Starting on Wednesday – Quarantine Announced in Kaunas as well: New Measures are Introduced, Restrictions will have to be Agreed

Taking into account the rising curve of coronavirus infection and the deteriorating epidemiological situation in the country, quarantine will be announced in Kaunas as well as in other large cities from October 28. In response, the city is strengthening preventive action and coronavirus control in educational institutions and the non-formal education sector. For the time being, the quarantine regime in Kaunas is planned until November 11, but this term may be extended.

Remote work

“By monitoring the general situation in educational institutions, we make decisions in order to minimize direct contacts indoors. Therefore, after the autumn holidays, students in 5-12 classes will move to remote learning for at least a week. We urge the city’s higher education institutions to follow the same example. A decision on the return of primary school children will be made in the near future. For those who go to kindergarten we would recommend to stay safely at home whenever possible. This will help ensure that children and educators return to institutions healthy and safe.

We are currently closely monitoring and analyzing the latest data. Situation will depend on the number of coronaviruses in the city and the awareness of each of us. It would be better to prolong remote learning than to risk the health of Kaunas residents,” said Mayor of Kaunas City Visvaldas Matijošaitis.

As the emergency continues, parents whose children remain at home are exempt from kindergarten fees. The distance learning model will be organized until November 8 and, if necessary, continued.

All non-formal education, children’s sports training and other extracurricular activities in Kaunas will have to be done remotely or temporarily suspended and transferred to a later period. Exceptions apply only to higher-skilled athletes who until November 20 will participate in the competition. For them, training will take place as usual, in strict accordance with the recommendations given by the Government.

Local quarantine – what to expect?

By recording more and more patients with COVID-19, the Government classified Kaunas and 20 other municipalities of the country as a red zone by introducing local quarantine. Over the next two weeks, residents in these areas will be required to follow additional preventive measures and recommendations that are expected to curb the second wave of the spread of coronavirus infection.

From Wednesday (October 28), protective equipment covering the nose and mouth must be worn in all public and enclosed spaces. Exceptions for wearing masks apply to children under 6 years of age and people with disabilities when it may be harmful to their health. Exceptionally, the requirement to wear masks will also be disabled for athletes, physical activity instructors, coaches and judges participating in high-skill sports competitions.

In the city’s cultural, leisure and entertainment institutions, it is mandatory to limit the flow of people, to ensure at least 10 square meters per person, keeping a distance of at least 2 meters between staff and visitors. When visiting leisure and entertainment venues, presentations, catering establishments, nightclubs and other places of entertainment, residents have been required to provide personal data for some time, which will be stored for 21 days.

During the quarantine, Kaunas City Municipality and its subdivisions will provide services and consultations remotely – by e-mail ([email protected]), by phone (8 800 20 000) or online epaslaugos.kaunas.lt. If it is not possible to receive services without leaving home, residents in elderships and municipal administration will be admitted only with pre-registration.

Additional recommendations

“Until the Government legislation regulating local quarantine enters into force in the city, we are guided by the COVID-19 preventive measures provided for the red zone. These recommendations can become a severe constraint at any time. A real example of this – the issue of organizing events and other mass gatherings being considered by the Government. If one or another decision will be made, the ruling would take effect in a few days.

I invite all Kaunas residents to follow the recommendations of health specialists regarding control in the red zone,” commented Paulius Keras, the Head of the Emergency Operations Center of Kaunas City Municipality.

In addition to proactive prevention, health monitoring and mandatory self-isolation if you experience cold symptoms, health professionals recommend choosing to work remotely, avoid larger gatherings, do not visit entertainment and leisure facilities, and avoid unnecessary travel.

According to the Government’s recommendations, the provision of services in Kaunas medical institutions will not be additionally restricted. However, during this period, residents are prohibited from visiting pregnant women and people over 14 years old who are health care patients. Only relatives of patients with dying or incurable diseases will be admitted to the hospital premises with the doctor’s permission.

Assistance from city to NCPH

“We have to fear not quarantine or red color, but the disease. The management of the epidemiological situation in the city continues. The Korona hotline 1808, established in Kaunas, have not been silent since March and continue to serve thousands of residents from all over Lithuania.

With hundreds of new cases counting every day, we see the need to help to the National Center for Public Health. Their workload is currently inhumane, and the responsibility is critical: the control of patients and the establishment of direct contacts with COVID-19, the provision of individual recommendations is only a small part of the work performed,” said V. Matijošaitis.

Since last week, tens of specialists of the Division of Health Protection of Kaunas City Municipality have strengthened the forces of NCPH employees. They have taken over part of the workload for health professionals: classifying and managing data, contacting for self-isolation, inspections and providing other relevant information. As the workload and the need for human resources increase, the employees of the municipal administration would join the NCPH.