COVID-19 report, 19 March

19 March 2021

Weekly chart on current COVID-19 cases at Uppsala University, since autumn 2020

The weekly chart on current new confirmed COVID-19 cases at Uppsala University, since autumn 2020.

The latest news is that the outbreak linked to the University has not grown. We hope that will continue to be the case and that the chains of infection have been broken, even if the figures show we had a comparatively high number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 last week.

“We would really like to emphasise that the vast majority of our students are behaving in an exemplary fashion in the current situation!”

The University’s Chief Security Officer Fredrik Blomqvist is responding to accusations that students are acting irresponsibly and participating in a partying culture during the pandemic.

He wants to make it utterly clear that only an extremely small set of students are behaving unacceptably – whereas the latest media reports on the spread of infection have made it sound as if all students were involved.

“We understand all the reactions now coming in from unhappy students who feel wrongly blamed. Nearly all our students are doing a marvellous job and are following our recommendations to reduce the spread of infection,” Blomqvist stresses.

He is keen to underline the good cooperation between the University and Region Uppsala, with consultations on the local infection situation several times a week. 

Assessments – once again

The fact that the University continues to carry out certain assessments in exam rooms is still attracting a lot of attention. The reason this is being done is to create assessment sessions where a high degree of fairness can be guaranteed. However, such sessions are not automatically allowed; they require a decision on an exemption from the chair of the relevant disciplinary domain/faculty board. The vast majority of all assessments at the University are being carried out remotely.  

Information concerning international students and staff:

International students and employees who need to have a COVID-19 test cannot make an appointment via 1177. Anyone in this group should call 018-617 35 64 (Region Uppsala) to make an appointment. In Region Gotland is the number 0498-26 89 31.  

Infection status report

To summarise the infection situation, as of 19 March, there have been 691 confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Uppsala University since the start of the 2020 autumn semester.

This figure breaks down as follows:

  • 557 Bachelor’s and Master’s students – an increase of 37 cases.
  • 13 doctoral students – an increase of 1 case.
  • 121 members of staff – an increase of 13 cases (1 case at Campus Gotland).

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

  • Hum/Sam – 221 (+19) confirmed cases
  • Med/Farm – 244 (+8) confirmed cases
  • Tek/Nat – 92 (+10) 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 8 (22–28 February), 730; week 9 (1-7 March), 795 and week 10 (8-14 March) 913. Number of people confirmed infected in Region Gotland: week 8 (22–28 February), 32; week 9 (1-7 March), 64 and week 10 (8-14 March) 64.
Source: Public Health Agency of Sweden

Number of people vaccinated in Uppsala County

On 18 March, 31,338 residents (4,150) had received their first dose of vaccine and 16,757 (+2,422) 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.