The government issued new restrictions on Friday night which locked down a students' halls of residence in Tartu. Earlier in the day, it was reported six students had tested positive for COVID-19 after holding a party earlier this month.
The halls of residence under lockdown is on Raatuse street. The building was closed on Friday and all 42 residents living on the same floor as the six students who tested positive will be tested.
The Health Board informed the infected individuals of their positive test results and ordered them to quarantine. Those who have been in contact with these individuals have been ordered to self-isolate as well.
In the next stage, all residents of the dorm will be tested, one floor at a time. The Health Board is expecting to carry out at least 200 tests.
The party took place on April 9 and several guests displayed symptoms of illness.
The government's message is printed in full below:
The person in charge of the emergency situation, Mr Jüri Ratas, signed an order today to prevent the spread of COVID-19 virus in the student halls of residence with 281 residents at Raatuse 22, Tartu. People living in the halls of residence must remain at their apartments until they have received the results of their COVID-19 test. On-site catering has been organised for people under restriction of movement. Students who have tested positive for COVID-19 must remain in self-isolation at Raatuse 22 residence until recovery.
The restriction of movement applies to people living in the halls of residence until they have been tested for COVID-19, and until all the people who have been in close contact with the infected persons have been identified, and the test results have been returned. In order to prevent the spread of the virus, the halls of residence will be divided into three zones. Residents are placed according to whether they have tested positive for COVID-19, or have been in close contact with an infected person, or have not been in close contact with an infected person, and have tested negative for COVID-19.
People who have tested positive for COVID-19 must remain in strict isolation until recovery.
People who have been in close contact with the infected persons and who have tested negative for COVID-19 will need to stay at their apartments in the halls of residence for two weeks, and monitor their health status. They will have the opportunity to go outside for fresh air.
Residents who have not been in contact with infected persons, and who have tested negative for COVID-19 are allowed to move about freely, taking into account the general movement restrictions due to the emergency situation.
The Police and Border Guard Board (PPA) will monitor the observance of restrictions of movement at Raatuse 22.
The person in charge of the emergency situation, Mr Jüri Ratas issued an order based on the proposal of the leader of the South region for emergency situation Mr Margo Klaos; having consulted the rector of the University of Tartu Mr Toomas Asser, the Mayor of Tartu Mr Urmas Klaas, Chancellor of Justice Mrs Ülle Madise, and Professor Irja Lutsar of Tartu University.
Yesterday, a foreign student of University of Tartu residing at the University´s halls of residence, tested positive for COVID-19. Additional testing was carried out on 17 people who had been in close contact with the infected person, and 5 of them tested positive for COVID-19. The infected persons live in the same halls of residence and participated at a birthday party organised at the residence.
The order shall enter into force upon signature. The restrictions are valid until the amendment of the order and will be re-evaluated every two weeks.
Message from University of Tartu rector
On Friday the University of Tartu posted a video on Facebook of a message from Rector Toomas Asser. He said: "I urge all students to do everything in your power to avoid becoming carriers and transmitters of the virus."
Editor: Helen Wright