SAMK’s internal instructions on coronavirus situation

SAMK's instructions for its students and employees considering the new coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

16.4.2021 | By: Jani Wahlman | Photo: Veera Korhonen

SAMK kampus Porin rakennus kuvattuna taivasta vasten.

Up-to-date information on SAMK’s preparedness for coronavirus 

SAMK keeps a close eye on the development of the coronavirus situation and the instructions by the authorities. This bulletin related to the coronavirus situation and operating instructions is updated on a regular basis.

Updated 16.4.2021. Latest instructions in bold.

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Use of face mask compulsory on all SAMK campuses. Remember safe distances, hand hygiene and use of face mask

All SAMK campuses follow valid instructions to ensure as safe a study and work environment as possible for all.

The Regional Infectious Diseases Control Group (ATTR) has outlined that in higher education, group sizes are a maximum of six people. At SAMK, the necessary contact teaching will be held from 12 to 25 April so that the group sizes are at most in line with the ATTR recommendation.

The group size of six people in the necessary teaching on campuses means that in addition to the teacher, the space can have a maximum of six students.

It is still possible to organize exams on campuses in accordance with the guidelines of the Regional Infectious Disease Control Group (ATTR). Exams should be organized in a corona-safe manner: Two-meter safety distances for students, masks or visors in use. Also, while waiting for access to the exam room, remember the safety intervals and the use of masks.

The aim is to plan so that students can be spread over different spaces or different areas of a large space. SAMK's goal is to provide quality teaching so that students' studies progress despite the situation.

If possible, SAMK follows a hybrid model, where a part of the teaching is given remotely online, and a part as contact teaching on campuses. You can enter the campuses only when in good health, when feeling the slightest symptoms of illness – go and get tested, while waiting for the test results – stay at home, maintain good hand hygiene, follow coughing etiquette, keep a safe distance, and wear a mask or a face shield.

SAMK's autumn teaching planning is done on the basis that the teaching returns to campuses. However, the progress of corona virus vaccinations and the disease situation will be actively monitored and will eventually determine the arrangements for teaching in the fall.

Applications and arrangements for exchange studies for both outgoing and incoming students are also made on the assumption that the exchanges will take place from the autumn semester.

  1. SAMK's teaching will be transferred in its entirety to distance learning from Mon 22.2. until 25.4. Only the necessary teaching can be carried out as contact teaching at the separate discretion of the Dean, the Vice President of Education and the President. Library services and other student services will be kept open on a limited basis. Campuses can be accessed during distance learning with an access ID or code.
  2. Exams, simulations, and laboratory exercises are considered essential instruction that can be conducted on campus, subject to safety arrangements.
  3. In accordance with the instructions of the Regional State Administrative Agency, the activities organized in the presence of CampusMoWe will be suspended from 1.3. until 25.4.
  4. Staff can do essential work assignments on campuses. SAMK still recommends teleworking as widely as possible. Telework is agreed with the supervisor.
  5. Use of face mask or visor becomes compulsory for all SAMK campuses for the staff and students.
  6. SAMK recommends the use of disposable masks. Individuals working on campuses can pick them up from caretakers.
  7. The students acquire their own face masks.
  8. According to § 38 of the Act on University of Applied Sciences, a staff member has, after consultation with the student, the right to order the removal of the student who has symptoms commonly associated with the COVID-19 infection, or who does not wear an appropriate face mask in a situation where, according to the teacher, the risk is the lack of a safety distance in the tuition premises. If a student has forgotten to bring his/her own face mask, a mask can be fetched from the information desk.
  9. A maximum of five (5) staff members is allowed to stay in the same facility (e.g. meeting rooms, coffee rooms). In open-plan offices and other large premises, the five-person limit is considered, for example, by the number of people in a meeting room or other isolated area, or by the number of people around one workstation. The Pori campus staff room can seat one person per table.
    • On campuses, face masks should also be used at workstations if the two-meter safety distance to others is not met.
    • Please note that if you go to talk close to a colleague and the safety distance is not met, a face mask should be worn.
  10. Events organised by third parties on SAMK's campuses will also be cancelled until further notice.
  11. Maintain a safe distance of two (2) metres, remember to wash/disinfect your hands, sneeze and cough in your sleeve or a handkerchief. Avoid shaking hands and other contacts when greeting.
  12. SAMK recommends that the personnel and students install the corona application. You can download the Koronavilkku application here (at koronavilkku.fi).
    • What do I do if the Koronavilkku app reports exposure? Follow the instructions in the application. If you have symptoms, make an assessment in the Omaolo.fi service and follow the instructions given by the service.
  13. If a member of the personnel has a serious suspicion of corona, such as a report of exposure to Koronavilkku and symptoms of corona, inform Jari Lahti.
  14. If a student feels ill, he/she must stay home and contact the corona counseling (no longer the student health care) of their place of residence.
  15. If a student is diagnosed with a coronavirus, the health authorities will contact SAMK regarding the measures.
  16. Try to take care of community and mental well-being within these guidelines. THL guidelines for maintaining mental well-being during a pandemic: https://thl.fi/en/web/mental-health/what-s-new/mental-health-and-the-coronavirus-epidemic

