Several municipalities have in recent days warned that they are struggling to follow up testing and infection detection in schools. The Minister of Health has announced there will be changes.
The government planned to replace the waiting quarantine with extensive use of testing for school students, but several municipalities announced that they are struggling to follow up.
“We have received very good and clear feedback from municipalities that have large outbreaks, such as Bergen, Oslo, and Molde. This new model is demanding. We have worked closely with them the last 24 hours, and during the day today will come up with changes to this that make it more manageable for the municipalities,” Minister of Health and Care Services Bent Høie told Norwegian Broadcasting (NRK) on Friday.
Defends the “green” level in schools
It is especially the infection in the schools that is a concern for several municipalities. In Oslo, Schools Councilor Inga Marte Thorkildsen (SV) has asked for new advice from national authorities following an increase in infection among children and young people in Oslo. In the last two weeks, half of the approximately 2,500 infected are younger than 20 years.
Høie still believes it is right to keep schools at the “green” level as long as possible.
“It is this group we now know has quite large negative consequences of not being together. We see that especially younger people who already have challenges – if they do not get the opportunity to go to school and participate in leisure activities – we see that they can get quite big health challenges,” Høie said. He nevertheless emphasized that the municipalities should use the traffic light model and introduce the “yellow” or “red” level if required.
In the last 24 hours, 1,415 corona infection cases have been registered in Norway. That is 730 more than the same day last week and 121 more than the record level the day before.
Høie admitted that he is worried about the situation. He also pointed out that increasing infection rates were the reason why the government postponed the last step in the reopening plan a week and a half ago. At the same time, he asks the unvaccinated to accept the vaccination offer as soon as possible.
“We know there are people who think: I can wait a bit to be vaccinated. There are various reasons why people have not been vaccinated, and it is not the case that people necessarily say that ‘I will not be vaccinated,'” Høie explained.
“But now it is wise to get vaccinated quickly. Many municipalities now have drop-in options. For all those who have thought that they will wait a bit and see, now is the time to go and get vaccinated,” he added.
Source: © NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today / #NorwayTodayNews
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