Coronavirus follow-up, decision-making and communication

University corona preparedness team is constantly monitoring the situation and the instructions given by authorities and cooperates with regional authorities such as the Hospital District, the Regional State Administrative Agency and the City of Oulu. The preparedness team meets every day at 13:00 and makes decisions and instructions on the university's activities based on the information received. The guidelines will be communicated to the university community and published on the coronavirus monitoring page.

How is the coronavirus situation followed and the actions of the university managed?

University corona preparedness team is constantly monitoring the situation and the instructions given by authorities and cooperates with regional authorities such as the Hospital District, the Regional State Administrative Agency and the City of Oulu. The preparedness team meets every day at 13:00 and makes decisions and instructions on the university's activities based on the information received. The guidelines will be communicated to the university community and published on the coronavirus monitoring page.

The operational team established to deal with the coronavirus situation will ensure the implementation of the guidelines throughout the community and will take the necessary additional measures within its respective areas of responsibility. The operational team shall report to the preparedness team on actions taken and issues that require further clarification. The operative team is also prepared for the fact that the situation will worsen.

Practical arrangements for education and research in exceptional circumstances are led by deans and heads of units.

 

How the situation proceeds?

Currently, arrangements are being made throughout the university to enable teaching and working remotely as much as possible. Lectures will be conducted online, and courses will be transformed into online courses. The teaching arrangements will be informed on a course basis, for example through Moodle or by e-mail. The teachers in charge of the courses are responsible for organizing courses and informing students according to faculty-specific guidelines. Support for digital education has been enhanced.

Numerous events have been canceled or postponed. The persons responsible of the events make decisions and inform according to the given instructions.

The Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District (PPSHP) informed yesterday on March 12th 2020 a total of 17 students with coronavirus infection (COVID-19). Potential exposures to coronavirus have been mapped under the guidance of PPSHP infectious disease doctor Teija Puhto.  Because of exposures, those medical and dental students of the 1st and 2nd year who were in the same lecture halls with the infected on Monday March 9th, as well as other exposed persons, are in quarantine according to the instructions of an infectious disease doctor. The university and PPSHP follow the situation closely.

In case of new infections, the exposed persons will be mapped under guidance of an infectious disease doctor and instructions of The Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District (PPSHP) will be followed. The exposed persons will mainly be contacted by the health authorities.

According to current information from the hospital district, the virus can be transmitted for about 24 hours before the onset of symptoms and requires, for example, sitting next to an infected person. Due to the coronavirus epidemic, the university's cleaning and hygiene measures have been intensified earlier in accordance with the instructions of the Finnish Institute of Occupational Health.

The University corona preparedness team expects today to receive a decision from the Regional State Administrative Agency on meeting restrictions and information from the City of Oulu regarding possible closures of schools or other measures. We may also receive further guidance on educational institutions throughout the country. The university's policy will be updated based on the information received in the afternoon on March 13th and the members of the university community will be informed about them.

 

How is the coronavirus situation communicated?

University-level communication is coordinated and implemented by the Communication Unit of the university. Information related to the implementation of courses, exams, faculties’ policies or, for example, cancellation of events is carried out by the persons responsible in the faculties and departments. Students and staff will mainly be informed along the following channels:

  • General communication to students: News for students oulu.fi/forstudents and Tuudo, email, social media (responsible: communication, academic affairs, human resources)
  • Course-related communication for students: Moodle, email, degree programme news (responsible: teachers in charge of courses)
  • Staff: Patio and email (responsible: communication, human resources, academic affairs, IT)

Instructions published March 12th have been sent to staff and students by email in addition to publishing on websites.

Please note that the service addresses are now heavily burdened and responding to messages can unfortunately take time. If your case can wait, follow general communication and answers to frequently asked questions.

If your question concerns health advice:

  • In case of suspicion of coronavirus infection, contact the hospital or health centre in your region by phone. Health guidance helpline of Oulu University Hospital Emergency Department is 08 315 2655. More information for student from the website of Finnish Student Health Service
  • Occupational health care services provided by Mehiläinen can be contacted by phone or digital clinic.

The national Advisory Telephone is available at 029 553 5535 on weekdays from 8:00 to 21:00 and on Saturdays from 9:00 to 15:00. This number provides general information on coronavirus, but not health counseling and no guidance in emergency acute symptoms.

The news is specified 13.3 at 17.40. Specified part in italics.

Last updated: 13.3.2020