Plymouth Marjon University has recorded no new Covid-19 cases on or off campus for the first time in months, even after lockdown is eased.
Plymouth Marjon University got it rough when it came to the pandemic, with a gradual increase in cases in September, to a massive surge in mid January, where at one time on the 15th of January according to Katy Willis (Who writes the Coronavirus update emails for students), 16 cases of the virus were found to be circulating in students with 2 of these being off campus and 14 being on site.
Now over 3 months from the peak of Covid on campus, the data has shown a dramatic fall in the number of students testing positive. Some students such as Ryan McCabe, who is in his first year at Marjon, said “I think that the drop in cases is due to the weekly testing that students have to go through in order to study on campus, therefore we can stop the potential spread any further cases among other students” Some other students such as Joe McCormick, another first year student, believe that the gradual return of in person teaching has helped to slow the spread of the vicious disease.
When catching up with the Student Union president for 2021/2022 Lauren Edwards, I asked her about what she thought was the reason Marjon had seen such a decline in cases and how students had still been able to have fun, as well as keeping safe.
I think with Marjon being such a small university we’ve really been able to directly work with our students, highlighting the risks of covid, how to look after yourself, peers, and staff – I think that sort of tightknit community and nature has meant we’ve stayed relatively covid safe. I suppose in a way because everyone knows everyone (pretty much!) less risk taking happens because you’d inevitably know someone that got it and wonder if it was your fault – that’s the joy of Marjon being as small as it is.”
Students here have taken a great mindset and risk awareness, still having fun, but being sensible, following the rules, and with the opening of the test centre on campus (both the lateral flow and the PCR centre) our students have been able to get a test so quickly and easily that it’s just added to how safe they feel”
When asked about how the team at Marjon had dealt with the pressure she said:
The coronavirus team have been fantastic, peers helping peers with the support of the staff. It’s really been a pleasure to see how many people have offered a helping hand and being able to work with the students, covid team, testing centre, etc as the SU has been fantastic!
Covid cases continue to flatten out in England with a 7 day average as of April 30th of only 2,000 cases being recorded each day, compared to almost 50,000 cases per day on average in early January. Though there is growing concern over a new Indian variant of the virus, which has been recorded over 400 times. Though downing street has said it is currently of “No great concern”.