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“Now we all must take responsibility for reducing the spread of infection”

On the left, Vice-Chancellor Johan Schnürer standing outside, his jacket resting on his shoulder. On the right, portrait photo of Gunlög Rasmussen, the infection control doctor for Region Örebro County.

Johan Schnürer, Vice-Chancellor at Örebro University and Gunlög Rasmussen, infection control doctor for Region Örebro County. Photo: Örebro University and Region Örebro County

The increasing number of COVID-19 infections in Örebro County continues, primarily in young adults.
“It’s now serious. We all must do our part and take responsibility by keeping distance, washing our hands and staying home when we have symptoms,” says Vice-Chancellor Johan Schnürer.

As the number of COVID-19 infections in Region Örebro County continues to increase, the infection control doctor forewarns that stricter recommendations can soon be issued in Örebro County.

“We at Örebro University are following the developments closely and have an ongoing dialogue with the region’s infection control doctor and the county’s unit of infectious disease control. The university has already taken several measures to reduce the risk for spreading on-campus infection, following our action plan as soon as we were aware of an infection,” says Johan Schnürer.

Most teaching is carried out digitally

A large part of teaching at the university is already carried out digitally, and there is a readiness to switch entirely to distance learning if the situation worsens. Some lectures, seminars and exams are still conducted on campus.

“We receive questions from students about why all activities are not carried out digitally when infection spreading has increased. Our mission is to provide quality-assured education to our students. Therefore, we endeavour to continue with our activities as close to normal as possible, while following the general recommendations and maintaining a continuous dialogue with the region's infection control experts. Special measures are taken to carry out exams in a safe fashion. Those students who have tested positive, have so far been mainly infected outside of university's activities,” says Johan Schnürer.

Region Örebro County’s infection control doctor, Gunlög Rasmussen, is now urging everyone at the university to keep in mind proper social distancing. Since the last week of September, the number of reported cases of infection in Örebro County has increased.

“We have observed an increased spread of infection in the region in general, while most cases among young and middle-aged people. There are confirmed cases of infection in several study programmes at the university, with several infected in each programme, says Gunlög Rasmussen.

Infection spread at parties

One reason for the increased spread of infection is parties.

“This is not the time to organise or go to parties or to meet in any larger social context. If you meet friends, do it in small groups and keep your distance,” says Gunlög Rasmussen.

Vice-Chancellor Johan Schnürer also stresses the importance that everyone assumes greater personal responsibility.

“Keep your distance, wash your hands and above all, stay home if you are symptomatic. Right now, isn’t the time to meet at parties or to socialise in larger contexts, neither for students nor staff. It is also vital to maintain proper distancing while moving around on campus in connection with classes, group work and lunch or coffee breaks. The situation is critical now,” emphasises the vice-chancellor.

Text: Anna Lorentzon and Jesper Mattsson
Translation: Jerry Gray