Campus operations, visits, moving around, running errands

  1. Please, come to the campus only when you are healthy. Do not take the slightest risk of infecting others in our study and work environment.
  2. The use of electronic services is recommended in customer situations. In necessary encounters, such as at the info desk, in the library, at student services and e.g. at the BYOD-clinic, encounters take place behind a protective glass. Queuing must be avoided. When queuing for services, a maximum of three people is allowed in the queue with safe distances.
  3. Visitor groups will not be received on the campuses as a rule. Such project visits which are vital for the project to proceed can be arranged, as well as visits relating to teaching if they can be arranged safely. Use of face masks and visors must be paid attention to.
  4. On the Pori campus, directions of motions and other safety features are marked on the floor and other signs. This reduces face-to-face encounters. Please, pay special attention to movement on the staircases of part A (one for going down, the other for going up).
  5. The lunchtime sectioning marked on the timetables must absolutely be obeyed.
  6. Events can be carried out if they can be organized safely and in accordance with the instructions. The number of participants should be limited so that safe distances can be achieved in the available facilities. It is recommended to allow interested parties to participate also remotely. An event here means an event related to SAMK's paid service activities or activities concerning projects with external financing.
  7. Events organised by third parties on SAMK's campuses will also be cancelled until further notice.
  8. On the Pori Campus, the doors to the Travel Centre are closed until further notice. Instructions are placed on the door between the store and SAMK that there is no passage through it.
  9. The restaurant service providers instruct the students and personnel on food safety issues.
  10. The gym on the Pori campus will stay closed for public events until further notice.
  11. Indoor exercise activities will be at a break for at least until 25.4.

Studying

  1. SAMK follows, when the corona virus situation allows, a hybrid model, where a part of the teaching is given remotely online, and a part as contact teaching on campuses. The faculties have planned the spring term studies paying attention to safety precautions, and studies will be conducted according to the plan. The aim in the arrangements is that 50 % of students are in contact teaching on campuses. You can enter the campuses only when in good health, when feeling the slightest symptoms of illness – go and get tested, while waiting for the test results – stay at home, maintain good hand hygiene, follow coughing etiquette, keep a safe distance, and wear a mask or a face shield.
  2. The teachers instruct the students on the practices concerning the implementation of their courses. Due to the severity of the covid-19 epidemic and in order to prevent the spread of the disease, the teacher and the head of the department specify the situations where the learning arrangements require presence on the campus.
  3. For the beginning of the semester, all degree and exchange students and personnel arriving from abroad (excluding countries to which it is allowed to travel from Finland according to the government’s instructions) will be directed to a quarantine in accordance with THL instructions. During this time they will not be able to enter the campus and all communication must be handled electronically. However, those arriving from abroad are not allowed to come - regardless of THL's instructions - to SAMK's campuses within 14 days of arriving in Finland.
  4. The June graduation event has been decided to cancel.

Detailed instructions for students

  1. EXAM facilities have up-to-date health and safety arrangements and every other machine is in use.
  2. Exams are also held in the Agora Hall on the Pori campus, where workstations are located at two-meter safety intervals. The hall is divided into three blocks with screens. In the exams held in the Agora Hall, the student is allowed to bring their outerwear into the exam room and keep them in a chair to avoid crowding with hangers. Students are encouraged to arrive on campus so that additional waiting and gathering on campus and in its lobby areas can be avoided.
  3. In teaching situations where special equipment is used, the student is given a disinfectant spray and paper with which the student disinfects the necessary surfaces before and after the teaching situation. Teachers instruct on disinfection at the start of the event.
  4. Due to the corona situation, no extra exam passes can be obtained. Exceptional exam arrangements are considered normal exam arrangements.
  5. The aim is that the students belonging to risk groups can continue their studies safely. Students belonging to risk group must prove that they are at risk with a certificate issued by a doctor treating a long-term illness (not FSHS). When necessary, the student belonging to a risk group contacts the teacher of the course to agree on the progress of studies and the exams.
  6. It is essential to follow the scheduled lunch times and class timetables, or any other staggered schedules. The aim is to reduce the number of personal contacts during the day.
  7. Teaching is conducted according to the timetable.
  8. The students must install the Tuudo application so that they can receive critical information on the situation. You can download the Tuudo application for free from the App Store or Google Play. Use your student ID (student number) when you log in to the application for the first time. No further log-ins are required.
  9. Separate information on study practices and services can be found at: https://www.samk.fi/en/uutiset/instructions-related-to-studying-practices-for-students/

