Wednesday, December 2, 2020
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Empty Cafe Lindell

University Forbids Students from Most of Campus as All Classes, Exams are Moved Online; Five New Coronavirus Cases Found in Västerbotten

- Lindellhallen, library, Universum, and administration buildings and cafes to remain open - Status of laboratory and practical courses yet to be decided - Five new coronavirus cases discovered in Västerbotten; more businesses and schools close
  • Lindellhallen, library, Universum, and administration buildings and cafes to remain open
  • Status of laboratory and practical courses yet to be decided
  • Five new coronavirus cases discovered in Västerbotten; more businesses and schools close

UNIVERSITET – Umeå University announced in an email today that all teaching and exams would be moved to “alternative teaching forms”, as a response to the coronavirus. No in-person instruction is permitted, and students can no longer book group rooms. University Vice Chancellor Hans Adolfsson told the Västerbottens-Kuriren that teaching which includes a practical element “would be affected in some way”, although did not specify exactly how. Other points made by Adolfsson include:

  • The status of clinical health care education remains undecided, as the university waits for Västerbotten County’s recommendation on the issue
  • Thesis and independent work is not permitted to be carried out on university premises
  • Any exams which cannot be replaced with online forms are cancelled, replaced, or postponed
  • Dissertation defenses will continue as scheduled

The Umeå Student Union said that it is in discussion with the university about the best way to offer education through the internet. President Hanna Lundin Jernberg told Umeå Today that the Union will help students “if they feel that a teacher has been negligent by not following the university guidelines.”

All university libraries would stay open with limited hours, specifically 8 AM to 5 PM for the main and medical library and 10 AM to 4 PM for the art campus library. The Universum and Lindellhallen will remain open, but all other university premises are closed to students.

Sign showing reduced library hours. –Umeå Today

The Lindelhallen cafe, Café Lindell, is remaining open from 7:30 AM to 4 PM every day until Friday, manager Paul Souza told Umeå Today. However, it will be closed on the weekend, and then open from 10 AM to 2 PM starting Monday. The only other cafe on campus which will remain open is the one in the administration building, from 8 AM to 4 PM, Souza said.

Cafe Lindell closing sign
Sign indicating new closing hours at Café Lindell. –Umeå Today

At fika time today, Café Lindell was nearly empty. A worker there said that the cafe had served only 200 customers by the afternoon, when normally it would have 500.

Souza said that his establishment was taking virus safety very seriously. “I put a lot of hand sanitizers in the cafeteria,” Souza told Umeå Today, and any workers in at-risk groups or showing symptoms were required to stay away from work, he said.

Meanwhile, Västerbotten County announced that five new persons have been diagnosed positive in the region, bringing the total to 18. Infectious diseases doctor Gunilla Persson told the Västerbottens-Kuriren that some of the new infections were transmitted person-to-person in Sweden, rather than acquired in another country. All 18 are at home in isolation, according to Persson. She also said that since the coronvavirus has been spreading in Sweden’s big cities, she expects that eventually there will a larger, general escalation of infection in Umeå.

Supermarkets continue to be running out of basic goods and quickly restocking. At Ica Ålidhem, a worker told Umeå Today that especially flour, hand sanitizers, soap, and canned and tinned preserved goods were selling out. The worker said that the store was taking extra precautions by making employees wear gloves when handling money and cards.

Filmstaden, the movie theater in the city center, has announced that it is closed starting tomorrow.

Two charter secondary schools in Umeå, Thoren Business School and Minervaskolan, are closing and offering distance education instead.

Flights continue to be cancelled at Umeå Airport. Its website only listed five departing flights today, two to Östersund and three to Stockholm. Helsinki flights were cancelled as Finnair, Finland’s flag carrier, said it is limiting its network through the end of June.

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