Lancaster universities online teaching guidance withdrawn

Lancaster University said it is still open and will be continuing with its blended learning and teaching approach, which is being kept under review.

Tuesday, 20th October 2020, 9:22 am
Updated Wednesday, 21st October 2020, 10:34 am

Last Friday, Lancashire County Council issued guidance suggesting universities should move to online teaching as part of new Tier 3 restrictions, however this has since been withdrawn.

There has been some concern that students returning to university was having a significant impact on an area's positive Covid-19 cases.

An interactive map showing detailed information about Covid-19 cases in the Lancaster area can be viewed HERE.Latest figures show that between Monday October 12 and Sunday October 18, Lancaster University recorded 87 positive Covid-19 results for students living on campus, and 58 for students living in other accommodation in Lancaster.

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Lancaster University.

Four members of staff tested positive during the same period.

Lancaster University has approximately 3,500 staff members and typically welcomes around 15,000 new and continuing students.

A Lancaster University spokesperson said: "Guidance shared by Lancashire County Council earlier last Friday initially suggested that universities should move to online teaching, however this has since been withdrawn.

"In line with local government guidance, the university is still open.

"We will be continuing with our blended learning and teaching approach for the time being, but will keep these arrangements under frequent review.

"The default position for many staff is to remain working from home for the foreseeable future.

"Staff who are working on campus - to provide essential services or deliver in-person teaching - are continuing to do so.

"We are carefully monitoring cases among the University community on a daily basis, and have introduced a new testing facility on campus.

"At this stage the number of confirmed cases at Lancaster University remains low in comparison to other universities."

A spokesperson for the county council said: "There hasn't been any new guidance given to universities.

We made a passing reference to universities in a news release, but it didn't properly reflect the great work that's being done by them to adapt to coronavirus and protect their student populations, staff and the wider community, so we took it out."