Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine shows high efficacy, and is cheaper to make and easier to store

Oxford University’s COVID-19 vaccine, being developed in partnership with drugmaker AstraZeneca, has shown to be 70.4% effective in preliminary results from its Phase 3 clinical trial. That rate actually includes data from two different approaches to dosing, including one where two full strength does were applied, which was 62% effective, and a much more promising dosage trial which used one half-dose and one full strength dose to follow – that one was 90% effective.


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Oxford’s results may not have the eye-catching high efficacy headline totals of the recent announcements from Pfizer and Moderna, but they could actually represent some of the most promising yet for a few different reasons. First, if that second dosage strategy holds true across later results and further analysis, it means that the Oxford vaccine can be administered in lower amounts and provide stronger efficacy (there’s no reason to use the full two-dose method if it’s that much less effective).

Second, the Oxford vaccine can be stored and transported at standard refrigerator temperatures – between 35° and 45°F – whereas the other two vaccine candidates require storage at lower temperatures. That helps obviate the need for more specialized equipment during transportation and on-site at clinics and hospitals where it will be administered.

Oxford’s COVID-19 vaccine also uses a different approach to either Moderna’s or Pfizer’s, which are both mRNA vaccines. That’s a relatively unproven technology when it comes to human therapeutics, which involves using messenger RNA to provide blueprints to a person’s body to build proteins effective at blocking a virus, without any virus present. The Oxford University candidate is an adenovirus vaccine, which is a much more established technology that’s already been in use for decades, and which involves genetically altering a weekend common cold virus and using that to trigger a person’s own natural immune response.

Finally, it’s also cheaper – in part because it uses tried and tested technology for which there’s already a robust and mature supply chain, and in part because it’s easier to transport and store.

The Phase 3 trial for the Oxford vaccine included 24,000 participants, and it’s expected to grow to 60,000 by the end of the year. Safety data so far shows no significant risks, and among the 131 confirmed cases in the interim analysis that produced these results, none of those who received either vaccine dosage developed a severe case, or one requiring hospitalization.

This is great news for potential vaccination programs, since it introduces variety of supply chain into an apparently effective vaccine treatment for COVID-19. We’re much better off if we have not only multiple effective vaccines, but multiple different types of effective vaccines, in terms of being able to inoculate widely as quickly as possible.

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AstraZeneca and Oxford University’s vaccine is effective at preventing COVID-19, trial results suggest. Here’s everything we know so far.

Screen grab taken from video issued by Britain's Oxford University, showing a person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University in England, Thursday April 23, 2020 Oxford University Pool via AP

© Oxford University Pool via AP
Screen grab taken from video issued by Britain’s Oxford University, showing a person being injected as part of the first human trials in the UK to test a potential coronavirus vaccine, untaken by Oxford University in England, Thursday April 23, 2020 Oxford University Pool via AP

  • On Monday, AstraZeneca and The University of Oxford released results for their large-scale trial, which showed their COVID-19 vaccine was 70% effective. 
  • The Oxford vaccine is administered in two doses at least one month apart, similar to both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines. 
  • The vaccine is being sold far cheaper than the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, too — in part because AstraZeneca has pledged to make no profit from the vaccine, and to sell it at cost to developing nations on an ongoing basis. 
  • The European Medicines Agency (EMA), the regulatory body for Europe, has already started evaluating lab data produced by AstraZeneca and The University of Oxford vaccine as part of a “rolling review,” which could make approval faster.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

AstraZeneca and The University of Oxford announced Monday that large-scale trial results showed that their COVID-19 vaccine is 70% effective.

The results follow months of trials of more than 20,000 volunteers in the UK, Brazil, and South Africa, and showed that the vaccine stopped people from developing any COVID-19 symptoms in 70% of the cases on average. 

The results come after an “unexplained illness” in one UK trial participant paused the trials in September — but they restarted a few weeks later. 

AstraZeneca stock fell 2% after the announcement. The pharma firm’s stock was the worst-performing healthcare stock in Europe in early trading.

