British Dorms on Lockdown After Coronavirus Outbreaks


Inside a dormitory at Manchester Metropolitan University, trash piled up in shared kitchens. Students washed their clothes in bathroom sinks. Security guards were stationed at the gates, keeping anyone from leaving or entering.

When the virus tore through student housing, students were largely left to fend for themselves, nurse roommates back to health, and rely on food deliveries from their parents who drove hours to deliver food, and lawyers who offered pro bono help.

“It really was abandonment,” said Lucia Dorado, a freshman, speaking about the university’s response. “They put in barely anything to battle this, and it’s come at the expense of our mental and physical health.”

To date, roughly 90 British universities have reported coronavirus cases. As in the United States, outbreaks are seeping into surrounding towns. Worst of all, thousands of British students are confined to their halls, many living with infected classmates and struggling to get tested themselves.

“This was just awkward for all of us,” he said.


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention took a close look at a 13-year-old girl who contracted the virus and spread it to her family. Here’s how the outbreak happened:

  • A 13-year-old was exposed to the virus away from her home.

  • A rapid antigen test came back negative four days later.

  • Two days later, she developed nasal congestions — her only symptom.

  • That same day, she traveled with her family to a get-together with 20 relatives, then stayed with 14 of them in a large house over the course of a month.

  • No one in the house wore masks or practiced social distancing, and 12 of them (including the girl) eventually became infected with the virus. One was hospitalized and another was taken to an emergency room because of trouble breathing. Both recovered.

  • Six other relatives stopped by the house over two days — once for about 10 hours, once for three — but stayed outside and maintained social distance. Although they didn’t wear masks, none of them became ill.

Her example provides yet more evidence that while adolescents may not get as sick from the virus as adults, they can quickly spread it to others. The study adds to evidence that teenagers are more likely to become infected and spread the virus than younger children.

“It re-emphasizes the importance of basic public health precautions, even with people we know and love,” said Megan Ranney, a professor of emergency medicine at Brown University who was not involved with the study.



At historically Black colleges and universities, homecoming is part family reunion, part revival. It’s canceled this year, so our colleague Charanna Alexander put together a virtual celebration.

“I was first captivated by the experience as a freshman at Howard University,” Charanna wrote. ‘But it wasn’t until my return as an alumna to the Mecca (a nickname for the school adopted by many students) that I appreciated the experience of Black fellowship on a deeper level.”

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