Around 40 people are still in quarantine in Hemsedal.
After an outbreak of infection was discovered in Hemsedal last week, problems arose with some not wanting to report close contacts to the infection team. The municipal lawyer is now looking more closely at whether it is a criminal offense to deliberately obstruct the tracking work.
The mayor of Hemsedal, Pål Rørby, says that there have been cases where visitors to the municipality refuse to inform the infection tracking team about who are close contacts.
– We have not experienced this before during the infection tracking. There are several who do not want to tell us who are close contacts and where they have been.
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He says that they encourage them to contribute, but now they are also checking the legal legal basis.
– In some cases, it can be a matter of minutes before it triggers a new outbreak if we do not get notified. Therefore, this is pure sabotage, says Pål Rørby mayor of Hemsedal.
Wondering why the situation has arisen
He goes on to say that the vast majority of the nearly 13,000 guests in the village follow the rules, but that the few who do not do so are exclusively visiting guests in the municipality.
– What is the reason why some do not want to disclose where they have been and with whom when the infection detection team contacts them?
– Why this has arisen is pure speculation, but we suspect that a person has been in quarantine and that they therefore will not disclose the person. This may have been part of the explanation for the lack of participation in the tracking work. We do not know for sure what lies behind the reluctance, but in the report to those who track the infection, they write that they feel the opposition, says Rørby.
The mayor says that people do not call back and someone turns off the phone.
– I hope this was a one-time event and that this will not be a new trend in the rest of the country.
Hemsedal’s municipal lawyer, Pia Rørby Ruud, says that they are now considering reporting the circumstances that have arisen.
– Where problems have arisen for the municipality is where we have a suspected infected, ie where we are waiting for a response to the PCR test of the person in question. We experience that some (and this applies to few) do not have knowledge that they, by definition in the law, are defined as infected.
She says that this applies for a short period, between the test is taken and the test results are available. It is during this period that they have been met by people who do not cooperate in the detection of infection.
– This is a violation of the law, and we will therefore, based on a specific overall assessment in each case, consider reporting the matter, says Ruud.
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The Norwegian Directorate of Health believes it is not a criminal offense
The Norwegian Directorate of Health tells Nettavisen that the index case, ie the person who has been confirmed infected, has a duty to provide the doctor or municipal doctor with information about their contact with the infection, but that it is not a criminal offense to refuse.
The underlying laws are section 5-1 and section 8-1 of the Infection Control Act.
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