For the first time since the Corona-lockdown began in March, ITU will conduct some activities at campus as a part of the 2nd and 3rd phase of the reopening. However, the vast majority of staff and students will continue to work from home until August.
On May 7 the Danish government gave ITU the green light to reopen some activities at the ITU Campus starting from May 18, as a part of the second reopening phase.
“We’re very happy, that we’re able to start reopening ITU, but it’s important to emphasize that only a very limited group of students and staff will be included in the first reopening. Most of us will continue to work and study from home until the fourth phase of the reopening in August,” says Georg Dam Steffensen, University Director at ITU.
The first reopening is a supplement to online exams and teaching
From Monday May 18 the first campus-reopening will be possible. Students and staff will be able to conduct certain and teaching activities that have been challenged by the Corona lockdown. For example, some VIPs might have a poor internet connection at home, but with the reopening they can conduct online exams from campus. And some students might need to get access to labs, which will be possible as well with the new opening plan.
Access to the campus will only be provided if necessary. According to the guidelines from the government only 130 students, 32 VIP and 8 TAP are allowed at campus at the same time. Furthermore, only 650 different students as well as 64 different VIP and 16 different TAP are allowed in the building until the general reopening in August.
“It’s important to underline, that the reopening is regulated by the government. The specific numbers have been decided by the ministry and we’re obliged to make specific exemptions for each student and staff member, who will be at the campus during the summer.” Georg Dam Steffensen explains.
It is also due to the regulations from the ministry that the building has been shut down since the lockdown began on March 13. Only a very limited number of employees who’re taking care of critical functions in the building have been allowed to enter as per agreement with the ministry. This is also why employees have not been able to collect equipment or property on campus.
New Task Force prepares a safe reopening
A new task force have been established to make sure that the reopening will happen securely and strictly according to all directions provided by the Danish Health and Medicine Authority.
ITU have been preparing the reopening for weeks, but experience shows that the guidelines can change from one day to another. The task force is also awaiting a circular from the Ministry with specific rules and guidelines for the universities. And according to Georg Dam Steffensen ITU will probably not receive this circular until few days prior to the first reopening.
“The safety of staff and students is our highest priority. We’re working very hard and fast to comply with the current guidelines but if we receive some new, unexpected directions shortly before the reopening we will rather push it a few days to make sure we’re following the measures 100 percent.” Georg Dam Steffensen says.
In the months to come the management will meet with employee representatives and the work environment representatives every fortnight to inform the staff about new lockdown measures and the consequences thereof as well as news about the reopening.
The next steps
When the first activities are up and running, the next step is to prepare the third phase of the reopening: From June 8 it will be possible to resume some research activities that requires access to labs at ITU.
“We still don’t know the details about the third phase of the reopening, but we’re going to prepare as much as possible,” Georg Dam Steffensen says.
Since the expansion to the DR-building is going according to the plan, management is currently investigating if the employees can pack up their offices themselves.
“We’re aware that the staff will appreciate packing their offices themselves, if the lockdown is still ongoing when the building is ready. We hope that we can find a solution where it’s possible,” Georg Dam Steffensen says.
On May 18 or right after ITU will open for some exam and teaching activities as a part of the 2nd reopening phase.
On June 8 or right after ITU will open for research activities that require access to labs as a part of the 3rd reopening phase.
Due to the new guidelines it will be possible to conduct Summer University physically at ITU Campus.
The university will contact those students who wll get access to ITU Campus.
Management have been in contact with heads of department in order to get a list of VIPs who wish to use the facilities for some exam and teaching activities at ITU before the fourth phase of the reopening in August. The university will contact those VIPs who will get access to ITU Campus.