The news follows doses of optimism from vaccine candidates in the past few weeks. Earlier this month, both Pfizer and Moderna announced that trial results suggested their respective vaccines were 95% effective in preventing COVID-19, sending stock markets — and positive sentiments — soaring across the world. 

While the latest set of results from AstraZeneca and Oxford University are positive, further research is required before the vaccine can be approved by regulators around the world.

Here’s everything we know so far:

1. The vaccine is 70% effective, trial results suggest

The COVID-19 vaccine developed by pharma giant AstraZeneca and The University of Oxford is 70% effective, according to the latest trial results.

The vaccine is injected in two doses at least one month apart, similar to both Pfizer’s and Moderna’s vaccines. 

According to the trials, the effectiveness of the vaccine varies depending on the size of the doses. In cases where patients were given two full doses, the vaccine was found to be 62% effective — but when patients had a half-dose in their first shot, followed by a full dose in their second shot, the effectiveness rose to 90%.

Taking both these methods together, the vaccine produced an average effectiveness of 70%, AstraZeneca said. 

“These findings show that we have an effective vaccine that will save many

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16-Year-Old Emory Pruitt Becomes Clark Atlanta University’s Youngest Student

A teen from Tennessee has made history by becoming the youngest student to be accepted to Clark Atlanta University when she was just 15 years old.

The university announced that Emory Pruitt, who hails from Hendersonville, TN, has enrolled as a student at the university for fall 2020, making her one of the youngest students in the HBCU’s history and the youngest one in recent memory.

The young woman graduated from her high school early with a 3.7 GPA. Yet, her path to college was marked by challenges. Pruitt said adversity and racism in her hometown high school didn’t deter her from chasing her dream. “It actually was the dedication and my family that pushed me each day,” said Pruitt, who is now 16. “I should thank the people that doubted me; that just made me work even harder.”

Emory’s mother, Karen Pruitt, had enrolled her daughter in online classes at Penn Foster High School, a big decision that worked out for her.

“I know that this was the best choice to protect her and her feelings; no one should have to defend the color of their skin,” Karen said.

On her daughter being accepted to Clark Atlanta University, Karen said, “Words would not be able to describe how thrilled and excited she was to have come across a dream come true.” Better news hit the family when Emory’s brother Elijah Pruitt was also accepted into the university for the 2020 school year.

“We are honored that this exceptional young woman chose Clark Atlanta University to continue her studies and we look forward to supporting her through all of her endeavors,” said Lorri Saddler, associate vice president/dean of admissions. “Ms. Pruitt has already accomplished so much in just 16 years and we know she’ll continue to build on her successes.”

Clark Atlanta University is no stranger to notable events. The college was formed after Atlanta University and Clark College merged. Atlanta University, established in 1865 by the American Missionary Association, was the nation’s first institution to award graduate degrees to African Americans. Clark College, the nation’s first four-year liberal arts college to serve a primarily African American student population, was established four years later.

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Oxford University’s coronavirus vaccine shows 70% protection

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Vaccines: What are they and how can they help fight Covid-19?

A coronavirus vaccine developed by the University of Oxford in the UK stops 70% of people developing symptoms of the disease.

Other vaccines by companies such as Pfizer and Moderna showed 95% protection.

However, the Oxford jab developed with company AstraZeneca is a lot cheaper and is easier to store, meaning it can be transported all over the world.

The Oxford researchers have performed a large scale trial, where more than 20,000 volunteers, half in the UK, the rest in Brazil have taken the medicine to test how safe and effective it is.

Researchers found that the effectiveness of the jab rose to 90% in a group of volunteers who were given a half dose first, followed by a full dose. But it’s not clear why there is a difference at this stage.

The process of developing a vaccine normally takes ten years, but this vaccine has been made in around 10 months.

The UK government has pre-ordered 100 million doses of the jab, which is enough for 50 million people.

A small bottle labeled with a "Vaccine" sticker is held near a medical syringeReuters

When will people start getting the vaccine?

In the UK there are four million doses ready to go, with another 96 million to be delivered.

But nothing can happen until the vaccine has been approved by regulators who will assess the vaccine’s safety, effectiveness, and that it is manufactured to high standard. This will happen in the coming weeks.

