Corona COVID-19 Virus Update 12/03/2020
The Coronavirus (or COVID-19) outbreak crisis around the world is continuing. The WHO has named the outbreak apandemic (global epidemic).
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. Now the Dutch Government has also come with advice.
Based on this advice the university is operating within the guidelines of the Dutch government and making its own decisions regarding Education Delivery. There will not be any freeze in education – arrangements for education delivery will be outlined in a Policy Update tomorrow (Friday 13th March).
According to the Dutch Government Policy 12/3/2020
- All events with persons over 100 are not allowed;
- Any feeling of illness, cold, cough, headaches etc - stay at home, work and study from home;
- Generally, work and study from home if possible;
- Avoid any large groups of people;
- Avoid close contact with others - most certainly older people and people with underlying risk;
- All Dutch Universities - try and give lectures / modules online;
- Primary and secondary schools remain open, to allow the country to function;
- Provinces can make additional regulations;
Actions added to the Current Policy 12/03/2020
- WUAS requests its students and staff NOT to travel internationally at this time unless absolutely necessary – we cannot take responsibility for physical or financial damages if you travel abroad. Also, for students and staff for whom WUAS are visa sponsors, we cannot be held responsible for any negative repercussions if you leave the country at this time (such as ‘visa-gap’);
- WUAS requests ALL students arriving from abroad (any country) to stay at home for 14 days before coming to school;
- WUAS requests students ONLY to call their doctor regarding COVID 19 Coronavirus if you have a fever (38C or more) and respiratory symptoms (coughing
or shortness of breath);
- You should not visit a doctor’s practice or go to the hospital with symptons – always call your doctor first;
- Alongside the overall hygiene and hand-washing policy mentioned below, the executive has implemented the following: handshakes should be avoided as should other forms of physical contact in school.
Education Delivery for Block 5 (next 2 weeks):
- 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).
- 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 continue as normal.
Student Attendance requirement:
For the duration of the coronavirus situation the 75% physical attendance rate for all students will not be enforced (until further notice) for any students. An update regarding a participation requirement will follow tomorrow.
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 Office365, Teams, SharePoint 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 than in the Netherlands.
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.
- The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RVIM) – Latest situation in the Netherlands;
- The regional Dutch Health Care Units (GGD) (Choose your area);
- The German Federal Ministry of Health (Coronavirus pages, in English);
- The UK National Health Service (Coronavirus pages);
- List of affected countries;
- For accurate liveblogs in English we use the BBC News Site;
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.
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.
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.
- 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;
- do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean;
Treatment for coronavirus
- Generally, patients will be asked by their doctor to recover at home;
- 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;
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.
by James Wittenborg
©Wittenborg University Press