Vindicat returns from skiing trip in northern Italy
GGD: Vindicat members do not have coronavirus (UPDATE)
After their arrival on Saturday, four students reported to the GGD physicians because they weren’t feeling well, immediately after which they were tested. The lab results showed that they weren’t infected with the coronavirus.
The nine hundred Vindicat members returned on Saturday morning from their winter holiday in northern Italy; 760 students came by bus and 140 under their own steam. The entire group has been instructed on what to do if they start feeling ill in any way. Approximately three hundred students personally went to talk with GGD physicians and nurses.
The group returned a day earlier than they’d originally planned. Vindicat made the decision to return because their relatives, Vindicat members who’d stayed home, and the Groningen community was concerned. They were received by mayor Koen Schuiling and Jos Rietveld, the director of public health for GGD Groningen.
A week ago, nine hundred members of the student association travelled to the Sestriere resort in northern Italy for a winter holiday as part of their 205th anniversary.
Halfway through their trip, the National Institute for Public Health and Environment (RIVM) updated the travel advice when the number of coronavirus cases increased in northern Italy, turning the association’s destination into a risk zone.
Mayor Koen Schuiling said he was happy the students were back in the city. ‘They’re my citizens, after all’, he said. ‘I’ve been in close contact with them, which creates a bond. They are young people who’ve been very responsible in this situation. I want to commend them for that.’
Upon their arrival, the students were taken to a municipal depot behind sports centre Kardinge. Health officials boarded the buses to provide information on the coronavirus. No one was left behind in Sestriere with symptoms.
Up to them
It’s now up to the students themselves to decide whether they’ll go to class or go out on the town, said GGD director Jos Rietveld. Students who show no symptoms are free to go where they want. ‘We’d advise anyone who suffers from mild symptoms like coughing or a fever to stay away from people and to stay home.’
If and when the symptoms worsen, the advice is to contact a general practitioner for a check-up.
‘The UG and Hanze university will undoubtedly advise us on what to do as well’, says Vindicat rector Floris Hamann. It was Hamann who eventually decided to end the trip and return to Groningen early.
‘We’re following the guidelines set out by the GGD. They’ve told us that we’re free to do as we please as long as we don’t show any symptoms. When someone does start showing symptoms, they themselves have to make the decision to stay home.’
Vindicat will also determine whether any events will take place as planned or whether they’ll cancel or move them.