However, the UK has begun planning for a large operation of vaccinations against coronavirus, much bigger than the winter flu jab given to older people or the injections you get while at school.

Care home residents and staff will be first, followed by healthcare workers and the over 85s. The plan is to then work down the age groups.

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Hundreds of LSU students protest the university’s mishandling of sexual misconduct complaints

Trigger Warning: This article contains information and details about alleged sexual assault and/or violence, which may be upsetting to some readers.

a group of people walking down the street in front of a crowd: Protesters gather and march on LSU campus in reaction to the way officials mishandled rape, abuse allegations against numerous football players. November 20, 2020.

Protesters gather and march on LSU campus in reaction to the way officials mishandled rape, abuse allegations against numerous football players. November 20, 2020.

Hundreds of teal-clad students, faculty, alumni and advocates carrying signs and chanting slogans marched through the Louisiana State University campus on Friday in reaction to LSU’s systemic mishandling of sexual misconduct complaints against top athletes and others, as revealed by a USA TODAY investigation published earlier this week.

Starting at the school’s Parade Ground and ending in the plaza in front of Tiger Stadium, the group of men and women held signs reading, “No means no,” and “Survivors deserve better,” as they shouted, “Keep your hands off of me.” 

They demanded change from an LSU leadership they see as slow to respond to allegations of sexual misconduct and dating violence. 

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“We don’t want another bogus press conference. We want answers,” said Angel Upshaw, co-president of the student group Tigers Against Sexual Assault, at the start of the march. Upshaw was among 26 student leaders who signed an open letter earlier in the week supporting resignation for LSU officials who mishandled complaints.

The USA TODAY investigation found that officials in the university’s athletic department and broader administration repeatedly have ignored complaints against abusers, denied victims’ requests for protection and subjected them to further harm by known perpetrators.

a person standing in front of a crowd: Rough 250 protesters marched at LSU demanding change in the way the university handles sexual misconduct and dating violence allegations.

Rough 250 protesters marched at LSU demanding change in the way the university handles sexual misconduct and dating violence allegations.

At least nine football players have been reported to police for accusations of sexual misconduct and dating violence since coach Ed Orgeron took over the team four years ago, records show. The university is known to have disciplined only two of them, and one – former wide receiver Drake Davis – was not expelled until four months after he was convicted of physically abusing his former girlfriend.

a group of people holding a sign: Protesters gather and march on LSU campus in reaction to the way officials mishandled rape, abuse allegations against numerous football players. November 20, 2020.

Protesters gather and march on LSU campus in reaction to the way officials mishandled rape, abuse allegations against numerous football players. November 20, 2020.

The university in response hired an outside law firm to conduct a review of its Title IX policies and handling of specific cases. Title IX is the federal law prohibiting sex discrimination in education.

About a dozen survivors and friends of survivors spoke at the protest, with some sharing their own stories and others expressing support and calling for accountability for the LSU officials who mishandled allegations. Samantha Brennan and Elisabeth Andries, whose stories were featured in USA TODAY’s investigation, both spoke and received loud applause.

Much of the anger was directed at the athletic department and football team. Women on campus should “matter as much as someone who wears a jersey on their back,” said LSU

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Boingo to Launch Cellular Services for San Diego State University’s New Multi-Use Stadium

SDSU Awards 15-Year Distributed Antenna System (DAS) Rights to Boingo to Power Mobile Fan Experience at New 35,000-Capacity Aztec Stadium

Boingo Wireless (NASDAQ: WIFI), the leading distributed antenna system (DAS) and Wi-Fi provider, has been selected by San Diego State University (SDSU) to design, build, operate and maintain a 5G-ready, neutral host cellular DAS network for the university’s new multi-use Aztec Stadium, which is expected to be completed for the 2022 NCAA football season.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201102005125/en/

San Diego State University selects Boingo to design, build and manage a 5G-ready DAS network for the university’s new multi-use Aztec Stadium. (Photo: Business Wire)

Aztec Stadium is part of a $3.5 billion SDSU campus expansion project in the Mission Valley neighborhood of San Diego. SDSU selected Boingo as the stadium’s DAS partner after a competitive review process, where the company stood out for its 5G expertise and neutral host approach that helps ensure all Tier One cellular carriers can access the network. Boingo will deploy service throughout Aztec Stadium, including bowl seating, the playing field, concourses, entry gates, press box, locker rooms, media center, administrative offices and the surrounding parking lots.

