Mass Covid testing in Oslo schools to be reintroduced

Oslo municipality will begin mass in testing schools from as early as next week, the Norwegian capital’s executive mayor, Raymond Johansen, announced on Wednesday. 

A Covid-19 test swab being prepared.
Students in Oslo will be tested from as early as next week. Pictured is a swab being prepared. Photo by Mufid Majnun on Unsplash

Following a sharp rise in Covid-19 cases across Norway and Oslo, the city’s executive mayor announced that mass testing would return to schools in the capital from early as next week. 

“What we should have now is regular, mass testing of school students. We hope to roll this out during the next week,” Raymond Johansen, executive mayor of Oslo, told newspaper VG

READ ALSO: Norwegian health chiefs mull new national Covid measures as cases rise

Johansen said that the reintroduction of testing in schools was due to the bulk of infection spreading among those under 19. 

“There are high infection rates in Norway and in Oslo. But it is mainly those aged up to 19 who are infected. These are the youngest who do not get sick. It also means that we are currently able to keep the number of hospital admissions at a low level,” he said. 

On Tuesday, 400 people in Oslo tested positive for Covid-19. 

In September, mass testing was used in schools when the country went through a fourth wave of Covid-19 infections. Oslo was among several cities, such as Trondheim, Bergen and Fredrikstad, that tested pupils at schools to help bring down infections earlier in the autumn. 

Johansen also said that mass testing was an effective tool for cutting infection rates in the autumn. 

“We experienced this autumn that mass testing is by far the most effective tool. This is the target audience. This is how we will manage to help curb the infection,” he explained. 

Oslo City Council said it was ironing out the details but would reveal more before testing was implemented.

In the autumn students were provided test kits and swabbed themselves, mass testing was also voluntary.

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What you need to know about Oslo’s metro line closures in May and June 

Parts of Oslo’s metro will close for around two weeks at the end of May, with bus replacement services scheduled. 

What you need to know about Oslo’s metro line closures in May and June 

Between May 26th and June 6th, parts of the number two, three and four T-bane lines will close and be replaced with a bus replacement service. 

“The buses will run frequently, but at times it could be cramped for space. Those who are going to travel during this period should think of alternative travel routes,” Ruter’s press officer Øystein Dahl Johansen said in an announcement.

The closures will mainly affect the eastern parts of Oslo’s t-bane system. 

On line two, there will be no metro traffic between Helsfyr and Tveita. On line three, no metro trains will run between Helsfyr and Hellerud. On line three, Ruter advises changing at Oppsal to avoid closures. And on line four, the track between Helsfyr and Vestil will be shut.  

The closures are due to Sporveien wishing to carry out work on tunnels and bridges on the sections of the t-bane, which will be closed. 

Bus services will operate between the stops affected by the closures. Ruter will offer the busses 2B between Helsfyr T and Tveita T, 3B between Helsfyr T to Oppsal, and the 4B between Helsfyr T to Bergkrystallen T. 

The public transport operator said that the schedule for several bus routes from Helsfyr T might be changed due to the extra traffic passing through the stop.