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City of Tartu is making a joint effort to stop further spread of the virus

Tartu City Government Press Release

Raekoja plats Foto: Mana Kaasik

18 April / The Tartu City Government, the University of Tartu, the Estonian Health Board, the Southern rescue centre, the Southern Prefecture, the Tartu emergency medical care centre, and other authorities are making a joint effort to ensure that the coronavirus would not spread further in and from the Raatuse dormitory, which has become a hotspot.

According to the most recent information from today, 18 April, at 6 pm, after testing the residents of the Raatuse dormitory, 16 positive coronavirus results have been found. In total, nearly 300 tests were analysed, and today the ambulance team tested those who were not available for testing yesterday.

According to mayor Urmas Klaas, head of the Tartu crisis team, right now the most important issue is stopping the spread of the virus in the dormitory. “We are working closely with our partners and doing everything to make sure that the virus does not spread further from the Raatuse dormitory. The seriousness of the situation also shows in the fact that shutting down an entire dormitory and setting restrictions on movement is an unprecedented case in Estonia,” he added.
 
On 17 April, after an order from Jüri Ratas, the person in charge of the emergency situation, a restriction on movement was set in place for the residents of the dormitory until the testing has been carried out, all those with contact with the infected persons determined, and the test results returned. The order was given following a proposal by Margo Klaos, the head of operations for the emergency situation in the Southern region. Before the restrictions were put in place, consultations were held with Rector Toomas Asser, Mayor Urmas Klaas, the Chancellor of Justice Ülle Madise, and professor Irja Lutsar. The police are organising work related to monitoring adherence to these restrictions at the Raatuse 22 dormitory.
 
In cooperation with the Student Village, the University of Tartu has thoroughly reorganised living arrangements at the dormitory. Residents have been relocated within the building to ensure that those tested positive and those who have had close contact would be separated from those, whose test results were negative. Free catering, personal protective equipment and disinfectant materials have been organised for the residents. 6000 facial masks provided for the dormitory residents were given to the university on Friday by the city of Tartu.

Common rooms in the dormitory were cleaned and their utilisation was reorganised. For healthy persons in quarantine, an opportunity to spend time outside will be provided. The university and the Student Village notified residents of the dormitory about the closure of the building and about the details related to the restriction on movement, and rules for conduct were handed out.

A strategic headquarter has been set up to resolve the situation, which includes the Tartu City Government, the University of Tartu, the Estonian Health Board, the Southern rescue centre, the Southern Prefecture, the Tartu emergency medical care centre, and the NGO Tartu Student Village. Mayor Urmas Klaas is leading the work of the team. To fulfil the tasks set for the University of Tartu and NGO Tartu Student Village, a crisis headquarter has also been set up at the University of Tartu, led by the university’s Academic Secretary Tõnis Karki.

Additional information: Mayor Urmas Klaas, 513 5145, urmas.klaas@raad.tartu.ee; University of Tartu Academic Secretary Tõnis Karki, 529 7917, tonis.karki@ut.ee; head of operations for the emergency situation in the Southern region Margo Klaos, 503 5112, margo.klaos@rescue.ee.

Last changed 18.04.2020