Guided by public health advice, Manchester’s universities are set to move to online learning only for most courses to help fight the rising rate of Covid infection in the city.
The decision was made by Director of Public Health David Regan and Manchester City Council’s chief executive, Joanne Roney OBE, working with the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University, and Public Health England as part of action to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in the city.
There was a rise of 2,740 new cases of Covid-19 in the seven days up to Thursday 1 October, with the increase being driven primarily by a rise in numbers in the 17-21 age group. Manchester’s cases are now above 500 per 100,000 people.
The move is also consistent with Department for Education guidance and means that face-to-face teaching will only happen for accredited and professional programmes, for on-campus laboratory, clinical and practice-based teaching.
Online learning will take effect from tomorrow, Wednesday 7 October. This change will be in place until 30 October 2020.
David Regan, Director for Public Health, said: “This is the right thing to do and supports our approach using data and a local approach to contain outbreaks so that we reduce the possibility of further infection. More online teaching will protect staff, students and the wider community, which is what we want and need.
“As people will no doubt know from the news our current Covid figures are high – and in particular the rate of infection in the last seven days for our 17-21 year-old category is almost 6 times higher than in the rest of the community.
“Today’s announcement, plus following all our local restrictions means that we have a consistent approach.”