City government, Health Board advise Tartu residents to be careful

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Social distancing sign in Tartu. Source: Ahto Sooaru

Tartu City Government (Tartu Linnavalitsus) and the southern district of the Health Board (Terviseamet) are calling on Tartu residents to be careful and behave responsibly after a recent rise in new coronavirus cases.

As of November 20, there were almost 130 infected people and more than 500 close contacts in Tartu. On Friday, the Health Board said the greatest risks of infection are related to hobbies, schools and workplaces.

Head of the Southern Region of the Health Board Tiia Luht said the situation in Tartu is critical and the infection rate is constantly growing. 

"Now is the time to give up parties which unite different generations. Joint events, as well as meetings in the same room, should be kept to a minimum in work places," Luht said.

The Health Board has recommended reducing the size of hobby groups and to avoid mixing different groups. Individual lessons are preferred and masks should be used indoors. Ventilation of rooms and cleaning of surfaces and hands are also very important.

Mayor of Tartu Urmas Klaas (Reform) said people must think very carefully about where they go and their own safety. 

"We certainly do not want extensive restrictions which stop our lives again. All rules must also be strictly adhered to: keep your distance, stay home if you have symptoms of illness, wear a mask indoors and on public transport," he said.

The city government is recommending events be postponed until 2021. 

The council has canceled its own internal events and shut most of its offices until the end of the year. It has previously asked citizens to communicate with the council online or via the telephone. If a meeting is necessary, it must be booked in advance and mask must be worn.

Schools in Tartu have suspended choirs, orchestras and dance groups with students from different classes for two weeks. Day centers for elderly residents have also been reorganized.

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Editor: Helen Wright

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