Five areas in England hosting the largest student population have recorded the highest rates of new COVID infections, with the Delta variant affecting most of the young, unvaccinated people.
Central Oxford has registered 2,144 cases per 100,000 people, nearly ten times the national average of 239 per 100,000 people, thus recording the highest number of infections in England this week.
Oxfordshire county council’s director for public health, Ansaf Azhar, revealed that 80 percent of the infected people were at the age of 18 and 29, Erudera.com reports.
The second highest infection rates have been observed in Durham City, where 73 percent of residents are students, the House of Commons Library data have shown. On Monday, the city registered a total of 2,011 cases per 100,000 people.
Leeds University decided to allow students to isolate in halls despite their tenancy agreements ending, so the latter can complete their quarantine. It is still unknown how many students in Leeds are infected as many of them have returned home for the summer.
However, according to Leeds University’s data, 67 active cases of infected students and staff on July 4 tested positive during the last ten days.
“A lot of young people live in shared houses and many work in hospitality, which means they are more likely to come into contact with the virus,” the leader of Leeds city council, James Lewis, said.
North Jesmond in Newcastle, where 56 percent of residents are students, also recorded a high number of infection cases this week, with a total of 1,666.8 cases per 100,000 people.
Oxford University pointed out that it has been observing the recent increase in the number of new infections and has issued guidance to students, adding that those who have tested positive have been told to immediately quarantine in Oxford and that the latter will receive the “appropriate welfare support from their university and colleges.”
“We are working closely with Public Health England and the local councils, following their advice and supporting their drive to increase testing and vaccination across the city,” Oxford University’s statement reads.
Whereas, 66.5 percent of the local population in the Cathedral and Kelham area of Sheffield are students, and only 32 percent of all adults have received the first dose of the COVID vaccine.