When writing this message to all of you, Ängsbacka is in the middle of handling everything that came with the outbreak of Covid19 that we, in retrospect, can date back to Thursday, August 29. We are doing our very best to support the people that are sick in bringing themselves back to health. Everyone who is serving here through cooking, cleaning and administrating and at the same time holding space for everything that is moving are doing amazing efforts to keep things rolling under such challenging circumstances.
With everything that is going on, we need to split our focus and continuously evaluate our priorities and decisions while also keeping up the Ängsbacka spirit and doing what we can to meet each other from a place of love and respect. Even if our focus from the start has been to primarily care for the people here on site and inform those planned on joining us in August. We are of course also in direct contact with many previous participants and doing our best to respond to questions. Our efforts to respond to the media's interest for this also requires a lot of communication. Now is the time for us to reach out to you who have a more personal relationship to Ängsbacka, we really hope that you will sense our longing to address all of you in transparency and openness.
On Thursday July 29 one person who was here for the Tantra camping week performed a rapid antigen test while on site and informed us that they tested positive, whereupon the person left the site in their own car. Two days later, on the Saturday - last day of the Tantra week - we found out about one more positive test performed by a participant. On the Sunday people on site started reporting symptoms and we initiated testing that same evening.
Since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020 we have had the strategy to keep our operations running as long as we only have single confirmed cases of covid19. It has been our conviction that we were able to successfully isolate single cases and thereby prevent spreading. Earlier in the spring of 2021 and throughout 2020 this approach had proven sufficient to avoid a general spreading on site at Ängsbacka - unfortunately this time around that was not the case.
On August 3, based on the fact that we then had confirmed active cases on site and upon recommendation from the infection control department, we made the decision to cancel the Sexsibility week, meant to start up the same day. On August 4 we followed up with a decision to close down our camping for the rest of the summer of 2021. All bookings and the activities that were planned are canceled. In connection with the decision to close down the camping we have communicated that we have active cases of covid19 on the site and that people need to take their responsibility to respond to this. At that point in time we did not have a clear picture of exactly the information that had to be shared with the guests that had been on site recently. Hence, we followed up with a more official letter that had been designed in collaboration with the unit for infection control in Värmland, on August 8.
We have, as an organisation, been aware of the risks associated with keeping Ängsbacka open - in alignment with current restrictions - and that we have thereby placed great responsibility with the individual to ensure their health on arrival and to follow current restrictions and recommendations while spending time here. We have kept Ängsbacka open almost all the way through 2020 and 2021 and have, as previously mentioned, managed to avoid major outbreaks throughout. We believe that people came to Ängsbacka this summer with a greater relaxation around Covid19 and perhaps as a result routines etc. were not followed as strictly as last year, which, we believe is one of the contributing factors to the spreading.
While we hold each person responsible for making the decision to join us here this summer under ongoing pandemic, we do of course feel sorry for the people who were personally affected by this outbreak and the following cancellations. We are doing what we can to ensure swift handling of the refunds to each and everyone and to stay approachable for questions. We understand that the current situation may trigger anger, resentment and fear. Also as an organisation we are dealing with a lot of challenges at the moment, not the least the substantial financial backlash of having to cancel the Sexsibility and remaining camping weeks in August. We still do not know exactly how this will affect our result in 2021 but that it will, is already clear to us.
Once we have ensured the most immediate crisis management on site we will start evaluating the possibility to reopen Ängsbacka for visitors. As soon as we, with input from our contacts at the infection control department, deem it safe enough to reopen, we will do so. Obviously, we have a lot of learnings from this experience to bring with us in moving forward. We have a meeting planned with infection control and the county administrative board in September to start planning for next year already.
We encourage all who are currently engaged in the running of Ängsbacka and all of you, our supporters out there, to see Ängsbacka still standing and thriving in the coming years, so that our vision of humans celebrating life with open hearts and minds may keep manifesting for a long long time to come.
In loving service,