Corona Covid-19 virus update 06/03/2020

We appreciate that the Coronavirus (or COVID-19) outbreak, the growing cases in Europe including the Netherlands, and the growing risk of a potential global pandemic, is a continuing cause for concern for students and their parents and supporters as well as for all WUAS staff.

The welfare of our staff and students is WUAS’ highest priority. We are continuously monitoring the situation, on a day to day and sometimes hour to hour basis and liaising closely with the public health organizations GGD (regional health authority) and National Institute for Public Health (RVIM) acting in line with their latest advice at all times. In Germany, at our Munich campus we are also monitoring the situation in the same way: updated information from the German Ministry of Health can be found here.
 
Based on this advice the university is operating as normal.

Actions added to the Current Policy 06/03/2020

In order to make students and staff feel more comfortable at school and during working and studying, WUAS is implementing the following actions:

General:

Alongside the overall hygiene and hand-washing policy mentioned below, the executive has requested the following: handshakes should be avoided as should other forms of physical contact in school. This is in order to avoid awkwardness and enforce the general hygiene awareness.

Education Delivery:

The Education Board has implemented the following changes to the teaching and assessment for Block 5:

  • All ‘Type 1’ Examinations (Closed and Open Book) for modules in Block 5 will be changed to ‘Type 2’ – a submitted Academic Paper.

This means that there will be no examinations held at WUAS in Block 5 (all students, bachelor and master and pre-master / foundation). University of Brighton MSc students do not have in class examinations.

For the changed Type 1 to Type 2 assessments, all Type 2 Paper questions / Assignments / Tasks will be added as Turnitin Assignments in the module’s online course area (Moodle / Wittenborg Online) by 9am on Friday, Week 5 of Block 5 (20th March 2020). Teachers will strive to upload assignments before this date, so students are advised to keep an eye on their course areas. The submission deadline for all assignments will be 16.00 hours on the Friday of Week 6 of Block 5 (27th March 2020, Exam and Assessment Week).

All assessments for other modules will currently continue as normal.

Attendance requirement:

  • For the duration of the coronavirus situation the 75% attendance rate will not be enforced (until further notice) for any students, however NEC expects students in Munich to attend according to their regulations and local advice.

Actions for the coming weeks:

In the coming days and weeks our policy will be further adapted to the current situation at that time, however at this time we ask all students and staff to make sure that they are able to fully use all the online functions and facilities that support the university including Office365TeamsSharePoint and most importantly Moodle Course areas on Wittenborg Online. Students and Staff are also recommended to install the Moodle app and familiarize themselves with it.

At this time, lessons and work at WUAS locations (Apeldoorn, Amsterdam & Munich) will continue as normal, however we wish everyone to take note of the information provided below regarding notifications and hygiene.

NOTE: In any case, all students and staff must be able to carry out their studies and teaching and duties online. All education will be continued online, and no study delays will be anticipated. This will require additional effort from all students, teachers and support staff. There may be a different policy implemented in Munich, Germany tan in the Netherlands.

Information Sources

As an international organization, WUAS uses information from the Dutch and UK government and the national sites and national health advisories (NHS) in its policy. It also takes account of information provided by its partner University of Brighton and uses that where appropriate. We appreciate that with over 120 nationalities at WUAS this means that there are 120 different approaches by governments, and information providers, however WUAS is tied closely to the Dutch health system and Dutch government policies.

Be strong-minded and support WUAS and each other!

Our student and staff population represents well over 100 nationalities, and now that the Netherlands, and many other countries worldwide have developed outbreaks, many of us, from different countries, will need support and respect and it is important for us to always keep in perspective that when it comes to illness, disease and health; these are a responsibility for all nations and all mankind, and it is our duty to support each-other, keep things in perspective, and especially not be misled by fake-news and rumour.

Once again, many students and staff at Wittenborg will be worried about the well being of loved ones, parents, grandparents and other family members, as well as each other. Let us be shining examples of good global citizens and give our support where needed.

