How to help keep the infection rate low
The spread of infection of COVID-19 is low in Sweden at the moment, but the danger is far from over. Together we can contribute to maintaining the positive trend.
The corona pandemic has had a profound effect on activity at LiU since the spring, and many questions have concerned how to manage co-workers and students who have been infected by COVID-19. Another major issue, however, is how the spread of infection can be avoided. The lessons learned and current recommendations have now been summarised in guidelines for how to act when an infection is confirmed.
“The guidelines we have drawn up concern how students and co-workers must or should act if they become sick with COVID-19”, says Joakim Nejdeby, team leader for the LiU central crisis management group. “The guidelines also support managers, study advisers, course coordinators and other co-workers who find themselves in a situation in which a student or co-worker informs them that they are infected.”
The Communicable Diseases Act states that any individual must participate in contact tracing, and has a personal responsibility to inform the people with whom they have been in contact during the 24 hours immediately preceding the first symptoms. Students and co-workers are encouraged to inform LiU on their own initiative that they have been infected. It is important to emphasise that the university will never actively request such information, but managers, teachers and course coordinators can offer help with informing people with whom the infected person has been in contact.
“It’s important that we manage information on sickness with great respect for personal integrity”, says Joakim Nejdeby. “At the same time, the actions taken by LiU should always be taken with the intention to counteract speculation and unnecessary anxiety. For this reason, it is wholly voluntary to identify yourself by name in this situation.”
The measures recommended by LiU for teachers, study advisers, managers and others who obtain information that an individual has COVID-19 are as follows:
- Discuss the situation with the student or co-worker. It is important that those who need information receive it, i.e. those with whom the infected person has been in contact during the 24 hours preceding the first symptoms. Agree about who these people are.
- Determine whether the student or co-worker is willing to be identified by name or desires to remain anonymous.
- LiU as an organisation does not have any responsibility for contact tracing, but is willing to assist in this. It may be a case of, for example, sending email to students in a class, or to colleagues at a place of work. Even if the student or co-worker has consented to the university disclosing their name, it is recommended that this is not specified openly, nor shared with a complete class or division. It is important to manage the personal integrity of the infected person with great care.
The measures recommended by LiU for individual students and co-workers are as follows:
- Each individual has an obligation according to the Communicable Diseases Act to participate in contact tracing, and a personal responsibility to inform the people with whom they have been in contact and to whom they may have passed the infection.
- LiU encourages students and co-workers to inform LiU on their own initiative that they have been infected. This is voluntary, but LiU can help to ensure that those who need information receive it.
- Be aware that you may receive a phone call or email informing you that someone in your vicinity has COVID-19.
Translated by George Farrants
Last updated: 2020-09-24