The arrival of the deadly “delta” variant of coronavirus is causing Umeå’s health officials to tighten social distancing guidelines.
The full extent of the region’s response will probably not arrive until Thursday, when Västerbotten’s health care committee meets and holds a press conference. Until then, the new guidelines, which the region announced yesterday, are:
- If you have received none, or only one, of the two vaccination shots, or and someone in your household is infected with coronavirus, you should stay in quarantine. This also applies if you have received the second shot two weeks ago or fewer.
The reason for this guideline is that evidence shows that the delta variant can be passed on by people who have had only one of the two doses of the vaccine. According to England’s public health service, a single dose of the vaccine is 17% less effective at preventing symptomatic illness from the delta variant, compared to the alpha variant, which itself appeared in late 2020 and is about 50 % more contagious than the first detected strains of Covid-19.
The delta variant was first found in Västerbotten on Friday, and another case identified on Monday. Rates of hospital admission for the delta variant are double those of alpha in the United Kingdom. Some 90% of infections found there are now delta variant.
However, in Umeå, Covid-19 infections are generally decreasing, statistics show. In the last seven days, only about 16 people, on average, have been found positive with the virus in Västerbotten. At the height of the second wave of the virus, in February, that figure was 180 people. In the last week, 75 positive cases were found in Umeå, by far the most in the region. In Skellefteå, in comparison, that number is 23.
Umeå Energicentrum is opening on Wednesday for the summer.
The children’s park in Klabböle announced that this year, visitors will find three new attractions: audio stories, an exhibition about a children’s convention, and new cars for the electric car track. The audio stories can be accessed by turning a crank and creating kinetic energy, and are about the Åström family, who lived in the area when the original power plant there was built in 1899. The children’s convention exhibition is a 435 meter long collage of poetry, drawings, and stories by Umeå fourth graders. IKSU will be running training, gym, and yoga sessions every Tuesday, and the library bus will also visit the Energicentrum thrice over the summer.
Libraries in Umeå have revised an app which allows you to follow a map to places mentioned in literature by local writers.
The app, called Härlitt (“here literature”), provides an interactive GPS-driven map which shows the user a path to follow. At certain points along that path, you can stop and read literature, on your mobile phone, about the location. Right now, 89 authors are represented, in 169 different locations around Västerbotten.