Current Policy

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences follows the recommendations of the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (Rijksinstituut voor Volksgezondheid en Milieu, (RIVM) and follows the information from comparable institutes abroad. The World Health Organization (WHO) has not yet declared the outbreak of the virus a pandemic (worldwide epidemic) however this may happen soon. This has no influence on the policy of Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences, which is decided on the basis of its international profile. Wittenborg uses information from the Dutch and UK government and the national sites and national health advisories (NHS) in its policy. Note: In Germany NEC (WUAS Campus in Munich) follows German guidelines.

Below our current ‘Coronavirus Policy’ is stated however this could be updated as required on a daily basis:

Symptoms of coronavirus

The symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a cough
  • a high temperature
  • shortness of breath

But these symptoms do not necessarily mean you have the illness: The symptoms are similar to other illnesses that are much more common, such as cold and flu.

Call or Email - Call Your Doctor Immediately - also Contact Wittenborg immediately if you've been:

  • to China in the last 14 days;
  • to Iran in the last 14 days
  • to South Korea in the last 14 days;
  • to Italy in the last 14 days;
  • to any affected country listed here in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath;
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus;

Do not go to a doctor’s surgery, pharmacy or hospital. Call your doctor immediately, stay indoors and avoid close contact with other people. You will need to stay away from school for 2 weeks.
Call Your Doctor Immediately and either call Wittenborg FrontDesk on 088 667 2688 or email support_covid19@wittenborg.eu

How coronavirus is spread

  • Because it's a new illness, we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person.
  • Similar viruses are spread in cough droplets.
  • It's very unlikely it can be spread through things like packages or food. Viruses like coronavirus cannot live outside the body for very long.

How to avoid catching or spreading germs

There are things you can do to help stop viruses like coronavirus spreading.

Do

  • it’s not necessary to wear facemasks if you are not in hospital;
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze;
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately;
  • wash your hands with soap and water often – use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available;
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell;
  • avoid events with large numbers of people;

Don't

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean;

Do I need to avoid public places?

Most people can continue to go to work, school and other public places.
You only need to stay away from public places if you've been:

  • to China in the last14 days;
  • to Iran in the last 14 days;
  • to Italy in the last 14 days;
  • to South Korea in the last 14 days;
  • to any affected country listed here in the last 14 days and have a cough, high temperature or shortness of breath;
  • in close contact with someone with confirmed coronavirus;

Treatment for coronavirus

  • There is currently no specific treatment for coronavirus;
  • Antibiotics do not help, as they do not work against viruses;
  • Treatment aims to relieve the symptoms while your body fights the illness;
  • You'll need to stay in isolation away from other people until you've recovered;

Health Insurance

Everyone MUST ensure that they have a comprehensive Health Insurance, preferably an extended one, also with liability insurance. All students at WUAS with AON insurance have this, however many students and staff have other types of insurance. AON insurance covers health in the Netherlands and for students travelling home. However, students and staff must be aware of travel restrictions and negative travel advice and check with their insurance company what the status of their own insurance policy is.

Travel restrictions /advice (06/02/2020): 

Wittenborg University of Applied Sciences currently strongly advises against all travel to the following countries:

  • China;
  • Iran;
  • Italy;
  • South Korea;

Returning Students and Staff: 

Many students and staff will have been travelling in the past two weeks due to holidays.
If you have returned from these specific areas since 19 February, you should immediately call Wittenborg FrontDesk on 088 667 2688 or email support_covid19@wittenborg.eu with your name, student number and telephone number - and stay indoors and avoid contact with other people even if you do not have symptoms:

  • Iran;
  • Italy;
  • South Korea;
  • China;

If you have returned from any affected country listed here and develop symptoms, however mild, you should stay indoors at home and avoid contact with other people immediately and call Wittenborg FrontDesk on 088 667 2688 or email support_covid19@wittenborg.euYou do not need to follow this advice if you have no symptoms.

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WUP 06/03/2020
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press

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