September 25, 2020

mandatory mask, open windows and mixed model

The mask will be mandatory in university classes that are to be held in person, in addition to in common spaces, it is recommended to keep the windows open as long as possible and the teaching will follow a mixed model (face-to-face and not face-to-face).

These are some of the measures agreed by Universities and Health and presented in the Delegate Commission of the General Conference on University Policy, which the autonomous communities have attended electronically. This was reported on Monday by the department chaired by Minister Manuel Castells, who has not been able to participate in the meeting after being operated on last Friday for a back problem.

The document of health and educational recommendations It was prepared last June, so now it has had to be updated.

It is recalled that each university must ensure that the number of students in the facility does not exceed its capacity, taking into account the separation of 1.5 meters between the occupants. “If the capacity of the facility that guarantees the separation of 1.5 meters is less than the number of students enrolled, the activity will not be able to be developed in person in its entirety and the universities will have to take the pertinent measures so that it can be carried out ‘online’ “.

And if the appropriate retransmission equipment is available, the universities may choose to carry out the in-person activity with the students with whom the previous condition is met and via videoconference for the rest of the students of that subject. In this option, they should be rotated periodically between students who are taught in person and those by videoconference.

In principle, according to Universities, these modalities should be used for lectures aimed at a large number of students who exceed the occupation coefficient required by health measures.

However, if the capacity of the facility that guarantees the separation of 1.5 meters is greater than the number of students enrolled, the activity may be face-to-face. Thus, even in the event that a part of the teaching has to do without face-to-face, the seminars and discussion groups that complement the lectures, as well as the practicals, could be face-to-face. In the development of compulsory practices, their presence or alternatives to it will be in relation to the academic nature, form of implementation and location of the practice.

It is not convenient to double the classes by groups

It is also argued that, taking into account the shortage of teaching resources in the short term, it is not considered convenient to double the classes by groups to maintain presence, because this would imply an unaffordable overload for the teachers. “All the adapted face-to-face measures will have to be be made public prior to the opening of the enrollment period at each university.

Regarding the ventilation of the classes, it is recommended to do it for at least 10 or 15 minutes at the beginning and end of the day and in the classrooms after each class.

The updated recommendations document also establishes that all universities have an anticovid protocol and a person who is globally responsible for managing the actions derived from the pandemic and that, in turn, each faculty, school, research institute or affiliated center have a person of reference responsible in their field for crisis management.

Universities must define a space for the isolation of the person detected as a suspected case. If a student develops symptoms compatible with COVID-19, they will be asked to move to that space, which must be well ventilated and have at least one pedal bin with a bag, and a surgical mask will be placed, which should facilitate the center.

The student must remain isolated at home until the results of the diagnostic tests are available. If the case is confirmed, they must remain in home isolation until 3 days after the end of the clinical picture and a minimum of 10 days from the onset of symptoms.

From the moment the diagnosis is confirmed, a contact study will be carried out, that is, that they have been less than two meters away for more than 15 minutes without a mask, from 48 hours before the onset of symptoms and until now in which the case is isolated.

Once these people are detected, they will be informed that they will have to go into quarantine and carry out a PCR. Regardless of the result of this PCR, the quarantine should last 14 days, since, although at that time it is not yet positive, you can develop the disease during those 14 days. The student who goes into a situation of isolation “will have the right to receive the corresponding teaching in a non-presential way, always attending to the idiosyncrasies and specificities of each subject.”

The center will be in charge of ensuring that the affected student who must carry out isolation and close contacts, who do the quarantine, “receive the teaching of the different subjects in which they are enrolled.”

In the case of a high number of affected students (or other members of the university community), any decision that has a general impact on a center or university must be taken jointly by those responsible for the university and the authorities of the university. health and university policy.

The meeting was attended on behalf of Castells by the Secretary General for Universities, Manuel Pingarrón, and the Minister’s Cabinet Director, Marta Cruells.

On September 3, Castells is scheduled to appear together with the president of the rectors of CRUE Spanish Universities to report in detail on the start of the 2020/2021 university course.

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