Corona, Narvik | Infection increased as expected

The issue was updated in 13.59.

A recent press release from Narvik Municipality reported 36 new cases of coronavirus during the New Year’s Day weekend.

– As expected, as expected, says Head of Infection Control and Chief Municipal Physician Thomas Holstedt to Fremover.

– On Christmas, there were many visitors and people spending a lot of time. We hope that people will adhere to quarantine and isolation, he said.

Many of those who tested positive over Christmas contracted the infection at home.

Many cases are omicron

– There are many new cases in a short time. Test stations in Framnes and Ballangen are closed on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day and Second New Year’s Day. Therefore, more cases of infection are now expected after testing stations reopen, the municipality wrote in the press release.

Hulstedt says many of the cases are omicron, but the municipality has no information on the exact number. This is because only random sampling is among positive tests.

On Monday afternoon, it is also clear that the omicron variant is dominant in Norway.

– We therefore recommend the use of face masks in public places where a distance of one meter cannot be maintained, the municipality wrote in a press release.

Furthermore, the municipality encourages you to stay home if you are sick, test yourself for symptoms, wash your hands often and say yes to the vaccine.

– We ran the test station in Framnes as we expect a lot of pressure there today. All staff, children and students in municipal schools and kindergartens are advised and tested before the start of school and kindergarten, so there will be a lot of pressure on the four test stations we have in the municipality, says Narvik Municipal Emergency Manager Iris Bartholsen .

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More social than desired

Bartholsen is prepared for the fact that infection rates can rise very quickly after mass testing.

Yes, we expect to see a significant increase in the number of infected people during this week. Many of them were out and many were at home over the Christmas holidays and it was more social with the people than the government recommended. We’ll likely be looking at the number of positive tests this week, so now we’re holding our breath and waiting, she says.

The municipality is now preparing how to deal with the expected increase in infections.

We’re going to have a crisis management meeting now and go over all the planning so we’re ready. These plans are in place all the time, but we’ll only be on the safe side given the expectation of an increase in the number of infected people.

Trace infection

Will you be able to trace the infection if there are many infected?

We do not follow the infection as at the beginning of the pandemic. Much of the responsibility lies with the person who has tested positive. But we have now compiled traces of infection during this time so that we can recall everyone who tested positive.

Previously, only positive PCR tests were recorded in the overview of the number of infected. This has changed.

– Everyone who shows a positive result for rapid tests at our testing stations in Kjøpsvik, Ballangen and Framnes and at the plowing station on the E10 is recorded in the overview of the infected. The same goes for those who test positive at home and then register this with us, Bartholsen says.

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However, the municipality knows that it does not get an overview of every infected person.

break home stone

Unfortunately, we have dark numbers. We know there are people who have tested positive on home tests and have not registered this with us, which means they are not included in the overview and have not been contacted by our infection trackers, Bartholsen says.

– We have also received some comments that people have tested positive for home tests and are not in compliance with home quarantine. Unfortunately. We can’t do much about it, other than encouraging everyone to tell us if they test positive and then we can’t help but trust that people are taking responsibility and Complies with quarantine rules.

One of the challenges facing the municipality is access to rapid tests. There is a shortage across the country and priorities must be set.

– We’ve done a lot of tests regarding everyone in schools and kindergartens who are being asked to test themselves before Tuesday, so we started doing some tests. So we have to prioritize based on the recommendation of the Norwegian Directorate of Health, which states that health workers have the first priority, and then there are those who show symptoms as the second priority. Then schools and kindergartens come after that. We have been informed that we will receive new fees in the second week, which is next week.

Can you get into a situation where you’re free from exams this week?

– It’s hard to say. not hope so. We ask that people understand that we don’t have tests to dispense at test stations just because they want tests available at home. Then they almost have to go and buy the tests themselves, Bartholsen says.

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Dalila Awolowo

Dalila Awolowo

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