COVID-19-report, 19 February

19 February 2021

This week has seen increased activity around the impact of the ongoing pandemic with a rising curve in terms of number of confirmed cases.

“We are seeing increased transmission among students again, and now it is not a matter of isolated, scattered cases. Instead, we have groups of students who have probably been infected by meeting up for group study”, says Uppsala University’s coronavirus coordinator, Chief Security Officer Fredrik Blomqvist.

The University is collaborating closely with infectious disease control authorities in Uppsala County and, according to Blomqvist, they have both good and bad things to say about the University and transmission. To our credit, there are the exam rooms, where contact tracing staff from the infection control unit judge that there is little risk of being infected during an exam. 

“One of their contact tracing staff, who is a qualified doctor but also a student, has checked one of our exam rooms by personally doing an exam in one of the rooms. The assessment and feedback were very positive and the person concerned considers the premises and procedures well prepared from an infection control perspective,” says Blomqvist.

In close cooperation with the infection control unit, the requirements of the Swedish Work Environment Authority regarding special incident reporting will be discussed this coming Monday. Information about those discussions will follow.

No matter what: the most important advice is to follow the rules for reducing the spread of infection that should be very familiar to everyone by now.

And not to forget to keep the recommended physical distance from other people outside your own household. Because it’s important to keep going and stay strong until this pandemic is under control.

To summarise the infection situation, as of 19 February there have been 558 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the autumn semester (week 37) 2020.

This figure breaks down as follows:

  • 455  Bachelor’s and Master’s students – an increase of 10 cases (incl. 2 at Campus Gotland)
  • 11 doctoral students – no increase.
  • 92 members of staff – an increase of 4 cases.

If you are confirmed infected, the Communicable Diseases Act requires you to inform people who have been in your proximity and whom you may have infected.
Uppsala University has created an online procedure to help you do this anonymously.

If you are confirmed infected with COVID-19, it is very important that you make sure to stay at home: do not go to campus, to exam rooms or to work – and keep up to date with the infection control unit’s rules of conduct.

Across the disciplinary domains

The 455 Bachelor’s and Master’s students confirmed infected are distributed across the disciplinary domains as follows (change from previous week in parentheses):

  • Hum/Sam – 176 (+2) confirmed cases
  • Med/Farm – 216 (+5) confirmed cases
  • Tek/Nat – 63 (+3) confirmed cases

The confirmed cases can be linked to 245 different courses and programmes (different semesters). 97 courses/programmes have more than two confirmed cases.

Managing confirmed infections in education

When an infection is confirmed, the disciplinary domain concerned deals with the question of whether teaching should continue to be conducted on campus (if that is currently being done) or whether there is reason to switch to online education. Region Uppsala carries out contact tracing and contacts the individuals deemed necessary in view of the contacts reported by the infected person. The University has no responsibility for this process.

Number of cases in Region Uppsala and in Region Gotland

Number of people confirmed infected in Region Uppsala: week 04 (25-31 January) 560, week 05 (1-7 February) 560 and week 06 (8-14 February) 712. Number of people confirmed infected in Region Gotland:) week 04 (25-31 January) 31, week 05 (1-7 February) 19 and week 06 (8-14 February) 27.

Source: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Number of people vaccinated in Uppsala County

As of 18 February, 16534 (+2583) county residents had received their first dose of the vaccine and 7123 (+2527) of these had also received a second dose.
 

More information

The Communicable Diseases Act requires:

If you are confirmed infected, the Communicable Diseases Act requires you to inform people whom you suspect you may have infected. As part of Uppsala University’s efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19 infection, the University has created an online procedure to help you do this anonymously.

To test or not to test

The infection control doctor in Uppsala County requests those who have been confirmed infected not to get tested again after recovering from COVID-19. Doing so has no medical benefits and is an unnecessary drain on testing resources. Resources for PCR testing in Region Uppsala are under great strain.