UT coronavirus info and updates
Coronavirus continues to spread in Estonia and globally and acting responsibly is still the best way to prevent it. We want the approaching academic year at the University of Tartu to continue as smoothly as possible.
Below, we have gathered some recommendations and advice on how to act considerately in the circumstances of the spread of the virus. Some of the most important recommendations:
- maintain distance with other people in the work and study environment and comply with hygiene rules to reduce the likelihood of the virus spreading;
- we ask all participants in face-to-face classes to wear face masks, everyone is responsible for ensuring they have a face mask to wear;
- avoid unnecessary contacts and crowded gatherings both during and outside working hours, for example meetings with numerous participants, including people from other units, as well as gatherings in the corridors of the academic buildings;
- stay home even with mild symptoms of a viral disease;
- lets's use hoia.me app. HOIA mobile app allows rapid notification of a possible close contact with a COVID-19 virus carrier and is safe to use;
- keep your contact information updated because in cooperation with the Health Board, the university informs its members of possible close contacts with infected persons by phone and email;
- when returning from countries with a high coronavirus infection rate, follow the restrictions on freedom of movement requirements laid down by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Organisation of studies
- The university’s priority is to continue face-to-face studies and especially practical classes and seminars. Be prepared to use more IT resources in studies. As the infection rate rises, we must be ready for the increase in e-learning.
- In block mode studies, we prefer distance learning until the end of the autumn semester.
- When studies are reorganised, the lecturer informs all students registered for the course and updates the information in the SIS accordingly.
- If there are more than 30 people attending a lecture, then should be seated farther apart in the lecture hall so that the room is up to half full.
- We ask all participants in face-to-face classes to wear face masks. Everyone is responsible for ensuring they have a face mask to wear.
- It is important to make all students understand that they must not participate in classroom studies when they have any viral symptoms. The requirements for completing the course in case a person cannot participate in classroom studies must be also clarified and communicated to students.
- Read more detailed guidelines for organisation of studies in the context of COVID-19 on the university's intranet.
Organisation of work
- Heads of units and employees will cooperate to find solutions that consider the interests of both the university and the employee and ensure a safe working environment for all.
- It is necessary to think ahead, whether and how employees of different positions could work from home, if necessary.
- Electronic means for participating in meetings must be created for employees working remotely.
- If necessary, separate safe workstations must be set up for positions that require contacts with customers and people outside their unit.
- Prefer paperless procedures and forward documents via electronic channels.
- Read more detailed guidelines for organisation of work in the context of COVID-19 on the university's intranet.
Organisation of public events
These guidelines are intended for University of Tartu employees who organise conferences or other public events indoors. Given the current epidemiological situation in Estonia, an event should be carefully planned in advance, having identified the associated risks.
- Indoor events can have up to 750 participants. The organiser must ensure dispersion and comply with the 50% maximum occupancy requirement. Events taking place in premises with fixed seating are exempt from this requirement.
- To reduce the risk of infection, dispersion must be also ensured at entrances and exits, in toilets and other places where participants may gather.
- Participants having arrived from abroad must comply with self-isolation requirements.
- The organiser must inform the participants of the rules for participating in the event (e.g. wearing a mask) on the website or by email. The organiser must definitely inform the participants that people who have been infected with COVID-19 or been in contact with an infected person within the past 14 days or have symptoms of a respiratory infectious disease (e.g. fever, dry cough, difficulty breathing) are not allowed to attend the event.
- Contact details of participants must be recorded. For that, the organiser may require pre-registration or register participants on site using a QR code.
- The organiser must ensure the availability of hand sanitisers. Hand sanitisers must be placed where the participants can easily see and access them. Sanitisers should be definitely available in catering areas. Where possible, alcohol-based sanitisers must be used.
- Coffee breaks and catering must be organised in a safe manner. For example, food can be provided in separate packaged portions or people can be divided between several catering areas.
- It is important to think about how to solve the use of a microphone when the audience can ask questions and the microphone will be handed from person to person.
If you travelled abroad, make sure to consult the web page of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the for the movement restrictions for people arriving in Estonia. As the epidemiological situation changes rapidly, plan all trips abroad with the consideration that you might be subject to movement restrictions when returning to Estonia.
- If you suspect infection with coronavirus, call your family doctor or the family doctor’s advice line 1220 for advice. Do not go to the family doctor’s office.
- To prevent further spread of the virus, stay at home while waiting for the test results and when tested positive.
- Information about a person being infected with COVID-19 is sensitive personal data and must not be forwarded, except with the person’s consent. Nevertheless, employees and students are encouraged to inform the university if they turn out to be virus carriers and close contacts of a virus carrier. Rapid exchange of information helps us prevent the spread of the virus and reduce confusion resulting from the lack of information.
- If an employee turns out to be a virus carrier or a close contact, we strongly recommend informing his or her immediate supervisor. The immediate supervisor forwards this information to Academic Secretary Tõnis Karki who is the contact person of the Health Board at the university.
- If a student turns out to be a virus carrier or a close contact, we strongly recommend informing his or her academic affairs specialist or programme director who then forwards this information to the academic secretary.
- After that, the academic secretary, the faculty and the Health Board together decide which measures must be taken in the organisation of studies as well as in the study and work environment.
- A virus carrier is a person who has tested positive for COVID-19. Virus carriers must not leave their place of residence starting from receiving the diagnosis until confirmed recovered.
- A close contact of a virus carrier is a person who has been in the same room with a virus carrier for more than 15 minutes and closer than two metres. All close contacts must stay in self-isolation for 14 days, even if they do not have any symptoms. The Health Board is responsible for identifying and notifying close contacts.
Tõnis Karki, Academic Secretary of University of Tartu, contact person of the Health Board at the University of Tartu, 529 7917, tonis.karki [ät] ut.ee ">tonis.karki [ät] ut.ee
Peeter Liik, Head of the Marketing and Communication Office of Univeristy of Tartu, 5554 8206, peeter.liik [ät] ut.ee
National coronavirus helpline: 1247 (+372 600 1247 for calls from abroad)
State website on COVID-19: www.kriis.ee /en
Health Board’s website: www.terviseamet.ee/en