This morning, Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Sally Mapstone released an update regarding the pandemic of coronavirus Covid-19 in the UK, Europe, and other parts of the world. The information, sent via email to all students of the University, comes ahead of Spring Break and outlines the steps the University plan to take, having considered “expert medical advice and in close consultation with the Scottish Government”.
In the email, students leaving St Andrews over Spring Break are advised to ensure that they bring all equipment and materials that they may require in order to be taught and supervised remotely in the event that the University should decide to deliver teaching online over the break. Principal Mapstone also suggests students should be prepared for the possibility that they will be told not to return to St Andrews after Spring Break if there is a significant spread of the virus.
The email also asks those travelling overseas during Spring Break to consider that they will most likely be required to self-isolate upon their return to St Andrews due to the “rapidly changing” situation in many countries, especially those in Europe. Self-isolation in University Halls of Residence, which are limited in their facilities to provide managed self-isolation, will mean being unable to leave one’s room for two weeks, except for toilet trips. Principal Mapstone reminds students that destinations which currently appear more or less unaffected by Covid-19 could quickly become affected.
The email outlines that students who wish to cancel planned travel over the break and reside in Halls will be permitted to stay in Halls over the break and meal service will be provided.
Principal Mapstone urges the student body to consider others during the outbreak of the pandemic. Though the virus causes a relatively mild illness in the majority of those who contract it, especially younger generations, it can be life-threatening for the elderly and those with underlying health conditions.
Concluding the update, the Principal wrote “Please ensure you are prepared for the likelihood of further significant disruption in the days and weeks ahead.
“Please be assured – the University is not preparing to close and will not close. We will continue to deliver teaching and assessment for credit to the best of our ability, whether that is in classes, or remotely online.”
You can contact the Coronavirus Helpdesk in the Advice and Support Centre, North Street, firstname.lastname@example.org, tel: 01334 464146.