Estimating the number of COVID-19 cases being introduced into UK Higher Education Institutions during Autumn 2020

Research output: Working paper

Abstract

It is estimated that 81% of the 163 UK Higher Educational Institutes (HEIs) have more than a 50% chance of having at least one COVID-19 case arriving on campus when considering all staff and students. Across all HEIs it is estimated that there will be a total of approximately 700 COVID-19 cases (95% CI: 640 - 750) arriving on campus of which 380 are associated from UK students, 230 from international and 90 from staff. This assumes all students will return to campus and that student numbers and where they come from are similar to previous years. According to the current UK government guidance approximately 237,370 students arriving on campus will be required to quarantine because they come from countries outwith designated travel corridors. Assuming quarantining is 100% efficient this will potentially reduce the overall number of cases by approximately 20% to 540 (95% CI: 500 - 590). Universities must plan for COVID-19 cases to arrive on campus and facilitate mitigations to reduce the spread of disease. It is likely that the first two weeks will be crucial to stop spread of introduced cases. Following that, the risk of introduction of new cases onto campus will be from interactions between students, staff and the local community as well as students travelling off campus for personal, educational or recreational reasons.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherMedRxiv
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 Sep 2020

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