NHS Fife is providing an update on COVID-19 cases linked to the University of St Andrews. 

In recent weeks, a sharp increase in COVID-19 infections was detected amongst some of the student population in the town, following low levels of the virus within the University over many months.  

An Incident Management Team was established comprising representatives of NHS Fife’s Health Protection Team, the University of St Andrews and Fife Council’s Environmental Health Service, to ensure the necessary measures are in place to limit the opportunity for further spread of the virus. 

In order to identify those potentially carrying COVID-19, PCR testing was offered to those in the University halls of residence and students living in private accommodation in the town.  

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

A total of 23 students linked to the university have tested positive for COVID-19 in recent weeks. 

Consultant in Public Health and Clinical Lead for Health Protection in Fife, Josie Murray, 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. 

“COVID-19 remains highly infectious and can be spread so very easily by those with little or no symptoms at all. It is vital, therefore, that we follow the control measures in in place, particularly around gathering indoors, if we are to continue to supress the virus and get back to doing the things we all enjoy.”  

It remains as important as ever that anyone experiencing the well-established symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of how mild, should immediately self-isolate and arrange a test using the NHS inform website www.nhsinform.scot or by calling 0800 028 2816.   

A local online support hub has been created to provide information on testing for COVID-19 and updates on the pandemic. Visit: www.nhsfife.org/coronavirus