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Coronavirus

Oslo Virus Surge Linked to High School Parties

COPENHAGEN, Denmark — At least 540 people are in quarantine after a coronavirus outbreak in the Norwegian capital of Oslo tied to traditional celebrations for high school seniors who drive around in buses and drink.

The celebrations, known as russ in Norwegian, are a major cultural phenomenon across the Scandinavian country. Participants wear colored overalls and matching caps, with some buying a used vehicle — a bus, a van or a car —- which they scribble on with paint and drive around in. Drunkenness and public disturbances are often linked to the celebration.

Jorunn Thaulow, responsible for the infection tracing team in the western part of Oslo, told the Avisa Oslo newspaper that most of the cases are related to five buses used by the partying students. She said it's affecting almost all high schools in the western part of Oslo, which has nearly 700,000 residents.

Norway shortly will begin to vaccinate people between 18 and 44.

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