120 employees in quarantine at Hammerfest hospital – a doubling from Saturday


The number of employees who have been quarantined as a result of the infection situation has doubled since Saturday, Finnmark Hospital stated at a digital press conference on Sunday night.

– This is a very demanding situation for us, said CEO Siri Tau Ursin at Finnmarkssykehuset HF.

Hammerfest Hospital has been on red alert since the first case of infection was discovered at the hospital on Thursday.

Receives personnel from other hospitals

Ursin says that the hospital immediately realized that the infection situation would entail an urgent need to bring in personnel to cover the staffing gaps.

– We have been sent personnel from other hospitals in Helse nord to replace everyone who has to be quarantined, at least key personnel. In addition, we have received a number of equipment, including from Helgeland Hospital and UNN, says Ursin.

– I want to praise the assistance we have received, it is fantastic how they have lined up and contributed to us getting to this, she continued.

– Vulnerable situation

Clinic manager Jonas Valle Paulsen says that the hospital is still in a confusing situation. Therefore, the hospital maintains red alert.

– We must be careful and want to test broadly. Some preparations are being made there now. We are still in a vulnerable situation, but as the status is now, we have good control, says Paulsen.

Many test samples have already been taken, and the answers are awaited there, he says, and adds that the next 24 hours will define how the road ahead will be for the hospital’s operation.

Postpones operations

All planned treatments and operations at the hospital are postponed. People who need immediate help will get it, the hospital states. The cancer treatment at the hospital is not affected.

The hospital’s maternity ward is still in operation, but those who will give birth must contact in advance to be sure that the hospital has the capacity to receive.

Among those who have already been admitted to the maternity ward, star blogger Asbjørn Sandøy and his maternity-ready cohabitant, according to VG. The 43-year-old is behind the blog “Kokkejævel”, one of the country’s most read blogs.

For the last four days, they have had to be isolated in a hospital where they are given food. Sandøy has explained that he did not pack enough clothes, and that he therefore washes his underpants in the sink.

The municipality is taking action

It was thus Thursday that the first case of infection at the hospital was discovered. How the infection got into the hospital is still unknown. Over the next few days, the hospital will collaborate with the National Institute of Public Health (NIPH) to get an overview of the situation.

Hammerfest municipality works with extensive infection tracing, and the municipality has introduced several measures in an attempt to limit further infection.

Among other things, the health institutions are closed to visitors for the next two weeks. The municipality has also introduced a 2-meter rule. The schools and kindergartens in Hammerfest will continue to be kept open as normal.


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