COVID-19-report, 26 February

26 February 2021

Figures from the current week show that the upward trend of confirmed cases continues. Before the weekend, this week we have registered 24 new confirmed cases, an increase of 15 cases compared with the previous period.

“One of our greatest challenges right now is to get the students who need to use our premises for group study to keep a distance of at least 1.5 metres from one another,” says Chief Security Officer Fredrik Blomqvist, who adds that social distancing wardens and campus security staff are making continuous efforts to try to get students to maintain their distance. 

“We now expect much greater compliance where this is concerned and we also expect students to listen and do as social distancing wardens and campus security staff say about increasing the distance between individuals in study groups. Our absolute goal is to be able to offer students access to our premises throughout the pandemic – but then activities on the premises must be conducted in a way that minimises the risk of infection!” 

Face masks – in special situations

On Tuesday, 23 February, the infection control doctor in Region Uppsala issued new special recommendations (press release in Swedish). 

These recommendations now direct that face masks are to be used in tight spaces where it is impossible to maintain physical distance and exposure time exceeds 15 minutes. 

Uppsala University has decided that face masks, as a rule, do not need to be used indoors. Individuals have a personal responsibility to avoid putting themselves in situations where they are as close as 1.5 metres to someone else for more than 15 minutes, unless that person belongs to their own household.

In the exceptional cases decided on at disciplinary domain and faculty level requiring in-person attendance for certain educational components, it is the responsibility of the body taking the decision to ensure that the activity is carried out in a way that minimises any risk of infection. 

The Public Health Agency of Sweden has also stated very clearly that physical distance is the primary way to reduce the spread of infection.

Throughout the pandemic, Uppsala University has worked actively to create opportunities for staff and students to maintain the recommended physical distance from one another and will continue to do so.

Addition to self-reporting

The self-reporting form that Uppsala University has prepared has been updated to enable the University to fully meet its responsibilities as a public authority. 

When a student or employee has been infected by COVID-19 through the University’s activities or on its premises, the Swedish Work Environment Authority must be notified. Information about such notification is now included in the self-reporting form. Staff at the University submit notification via their manager (head of department/head of division) and students via the Duty Officer function. 

The Duty Officer and Anna Maria Näslund, work environment engineer at the Buildings Division, will provide reporting support to both individuals and managers. Previous information indicates that very few students and employees have been infected via the University’s activities.

The infection situation

To summarise the infection situation, as of 26 February there have been 575 confirmed cases of COVID-19 since the start of the autumn semester (week 37) 2020.

This figure breaks down as follows:

  • 468  Bachelor’s and Master’s students – an increase of 13 cases.
  • 11 doctoral students – no increase.
  • 96 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 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 – 184 (+8) confirmed cases
  • Med/Farm – 217 (+1) confirmed cases
  • Tek/Nat – 67 (+4) 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 05 (1-7 February) 560, week 06 (8-14 February) 712 and week 07 (15-21 February) 727. Number of people confirmed infected in Region Gotland: week 05 (1-7 February) 19, week 06 (8-14 February) 27 and week 07 (15-21 February) 15.

Source: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Number of people vaccinated in Uppsala County

As of 25 february, 19114 (+2580) county residents had received their first dose of the vaccine and 9428 (+2305) 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.

Last modified: 2021-02-04