COVID-19, campus protection provisions and the autumn semester
Institutional Communication Service
The COVID-19 situation remains uncertain and variable. USI is constantly following and complying with the recommendations and indications of the federal and cantonal authorities and swissuniversities, the umbrella organisation of higher education institutions in Switzerland. On this page, you will find up-to-date information on the current protection provisions valid for the current autumn semester.
EXAMS OF THE WINTER SESSION 2021 WILL BE HELD DIGITALLY
The decision, taken by USI Management Committee on Monday, 16 November, aims - as per previous sessions - to prevent the uncertainty of scenarios related to the development of the pandemic and at the same time ensure fair treatment to all students.
Details on the modalities of the next session will be published in the next few days in the Provisions, under the chapter "Training": www.usi.ch/en/university/organisation/official-documents. The Academic Senate, in its next session on Thursday, 3 December, will discuss on extending the possibility of conducting thesis discussions online as well.
THE MAXIMUM LIMIT FOR EVENTS AND GATHERINGS HAS BEEN REDUCED TO 5 PEOPLE
As of Monday, 9 November 2020, the limit of participants in events is set at a maximum of 5 people by decision of the cantonal authorities. The limit for spontaneous gatherings is also set at a maximum of 5 people.
Restrictions do not apply to the exceptions already in place concerning our courses in attendance.
Concerning the life of our academic community therefore
- public events may have a maximum of 5 participants;
- in the hallways, outdoor areas and other common areas of the campuses it is possible to gather in groups of maximum 5 people.
As far as education:
- the new restrictions, as already mentioned, do not apply to the exceptions already in place concerning our courses in attendance. Therefore, all exceptions already defined during the general switch to online teaching remain valid;
- in the study rooms, it is still possible to have more than 5 people sitting at their respective desks, always wearing a mask and within the limits defined by the available seats. It is imperative to avoid groups of more than 5 people in, out and around the study room.
As far as working activities are concerned:
- in open spaces, it is possible to have more than 5 people seated at the respective workstations, always wearing a mask and respecting the social distance. It is imperative to avoid groups of more than 5 people in, out and around the areas;
- According to the new guidelines provided by the cantonal authorities, the restrictions in principle do not apply to professional meetings, for which the Protection Provisions apply;
- working from home, already reintroduced as a possibility, is further encouraged, upon approval of the person in charge.
The new restrictions for events and gatherings, implemented by the Canton Ticino State Council, are part of a series of new measures aimed at contrasting the spread of COVID-19, in the context of a "very serious" situation, which is already putting considerable pressure on the health system. The State Council has therefore addressed a "last call" to the entire population, inviting everyone to do their part with the message "Together we can make a difference" (click here for more information).
GENERAL SHIFT TO ONLINE TEACHING
On October 28, 2020, the Federal government announced that starting Monday, November 2, all universities in Switzerland shall no longer be allowed to give lessons in attendance. Exceptions for certain specific training activities are foreseen.
USI had considered this option in June and has therefore been prepared to shift to online mode as required by the authorities. The academic community and in particular students have been informed in detail about the new modalities.
COVID-19 PROTECTION PROVISIONS
Special provisions are in force at the Lugano and Mendrisio campuses to prevent and continue to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus. The Provisions regulate the use of the spaces for a number of different situations, including ordinary activities, meetings, and events.
What should I do in case of symptoms?
In case of symptoms of illness (fever, cough, sore throat, diarrhea, cold, respiratory distress, muscle pain, sudden loss of sense of smell and/or taste, etc.) you are required to stay home or return home immediately, following >>> the instructions of the authority on self-isolation. Contact your doctor or the medical guard and follow the instructions you will receive.
What should I do if I test positive for the new coronavirus?
In line with the Protection Provisions, USI has introduced a specific procedure in the event that a member of the community (student or staff member) is positive to Covid-19.
What should I do if I am placed in quarantine?
In the Covid-19 Protection Provisions you will find a procedure that USI has put in place in case of quarantine, which includes (among other things) informing the University by writing to email@example.com. This allows USI to monitor the situation and best support members of the academic community in their study or work activities during quarantine.