1000 tests carried out after sharp spike in COVID cases linked to St Andrews University

Over 1000 people in St Andrews have been tested following a sharp spike on positive COVID cases linked to the town’s university.

Tuesday, 23rd March 2021, 9:01 pm

Only a small number returned positive tests, NHS Fife has confirmed.

The health board sent in an incident management team after a total of 23 students linked to the university had tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks.

It offered people linked to the university Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests which involve taking a swab of the throat and nose.

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University of St Andrews

The team included health and university officials as well as Fife Council’s environmental health service.

NHS Fife said approximately 1,100 people presented for testing and this resulted in only a small number of positive tests. Those individuals have now been instructed to self-isolate, alongside anyone they have been in close contact with.

Josie Murray, consultant in public health and clinical lead for health protection in Fife, said: “Testing for COVID-19 is vital in helping us to break the chains of transmission and I’d really like to thank those students who turned up in their numbers to get tested over the last week or so.

“We’re really encouraged to see so few people were found to be carrying the infection.

“This gives us some reassurance that by acting quickly, the measures taken by the Incident Management team, and indeed the actions of student population, have helped lessen the opportunity for the virus to spread beyond the affected areas. “

She said COVID-19 remains highly infectious and added: “It is vital, that we follow the control measures in in place, particularly around gathering indoors.”

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