Summary from the digital info meeting concerning the covid-situation at Northvolt

Summary from the digital info meeting at feb 11th 2021 concerning the covid-situation at Northvolt.
This is some of the questions and the complete meeting can be seen at the municipality´s Facebook pages and (in Swedish).


Stephan Stenmark, Region Västerbotten

Jesper Wigardt and Emma Sundelin, Northvolt

Patrik Nilsson and Anja Palm, Skellefteå kommun (Skellefteå Municipality).

Since January 1st, Northvolt has conducted over 4,000 Corona tests among staff. About 5% were covid-positive. Thursday February 11th, 200 tests were performed, of which 6% were positive.

At lunchtime Thursday, Northvolt took stricter measures to reduce the infection where the battery factory is being built. Northvolt is now analysing the consequences, but Jesper Wigardt believes that less than half of today's 1,100 employees will be able to continue working on the construction site. This is primarily valid until 25 February.

We have a close dialogue with both the region and Skellefteå municipality to identify routines for testing and different ways to limit the infection to spread, says Jesper. For just over a week, persons need to show a negative test to be allowed in the site.
We were out early to introduce working from home. However, it is more difficult in Skellefteå since it’s a construction site. We work with various information initiatives both for our own as subcontractors and their families. We also try to limit the inflow and outflow of people.

Emma Sundelin, project manager at Northvolt: We work closely with companies, safety representatives and various union representatives to find solutions. For example, we have looked at barracks and different spaces to create areas to feel safe and able to keep a distance. It can be a matter of reviewing spaces in the refrigerator to eat meals in smaller groups. This at the same time as when we ran tests.

When asked if the region could consider prioritize those who work at Northvolt, or let Northvolt buy their own tests, Stephan Stenmark answers: No, it is not possible. The region cannot resell tests. However, is the possibility of setting up a vaccination unit on the site being investigated?

Skellefteå municipality's security coordinator Patrik Nilsson answers: The municipality focuses on coordination between the various actors, Northvolt, the region etc. The municipality mission is to assist with various community information, informative websites, QR codes etc. Information that Northvolt has primarily been able to use for all different guest workers.

We expect and take for granted that our partners reimburse their staff in accordance with Swedish legislation. We will also check this out, says Jesper Wigardt.

That is our responsibility, says Jesper Wigardt. Since the new recommendations not to move around in the city, we have tried to find solutions. For example, help with food deliveries, limit the number of people who visit shops, limit places of purchase.

We cannot live our ordinary lives anymore; we all must adapt. It is up to everyone to take responsibility in this tough situation. In return, we try to inform as much as we can. We also provide information in several different languages. This week we have also put further focus on this.

The municipality has clear recommendations around it, says Patrik Nilsson, Skellefteå municipality. Children must be picked up outdoors.

Stephan Stenmark: There are clear recommendations for the whole country on what applies to entry and exit from Sweden. For entry to Sweden, 7 days in quarantine applies.

A decision was made to install more sheds to increase the distance. We have separated different companies; workers can eat in smaller batches. We have increased cleaning, not just the usual cleaning but more focus on disinfection.

Safety comes first, but we hope that we can create a safe workplace so that the work can continue and thus also avoid construction delays.

We take this very seriously. We continue to ensure routines and to ensure that the right information is in place. We will also have a continued close dialogue with companies, the region and Skellefteå municipality about what and how we can improve.
Then we are grateful for all the tips and suggestions we receive on how we can improve our routines.
The proposal for a food supplier at the site is a good idea that we will investigate.

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