LONDON (Reuters) - Northumbria University, in northeast England, said on Friday it has been hit by a mass outbreak of COVID-19 with at least 770 students testing positive for the virus.
COVID-19 outbreaks have hit nearly 50 British universities in the last few weeks, forcing students to self-isolate in halls of residence just days after their arrival for the new term.
"We can confirm that we are aware of 770 Northumbria University students who have tested positive for Covid-19, of whom 78 are symptomatic," the university, based in the city of Newcastle, said in a statement.
All the infected students were now self-isolating, as were their flatmates and any close contacts for 14 days in line with government guidance.
Across the United Kingdom, the number of cases has risen sharply in recent weeks, prompting tighter restrictions and several local lockdowns.
Britain reported 6,968 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, up from Thursday's figure of 6,914 but below the peak of 7,143 given on Tuesday.
There were 66 deaths within 28 days of a positive COVID-19 test, up from Thursday's level of 59 but lower than numbers earlier in the week.
(Reporting by James Davey; editing by Stephen Addison)