The University of Salford is to suspend all first and second year lectures as the number of COVID-19 diagnoses across the region continues to rise.

Concern over COVID-19, also known as the Coronavirus, has been rising in recent weeks – with the World Health Organisation declaring the disease a pandemic on March 11.

In an email to all students, Registrar Alison Blackburn said: “This is a challenging time and we want to assure you that your safety is our priority.

“At this time, the advice from the Government’s Scientific Advisors is that there is no reason to close education settings. Therefore, the campus and student accommodation remain open and we will continue to work and offer our range of services as usual.

“However, given the pace of change with regards to this situation, it is necessary that we prepare for any potential future impact on your teaching and assessment.”

Whilst third-year and postgraduate students are advised to attend their lectures as normal, the email continues: “For all other students (1st and 2nd year undergraduate students and Foundation year students) we have decided to temporarily suspend scheduled teaching and assessment between Monday 16th and Friday 27th March.

“This pause will give us time and space to plan for changes that may be necessary in the weeks to come.”

This move comes after the parent of a child at Lewis Street Primary School, Eccles, was diagnosed with the disease on Thursday.

Many other universities across the north of England, including Sheffield, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Manchester have suspended face-to-face lectures.

The University of Salford is attended by thousands of students, with a cohort of 20,815 in the academic year 2018/19.

Students attending the University will be provided with further information as it becomes available.

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