Nearly 1,000 students test positive in one week at UK's Durham University

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Almost 1,000 students and staff members at Durham University have tested positive for coronavirus within the past week, reported the university Thursday.

The university, located in northern England, said in a statement that 958 students and six staff members were diagnosed with COVID-19 in the seven days up to Wednesday.

A spokesman said, "Over the last seven days, the number of reported positive coronavirus cases in students and staff has been steady, with approximately 100-150 new reported cases each day. We are proactively and regularly monitoring and managing the situation with local and national public health experts and taking appropriate action where required."

He added that all affected staff and students were self-isolating in accordance with NHS guidance and were "receiving our full support".

Two of the university's 17 colleges, St Mary's and Collingwood, had new restrictions imposed upon them since Oct. 8 to try to limit the spread.

Since the start of the autumn term, a total of 1,209 students and 11 staff at Durham University have tested positive for the coronavirus.

The spokesman said the teaching and wider student experience activity "continues both online and face-to-face, in COVID-secure settings."

The university has about 4,000 staff members and 20,500 students.

BBC reported meanwhile Newcastle University in Britain said 749 students and 11 staff tested positive for coronavirus in the seven days up to Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to nearly 2,000 since the start of autumn term.

Some large UK universities which have major outbreaks, including the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield and the Manchester Metropolitan University, already have halted face-to-face teaching and shifted to online classes.

To bring life back to normal, countries such as Britain, China, Russia and the United States, are racing against time to develop coronavirus vaccines.

The British government's Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance has said that it is possible that some vaccine could be available in small amounts later this year, but it is more likely that a vaccine will be available early next year, although that is not guaranteed.

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