Coronavirus update 12 november ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌  ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ ‌ 
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Dear students and colleagues,

This is the Corona update of 12 November 2021.

While we were inclined to stay positive in the previous corona update, it is now clear that this was too optimistic. The number of corona infections in the Netherlands is not doing well. Tonight, the government has announced it will take additional measures, starting on Saturday 13 November. This has direct consequences for all of us. Especially regarding lectures with more than 75 people, academic ceremonies, (informal) events, receptions and studying and working from home. In this e-mail you can read what we can say, so soon after the press conference. For next Monday and Tuesday, this means that lectures and graduation ceremonies on location are cancelled. We will discuss what this means for university policy on the longer term as soon as possible.

In the meantime, we urge you to do everything you can to prevent the coronavirus from spreading. By doing so, we can prevent suffering among people with a vulnerable health, we can relieve the burden (article in Dutch) on healthcare systems and we can hopefully prevent a return to online education. A disturbing report on student welfare (article in Dutch) published yesterday underlines how undesirable that would be.

So we ask you now: if you can study or work from home, do so. If you have symptoms: get tested and do not come to the university. Do the Corona Check to see if you are welcome on campus. And even if you have no symptoms, we urge you to take a self-test twice a week. You can order them here for free or collect them from a reception desk.

There are no signs of outbreaks in our university. Based on available research from other universities and the University College Roosevelt in Middelburg, the expectation is the vaccination rate is high at our university. But if you have not yet been vaccinated: we strongly advise you to do this still, you can also do so without an appointment at the university every Wednesday.

Kind regards,
The Executive Board

Anton Pijpers, President
Margot van der Starre, Vice President
Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus
Current state of affairs
Maximum group size for education
Under the new rules, a distance of 1.5 metre still does not have to be observed when it comes to education. However, the maximum of 75 people in a room will once again come in force. To organise this, there will be no lectures on location on Monday 15 and Tuesday 16 November. Tutorials and online lectures will continue as scheduled. Some lectures on location which are scheduled for Monday or Tuesday will be already converted to online. You will be notified about this by your study programme. Students will receive information from their teacher or study programme no later than Tuesday on what lectures will look like starting Wednesday. For exams, the maximum number of 75 people does not apply.
Work and study at home as much as possible
The coming three weeks we will study and work at home as much as possible. Study places will remain available in the university libraries and on campus. If you want to use a study place in a University Library, please reserve a place in advance.

If, due to circumstances, the nature of your work or a difficult home situation, you are unable to work from home, the possibility to work at the office remains. But in all other cases, working at home is again the norm. This also applies to study associations. For work-related meetings such as meetings, job interviews and brainstorming sessions, the following applies: online if possible, only come to the office if there really is no other option. Working in labs is possible, but here the same applies: only come if you have to and work at home if you can.
Keep 1.5 metre distance
Although education is exempt from the 1.5 metre rule, this rule does apply outside the classroom. So keep 1.5 metre distance when walking through the corridors (wearing a face mask), when working in the office or attending a meeting. The Facility Service Centre has removed many stickers. But even if there are no stickers, the rule is: only use workplaces and meeting rooms at 1.5 metre distance.
Academic ceremonies
The government considers graduation ceremonies to be part of education and therefore they can take place with a maximum of 75 people and at a distance of 1.5 metres. For Monday and Tuesday next, this means that lectures and graduation ceremonies will not take place. Inaugural lectures are possible on location with a maximum of 30 people and at a distance of 1.5 metres. PhD ceremonies are possible on location with a maximum of 15 guests and at a distance of 1.5 metres. Receptions are not permitted for graduation and PhD ceremonies and inaugural lectures. A coronavirus entry pass is not required either, unless a ceremony takes place at an external location that does require this.
Events in and outside of the university
The new coronavirus measures also mean something for events and (informal) gatherings. For the time being, meetings and events such as guest speaker events, (Christmas) drinks, lunches, and dinners are not possible. When advising staff and students to work from home, we think it is not appropriate to have students and colleagues come to the university for such gatherings. Of course it is a great pity that we have to disappoint everyone who was looking forward to this. We are going to think about alternatives and also talk to student organisations in particular about ways in which they can continue to organise meetings between students in a safe way.
Ventilation and disinfection
Teachers regularly ask us about ventilation in our buildings. We follow the guidelines of the RIVM when it comes to ventilation. In some buildings the windows have to be opened to ensure sufficient ventilation. That is why we still ask you to open a window in a room when the possibility is there. Is there a ventilation grid above the window? Then leave it open. Now that it is getting colder, we understand that opening a window is not comfortable, but safety has priority in this case. On the corona website you will find an overview of all buildings where windows must be opened to ensure sufficient ventilation.

Lecture halls and rooms are cleaned daily. Disinfectants are widely available for staff and students to clean their hands, desks and other materials. Continue to do this and read more about this here.
Parnassos, Botanical Gardens and Faculty Club
For Parnassos, the Botanical Gardens and the Faculty Club, a coronavirus entry pass is required. In addition, rules apply for the specific sectors (culture, museums and hospitality). Early next week we will look into what the possible consequences of tonight’s measures mean for Parnassos. More information will follow on the websites of the organisations mentioned.
Basic measures for everyone
Stick to the basic measures:
  • Keep 1.5 metre distance (except in classrooms)
  • Cough and sneeze into your elbow
  • Wash your hands
  • Do not shake hands
  • Open a window if possible

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