“The new Aztec Stadium will be a world-class sports and entertainment venue with world-class connectivity built for the 5G era,” said Boingo CEO Mike Finley. “We’re proud to enable the stadium’s tech-forward initiatives to keep guests connected—whether live-streaming kickoff, engaging on the Aztecs mobile app or using a mobile ticket.”

Boingo’s neutral host wireless network will be designed for multi-carrier 5G and LTE coverage, including millimeter wave (mmWave), a high frequency, high bandwidth 5G technology that can quickly transmit large amounts of data, such as augmented reality, virtual reality and 4K streaming. The network will be high-density to deliver seamless connectivity to guests, staff and athletes across the 35,000-capacity space.

“Aztec Stadium will define the next generation fan experience, where smart connectivity solutions enhance every venue touchpoint,” said SDSU Director of Intercollegiate Athletics John David Wicker. “Boingo is the right wireless partner to help us realize our vision of delivering this fan-first experience and we’re excited to have them on board as our neutral host 5G partner.”

Aztec Stadium adds to Boingo’s growing DAS portfolio of NCAA, NFL, NBA and MLS stadiums in the U.S., and expands its network footprint to more than 30 venues in California across major airports, transportation hubs, sports and entertainment venues, multifamily communities and military bases.

About Boingo Wireless

Boingo Wireless, Inc. (NASDAQ: WIFI) helps the world stay connected. Our vast footprint of DAS, Wi-Fi and small cells reaches more than a billion people annually, making Boingo one of the largest providers of indoor wireless networks. You’ll find Boingo connecting people and things at airports, stadiums, military bases, convention centers, multifamily communities and commercial properties. To learn more about the Boingo story, visit www.boingo.com.

View source version on businesswire.com: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201102005125/en/


Melody Walker
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Seattle University’s next president to be Cornell law dean raised in Puyallup

He’s a Puyallup native, a Rhodes scholar and a former clerk for a U.S. Supreme Court justice. Next year, Cornell University Law School dean Eduardo Peñalver will become the first Latino president of Seattle University, the private Jesuit college announced during an online event Thursday morning.

The appointment of Peñalver, 47, during a global pandemic marks an important moment for the school in Seattle’s First Hill neighborhood. Freshman enrollment is down by 10%. Students are attending classes primarily online. Peñalver will take the helm from a veteran president who has led the university for more than two decades; he’ll also be the first Seattle University president who is not clergy.

Peñalver will succeed the Rev. Stephen Sundborg, who announced his retirement in February. Sundborg plans to conclude his tenure at the end of this school year, his 24th as the university’s leader. Peñalver’s term will begin on July 1, 2021.

In an interview with The Seattle Times this week, Peñalver said his first priorities include familiarizing himself with the community, responding to the university’s short- and long-term enrollment challenges and building on the school’s social justice mission and academic programs.

“I want to spend a lot of time meeting people, listening to people,” he said. “I see so many opportunities to build on the strength of [the university’s] Jesuit tradition and the breadth of its academic offerings and its proximity to downtown and to this global tech hub.”

School officials declined to provide Peñalver’s salary, but said it is competitive with other peer universities. Sundborg earns around $448,000 annually, according to university tax documents from 2017.

Peñalver will take the reins of one of the state’s largest private universities; 7,050 students are enrolled this year, officials said. The school is known as a home to some of the nation’s leading business and specialty law programs. Roughly 49% of undergraduates are students of color, according to last school year’s data.

As the son of “very devout Catholics” who still live in the home they raised him in, Peñalver said his family is thrilled about his new role and for his homecoming to the Pacific Northwest. He and his four siblings attended All Saints Catholic School in Puyallup before graduating from Henry Foss High School in Tacoma. His wife and two sons — already avid Mariners and Seahawks fans, he said — will join him as he moves from Ithaca to Seattle.

