Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 17 September 2020)

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Proactive testing of COVID-19 on Campus Umeå

The study has now been completed. Thank you to everyone who participated! The Public Health Agency of Sweden is responsible for publishing the results of the study when all analyses have been completed.

About the study

The Public Health Agency of Sweden gave Region Västerbotten and Umeå University the assignment to, during two weeks in September 2020, carry out a prevalence study to investigate and follow what happens to the spread of disease in society during a pandemic when, for instance, a university campus reopens. The project was called Proactive testing of COVID-19 on Campus Umeå and was a part of a national prevalence study on COVID-19.

On several occasions during the pandemic, the Public Health Agency of Sweden assigned other parties the task to perform this type of study on COVID-19. However, this Umeå study had the potential of becoming the biggest study so far and was also an opportunity to test individuals from various parts of Sweden, and potentially international travellers, in one study. Västerbotten and Umeå had also been relatively spared from COVID-19 infection, which made the study particularly interesting. It was also the first time in Sweden this type of testing was performed at a university.

The purpose of the study

One purpose of the study was to contribute with knowledge on how effective it was to test a certain group or population showing no symptoms of current infection. The study was also an important part in the understanding of where disease spreads and how common it is that infection spreads from individuals without any symptoms.

Another positive effect of the study was that Region Västerbotten could locate potential disease carriers to quickly reduce the risk of these spreading the disease further.


Around 40 employees at Umeå University took part in the project, not least 35 of the affiliated teachers and doctors at the Faculty of Medicine and Region Västerbotten, who volunteered to aid in the following up of any positive test results. Additionally, the project had help from staff from Region Västerbotten and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences.

The role of the Swedish Armed Forces

The Swedish Armed Forces were assigned to coordinate the handing out of self-testing kits and the collection of completed tests at three pick-up and drop-off points on Campus Umeå.


If you have questions about the study, please contact

Practically no spread of infection on campus at the start of the semester
Practically no spread of infection on campus at the start of the semester

The results show a very low prevalence of COVID-19 at the start of the semester, and no increase.

“Thanks to everyone who participated!”
“Thanks to everyone who participated!”

Sweden's so far biggest COVID-19 study has now been completed. Thousands of students and staff participated.