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Almost 1,000 students at one of the UK’s top universities have tested positive for coronavirus over the past week.

Durham University said 958 students and six staff tested positive for Covid-19 in the seven days up to Wednesday, October 14.

In a statement, the university said: “Over the last seven days, the number of reported positive coronavirus cases in students and staff has been steady, with approximately 100-150 new reported cases each day.

“We are proactively and regularly monitoring and managing the situation with local and national public health experts and taking appropriate action where required.”

It brings the total number of infections reported at the institution since the start of term to 1,220, with 11 cases recorded among staff and 1,209 among students.

Around 64 universities across the country have had at least one confirmed case of Covid-19, according to an analysis of university responses and media reports.

More than 7,200 cases have been identified among university students and staff, according to the survey by the PA news agency, which has contacted 140 institutions as of October 8.

The highest number of cases among students and staff appear to be in northern cities in England, as well as Scottish universities which opened first.

Last week, Durham University asked students living in two colleges to remain on campus for the next week. The announcement for St Mary’s College and Collingwood College followed a sharp rise in cases, it said.

Some students in both colleges were self-isolating and those who were not have been asked to remain on campus, not to go into the city centre and only travel for university-related activity.

Pro-vice chancellor Jeremy Cook said at the time: “We have been actively monitoring coronavirus case numbers across the University community throughout the pandemic and have implemented a range of carefully considered, progressive measures to reduce the risk of the virus spreading.”