Lancaster University students forced to isolate after Covid cases at grad ball held at city centre venue

Around 150 students from Lancaster University were forced to isolate after two people tested positive for Covid-19 at a graduate ball.

By Gayle Rouncivell
Friday, 9th July 2021, 10:28 am
Lancaster University.
Lancaster University.

The event was held at Kanteena in Lancaster on Monday June 28.

But three days later, Lancaster University Students' Union sent out emails to students, saying that anyone who had attended the ball should go into isolation immediately.

This came after two people present at the event tested positive for Covid-19 on Thursday July 1.

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The event was held at Kanteena in Lancaster.

On July 1, the Students' Union sent out an email to students calling on them to self isolate if they had attended the ball.

"You are receiving this email as we have a record of your attendance at the PG Ball on Monday," the message said.

"In accordance with Government guidance, you must isolate and seek out a PCR test as soon as possible.

"In order to assist this, the Students’ Union is working with the university in distributing these tests to you wherever practicable."

Pablo Aguilar from Kanteena said they were now following NHS guidelines to deal with the matter.

"As you can imagine it’s been a very challenging time, like for so many hospitality venues in Lancaster and nationally," he said.

"We are pleased that our systems were in place both with asking visitors to our venue to use the app, and where that wasn’t possible complete the Track and Trace form.

"In this case there was also a full list of people who had purchased tickets and this list was retained by the event organisers.

"We followed all procedures as informed by Track and Trace - particularly around guidance of what determines “contact” and therefore the need to isolate."

All students who attended the graduation ball were automatically banned from any Extravs - the end of year parties organised by Lancaster University colleges, which took place on July 1 and 2.

A university spokesman said they were working with the Students' Union to ensure students were kept safe.

They said: "The university has been liaising with Lancaster University Students' Union on the basis of notification from Public Health England arising from the event at Kanteena to ensure that students are contacted and receive appropriate advice about requirements for testing and self isolation."

Lancaster University Students' Union said they have complied with guidance given by Public Health England.

"We acted quickly to contact all students who had attended the recent Grad Ball encouraging them to take a PCR and/or LFD," a spokesman said.

"The event was ticket-only, and so we were able to identify all students that had attended immediately and get in touch with them.

"We are now making sure they have all the support they need to self-isolate and take the appropriate tests. We will comply fully with any guidance given to us by Public Health England or Lancaster City Council in this matter.”