SAGE guidance on the risks of covid-19 and teaching at UK universities in 2020/21 – updated

I first shared this over the weekend, when it got little notice. Compared to most of the stuff I post on this blog, this is really important. So reblogging it now, with some additional links at the bottom.

My previous list of pieces on universities is here; and a lot more on covid-19 can be found here – Geographers, sociologists, philosophers etc. on covid-19

Progressive Geographies

The SAGE (Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies) guidance Principles for Managing SARS-CoV-2 Transmission Associated with Higher Education was published on Friday evening [4 Sept 2020] (though dated to the previous day). It can be downloaded here. It is important, though disturbing reading. The Executive Summary gives a good indication:

There is a significant risk that Higher Education (HE) could amplify local and national transmission, and this requires national oversight.It is highly likely that there will be significant outbreaks associated with HE, and asymptomatic transmission may make these harder to detect. Outbreak response requires both local plans and coordinated national oversight and decision-making.

It is essential to develop clear strategies for testing and tracing, with effective support to enable isolation.Universities are good locations to pilot approaches such as population case detection (PCD). Enhanced testing in response to suspected outbreaks is likely to be beneficial in detecting and preventing…

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