CORONAVIRUS UPDATES FOR SVALBARD FOR WEDNESDAY: City, dentist, resume some normal services; how some UNIS students are continuing internships remotely; youth hikes start

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This story will be updated throughout the day (most recent: 4 p.m.) Photo of Pairat K. Sinpru chilling an ice floe in Adventfjorden by Kanyaphak Suktat. 

As kindergarten students, parents and teachers resume something resembling normalcy this.week, other hints of local reopenings are beginning to surface, including a Mass at (if not in) Svalbard Church on Sunday, front-desk services (by phone) at the city municipal building and non-emergency dental appointments.

The city reception desk is resuming normal hours, but by phone only at 7902 2150, from 9 a.m.-3 p.m. weekdays. front desk/reception is now back to regular service and opening hours (by phone). Those with questions about the special assistance plan for “exempt” can call the desk for general information and case handlers for more specific information from  9-11 a.m. and 12:30-2 p.m. and 12:30 – 14:00.

“The administration building (Næringsbygget) will still be closed for the public and visitors,” an announcement posted Wednesday by the city notes. “Persons with a special need to meet with a case handler can make an appointment. The appointment must be arranged in advance and these persons will be met at the front door and accompanied to the meeting room/office.”

The dentist at Longyearbyen Hospital announcned Wednesday it is again accepting normal appointments after a six-week shutdown, but on a space-out schedule to allow for extra time to disinfect areas between visits. Urgent appointments for emergencies,, which have been accepted during most of the crisis, can also be made by calling 7902 4230.

Svalbard Church is scheduled to hold its first on-site Mass since coronavirus restrictions were enacted, meeting in the barbecue area behind the church at noon Sunday.

In other announcements/happenings today:

The Longyearbyen Youth Club is offering hikes for juniors on Wednesdays and seniors on Thursdays, beginning at 5:45 p.m. and returning by 8 p.m. A maximum of four people can sign up per trip.

A midnight sun dinner and cruise along the ice edge aboard the M/S Billefjord is scheduled from 4:30 p.m.-midnight today. Send PM to link or walk-ons accepted on a space-available basis.

• The dentist at Longyearbyen Hospital is resume normal appointments, but on a space-out schedule to allow for extra time to disinfect areas between visits. Urgent appointments for emergencies can also be made by calling 7902 4230.

Svalbard Delivery Service is available from 3-10:30 p.m.

Five students in the bioCEED internship course at The University Centre in Svalbard are managing to continuing their collaborative work with Polar Permaculture, the Longyearbyen Community Council and others despite being forced to do so remotely from various home locations in Longyearbyen, mainland Norway and Australia.