A total of 46 students at the Norwegian Film School in Lillehammer have been instructed to enter quarantine after an external participant in a production training activity was diagnosed with coronavirus infection after the end of filming.
“The external participant tested negative following a rapid test last Wednesday, which was the last day of filming. The person tested positive in another municipality a few days later. Everyone involved in the production exercise, as well as our other students, are in quarantine and are being tested because it cannot be ruled out that the person in question was contagious during filming,” says Dean Karin Julsrud.
“Our students live in collectives across work cohorts and meet privately. To be on the safe side, we have shut down the Film School for teaching for the rest of the week, pending test results,” she explains.
Have followed the applicable infection control plan
The production training was carried out as part of teaching activities, and has been necessary to ensure the students’ progression in their studies. The exercise has been ongoing for two months, with filming concluding on Wednesday 21 April. Filming itself was carried out in two parts over eight days during the period.
The Film School, which is a faculty at INN University, hired in advance two infection control managers with long experience from similar work on large film productions.
For film productions that are carried out in Norway, a very restrictive infection control regime applies, which has also been followed during the training activities at the Film School.
Multiple measures during filming
There is a detailed plan for movement and measures both before and after filming, including the use of special face masks, zoning in relation to who can move where, handling of equipment, and restrictions on the number of minutes in filming situations where close contact between actors is allowed.
In addition, both those involved in the activity and employees have been tested at least twice per week.
As far as possible, students and staff have only used the film school’s premises during the production period, and have not used other parts of INN University’s premises at Storhove.
“We have actively followed all the preventive infection control measures that are possible to implement in such an activity. We hope and believe that our measures have helped to prevent the infection from spreading to more people,” says Julsrud.
The Film School has a close dialogue with the infection control authority in Lillehammer municipality about how the situation should be followed up.