New national COVID measures may affect Umeå University
The Public Health Agency of Sweden and the Government have announced that new communicable disease control measures may be necessary in Sweden. Umeå University is following the issue closely, but will await making a decision on potential restrictions for the university until the Government has decided on the measures.
Text: Anna Lawrence
This week, the Public Health Agency of Sweden presented a proposal for new communicable disease control measures to the Swedish Government that were made public on a press conference on 2 December. Among other things, the proposal contains general advice for individuals and for employers. According to the proposed measures, employers should enable staff to work from home and conduct meetings online. The proposal also contains advice against crowding and recommendations about maintaining distance.
At this point, the communicable disease control measures are merely a proposal from the Public Health Agency of Sweden that has been presented to the Government. The Government will now analyse the proposal speedily and a decision will be announced next week, but it is at this point unclear when these measures will potentially take effect.
Umeå University will await further actions until the Government has made its decision and the final wordings have been established. Nevertheless, we may all need to be prepared that some form of change may come.
Vice-Chancellor Hans Adolfsson finds the development of events unfortunate, but calls upon perseverance and preparedness:
Hans Adolfsson, Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University.
“We were all looking forward to a whole other scenario with the holidays approaching. But regardless of how we feel about it, we need to prepare ourselves to meet and act in more safe ways again when it comes to the risk of spreading infection. When the Government has reached its decision, the measures are likely to take effect on short notice, and we aim to act swiftly in the University Management as well.”
The University Management and the Crisis Management Team follow developments carefully and are prepared to reach new decisions on measures if necessary. Dialogue with the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten will also take place. Students and staff will receive information about potential new measures at Umeå University as soon as possible.
Despite the uncertainty of the situation, Hans Adolfsson feels confident that the ability to transition is good:
“Both Sweden as a whole and Umeå University are experienced by now, and I am convinced that we have the ability to once again efficiently make the necessary changes to our behaviour.”