Peñalver graduated from Cornell’s College of Arts and Sciences in 1994 and studied as a Rhodes scholar at the University of Oxford. In 1999, he earned a law degree from Yale Law School, then clerked for U.S. Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens before beginning his teaching career. He specializes in religion law and property law.

In 2014, Peñalver became the first Latino dean of an Ivy League law school. When he was a student in the 1990s, he said, he noticed that faculty and college administrators didn’t reflect the increasingly diverse student body. Recruiting a diverse administrative team

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Syracuse University’s Newhouse School establishes scholarship fund in memory of late dean …

Syracuse, NY, Oct. 22, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Mark J. Lodato, dean of the  S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications  at Syracuse University, today announced the establishment of the Lorraine Branham Scholarship Fund.  

Used primarily to recruit and support Newhouse students from socioeconomically disadvantaged populations and other underrepresented groups, the fund will provide under-resourced, talented students the opportunity to attend Syracuse University and the Newhouse School debt-free.  

The fund is named in honor of late Newhouse dean Lorraine Branham, who died in April 2019. “Lorraine was a champion of access to higher education, and I’m confident this new multimillion-dollar investment would make her proud,” says Lodato.  

This new fund will supplement the Lorraine E. Branham Endowed Scholarship for Newhouse students from underrepresented populations, which was created in Branham’s memory by alumni and friends following her death. 

Through the new fund, as many as 10 scholarships will be awarded each fall; recipients will be known as Branham Scholars. The fund will also support “Finish Line” scholarships for rising juniors and seniors who need financial assistance to complete their education at Newhouse. In addition, a merit-based Branham Prize will be awarded to an incoming first-year student as recognition of his or her accomplishments in the classroom and the communications space while in high school.   

Lasting Legacy  

“Lorraine was passionate about making diversity a priority across the school,” says  Amy Falkner, senior associate dean for academic affairs, who worked with Branham for 11 years. “It has always been a plank in our strategic plan and [led to] many of the initiatives and accomplishments that came about—in curriculum, recruitment and retention of students and faculty, scholarships, internships, guest speakers and speaker series.” 

Payton Campbell, now a senior in  graphic design, says Branham helped facilitate her enrollment at Newhouse, and was an inspiration to her. “Having a Black woman as the dean of my prestigious communications school meant everything to me. She motivates me to thrive and excel in my career every day,” says Campbell, who is president of the SU chapter of the National Association of Black Journalists. “Dean Branham dedicated her life to helping students of color like me gain access and superb training to reach our highest goals in the industry.” 

 Angela Y. Robinson ’78, director of operations for the National Association of Black Journalists, recommended Branham for the dean position in 2008. “With great conviction, Lorraine worked tirelessly to recruit, retain and support all students, especially students from underrepresented communities—students too often overlooked. She understood the urgency of not simply opening the door, but removing the door altogether,” Robinson says. “Because of this scholarship program, her legacy endures.” 

Continued Progress 

The establishment of the Branham Scholarship Fund is one of several initiatives aimed at expanding and enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion at the Newhouse School.  

 Beginning during Branham’s tenure, the school strengthened curricular content in diversity, adding the Race, Gender and Media course, which is required for all students. Industry partnerships with companies such as LinkedIn, Time Inc. 

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Belmont Students Want Trump Campaign to Follow University’s COVID Protocol, Say Disregard for Masks ‘Doesn’t Fly Here’

As Belmont University prepares for Thursday’s final presidential debate, students are conflicted over the school’s decision to host the event amid the coronavirus pandemic.

But it’s not the school administration that students have a problem with, it’s the Trump campaign’s disregard for face masks and other health and safety measures.

Students are confident in Belmont’s handling of the coronavirus and, for the most part, support the college’s “strict” COVID-19 protocol.

“Students are thinking, ‘is it hypocritical that we’re hosting [the debate] if we’re being so strict on campus, yet we’re allowing members of the Trump administration on campus?’,” Belmont junior Caroline Bugg told Newsweek.

“I think there’s a lot of students who are just frustrated—we can’t even have our mom come and stay with us or visitors come, yet both of these administrations are coming on campus and are just allowed to be here,” she added.

