5 February: High schools in Oslo continue at red risk level

Press release: Because of the uncertainty associated with the mutated versions of the Corona virus, high schools in Oslo will continue at red risk level during the coming week.

On Wednesday, the City Government started a gradual and controlled re-opening of Oslo. The measures at kindergartens and primary and secondary schools changed from red to yellow risk level. Libraries, individual shops and pubs and restaurants were re-opened, and indoor leisure activities and sports were permitted again for children and youth (up to 16 years), as well as organised, outdoor activities for everyone aged below 20.

During the past week, the City Government has considered whether high schools could change to yellow risk level from Monday, but the situation is still so uncertain that this is not considered advisable at present.

“The advice we receive from the Institute for Public Health and the Directorate for Health is quite clear: the situation is still so uncertain that we should wait before changing to yellow risk level in the high schools. We agree with this advice, and will wait before easing the measures in high schools. We will not lift any of the other measures in Oslo, either, just yet”, said Governing Mayor Raymond Johansen (Labour)

The City Government is continually reviewing the situation, but will wait before any further easing of the measures in Oslo.

“There is a greater risk of infection among the older youths and opening up high schools will generate increased mobility, since the students travel across the city more than other pupils. Even though the Government has allowed more easing for the older youths, the Government health authorities have given us very clear advice to wait, before changing to yellow risk level”, said the Governing Mayor.

The positive development of infection levels in Oslo has continued this week, but the outbreak of the mutated virus has made the situation less clear. Governing Mayor Johansen emphasises that we do not necessary know about all the infections with the mutated virus yet. He has the following, strong advice to everyone before the coming weekend:

“The fact that the high schools carry on at red risk level underlines the seriousness of the situation. What makes things so uncertain, is that the new versions of the virus are more infectious, as well as the fact that today’s infection rate reflects, in reality, the situation that existed a while ago. It takes some time for new infections to be visible in the numbers. That is why I would strongly urge everyone in Oslo to carry on following the most important guidelines to avoid spreading the infection: meet as few people as possible, stay at home and get tested if you have symptoms, keep your distancing and be careful with hand hygiene”, Raymond Johansen said.

Facts about managing the pandemic in the City of Oslo

  • The infections rose a lot in Oslo after New Year. During the first week of January, 1,113 people were registered with Covid-19. Following that, the infection rate has fallen. During the week up to 31st January, 578 infections were registered, and so far this week 302 people are registered with infection.
  • The City of Oslo has intensified the efforts for testing, isolating, tracing and quarantining to stop the new variant of the virus spreading. In areas with the highest infection rates, outreach work is being done to encourage more people to get tested.
  • The test capacity in Oslo is very good. Everyone who has symptoms or suspects that they have been in contact with someone who is infected, should get themselves tested. It is free and you can get an appointment within a short time. Testing can be booked online, and there are also four centres which are open for drop-in testing:

https://www.oslo.kommune.no/koronavirus/testing-og-provesvar/

  • So far, 22,206 vaccine doses have been given in Oslo. The City of Oslo has capacity to vaccinate up to 110,000 people every week, so the speed of vaccination is largely determined by the City’s access to vaccines. So far, the City of Oslo has been allocated vaccine doses from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna
  • The City of Oslo is working to provide comprehensive information in many languages, about the pandemic. Updated information is available in 13 different languages at www.oslo.kommune.no/corona-languages

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