Partying students at Oxford Brookes are behind a 'small but growing' number of coronavirus cases in the city, the university has admitted. 

UPDATE: Public Health England speaks out on university cases 

In an email sent to residents in Headington, the university's chief operating officer Brendan Casey wrote: "We are currently dealing with a small but growing number of confirmed cases of Covid-19 amongst our Oxford-based students.

"These appear to have spread via social gatherings in off-campus private residential settings during the week commencing September 7."

He added the university is 'carefully managing the situation' in partnership with Public Health England.

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Mr Casey went on: "Rigorous procedures have been put in place to identify and isolate anyone who has come into contact with those affected, and to reduce the risk of transmission."

He added the university would be taking 'firm action' against those students 'who fail to act in accordance with their responsibilities and the law on social gatherings'.

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Mr Casey continued: "We are communicating with students to reinforce their responsibilities and to make it clear that non-compliance with Covid-19 guidance and regulations will not be tolerated by the University."

Oxford's infection rate has hovered just above 'amber alert' level - 25 cases per 100,000 people - since Friday.