New infections in university cities

| HOP, Evelien Flink

After local coronavirus outbreaks in the cities of Maastricht, Tilburg and Wageningen, the number of infections among students in Delft and Groningen is now also on the rise. Nijmegen has joined this list and three student cafes were forced to close.

Since the beginning of the introduction weeks the number of infected students is growing again. The universities aren’t to blame: according to the local Municipal Health Services (GGDs), students are mainly infecting each other at private parties in student accommodation.

Close their doors

But corona is also spreading fast outside student homes. In Nijmegen, for example, where earlier this month a student café was forced to close by order of mayor Hubert Bruls. Since then, more than 50 visitors have tested positive for the virus and 230 individuals have had to self-isolate.

Last night Bruls announced that two more popular student cafés were forced to close. Both establishments had previously received warnings and one had already been closed for some days previously, wrote Vox. Bruls called on students to start acting responsibly.

Clusters

Delta student magazine reported that the Municipal Health Services in Delft have also observed a rise in the number of coronavirus infections among students. Like elsewhere, the university was not to blame and the rise is the result of several clusters of infections in student accommodation. For the time being, on-campus teaching activities will go on as planned.

Drinks events and initiation activities are not permitted for the time being, but at the House of Representative’s insistence student associations have been allowed to organise a limited number of specific activities in the coming period. This has not gone well everywhere. Thirteen members of the Navigators Student Association Groningen have since tested positive for coronavirus. All activities have been suspended for the time being, the association reported in a press release. The Municipal Health Services are performing a contact tracing investigation.

Testing

The National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM) has called on people with symptoms to stay at home and only go out to get themselves tested. Some patience may be required, as Dutch public broadcaster NOS reported yesterday that the umbrella organisation for the Municipal Health Services has announced that there was only enough capacity at four out of the nation’s 100 testing facilities.