COVID-19 report, 20 November
20 november 2020
In the weekly reports on COVID-19 at Uppsala University, a slightly declining trend is discernible compared with confirmed cases in the wider community.
The University has taken many active measures to create environments that are as safe as possible, such as physical distancing, infection control adaptation of campus areas and premises, social distancing wardens, campus security staff, coronavirus coordinators, etc. Moreover, the University is engaged in continuous collaboration with infection control authorities in Region Uppsala and Region Gotland.
“Ever since the pandemic began, we have been in continuous contact with universities about practices and procedures. The recent increase in the pandemic has so far not changed the recommendations in any way,” says Ove Andersson, medical adviser to the infection control unit in Region Uppsala.
With regard to exams in exam rooms, there is anxiety among students about being infected, an anxiety that is unwarranted, according to the infection control doctor.
“There are no outbreaks linked to exam sessions and students have not been over-represented in the number of cases locally, despite the great concern there has been about this,” says Andersson.
In light of these facts, the infection control unit considers that it is all right to conduct exams in exam rooms, provided that the exam cannot be carried out online – which is the key point.
To summarise the infection situation, as of 20 November there have been 336 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the semester.
This figure breaks down as follows:
- 297 Bachelor’s and Master’s students (including 3 on Gotland) – an increase of 50 cases during the last week.
- 6 doctoral students – no increase in the last week.
- 33 members of staff – an increase of 17 cases during the last week.
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 297 Bachelor’s and Master’s students confirmed infected are distributed across the disciplinary domains as follows (change from previous week in parentheses):
- Hum/Sam – 135 (+30) confirmed cases
- Med/Farm – 119 (+30) confirmed cases
- Tek/Nat – 43 (+10) confirmed cases
These confirmed cases are still relatively evenly spread across Uppsala University’s various campus areas.
The 336 confirmed cases can be linked to 193 different courses and programmes (different semesters). 46 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.
An increased number of cases in Region Uppsala/Region Gotland
Number of people confirmed infected in Region Uppsala: week 44 (26 October-1 November) 880; week 45 (2-8 November) 1017, week 46 (9-15 November) 1351. This shows a clear negative trend for the number of people infected during the last week in the Uppsala region.
Number of people confirmed infected in Region Gotland: week 44 (26 October-1 November) 68; week 45 (2-8 November) 186, week 46 (9-15 November) 237. This also shows a clear negative trend for the number of people infected during the last week in Region Gotland.
Source: Public Health Agency of Sweden.
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 nfected 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.