- A number of flights in and out of Umeå are cancelled due to coronavirus
- Umeå University forbids international travel and encourages digital meetings
- IKSU steps up safety measures and offers membership suspensions to at-risk groups
TEG – Umeå Airport had almost no travelers this afternoon, as both international and domestic travel was dropping sharply due to the coronavirus pandemic. Several flights to and from Umeå today and tomorrow were cancelled, including to Stockholm and Helsinki. Norwegian Air, which flies an Umeå to Stockholm route, announced today that it was grounding about 85% of its flights. Sweden’s flag carrier SAS said yesterday that “demand for air travel is essentially non-existent” and has stopped most of its traffic. The airport’s director, Bengt-Ove Lindgren, told Västerbottens-Kuriren that the airport would not completely close, because it is still providing services to air ambulances and the Swedish post.
Meanwhile, Umeå University announced today that it now “emphasizes the possibility of using alternative forms of teaching and examination”, even as “lectures, teaching, and examinations” will continue. The university is forbidding staff members to travel on international business until at least April 14, and not sending any students on any foreign exchanges. The university is also recommending a general restriction on domestic travel for staff and students until April 14, including for examinations. Doctoral dissertation defenses with participants external to the university should be conducted online, and “support for technical capacity for digital tools has been extended.” Yesterday, the university announced that four staff members had tested positive for coronavirus.
Some students have reported that classes and group projects have either been cancelled or moved into online platforms.
Sport center IKSU has said it is taking extra precautions to prevent the spread of coronavirus in its facilities, by increasing the frequency of cleaning touch screens, door handles, and hand rails. For members who would prefer not to risk exposure at the gym, IKSU has partnered with fitness training company LesMills to offer streaming web at-home workouts for IKSU members. IKSU is also offering certain coronavirus at-risk groups the option to temporarily suspend their membership. These groups include people over 70 years old, those with underlying medical conditions, high blood pressure, heart or respiratory illnesses, cancer, or diabetes.
Västerbotten County announced this afternoon that it was raising its alert level due to the spread of coronavirus. The county government is putting together a regional crisis team “to ensure good preparedness for health care in Västerbotten”, including the “feared increased spread of infection” in the region.