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Update on Cases

Updated: 23 November 2020

Throughout the pandemic, we have been working closely with Public Health England, NHS Test and Trace and local health protection teams and with their input, take robust action in response to suspected and positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) among our staff and students.

We continue to implement a range of measures designed to reduce the risk of COVID infection to support our students and staff to protect themselves, those close to them and others in our wider community. All lectures and larger classes are being held online, while where possible, students and staff will be on campus for some small group teaching, practical classes and bookable library and study spaces, all at a safe distance. Individual risk assessments are in place for students and staff to identify any special circumstances. 

On campus, we have carried out risk assessments on buildings and spaces and have in place the use of face coverings inside our buildings unless exempt, one way systems with marked entrances and exits, cleaning stations and hand sanitiser throughout our buildings and disinfectant wipes provided to clean desks and shared equipment before and after use.

We have a student body of around 30,000 students and 9,000 staff members within our community. The health, mental health and wellbeing of our community is our priority and we are thinking about and supporting those within our community who are currently unwell or self-isolating. We know how difficult it is for our students and staff who may need to self-isolate and we are offering practical and wellbeing support, including how to access our mental health and wellbeing services.

Reporting a case

Reporting a case to the university is an important part of our measures and we ask staff and students to play their part by getting tested if they have symptoms and keeping us informed via our self-reporting process. When we receive notification of a suspected or confirmed case, we follow detailed processes and procedures, including identifying close and proximity contacts, communications to relevant staff and students, and cleaning of affected areas where appropriate.

Numbers of positive cases reported to us

To ensure we are being as transparent as possible about the transmission of the virus in our community, we are publishing new known positive cases of COVID-19 reported to us via our self-reporting process. We will update and publish figures on a weekly basis. We will report from the start of the Autumn term (from Monday 28 September 2020).

Latest update (23 November 2020)




New cases in last counted 7 day period*



Total cases since 28 September 2020 (Term 1 start)



*New cases are defined as new confirmed positive test results reported to King’s Personal Health Team.

As of midday Monday 23 November, 4 students in one of our residences have tested positive. All are now self-isolating, and their close contacts informed. However, the overall rate of infection and number of new positive test results across our entire staff and student community remains low. 

Students with a positive test result, symptoms or in close contact with an individual with a positive test result are self-isolating. Their teaching will be online and they will not be attending on-campus teaching and activities in line with Public Health England guidance.

Students are being supported by the residences and welfare team with food and grocery deliveries, regular check-ins and access to mental health and wellbeing support.

Those students who have completed their self-isolation period are able to return to on-campus teaching where scheduled.

The remaining cases reported to us since 16 November are identified as isolated cases with no causal link, in line with Public Health England’s guidance and definition.


We are looking to introduce end of term testing from Monday 30 November to both students and staff who have been coming onto campus or living in a King’s residence.

Students are strongly encouraged to complete the testing process before they travel home and by 9 December.

The full details of this scheme will be provided by the government to universities and we will then be able to update our community on how to book a test.

Advice for all students and staff

Please continue to be vigilant on COVID-19 symptoms and to follow government advice and university guidance on health and safety measures.

Please book a COVID-19 test immediately on the onset of symptoms (high temperature, a new continuous cough and/or a loss or change in sense of smell or taste) and stay at home if anyone in their household or close contacts has symptoms of COVID-19 or has tested positive.

Information is also available on our Managing the Virus and Taking Precautions webpage.

See also: Coronavirus Contact Tracing Privacy Notice

How our academics are supporting the response to coronavirus

Our scientists, academics and researchers continue to be at the forefront of the global response to the virus. This includes ground-breaking research to identify new symptoms using data from the COVID Symptom Study app, uncovering the antibody response to the virus, and providing invaluable social insights by analysing public perceptions of the pandemic.