Limited access to UiO’s buildings
Health authorities advise us that those who can, should work from home. At the same time, according to the advice of the health authorities, UiO must maintain research that depends on employees having access to laboratories, technical infrastructure and archives. We now ask the faculties to consider which employees need limited access to the university's buildings.
On Tuesday, March 24, the government extended the nationwide measures put in place to slow the spread of coronavirus infection.
–The University of Oslo has taken its social responsibility seriously by closing our buildings. We follow the national guidelines and recommendations from health authorities. At the same time, it is very important that our research not be harmed more than absolutely necessary. We therefore ask the faculties to consider which employees should be given limited access to the campus in order to carry out their research, says Rector Svein Stølen at the University of Oslo.
The faculties will assess
Employees now work from home unless they have been specifically requested to come to work in UiO's buildings by their closest manager. This is to avert any threats to life and health or to prevent property, material, equipment and irreplaceable research material from being ruined or lost; securing employer functions; emergency management and financial obligations. Tuition for students is now digital.
In a sector meeting on Thursday, March 26, the Ministry of Education and Research stated that it is up to the individual educational institution to assess the extent to which students and staff will be given limited access to buildings in the future - provided this is done within the framework of advice and guidance from Norwegian health authorities, and provided that those who can, should work from home.
Criteria for restricted access have now been further specified:
- Necessary need of access to facilities, laboratory and other research infrastructure needed to meet deadlines for new projects and carry out critically important research work.
- Necessary need of access for employees who are hindered in their work because work from home cannot be completed because of health reasons or compelling social reasons.
- Necessary need of access to libraries, archives, or other collections to collect important material.
- Compliance with UiO's obligations for clinical activities in accordance with the guidelines of the health authorities applies to the Faculty of Medicine and the Faculty of Dentistry.
More specifically for students and staff:
- Students and staff in general still work from home. Students still do not have access to campus, except for master's students who are associated with research projects where one considers access to buildings as crucial for progress. Teaching is provided digitally. Internships are implemented for health education if possible and for others it is carried out digitally or postponed.
- Staff groups such as doctoral research fellows, postdoctoral fellows and researchers are still working from home. If necessary access to the laboratory, experimental facilities and fieldwork is required, access to UiO's premises is permitted, if this is particularly important in carrying out critically important research work and compliance with deadlines. It is also important to ensure that fellows, postdoctoral fellows and temporary researchers are not significantly hindered in their research. This may also apply to master's students who are associated with research projects where one considers access to buildings as crucial for progress. In rare cases after an assessment, access to office space can be granted if homework is not possible for health reasons or compelling social reasons.
- Permanent academic staff in regular positions work from home. In rare cases, access to premises, facilities and other research infrastructure is provided for critically important research and to maintain safety considerations for experimental work. In exceptional cases, and after a specific assessment, access to office space can be granted if working from home is not possible for health reasons or compelling social reasons. UiO's clinical operations require necessary staffing, and this also applies, for example, to the request for jaw surgery and oral medical specialist function for patients from the counties in HSØ. Further specification of the guidelines in medicine is provided by the Faculty of Medicine.
- Technical / administrative support staff, who are needed to attend critically important research, may be present for this purpose. Personnel who carry out regular and reinforced cleaning, maintain infection control etc. In rare cases after an assessment, access to office space can be granted if homework is not possible for health reasons or compelling social reasons.
Strict infection control measures
The faculty level (dean / faculty director), in consultation with the department level (and corresponding levels) must make a specific assessment following a risk analysis of which employees will be allowed access to UiO's premises and report to the Estate Department which specific premises will be in use, so that cleaning and building operations can be accomplished in an efficient way with reduced staffing. As far as possible, the faculties must coordinate the use of their own premises and common rooms so that as few premises as possible are used.
–Strict infection control measures will be implemented. The researchers must stay within a reasonable distance of each other, at least 2 meters away at all times. Everyone must adhere to the Institute of Public Health measures to limit the risk of infection and we must continuously monitor the situation and adhere to any changed messages from our government, says Stølen.
In addition, cleaning and hygiene measures will be further strengthened.
Specific information at each faculty
We ask faculties and institutes to keep local union representatives informed of the adjustments made locally at UiO through IDF (information, discussion, and negotiation) meetings and to inform employees about decisions.
Faculties have information on their faculty pages about the procedure for applications.