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Information for students, faculty and staff regarding COVID-19. (Updated: 26 February 2021)

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FAQ for current students

(Last updated on 24 February 2021)

Illness, symptoms and testing

How do I get myself tested for COVID-19?

If you have symptoms that may indicate COVID-19 and that remain after 24 hours, or if you, for other reasons, need to get tested, you can do so through Region Västerbotten's healthcare services. Taking the test is free of charge.

Please note that you must stay at home and limit your social contacts if you have symptoms indicating disease. This applies even if the symptoms are only mild. When you have taken a test, it is crucial that you stay at home and limit your contacts until your test results have arrived.

If you have a Swedish personal identity number, please find out how to take the test through Region VästerbottenPlease note! Temporary personal identity numbers cannot be used for self-testing. A temporary number is one that includes a letter, in the last four digits. 

If you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, please contact your nearest healthcare centre to get tested, usually by phone. Find your healthcare centre.

Depending on your test results, find out more under "What do I do if I have a positive COVID-19 test?" and "My COVID-19 test results were negative, can I go back to the university although I have symptoms?" below.

What do I do if I have a positive COVID-19 test?

If you have taken a COVID-19 test and received a positive test result indicating that you have COVID-19, you must stay at home for seven days after falling ill or positive test results. Base your calculations on the date that occurred last. You must also have been symptom-free for two days. During this period, you must keep your distance to others and stay at home.

You are also recommended to inform your course coordinator or other teacher. This is so that the University can assess what measures may be necessary and be made aware of potential clusters in your group. Region Västerbotten will perform contact tracing, and in doing so they might contact your course coordinator to get help with contacting people who you have been in close contact with, such as teachers or fellow students.

When you have informed the University, your personal data will not be shared with others than to those necessary for completing contact tracing – unless you explicitly give your consent. Come to an agreement with your course coordinator if you want to contact your fellow students yourself or let your course coordinator inform those who need to be informed. 

My COVID-19 test results were negative, can I go back to the university although I have symptoms?

If your test results indicate that you do not carry COVID-19, you can return to university premises as soon as you are free of symptoms and feel healthy.

There is a slight risk that your test was falsely negative, which means that you could still carry COVID-19. Therefore, it is still important that you do not return to the university before you are completely healthy. Please continue to follow the advice from the Swedish authorities. Source: 1177.se

Do I need to report sick if I have fallen ill and am unable to study?

The Swedish Social Insurance Agency, Försäkringskassan, has information about illness during studies.

Students that receive study grants from the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) must stay informed through their website.

What happens if I have already had COVID-19?

If you have had a COVID-19 infection that has been confirmed with a PCR test or if you have received a positive antibody test, the Public Health Agency of Sweden assesses that you are likely to have a six month protection from the test date.

This means that you can be around other people – even indoors. This applies even if you, or the people around you, belong to an at-risk group. Nevertheless, everyone always has to do their own risk assessment before meeting.

If a person in your household or vicinity should later fall ill, for instance within a few weeks, your previous infection means that you, most likely, will not need to be quarantined again. The Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten makes these assessments.

Regardless of previous infection, you must still continue to follow the general guidelines and take precautionary measures in the community and at the university. For instance by

  • staying at home if you have symptoms of disease,
  • cleaning your hands regularly. When you touch things, virus can stick to your hands. By cleaning your hands often, the virus will be removed. And in that way, you reduce the spread of infection,
  • keeping your distance to people outside your circle of regular contacts.

Students active in healthcare must continue to follow hygiene routines and routines regarding protective equipment in healthcare settings.

As time passes, your potential protection againsts falling ill also reduces.

Read more in the Public Health Agency of Sweden’s FAQ

What do I do if someone I live with has confirmed COVID-19?

If you share accommodation with someone with confirmed COVID-19, you are recommended to conduct your studies from home and avoid contact with others for the next 7 days. When it comes to mandatory course components that can only be conducted in person on campus, you are urged to contact the department/course coordinating teacher or equivalent to discuss if an alternative solution is possible. If no alternative examination format is possible, you can attend the next session offered.

If you have a sick child, you may be eligible for care of a sick child allowance (vab) from the Swedish Social Insurance Agency.

Information about care for a sick child, read under section If you are or will become a parent 

The Public Health Agency of Sweden’s recommendations if you live with someone with confirmed COVID-19

Anyone sharing accommodation with a person who has been infected with COVID-19 must stay at home. Further rules of conduct may be presented by a doctor in what is called contact tracing.

You are urged to pay extra attention to your hygiene routines and any emerging symptoms of COVID-19, and you are urged to keep your distance from the infected person to the extent possible. If symptoms emerge, it is important that you take a test for COVID-19.

You are obliged to follow the measures necessary to protect yourself and others from risk of infection.

If you live in a student dorm (studentkorridor) with shared facilities such as kitchens or bathrooms, you may be contacted during contact tracing. However, you may be included in contact tracing if physical distance has not been maintained in the accommodation. Assessments will be made from case to case. So please remember to keep your distance!

If you have previously had a COVID-19 infection it is likely that you do not have to be quarantined again. The Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten makes these assessments.

