Grimstad municipality has retracted the extra local restrictions. The guidelines are now the same as those for the rest of the country.
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Anyone with respiratory symptoms should stay away from campus. Everyone should wash their hands diligently, use hand sanitiser and keep a one-metre distance.
Even though restrictions have been eased, prospects elsewhere look bleaker. In Europe, restrictions are being reintroduced in places like the UK, Paris and the Czech Repulic due to rising cases. In Norway, NTNU has 11 confirmed cases and several hundred have been put under quarantine.
In Agder, Evje is now at the centre of an outbreak. This serves to remind us that the virus can spread quickly. Young people are more exposed because they have more social interactions and travel more.
”We really appreciate that people notify UiA when there is a risk they are infected. That makes it easier to introduce preventive measures, something most people appreciate. Teaching a group of students online for a couple of days until test results are available is much preferable to closing down an entire campus”, leader of the operational preparedness group Jan Egil Heinecke says.
UiA has done pretty well so far. Students are conscientious, use hand sanitisers and keep their distance, even though the latter proves difficult in the canteen queue or at the entrance of lecture rooms.
“We have had almost 40 notifications from students and staff informing us they may be infected, either because they have been in close contact with people who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, or because they have had respiratory symptoms. In five or six cases, we implemented measures by asking students who were in the same cohort as affected individuals to stay away from campus, but fortunately, in each case, it was only a matter of days”, says the emergency manager.
Only municipal health services can impose quarantine. When that happens, the situation is serious.
It is important to keep track of who you have been in close contact with over the last couple of days. This will make contact tracing easier and more efficient in case we have someone who tests positive.