Schools in Oslo to switch to online classes amid rising Covid-19 cases

All schools in Norwegian capital Oslo will switch to digital teaching from Friday due to the local coronavirus situation, the city’s municipality has announced. 

Pictured is Karl Johan street in Oslo.
Schools in Oslo will switch to digital teaching from Friday. Pictured is Karl Johan Street. Photo by Alina Shchurova on Unsplash

Online teaching will be introduced at primary schools, secondary schools, adult education and vocational schools and colleges. Kindergartens will remain open, albeit with potentially reduced hours and capacity. 

“It is necessary to introduce fully digital teaching for all schools until the Christmas holidays to ensure safe teaching for all students in Oslo. Kindergartens will be open, but with the possibility of reduced opening hours where there is a need for it,” education councillor Sunniva Holmås Eidsvoll said in an announcement

The municipality said the decision was necessary due to schools in the capital not being able to operate properly at yellow and red Covid-19 restriction levels, which will be introduced on Thursday, as a result of staffing issues in schools with many teachers in quarantine. 

Yellow level means social distancing, assigned seating plans for each student, no physical contact between individuals and minimising mixing between different classes to limit the spread of Covid-19.

Red level sees measures such as much smaller class sizes or cohorts and partial online schooling being implemented. 

“The situation in Oslo’s schools is now under pressure. Many employees are absent due to illness or quarantine. In addition, many parents are worried that their children will be infected just before Christmas,” Robert Steen, health councillor for Oslo, said. 

Initially, digital teaching will be implemented until the Christmas holidays. 

In addition to Kindergartens remaining open, children considered at risk and those whose parents are key workers will still be able to attend school for the last few days of term. 

Before new measures were announced Monday, the government was reported to have considered starting the Christmas holidays early. In Ålesund, the municipality has given schools the option of breaking up early

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Norway scraps Covid-19 self-isolation recommendation

The advice to isolate for four days after testing positive for coronavirus in Norway has been axed, the government announced Tuesday.

Norway scraps Covid-19 self-isolation recommendation

Those who test positive for Covid-19 in Norway will no longer be asked to isolate themselves for four days after, Norway’s health minister announced in parliament on Tuesday.

“The specific advice to stay at home for four days after being infected with Covid-19 has been revoked,” Ingvild Kjerkol, Minister of Health, said.

Kjerkol also announced that responsibility for official public health advice relating to the pandemic would be delegated to the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

Despite the advice being pulled with immediate effect, the health minister added that the pandemic was not over.

“The pandemic is by no means over. There is great uncertainty about the erasure of infection, which virus variants we can encounter and when a new variant can occur. Therefore, there is still a need for good monitoring and preparedness to detect, assess, and handle an unfortunate development early,” Kjerkol said.

She said that the country would learn to live with the virus moving forward.

“Now we will learn to live with coronavirus in society,” she said.

The government said that it would be asking local authorities to retain Covid testing capacity, so they would be able to test at least one percent of the population should a future breakout occur.