Quarantine ended at the Raatuse dormitory

At the final meeting of the strategic headquarter on 2. May, those in attendance agreed that the restrictions of movement and the separation of residents within the dormitory have produced the desired results. Mayor Urmas Klaas, head of the Tartu crisis team, thanked all parties for their excellent work. “All authorities were very operational in their work and quickly joined forces to stop the virus from spreading further from the hotspot,” added Klaas.

For four COVID-19 positive residents, the restriction of movement will stay in effect until they are well. Three persons in close contact will have to stay in isolation for 14 days. The Student Village will provide them with catering and necessary assistance. The police surveillance at the dormitory will end, however, the police will continue to verify whether isolation rules are followed as with other infected persons - through random visits and phone calls.

In total, 19 residents of the dormitory tested positive. Of them 16 received their results between 16 and 18 April, and the 3 remaining persons were tested positive on 29 April, when a repeat test of those with close contact was carried out. There have been 40 persons in isolation at the dormitory due to close contact. In total, 274 persons were tested at the Raatuse dormitory.

After the virus hotspot was discovered at the Raatuse dormitory, a strategic headquarters was set up to resolve the situation. The participants included representatives from the Tartu City Government, the University of Tartu, the Estonian Health Board, the Southern rescue centre, the Southern Prefecture, the Tartu Ambulance Foundation, and the NGO Tartu Student Village. Mayor Urmas Klaas led the work of the team. To fulfil the tasks set for the University of Tartu and NGO Tartu Student Village, a crisis headquarter was also set up at the University of Tartu, led by the university’s Academic Secretary Tõnis Karki.

On 17 April, a restriction of movement was set in place for the Raatuse dormitory after an order by Jüri Ratas, the person in charge of the emergency situation.

In cooperation with the Student Village, the University of Tartu followed guidelines set out by the Health Board and the Tartu Ambulance Foundation to thoroughly reorganise living arrangements at the dormitory. The residents were relocated within the dormitory, so infected persons, those with close contact and negative persons would be in separate areas. Residents whose movement was restricted were provided with free catering, personal protective equipment, and disinfectants. The first 6000 face masks handed out to residents of the dormitory were given to the university by the city of Tartu. Healthy persons in quarantine were also provided the opportunity to spend time outdoors. The restriction of movement was verified by the police based on identity documents. The Tartu Ambulance Foundation and the Health Board also arranged a general practitioner for foreign students who had fallen ill.

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