Information for employees in connection with coronavirus (COVID-19)

Østfold University College follows the national guidelines and recommendations issued by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI). The situation may change quite quickly, and the University College assesses all measures and precautions on an ongoing basis.

Both campuses are open

Østfold University College is operating with normal opening hours on both campuses.

You must NOT go to campus if you are unwell or suspect that you may have been exposed to COVID-19. Contact your immediate supervisor.

If you are returning to campus, you must read the full procedure for access to the University College’s premises. It contains detailed descriptions of everything you need to know before returning to campus (an updated procedure will be published on 11 August).

Anyone returning to campus must complete an online course on infection prevention and control.

Take the course here

If you are returning equipment that you have used at home, read: Procedure for returning and picking up equipment that employees have used at home

See all procedures that have been drawn up in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic.

Contact your immediate supervisor if you have any questions or need more information.

Face masks

The University College adheres to the latest advice from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI) regarding the use of face masks. We provide face masks for use in teaching situations such as skills training, laboratory activities, etc. where we believe it will probably not be possible to maintain a distance of one metre between participants. The lecturer will hand out face masks if and when they are necessary. Lecturers can get face masks from the Service Centre.

If you wish to wear a face mask during travel to and from your place of work, or wish to wear one in other situations, you must provide it yourself.

Office and working environment

Østfold University College follows the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI)’s recommendations, and more employees must expect to alternate between working from home and working on campus in the future. Working from home must be approved by the individual’s supervisor and requires good dialogue between the supervisor and the employee. If you share an office, are in an at-risk group, have problems related to public transport, or for some other reason need to work from home, contact your immediate supervisor, who will find a solution for flexible working hours and/or working partially from home.

 

The procedure for employees describes the rules for use of common areas, dining areas and break rooms, kitchens, etc. Remember to maintain a distance of one metre from others, and bear in mind that other people may be more worried about catching COVID-19 than you are. If there are too many people at the lunch table, invite a colleague to join you and sit somewhere else with slightly fewer people, or postpone your lunch until there is more room. If there is no hand sanitiser or other personal protective equipment where you are, contact the Service Centre, and they will notify the appropriate party.

Travel and meetings

It must be assessed whether work-related travel is really necessary, and the Norwegian government currently discourages all international travel. All work-related travel must always be approved by your supervisor.

All internal meetings must have a digital option, and all large meetings must be conducted online.

Advice from the Norwegian Institute of Public Health (FHI):

Teaching in autumn 2020

In weeks 33 and 34, all teaching shall be conducted in classrooms or digital rooms. No teaching will be conducted outdoors or in other venues. If there is no further resurgence of COVID-19 in the subsequent days, off-campus teaching will be resumed from week 35. Remember to maintain a distance of one metre from other people and adhere to all the general infection prevention and control precautions.

It is currently possible to conduct hybrid teaching, i.e. teaching with some students physically present in the classroom and some following online, but this may change quickly. All teaching must therefore be planned such that it can be conducted exclusively via digital channels.

In hybrid teaching, the lecturer must use their laptop with Zoom to provide teaching to students who are following the teaching online. All classrooms will have a combined speaker and microphone and a small external USB camera that teachers can use, if they want. Østfold University College cannot currently facilitate more advanced forms of hybrid teaching.

The lecturer’s responsibilities in connection with face-to-face teaching

  • The lecturer must remind the students of the infection prevention and control rules.
  • If COVID-19 is suspected in a teaching situation:
    • the person in question must immediately put on a face mask and leave the teaching room. The lecturer or another student can get a face mask from the Service Centre.
    • The sick student must then leave the building as quickly as possible, or wait for transport in the quiet room. The lecturer can accompany the sick person there, if necessary.
    • The lecturer must notify the infection tracking team immediately by sending an e-mail to: smittesporing@hiof.no
    • The infection tracking team will provide further assistance, including if the sick person has to wait in the quiet room.
    • The other students and lecturers can continue with the teaching. No-one needs to quarantine until the suspected case has been confirmed as COVID-19 through a positive test result.
    • The infection tracking team is in charge of the further follow-up.

Do you need assistance with digital solutions?

The Learning Support Centre has developed digital teaching resources and training materials, and also arranges daily guidance and experience-sharing sessions and webinars. Read more on the Learning Support Centre’s webpages (in Norwegian)

Many administrative employees are now having to make extensive use of Skype for Business, Teams, and Zoom to conduct meetings. If you need tips or help getting to grips with new tools, contact your IT support for tips and help.

The coronavirus crisis and relevant health and safety information

Do you need tips, or perhaps someone to talk to? Below is a list of useful contacts.

Tired of sitting still?

Working from home can be quite different from working in your normal office, with less-than-ideal ergonomic conditions. It may be difficult to maintain good sitting posture, and many people experience a dramatic decrease in the amount they move. Many people are missing out on things like walking their children to school or day care, walking from the car park or cycling to work, walking around between meetings and visiting colleagues. Instead many people are now finding that they sit still for large parts of their working day. It is your responsibility to do something about this. Take several breaks during the day. Go for a walk outside and get moving.

Steffen Tangen and Birgitta Husebye have helped many people with good advice on ways to keep active. Click here for great ideas and videos.

Read more about staying active here (Norwegian)

Information about coronavirus (COVID-19)

Østfold University College has an official COVID-19 webpage that is updated on an ongoing basis. This page also has a log, showing what changes have been made to the page. Here you will also find all the advice we have given in connection with travel, etc.