CORONAVIRUS cases at Bournemouth University made up around 15 per cent of all positive tests recorded in the BCP Council area last week.

The university confirmed it had 72 staff and student cases recorded in the seven days up to Friday, October 16.

According to the government's coronavirus case data website, the conurbation recorded 471 new positive cases in this period.

A Bournemouth University (BU) spokesperson said: "The numbers of positive Covid-19 cases at BU are smaller than at many other universities. We have had no large-scale or unexplained outbreaks and very few people who have tested positive have been on our campuses. All positive cases are being well managed through a clearly defined process and our campuses remain open and safe for students and staff.

"However, we recognise the concern that cases at the university may cause staff, students and the local community and have therefore taken the decision to publish the number of cases we have at BU. In terms of our total staff and student population, this number is low. The cases are spread across the whole university with no particular programme or accommodation of special concern.

"These figures will be updated at the end of each week and will be accessible on our website."

The university said since August 1 there had been 256 positive cases across the whole BU population of 1,723 staff and 16,606 students - this was regardless of location, with some working and studying remotely outside of BCP.

An update from chief operating officer Jim Andrews published on Tuesday, October 20, said: "Let me start by reiterating, our numbers are low when compared to others in the sector, these cases are distributed throughout the university and there is no significant outbreak in any particular course, hall of residence or other part of the institution.

"We have a clearly defined process for managing all cases and for supporting staff and students who may need to self-isolate.

"Due to the blended learning approach for teaching, which we have adopted this semester, very few positive cases have been linked to our campuses, but the rare isolated incidences where someone has been on site have been thoroughly followed up in terms of test & trace and cleaning.

"We continue to work with the public health teams locally to support the BU and community response to the pandemic.

"Any member of our staff or students potentially impacted by a positive case, or who may need to know for teaching or student support purposes, has been advised of any action they need to take. Our campuses remain open and safe for staff and students with full physical distancing and hygiene measures in place."

Following recent reports of students breaching the rules in relation to coronavirus and the rule of six, an email has been sent to them reminding them that they risk disciplinary action.

Mr Andrews added: "It goes without saying that we want to keep this number as low as possible, and this will only happen if we all continue to take every precaution and follow the rules in place. I appreciate that this can be limiting, but they are in place to keep us all safe.

"Following reports of a very small number of students breaking these rules we have sent an email this week to underline, in no uncertain terms, that any student found to be in breach of our Student Disciplinary Procedure will be penalised.

"We are actively working with BCP Council, and Dorset Police, and I am asking you again to consider your conduct as ambassadors of this university and play your part to keep us all safe."