The Urban Environment Agency went against the infection chief’s recommendations when they let the organizer rent Stoltzekleiven.
On Tuesday this week, the Urban Environment Agency gave Stoltzekleiven Opp permission to rent Stoltzen for the uphill run last weekend in September.
They did so without approval from the Bergen health authorities.
– We were skeptical and do not recommend letting them rent. Now I register that they have been hired. So I guess they follow the regulations and have found a solution to the challenges of passing, says infection control chief Egil Bovim.
– we were skeptical
In connection with the planning of the exercise race, the organizer of Stoltzekleiven Opp sent his infection control plan to the municipality of Bergen in August.
Subsequently, the Urban Environment Agency asked the municipality’s Health Unit to present its views. The chief infection control physician, Egil Bovim, participated in the discussion.
The route is narrow and therefore it is “difficult / impossible” to keep at least one meter of distance when passing. were some of the comments received by the organizer.
The conclusion was that Stoltzen Opp should not be allowed to rent the area.
Following comments from the health authority, Stoltzen Opp made several changes and sent a revised infection control plan to the municipality. Bovim has not looked at him.
He does not want to answer the question of whether he thinks it is a good idea or a bad idea to organize the race now. Not even if you think it is possible to maintain a distance of one meter, as required by the covid-19 regulation.
– It is the organizer who is responsible for ensuring that the rules are followed and that the rules have not changed. That is what I can say about this.
– People are probably tempted to pass
Tore-André Gram-Knutsen is the head of the Health Unit in the municipality of Bergen.
He still thinks that it will be very difficult to run the race according to the rules of the covid-19 regulation.
– I would say that people are likely to be tempted to go through places where there is no room to hold the meter, he says and continues:
– If the urban environment agency has given permission to use the stairs for the race, the permission of the municipality should probably be interpreted with a clear premise that the organizer ensures compliance with current regulations.
– The responsibility falls on the participants
Race leader Carl Lund says the subway has been the hardest bone to break during planning.
After feedback from the municipality, they reduced the number of participants, made cohorts of a maximum of 200, and increased the time between cohort races. Participants are also encouraged to pass distance whenever possible.
– We do not intend to violate the regulations, but the question is how strict it should be. If one wants to guarantee that this will not happen, we would have to have police authority and guide people upwards. We want to facilitate, but there is also a responsibility of the participants, says Lund.
That the infection control superior is skeptical, you understand. It is not surprising that different actors in the municipality can take different positions.
– We believe that this should be considered in its entirety. Control of infection must be contrasted, for example, with public health and the positive effect on psychosocial. I estimate that those who sit in the municipality look at that set.
Gave no comment
Ellen-Karin Nordhus from the Urban Environment Agency says they sent Stoltzen Opp’s new infection control plan to the municipality’s health service for review and comment.
But they didn’t get an answer and eventually chose to let the organizer rent.
– Why do you rent when the health authorities recommend otherwise?
– The organizer had made several changes. The only thing left was this with the subway rule. If the event is declined, a professional medical evaluation and decision must be made in accordance with the Infection Control Act. This legal basis does not rest with the Urban Environment Agency, he says.
I was nervous in august
Lund admits it wasn’t fun getting newspaper articles on infection control in the carpentry earlier this month, and on several occasions they have feared that both the authorities and the pressure of the infection would put their foot on the ground.
– At the end of August, when there were 100 new infected in Bergen every day, it was a bit stressful to be the race leader for an exercise event.
Despite skepticism, he believes that the dialogue with the municipality has been good.
– It is clear that for those of us who are not used to the municipal bureaucracy, one can get a little nervous about the process, but we have always felt that the municipality has picked up the phone and listened to us. They must have bragged about it.