Rector: 'We are on the alert'


26 August 2020 09:04

Rector: 'We are on the alert'

Rector Øystein Thøgersen says that NHH’s management is prepared in the event that more infection cases are detected at the school.

N.B. Last updated 26 August 2020 

‘We are prepared to handle new infection cases quickly. At the same time, it is important that activities at the school go on as normal as possible while complying with the guidelines from the authorities and NHH’s infection control measures.’

This weekend, we learned that two students are infected with COVID-19. On Sunday night it was decided that all master’s degree lectures and other teaching activities at master's degree level will only take place digitally this week. 

Digital master’s degree lectures

‘Digital teaching won’t pose any problems since all the courses were already going to be digital this semester. Most courses therefore combine physical attendance with restrictions on the number of seats and filming/digital teaching. Now there’ll be a week with digital teaching activities only for the master’s degree students,’ says Thøgersen.

‘Did you also consider halting teaching activities requiring physical attendance for the bachelor's degree students?’

‘That was one of the many different measures we discussed. Since the two students are master’s degree students, it seemed unreasonable to also halt physical attendance at bachelor’s degree level.’

On Tuesday afternoon, a bachelor student was confirmed infected. This means that the infection control office is now tracing the student’s movements and will notify contacts who might have to be quarantined. The student herself has stated that she has not participated in a social group during the welcome week and that she has not attended lectures on campus. The information we received on Tuesday night means that we do not need to implement new measures.

following advice issued by the authorities

‘Shouldn’t NHH take all possible precautions now that cases of COVID-19 have been detected?’

‘I think that we are. We are following the advice issued by the authorities, and on some points we have clear specifications in relation to situations that are unique to our institution. It is important to point out that the authorities do not want Norway to shut down, but to maintain activities as far as possible while complying with infection control measures. The authorities find this to be socio-economically profitable and safe from a public health perspective. Our policy corresponds with this.’

‘What should employees or students do if they think they are infected?’

‘Most importantly, they must stay home, and contact their GP or the infection control office to clarify the situation.’

Infection control measures are met

‘What about the students on campus? Do they comply with the infection control measures as the management intends?’

‘We have made arrangements to ensure that the infection control measures are met in all teaching activities and all reading rooms. As regards the more informal gatherings in corridors or the canteen, I urge all students to follow the advice on keeping a distance and maintaining proper hygiene. Not only for the sake of your own health, but also out of consideration for everyone around you.’

Prepared to respond

‘What is the situation now?’

‘It can change from one hour to the next, but right now what we know is that three students are infected. The infection control office has not confirmed exactly how many students are in quarantine. Nor have we received any information that employees are in quarantine.’

‘What do you expect going forward?’

‘We are monitoring the situation continuously. We must expect to see more infection cases at the school, and we are prepared to respond.’