Under Belmont’s “Staying Healthy Together Pledge,” students are required to wear masks at all times on campus, both indoors and outdoors, to maintain social distance and undergo COVID-19 screening and testing.

Due to the outbreaks on other college campuses across the country, Belmont added a new protocol at the end of August prohibiting students from organizing, hosting, promoting, or attending large on or off-campus gatherings.

Students lost their Fall break so that the semester could be condensed and completed in time for Thanksgiving. And all these measures have worked.

Since reopening in mid-August, Belmont has reported only 82 student cases of COVID-19. Of the roughly 2,800 students enrolled at the private Christian university, only one percent of the student population has been infected.

There have also been an additional eight coronavirus cases among faculty and staff.

Belmont University Debate
A sign requiring to wear a mask is seen at Belmont University near the 2020 US Presidential elections debate hall on October 20,2020 in Nashville, Tennessee.
Eric Baradat/AFP

These figures come in stark opposition from those reported in Nashville, where Belmont is located, and the rest of Tennessee, which is undergoing a massive spike in hospitalizations related to the novel coronavirus.

On Tuesday, Tennessee’s COVID-19 hospitalizations reached an all-time high when the state’s department of health announced there were 1,259 patients hospitalized for their infections. In Nashville, health officials announced 441 new cases on Tuesday after reporting 276 new cases the day before.

Belmont, however, has managed to inoculate itself both as a college campus and in downtown Nashville, two factors that should have propelled the university into hotspot status.

But students are worried the debate and those attending it will burst their bubble.

“It would be a shame if this is what brought us down because we’ve been doing pretty good so far,” Belmont junior Wade Evans told Newsweek.

Evans said the college has worked tirelessly to enforce its safety protocols but the willingness of students to follow those protocols may not match those of the two presidential campaigns setting foot on campus Thursday.

“The students are all really good about wearing their masks and

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Bristol students to withhold rent over university’s ‘lack of support’

Hundreds of mainly first-year students in Bristol are poised to stage a rent strike in protest at the university’s treatment of people forced to self-isolate in halls and degree courses taught almost entirely online.

a group of people walking down a street next to tall buildings: Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

© Provided by The Guardian
Photograph: Alamy Stock Photo

According to organisers, more than 800 students have so far signed a pledge to withhold their rent to the university when it is due on Friday. They are calling for Bristol to release students who want to go home from their rental contracts, refund 100% of deposits, and offer a 30% reduction in rent for the rest of the year for those who choose to stay.

They are the latest group to threaten to withhold payment for accommodation, after students studying at universities including Glasgow and Cambridge did the same.

More than 900 students and staff at Bristol have so far tested positive for coronavirus, with many more forced to self-isolate as a result of being in contact with confirmed cases. Students who spoke to the Guardian said the university had failed to support students who were stuck in their flats for weeks on end.

They say food parcels have been insufficient and welfare checks sporadic or nonexistent, while young students have been confined to their flats for 24 hours a day, with no opportunity to exercise or, in some cases, even see natural light.

“People are not getting enough food,” said Saranya Thambirajah, a 19-year-old politics and sociology student from London. “There’s countless stories of people receiving one or two boxes [of food] for an eight-person flat for a whole two weeks; people not receiving vegetarian food if they’re vegetarian, or gluten-free and other dietary requirements like that; people receiving boxes with peanuts in them if they are allergic.”

Oliver Bulbrook, 18, also from London, who is studying English, said he and his five flatmates had been forced to self-isolate after one had come into contact with someone who tested positive.

“Despite registering as self-isolating on the first day it took just over a week for the food parcel from the university to arrive, and then, when it did, it was only suitable for two people and we were a flat of six,” he said.

Not only were the food packages insufficient, students said, but in many cases they did not contain essential items like cleaning products, tampons and sanitary towels.

Students said that security staff had been posted in halls to enforce Covid regulations, but with no clear communication from the university about what their powers were. In some cases security had threatened to fine students for having more than six people in their kitchens, despite those students living in flats of eight or 14 residents.

The university said that security staff were needed to ensure that students were

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