Serious situation – rapid spread of infection at the University

12 March 2021

Part of a schematic view from Region Uppsala of how fast the spreading of COVID-19 can proceed in less than a week.

The spread of coronavirus is rapidly increasing among our students and everybody needs to make efforts to deal with the situation so we can keep our campuses open.

The infection control authorities in Region Uppsala are currently seeing a rapid increase in the rate of transmission at Uppsala University – in several programmes and at all campuses. Transmission is occurring primarily both when students study close together on campus and in social, non-study contexts, e.g. at parties in student accommodation. The measures taken for teaching sessions and exams, on the other hand, have been effective.

The British, South African and Brazilian virus variants are in Uppsala and are spreading rapidly. Both the regional health authority and Uppsala University appeal to everyone to do what is necessary to stop infection: don’t go to parties, meet as few people as possible and keep a distance of at least two metres from one another, both on campus and in your spare time. As it is possible to pass on the virus two days before any signs of symptoms, it is important always to maintain a distance of at least two metres.

The University wants to continue to keep its campuses open – many students have a great need to come to their campus. However, it is vital now to meet as few people as possible in as few places as possible and only at a safe distance.

COVID-19-report, 12 March

Infection status report

To summarise the infection situation, as of 12 March there have been 640 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Uppsala University since the start of the 2020 autumn semester.

This figure breaks down as follows:

  • 520 Bachelor’s and Master’s students – an increase of 31 cases.
  • 12 doctoral students – no increase.
  • 108 members of staff – an increase of 2 cases.

If you are confirmed infected with COVID-19, 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, exam rooms or work. And keep up to date with the current rules of conduct.

Breakdown by disciplinary domain

The 468 Bachelor’s and Master’s students confirmed infected are distributed across the disciplinary domains as follows (change from previous week in parentheses):

  • Hum/Sam – 202 (+12) confirmed cases
  • Med/Farm – 236 (+11) confirmed cases
  • Tek/Nat – 82 (+8) 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 Region Gotland

Number of people confirmed infected in Region Uppsala: week 7 (15–21 February), 727; week 8 (22–28 February), 730; week 9 (1-7 March), 795. Number of people confirmed infected in Region Gotland: week 7 (15–21 February), 15; week 8 (22–28 February), 32; week 9 (1-7 March), 64.
Source: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Number of people vaccinated in Uppsala County

On 11 March, 27,188 residents (+5,897) had received their first dose of vaccine and 14,335 (+3,365) of these had also received their 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.