxford was moved into Tier 2, which will remain in place until new national lockdown restrictions come into place on Thursday. Following the government announcement on Saturday night, the University has updated its guidelines: “New National Restrictions will be introduced from this Thursday (5 November). The University is now considering the impact of these measures, and further information will be made available on these pages as soon as possible. You should also refer to the UK Government website for the latest advice.”

Figure 1: Cumulative COVID-19 Cases recorded by the University’s testing service. Data: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/status
Figure 2: New COVID-19 Cases recorded by the University’s testing service. Data: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/status

Until Thursday, Oxford will remain in Tier 2 and residents will have to adhere to the following new measures:

  • People cannot meet “socially” with anybody outside their household or support bubble indoors, including at home or in public places such as restaurants and bars. 
  • People should try to reduce the number of journeys they are making, and if they need to travel should avoid public transport where possible. 

The University has implemented a four-stage emergency response, depending on how wide the spread of COVID-19 is. The current status is Stage 2, which allows the University to operate “in line with social distancing restrictions with as full a student cohort as possible on site”, with teaching and assessment taking place “with the optimum combination of in-person teaching and online learning”. A Stage 3 response would imply “no public access to the University or College buildings” and “gatherings for staff and students only permitted where essential for teaching and assessment to take place”.


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