Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 21 October 2020)

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Recommended actions in case of infection of COVID-19 among students and staff

This information is aimed to support managers, study counsellors, course coordinators and other members of staff who have been informed of a student or member of staff who has been infected with COVID-19.

Inform immediate manager or course coordinator/teacher

All students and staff are encouraged to inform their immediate manager or course coordinator/teacher if they have confirmed COVID-19. The Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten may also contact the manager or course coordinator when contact tracing.

The University’s measures to prevent spread of infection should always be taken with consideration for preventing speculations and unnecessary worries.

Treat information carefully and with utmost respect for the individual’s personal integrity 

If you have received information that a student or member of staff has been infected with COVID-19, this information must be treated carefully and with utmost respect for the individual’s personal integrity – this is the same as in all other cases of disease.

Confidentiality applies regarding information about a student or staff infected with COVID-19. The information may not, without explicit support by law, be spread to others by the employer/the University without explicit, preferably written, consent from the individual concerned. Hence, a dialogue must be kept with the individual about what information is relevant and can be shared with colleagues or fellow students, and who should be communicating the information.

Contact tracing

Region Västerbotten carries out contact tracing. This means that a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be contacted by a contact tracer from Region Västerbotten for information and guidelines. Region Västerbotten may ask the manager or course coordinator to contact people who may have come in close contact with the infected person.

“Close contact” is defined as at least 15 minutes of contact within a proximity of two metres. People who have had such contact must be requested to be particularly observant of any symptoms for 14 days after the time of the contact. People who have had close contact with an infected person may continue to work or study as long as they are symptom-free, but they must be careful to keep distance to others and in general meet as few people as possible. Region Västerbotten has produced an example of how the information can be worded for people who have been in close contact with an infected person.

Clusters of COVID-19

Clusters of COVID-19, in this sense refers to a number of students or staff in the same group being infected with COVID-19. Also in the case of a cluster, each individual is to be treated according to the routine above. Region Västerbotten has no established number for the definition of “cluster”. Instead, an assessment is made in each case.

When a cluster has been confirmed, the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten will contact the manager or course coordinator in charge.

If a manager or course coordinator finds out that more than one person has confirmed COVID-19 in the group he or she is responsible for, it is vital that the Crisis Management Team at the University is informed as early as possible. Inform the Crisis Management Team about clusters of COVID-19 by sending an email to: corona@umu.se. Please note! Do not submit any personal data about any potential infected individuals in the email.

If a cluster should occur, Umeå University – through the Crisis Management Team – will work together with Region Västerbotten’s county medical officer to establish the most suitable action plan. The Crisis Management Team is responsible for informing the University Management. What measures are deemed necessary depend on various parameters, for instance how the spread of infection has occurred and how many people have been infected.

Measures involving students

When a student, for instance through contact with a teacher, has informed the University of his or her infection of COVID-19, the following measures are recommended:

  1. Discuss the situation with the student. Region Västerbotten takes care of contact tracing, and what is important is that everyone who has been in close contact with the infected person is informed. Individuals who have not been in contact with the infected person do not need to know. Focus should be on informing those in need of information, but not cause unnecessary worries. Come to an agreement with the student who should inform those who need informing.
  2. Discuss if the student wishes to make his or her name known or be anonymous in the information. Even if the student gives his or her permission to share the name, you should generally not disclose the name. In exceptional cases, you are allowed to inform others about who the infected person is – given of course that you have the individual’s permission to do so.
  3. Umeå University is happy to help any student to inform affected fellow students, if the student asks for help. Region Västerbotten has produced an example of how the information can be worded to people who have been in close contact with an infected person.
  4. Please inform the Crisis Management Team about the COVID-19 case by sending an email to corona@umu.se. If you find out that more than one person has confirmed COVID-19 in the group you are responsible for, it is vital that you inform the Crisis Management Team at the University as early as possible. Please note! Do not submit any personal data about any potential infected individuals in the email.

Read the full guide and see the sample text from Region Västerbotten

English guide (PDF)

Swedish guide (PDF)

Measures involving employees

When an employee, for instance through contact with the manager, has informed the University of his or her infection of COVID-19, the following measures are recommended:

  1. Discuss the situation with the employee. Region Västerbotten takes care of contact tracing, and what is important is that everyone who has been in close contact with the infected person is informed. Individuals who have not been in contact with the infected person do not need to know. Focus should be on informing those in need of information, but not cause unnecessary worries. Come to an agreement with the employee who should inform those who need informing.
  2. Discuss if the employee wishes to make his or her name known or be anonymous in the information. Even if the employee gives his or her permission to share the name, you should generally not disclose the name. In exceptional cases, you are allowed to inform others about who the infected person is – given of course that you have the individual’s permission to do so.
  3. Umeå University is happy to help any employee to inform affected colleagues, if the employee asks for help. Region Västerbotten has produced an example of how the information can be worded to people who have been in close contact with an infected person.
  4. Please inform the Crisis Management Team about the COVID-19 case by sending an email to corona@umu.se. If you find out that more than one person has confirmed COVID-19 in the group you are responsible for, it is vital that you inform the Crisis Management Team at the University as early as possible. Please note! Do not submit any personal data about any potential infected individuals in the email.

Read the full guide and see the sample text from Region Västerbotten

English guide (PDF)

Swedish guide (PDF)

Further questions?

Teaching staff or other members of staff who have questions are recommended to contact their manager.

Managers who have further questions are recommended to send an email to the Crisis Management Team on corona@umu.se.