Detailed instructions for employees

  1. When you walk through a locked door on campus with an electronic key (or code), no other people can be allowed on campus at the same time (note in particular the door leading to the K-kauppa on the Pori campus).
    • In general, no one who does not have a right of access may be admitted from doors requiring access (except for guests in their own company).
  2. SAMK recommends the widest possible teleworking. Telework is agreed with the supervisor. Staff can do essential work assignments on campuses.
  3. A maximum of five staff members may be in the same room (eg. meeting rooms, coffee rooms - however, the restriction no longer applies to coffee rooms)
    • Coffee rooms may seat one person per table. Safety intervals and other health safety measures must be observed.
    • In open-plan offices and other large premises, the five-person limit is examined, for example, according to the number of meeting rooms or other isolated areas, or even the number of people around the workplace. The Pori campus staff room can seat one person per table.
  4. Into has collected questions and answers about corona (at into.samk.fi).
  5. If a person living in the same household has been suspected to have corona infection, you should work remotely.
  6. It is essential to follow the scheduled lunch times and class timetables, or any other staggered schedules. The aim is to reduce the number of personal contacts during the day.
  7. Use of face mask or visor is compulsory for all SAMK campuses for the staff and students. The personnel will be provided with disposable face masks. They can be fetched from the campus caretakers.
  8. If possible, it is recommended that as many customer contacts as possible would still be transferred to electronic services/contacts. In possible service situations, the service distance must be about two (2) metres.
  9. If you belong to a risk group and need to work on the campus, contact your superior. Instructions by the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) for the risk groups of a severe coronavirus disease: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases-and-vaccinations/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates/risk-groups-for-severe-coronavirus-disease
  10. The superior´s right to accept absence due to illness has been extended to seven days. The original work instructions will otherwise apply. Please, come to the campus only when you are healthy.
  11. Let´s still keep the SAMK spirit alive. Regular meetings (unit, team, management team, faculty, group etc.) will still mainly be held with remote tools.

Travelling instructions for students and personnel

  1. The students and personnel are asked to continue to consider the risks associated with travelling abroad.
  2. Quarantines and other travel-related instructions follow THL's guidelines: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases-and-vaccinations/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates/travel-and-the-coronavirus-pandemic
    • However, those arriving from abroad are not allowed to come - regardless of THL's instructions - to SAMK's campuses within 14 days of arriving in Finland.
  3. Employee: If there is a special need to make a business trip abroad, contact Human Resources Manager Jari Lahti well in advance of booking the trip or leaving for the trip to obtain a risk assessment and obtain a permit. Traveling is not possible without this explanation.
  4. SAMK’s student and staff exchanges are interrupted and cancelled until further notice. The decision applies to exchanges both to and from SAMK. Training exchanges, work placements, to abroad are allowed in principle, taking into account the recommendations and decisions by the authorities of Finland and the country of destination.
  5. SAMK does not receive any visitors from abroad until further notice.
  6. For the time being, domestic tourism and participation in, for example, international meetings in Finland are not restricted. However, SAMK recommends avoiding participation in public events. Special discretion should be exercised during domestic business trips and the decision to participate should be made based on coronavirus infectivity rates in different areas. You should always take advantage of the opportunity to participate remotely.
  7. Employee: Remember to inform SAMK also about all spare time travels well before the trip. When returning home, a distance work period with length in accordance of THL instructions follows whether returning from a business travel or a spare time travel (excluding countries to which it is allowed to travel from Finland according to the government’s instructions), and the employee is not allowed to enter the SAMK campuses. Distance work is not required if the person arrives from countries where the incidence of COVID-19 infections is at a sufficiently low level. Please, check the up-to-date information on travel recommendations on the Ministry for Foreign Affairs’ website, https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad
  8. Also note that if an employee is put in quarantine during spare time travels, the employer is not responsible for this. If the employee is unable to do distance work during the quarantine, the quarantine period must be taken as unpaid leave, or use the annual leave or flexi-leave for this purpose.
  9. The Social Insurance Institution of Finland (Kela) can pay a sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease to employees who have been ordered to stay away from work in order to prevent the spread of an infectious disease, such as the coronavirus. The sickness allowance is also available to the provider of a child under the age of 16 who is put in quarantine, making it impossible for the provider to continue working while the quarantine is in effect. The sickness allowance on account of an infectious disease can also be paid to a person who is isolated or quarantined in the EU area.
  10. If the employee has returned from a trip abroad or a possible infection can be suspected and the person develops symptoms of a respiratory infection, a symptom assessment must be made online in the Omaolo service (omaolo.fi). At the end of the test, the service provides instructions. With other respiratory symptoms you should be remotely connect (telephone, Digiklinikka) occupational health care. Mehiläinen's Omamehiläinen service can be used around the clock online and by downloading a phone application. See more detailed operating instructions on Mehiäinen's website (mehilainen.fi/en).
  11. If a student has returned from a risk area abroad or a possible infection can be suspected and the person has symptoms of a respiratory infection, corona counseling of place of residence should be contacted.

In cases open to interpretation, please contact Jari Lahti or Jari Multisilta.

The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) follows and estimates the situation together with the European Centre for Disease Prevention (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO). Daily updated review of the situation: https://thl.fi/en/web/infectious-diseases/what-s-new/coronavirus-covid-19-latest-updates

Information also on the pages of the WHO: http://www.euro.who.int/en/home

The Ministry for Foreign Affairs has travel announcements here: https://um.fi/entering-finland-and-travelling-abroad

16.4.2021 | By: Jani Wahlman | Photo: Veera Korhonen