How to be sociable safely during the pandemic

How can students continue to meet one another and still keep to the coronavirus rules?
Student societies can organize more outside activities. Photo: Anna den Hartog

This was the key question in a meeting between Wageningen municipality and the student societies on 24 September.

In view of the increasing number of Covid cases in Wageningen, the student society boards had a talk with the municipality and the municipal health service (GGD) about sticking to the coronavirus rules. While most students who tested positive became infected in private homes rather than at the societies’ clubhouses, the municipality still thinks the societies play a role in setting a good example. What is more, GGD researcher Kirsten Wevers says that while until recently infections were primarily among young people (including students), now cases are increasing in other age groups too.

Some ideas

The meeting produced some ideas on how students and the municipality can help reduce the number of infections. For example, the municipality and the societies could create more opportunities for socially distanced gatherings outdoors, such as at pavement cafes with awnings. The municipality could speed up the permit process for this.

The societies could pay attention to criticism from local residents that students are not keeping to the rules, for example by explaining how many students are allowed in the clubhouse under the coronavirus rules and how many actually visit. They could also record clips of pub evenings to show that they genuinely are sticking to the rules.

Coronavirus in Wageningen

78 people were tested positive for the coronavirus between 14 and 27 September in Wageningen municipality. This means infections are increasing, says Swetlana Landbrug of the Gelderland Midden Health and Safety Region. ‘We have a good picture of the situation and we can usually trace the source of the infection. We continue to monitor developments.’ Most infections come from friends or family and take place in the home setting. AS & LZ

The coronavirus dashboard gives the number of positive tests per municipality.

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