Also read the FAQ "What happens if I have already had COVID-19?" and "How do I get myself tested for COVID-19?"

What happens if a close fellow student has been confirmed with COVID-19?

If a fellow student or other person who you share a workroom or work closely with has been confirmed infected with COVID-19, you are recommended to study from home and avoid contact with others for the next 7 days.

This applies if you met the infected person within 24 hours before the person fell ill or before the test was taken and if you were within a vicinity of 2 metres of each other for more than 15 minutes. These measures are particularly important if you and the infected person met in a small room.

This information has been confirmed with the Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at Region Västerbotten.

What happens if I am in an at-risk group for COVID-19 and cannot partake in an obligatory course component?

If you belong to an at-risk group for COVID-19 and for that reason cannot participate in an obligatory course component, you must notify your course coordinator. Do so as early as possible, preferably at the start of the course, but no later than 10 working days before the examination date. The department should try to find another solution, for instance to attend virtually. The department should also consider if another format of assessment is possible. If no alternative examination format is possible, you must be offered to attend at the next available time (in the same way as if you were absent due to sickness or other absence).

If adaptations are not possible, you may want to consider to apply for an approved leave from studies for medical reasons in order to resume your studies at a later date when you are able to attend in person.

Learn more about approved leave from studies

Distance on campus

Can I study on campus?

Currently, everyone must avoid visiting and spending time on our campuses unless necessary.

If you do need to go to campus, it is important that you keep your distance to others around you and follow the restrictions in place. Everyone needs to take personal responsibility to prevent the spread of infection.

If you must meet others face to face outside of teacher-led teaching situations, try to limit yourself to one group. This group should be as small as possible, but the infectious disease physician recommends a fixed group of no more than 7 people. Meeting online is recommended.

If you can study from home, please do so.

I need to go to campus and am worried about my safety. How will I keep my distance?

The university is taking several precautions to maintain a safe place to study and work. This means that seatings in lecture halls and auditoriums have been blocked off to ensure a safe distance between people. Please respect the restrictions that have been put in place.

When a written hall examination is deemed necessary, the hall has been adapted to be as safe as possible. If your teacher has assessed that some form of physical presence is necessary for your examination, then please rest assured that the university has taken measures so you can participate in a safe way.

However, it is crucial that you do not take part if you experience the slightest symptoms of diease. If you cannot participate because of this, you have the right to take part the next time.

If you feel worried, please contact your course or programme coordinator to try to find an individual solution, or contact the Student Health Service for counselling. You can always choose not to participate if you do not feel comfortable. You have the right to take part the next time.

Find out more about the Student Health Service

Learn more about education and examination

Teaching and examination

Can my course be postponed to the summer?

If a course cannot be completed according to the original plan, the course in its entirety or a part of the course can be moved to summer 2021. If you cannot take part in the summer, you have the right to participate the next time the course is offered in autumn semester 2021.

If you qualify for student finance for a course that has been cancelled, you may have the right to have parts of your student loan written off. You may also qualify for student loan for the part of your studies that has been rescheduled for the summer semester. Please contact the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN) if you have any questions.

When will I receive my examination results? 

Usually, results from an examination must be notified within 15 working days. However, due to circumstances caused by COVID-19, it may take longer for your teachers to correct your examination. For instance because the examination format has changed. Consequently, the Vice-Chancellor of Umeå University has approved that notifications of examination results can take place later than within those 15 working days. But if that is the case, you must be informed of when you can expect your results. 

This is valid from 30 November 2020 until 23 March 2021.

Can a course, course module or examination that I have been admitted to be rescheduled or postponed?

Yes. If no other solution is possible to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19, and if it does not jeopardise the quality and legal certainty of the course, your department can decide to reschedule your course, course module or exam to another date. Contact your course coordinator if you have any questions.

Can I travel home when teaching now takes place online?

Programmes and courses at Umeå University are still bound to the stated location, Umeå in most cases, but instruction now takes place with increased online solutions. This means that you may have lectures and compulsory course components that cannot be conducted online and for which you have to be present on campus to complete. Depending on how the pandemic develops and what guidelines the authorities give, teaching can also take place on campus again in the future. If you choose to leave Umeå, or other location of study, and hence choose not to participate in a compulsory course component, you can take part the next time the component is offered. However, if you do not participate you need to consider how this affects your opportunities for student finance, scholarships or ability to meet the entry requirements to following courses.

Can the grading scale be changed during an ongoing course?

No, the grading scale cannot be changed during an ongoing course. However, the grading scale of a single examination can be changed.

Am I required to activate my camera in teaching and examination?

If a student is participating in an online meeting and it is necessary to participate with camera, teachers can demand that you participate with an activated camera. If there is no necessary need for using a webcam, your teacher cannot demand that you use one, regardless of the course component is compulsory or not. You must be informed of the need to have a camera in good time prior to the event if this is a requirement. If a student does not have access to a webcam or if the technology malfunctions, another solution must be found, or the students must be offered a new chance.

How is your student finance affected?

