MAPS: Which parts of Norway are free of coronavirus?

Cases of Covid-19 have been rising steadily since February, and Norway is nearing 80,000 cases since the pandemic began. But some municipalities have yet to register a single case of Covid-19.

MAPS: Which parts of Norway are free of coronavirus?
Photo by Mikita Karasiou on Unsplash

The latest figures from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health show that there are 12 municipalities yet to register any infections.

Unsurprisingly, island municipality Kvitsøy, which is the smallest municipality in size at just 6.2 square kilometres and one of the smallest by population (531, according to Statistics Norway data from the most recent census in 2014) has stayed completely Covid free.

Although the have yet to record a single case, its inhabitants have still had to live under many strict measures.

“Although we have managed to keep corona away, we have felt its impact nevertheless,” the manager of the only store on the island, Kate Brynlund, told broadcaster NRK.  

It’s not just island municipalities that have not registered any Covid-19 infections since the outbreak.

The mainland municipality of Hattfjelldal in the Nordland county has also not registered a single case.

“We are an outlying municipality in that we have closed the border to Sweden. In addition, people are very scattered about here, and some luck also comes into play,” the mayor of the municipality, Harald Lie, told NRK.

Despite not registering any cases of Covid-19, municipalities like Hattfjelldall, as well as Rindal in Trøndelag have lived under the strict national measures that have applied to the rest of the country.

That means, for example, the children from different classes have been unable to play with one for over a year now.

NIPH senior medical consultant Preben Aavitsland has noted a common theme shared by the uninfected municipalities.

“These are mostly small rural municipalities, which are far from the nearest town,” Aavitsland said to NRK.

He also called the biggest factor behind these municipalities staying Covid-free: luck.

“It is probably first and foremost about luck, but also a little about minimal contact with other municipalities and very small populations”, he said.

READ ALSO: Why there are still reasons to be positive about Norway’s Covid-19 situation

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Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

Sweden's Public Health Agency is recommending that those above the age of 80 should receive two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine a year, once in the spring and once in the autumn, as it shifts towards a longer-term strategy for the virus.

Public Health Agency recommends two Covid doses next year for elderly

In a new recommendation, the agency said that those living in elderly care centres, and those above the age of 80 should from March 1st receive two vaccinations a year, with a six month gap between doses. 

“Elderly people develop a somewhat worse immune defence after vaccination and immunity wanes faster than among young and healthy people,” the agency said. “That means that elderly people have a greater need of booster doses than younger ones. The Swedish Public Health Agency considers, based on the current knowledge, that it will be important even going into the future to have booster doses for the elderly and people in risk groups.” 


People between the ages of 65 and 79 years old and young people with risk factors, such as obesity, diabetes, poor kidney function or high blood pressure, are recommended to take one additional dose per year.

The new vaccination recommendation, which will start to apply from March 1st next year, is only for 2023, Johanna Rubin, the investigator in the agency’s vaccination programme unit, explained. 

She said too much was still unclear about how long protection from vaccination lasted to institute a permanent programme.

“This recommendation applies to 2023. There is not really an abundance of data on how long protection lasts after a booster dose, of course, but this is what we can say for now,” she told the TT newswire. 

It was likely, however, that elderly people would end up being given an annual dose to protect them from any new variants, as has long been the case with influenza.