Coronavirus: guidelines and FAQ
Last updated 24.03.2020 (recent updates in red).
- Contact-free borrowing of books starts on Wednesday, 25 March. (24 March)
- Digital copies can be requested of all publications, works of art and photos found in the open and digital collections of the UT Library. (24 March)
- Aune Valk, Vice Rector for Academic Affairs of the University of Tartu, confirms that life at the university goes on despite the emergency situation, high-quality teaching and research activities continue, the university is ready to provide individual solutions to difficulties students may face and students can graduate despite the emergency situation. (19 March)
- On 20 March the UT leaders will answer university members’ questions regarding the changes introduced due to the emergency situation. (19 March)
- Reorganisation of the work at the university. (16 March)
- Have a look at distance working possibilities at the university. (16 March)
- Recommendations for teaching staff on how to replace face-to-face classes with online teaching. (16 March)
- From Monday, 16 March, all University of Tartu buildings are closed for visitors and students. (13 March)
- University of Tartu Library is closed from 14 March until the end of the emergency situation declared by the Government. (13 March)
- University of Tartu Academic Sports Club is closed from 13 March until 30th March. (13 March)
- On 13 March University of Tartu suspended face-to face classes due to state of emergency. (13 March)
- Research and development will be conducted and support units will continue to work at the University of Tartu.
- The university recommends all staff members to use distance working, if possible.
- During the state of emergency the University of Tartu guarantees contractual salary to all employees.
- Electronic solutions can be used to organise necessary meetings.
- Estonian government declared state of emergency to fight coronavirus spread on 12 March. (12 March)
- On 12 March University of Tartu student was tested positive for coronavirus. (12 March)
3 IMPORTANT MESSAGES
- Viruses do not travel by themselves, they are transported by people. Therefore – the less people travel, the less viruses spread.
- Virus transmission from person to person is facilitated by the close proximity of people in a room.
- To avoid coronavirus infection, the most important is what a person does or does not; it is not reasonable to hope for what other people do.
REARRANGEMENT OF STUDIES
- Due to the state of emergency declared by the government of Estonia, face-to-face classes are canceled until the 1 May 2020. Instead, e-learning and other forms of distance learning will be used.
- The halls of residence will remain open for our students. The university recommends students living in residence halls to return home, if possible, but there are no restrictions to staying in residence halls.
- If there is no distance learning option available for the course, the university recommends rearranging it to provide the possibility of distance learning. Postponing studies until the situation normalises should be used only as a last resort. UT staff, please read here about the organisation of teaching and studies during the state of emergency. The recommendations for replacing face-to-face classes with online teaching will be certainly useful. Teaching staff can get help with planning their work from the academic developers of the Centre for Professional Development.
- If the studies require face-to-face classes, the course must be reorganised to provide online learning. Instead of lectures and seminars, video lectures and seminars can be offered. Practical classes must be either replaced by other forms of study or postponed, or creative solutions should be introduced to achieve the same objectives.
- There is no reason to postpone doctoral defences, but the number of people physically in the same room should be kept as small as possible. Foreign supervisors or opponents should participate via electronic means.
- The lecturer will inform the students who have registered for the course of the reorganisation of studies. The changes must be recorded in the Study Information System, in the “Other information” field, by 25 March. UT students, we will bring all important changes together on the page for organisation of studies during emergency – information for students.
ADVICE ON TRAVELLING
- Staff members and students who have arrived in Estonia from any foreign country after 12 March 2020 must stay home for two weeks from the moment of arrival in Estonia.
- Students who arrive from any foreign country from 12 March 2020 and live in student residence halls must stay in the building and inform the CEO of the Student Village (Urmas Peterson, info [ät] campus.ee) of their arrival.
- The university cancels all business trips abroad until 30 April 2020. New business trips abroad cannot be planned for travel until 30 April 2020. The costs related to the cancellation of business trips should be processed in cooperation with travel agencies and service providers. Costs related to projects should be processed in cooperation with the Grant Office and the Finance Office. The university will not reimburse staff for any costs incurred as a result of non-compliance with this order. The university is entitled to claim from staff members full compensation for the costs incurred due to non-compliance with this order.
- Employees who arrive from abroad must contact their immediate supervisors at the earliest possibility and students must contact the academic affairs specialist of their institute; and agree about instructions for organising work or studies, respectively.
- The university recommends all employees to carefully consider the inevitability of international travel. If possible, planned trips should be cancelled because the likelihood of getting infected is higher during travelling. The university strongly recommends avoiding travel to foreign countries.
- The University of Tartu has decided to suspend all incoming and outgoing mobilities until 30th April 2020 or until further notice.
HOW TO PROTECT YOURSELF AND OTHERS FROM INFENCTION WITH THE VIRUS?
- Wash hands frequently with warm water and soap, and if possible, use a hand disinfectant.
- When you cough or sneeze, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue. Dispose of the tissue immediately after use and then clean your hands. If you do not have a tissue, use your forearm or a sleeve or the front of your jacket or cardigan to cover your mouth.
- Do not cover your mouth with bare hand when you cough or sneeze – the next moment you will touch a surface and may spread a potential virus.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth, especially in public places and when you touch objects that may have been contaminated by viruses (for example door handles, handrails, switches, keyboards of public computers, etc.).
- Keep a distance of at least one meter with people with external symptoms of respiratory conditions (such as cough or sneezing).
- We strongly recommend avoiding any large gatherings (incl. in student residences).
- The University recommends that students avoid visiting UT administrative units (dean's office, study department, etc.) wherever possible. Please communicate via email or phone.
- We ask university members to continually monitor and follow the guidance of the Health Board regarding the spread of COVID-19. As the risk assessments change, the University provides up-to-date information and guidance.
- The university's Communication Unit constantly monitors information from the Health Board and the Government and communicates it to university members through the university's external channels.
WHAT TO DO IF A STUDENT OR AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TARTU SUSPECTS HAVING CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS?
Based on recommendations by the Health Board
- Call your family physician or the family physicians’ helpline 1220 for advice. Do not go to the family health centre, as you would be a potential coronavirus transmitter.
- In case of a more serious health concern (difficulty breathing), call the emergency number 112. Do not go to the emergency department for help, as you might transmit the virus to other people at the department.
- When waiting for coronavirus test results or if the test came back positive, stay at home to prevent the spread of the virus.
WHAT TO DO IF A STUDENT OR AN EMPLOYEE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF TARTU HAS CONTRACTED CORONAVIRUS?
The guidance is based on the recommendations of the Health Board and the Ministry of Education and Research and the guidance of the City of Tartu.
- The Health Board informs the patient and provides instructions for further action.
- The head of the structural unit who learns that a student or employee is suspected to have contracted coronavirus immediately informs the academic secretary (Tõnis Karki, Academic Secretary, +372 529 7917).
- Tõnis Karki (Academic Secretary), +372 529 7917
- Viivika Eljand-Kärp (acting Head of Communications), +372 5354 0689
- Heiki Pagel (Head of Estates Office), +372 503 2021
- Kristi Kuningas (Head of Human Resources Office), +372 509 8626
- National coronavirus hotline 1247