New measures necessary as COVID-19 spreads locally
On 10 November, local guidelines came into effect, which has resulted in a need for further measures at Umeå University to limit the number of individuals on our campuses. For four weeks onwards, presence in university premises must be avoided, members of staff must work from home to the extent possible, and digital solutions are to be used to an even greater extent in teaching and assessment. Also, no physical events or meetings may be held in university premises.
Text: Camilla Bergvall / Anna Lawrence
At the start of November, the Public Health Agency of Sweden began deciding on intensifications in the guidelines for several Swedish counties where infection in COVID-19 has increased. As the increase of COVID cases has also hit Västerbotten, the Public Health Agency of Sweden, in consultation with the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten, decided to introduce intensified local guidelines. These guidelines or restrictions are officially called “general advice”, but must be seen as measures that everyone are obliged to adhere to, not something that is voluntary. They take effect immediately and were originally valid until 8 December, but have now been extended until 13 December. After this, national guidelines are to be expected. (Updated on: 30 November 2020)
“Our current situation is very serious and everyone needs to take their responsibility and follow the local guidelines. It is crucial in order to reduce the fast spread of disease and protect those who are at risk from becoming seriously ill,” says Stephan Stenmark, infectious disease physician in Västerbotten.
The following guidelines now apply to Västerbotten County
This autumn, the number of people on Campus Umeå has been slightly reduced compared to other autumn semesters. However, due to the increased spread of COVID-19 in the county, the Vice-Chancellor has now decided to introduce additional measures to further reduce the number of people on campus.
“We must all do what we can to reduce the heavy increase of infection in COVID-19 that is ongoing in the region. To safeguard our organisation and reduce the risk of spreading infection, we have decided to apply further, stricter measures to the University,” says Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson.
“These measures are primarily aimed at further reducing the number of people in our premises, but also to reduce physical contact between people. Situations can arise when groups do need to meet, but evidence shows that it is advantageous not to mix groups, but instead stay in the same groups every time and limit contact to others.”
Similar to the general advice issued for Region Västerbotten, the measures taken at Umeå University are valid for as long as the local guidelines or equivalent national guidelines apply.
Guidelines for Umeå University
Increased physical distance
• Restrictiveness must be taken regarding presence in University premises.
• When visits to our premises are deemed necessary, physical distancing between individuals must be adhered to.
• Physical contact between people should be limited to a few individuals, these should also be the same every time.
• Internal and external meetings, conferences, seminars, visits and similar must be implemented using online tools, alternatively be postponed or cancelled.
• No events may be held in Umeå University premises.
Teaching and assessment
• Teaching and assessment should be carried out digitally, this could be using virtual learning or other alternative forms of instruction that do not involve meeting or visiting a university campus. This is provided that legal aspects and sufficient quality can be maintained.
• Students who are to carry out a placement, thesis project, clinical training, teaching placement or similar must also follow the guidelines and recommendations issued by the host organisation.
• All members of staff must work from home to the extent possible and after consultation with their manager.
• Extensive restrictiveness must be taken regarding business travel, and digital options must be the primary solution.
Important information for those getting tested for COVID-19
When you have symptoms of disease that have remained for 24 hours, you are to get tested through Region Västerbotten. Please note that you must stay at home and avoid contact with others until you have received your test result.
If you have questions regarding how this affects you as a student or employee, please contact your course coordinator or manager. If you have other questions regarding the university’s COVID work, please contact the Crisis Management Team on email@example.com