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EXCLUSIVE: Interview with flat in Lockdown

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LSU Media have held an exclusive interview with the first flat in Loughborough to be put into lockdown following one of the flatmates testing positive for COVID-19. 

We spoke to Ollie, Tabbs, Elle and Fleur who have all been placed into lockdown by the University after their flatmate Chris tested positive for Coronavirus on Friday.

Chris got a test after reportedly losing his sense of taste and smell earlier in the week – after having no symptoms before coming to Loughborough.

A total of 11 Robert Bakewell Hall Freshers are in the designated household, and all have been asked to self-isolate for the next 14 days.

This follows the flat only being in Loughborough since Wednesday.

The University helped the student recieve a test quickly through the ‘Connect and Protect’ system put in place by Loughborough University.

After finding out about the test results, the Vice Chancellor, Robert Alison, visited the flat (whilst remaining socially distant), to give them some words of encouragement and make sure that they were all coping well with the news.

Ollie mentioned to us that he was “looking forward” to spending 14 days staying in his flat as it means he has time to “settle in” to his course and his flat – whereas the rest of the flat weren’t so keen on being locked away for that long.

The flat, who are from Robert Bakewell Hall, however, have said that the University has been very supportive of them and have provided them with food and drink, as well as their Warden offering them any support they need over the next 14 days.

Despite being told they have to isolate themselves for a fortnight they are in high spirits and have made plans together as a flat to keep them occupied during their period in lockdown, including “board games” and “drinking games”.

The University is making plans for the group to have an “outside space” they can visit so they’re not stuck inside for their isolation.

We asked them how being the first flat to isolate is like: “Being the guinea pigs is quite daunting” Fleur responded, Ollie said that it was “annoying” because they could see from their window everyone else enjoying some of the in-person events Bakewell had been putting on – but that it was okay because there were enough online events for them to attend.

Giving advice to other students who may be facing isolation in the next few weeks, Elle asked everyone to “go out and have fun” whilst you can and “make the most of it”.

Label are keeping in contact with the group and will continue to give updates as to how living in lockdown whilst being in Halls is like.

The University today has announced that there are two households self-isolating on campus (approximately 20 students) after “two individuals tested positive for Covid-19”

A spokesperson for the University said that they are “supporting the students affected by delivering food, facilitating safe outdoor exercise and our pastoral teams have been in direct contact.”

They have also announced that they are deploying “rapid testing activity” on campus whenever there are symptoms being reported – they confirm that there have only been two positive tests after testing all symptomatic students (as of 16:00 today)

The University has emphasised the need for students to follow the 7 Golden Rules and should contact their Connect & Protect service to report any symptoms or cases.

They will be posting more details on Monday, including details of “off-campus” students.

Richard Taylor, Chief Operating Officer for Loughborough University, tweeted that there was “low” COVID-19 rates, and highlighted to returning students that they can “have parties or you can have University open this term. You can’t have both”

If you or anyone you know has tested positive for the novel Coronavirus, is in self isolation and want to speak to us, you can contact LSU Media here.

Article Updated 19:00 on 03/10/20 to include University statement

Article Updated 19:25 on 03/10/20 to include Tweet from Richard Taylor

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LSU Media Vice Chair 2020-21 LSU Media Chair 2019-20 Hall Media Coordinator 2018-19

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