On the website of the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN), you can find out more about how student finance is affected by COVID-19.

See Information about the Corona virus from the Swedish Board of Student Finance.

Certificates to the Swedish Board of Student Finance (CSN)

If one of your courses, a course component or an examination has been rescheduled due to COVID-19, and this affects your credits awarded, you may need to submit a certificate to CSN when you next apply for student finance. Please contact your course coordinating department or equivalent if you have not received such a certificate.

If you are uncertain who to contact, ask your lecturer or course coordinator, or contact Infocenter.

Vaccination

I am an international student, can I get vaccinated for COVID-19 in Sweden?

As an international student, you are able to get vaccinated in Sweden. This applies even if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number. However, please take into account that the general public in the age range of 19–69 who are not in at-risk groups of serious illness will be offered their first dose in April at the earliest.

The Department of Communicable Disease Control and Prevention at the University Hospital of Umeå recommends that both doses should be given by the same healthcare provider to ensure that both doses comes from the same supplier. Hence, if you are only planning to stay in Sweden for the spring semester and wish to get vaccinated during this time, please turn to your healthcare centre in April at the earliest to find out if there is time for you to get both doses before you leave Sweden. 

If you are in at-risk group of serious illness, you should contact your healthcare centre to discuss the possibility of getting your first dose sooner.

Leaving Sweden

I need a negative COVID result to return to my home country. What can I do?

Some countries require incoming travellers to show a negative test result upon entry into the country. And the test results need to be recent. Testing in Sweden is usually only carried out on individuals who show symptoms of disease.

If you are a student travelling home after studies at Umeå University and your home country requests a certificate of a negative COVID test for entry into the country, you should turn to a private care provider who issues travel certificates.

Procedure for taking a test and obtain a travel certificate:
Contact a private healthcare provider who issues travel certificates. At the moment, and to our knowledge, there are two such healthcare providers in Umeå, Vaccina and SVEA Vaccin. Please note that if you do not have a Swedish personal identity number, you must turn to SVEA Vaccin.

A list of all available healthcare providers is available on the Public Health Agency of Sweden's website.
List of private healthcare providers

Plan your travels well

It is important that you plan your travels well if the test is to be less than 72 hours old when entering your destination. This means that it is appropriate to take the test at the beginning of the week and then plan travels within three days. Please bear in mind that it takes approximately 48 hours for your test results to arrive. Avoid planning travels on a Sunday, Monday or Tuesday as you will find it difficult to show a sufficiently fresh test result since tests are usually not analysed during weekends.

Travel safely

You are obliged to follow the Public Health Agency of Sweden's guidelines when travelling and avoid unnecessary travelling. Read the authority's information: If you are planning to travel

Also read Tests for travel certificates (Public Health Agency of Sweden)

I am an exchange student at Umeå University and want to terminate my studies and return home. What steps do I need to take?

  1. Contact your home university to make any necessary arrangements.
  2. Contact the teachers of the course you are registered in and let them know that you will not finish the course.
  3. Decline any courses you are admitted to, but have not yet started, at universityadmissions.se. In addition, contact the responsible teacher for the course to let them know you will not attend.
  4. Notify the International Office by email.
  5. If you have housing through the International Housing Office, contact them at housing@umu.se to make the proper arrangements (rent, keys etc) before you leave.

I am international student and want to terminate my studies and return home. What steps do I need to take?

  1. You need to contact the teachers and/or administrative staff of the courses you are registered for and let them know you will terminate your studies. They will provide further instructions if necessary.
  2. Decline any courses you are admitted to, but have not yet started, at universityadmissions.se. If you are unable to do this, please contact the teachers and/or administrative staff of the course(s).
  3. If you have housing through the International Housing Office, contact them at housing@umu.se to make the proper arrangements (rent, keys, etc.) before you leave.

Travels

Are there any travel restrictions in Västerbotten?

On 9 February 2021, stricter local measures were introduced in Västerbotten. These state that all non-essential travels within and outside of the county must be avoided. If you must travel, it is essential that this is done in a safe way and that new contacts are limited to the extent possible. These measures have been extended until 21 March 2021, but may be extended, and are a result of a heavy increase in the spread of infection in the Västerbotten County.

Learn more from Region Västerbotten

Can I travel or not?

The university has gathered some current information about travel bans, negative covid tests to enter Sweden and other countries, and requirements for testing and self-isolation when arriving in Sweden. This information was aimed at staff but applies to students as well.

Learn more on Travels

Student housing

What should I consider if I live in shared housing, student dorm or similar?

The same recommendations apply as in the rest of society – avoid coming in close contact with others. The best way of reducing the risk of spreading disease is to wash your hands often and carefully and limit social contacts. Consider disinfecting door handles and other shared surfaces often. You could also schedule times to use shared kitchens or other facilities.

If someone in your accommodation falls ill, this person must self-isolate and avoid spending time in shared spaces. You can help the person by running errands such as food shopping or other medical errands as long as you can keep your distance.

Find out what happens if someone you live with is confirmed infected by COVID-19 under the FAQ "What do I do if someone I live with has confirmed COVID-19?" above.