Cases and exposures of coronavirus at Aalto University
Cases of coronavirus have been confirmed at Aalto University. The contact tracers of the Infectious Disease Unit of the City of Espoo are investigating the chain of transmission and will place those who have been exposed in quarantine.
As a precautionary measure, all classes for first-year BA students of the School of Arts, Design and Architecture are held online, instead of in the classroom, for two weeks.
If you suspect that you may have been exposed to the virus, please find more specific instructions online (requires log-in).
Internal instructions related to coronavirus
Update on the introduction of flexibly rotating work schedules: remote work still preferable (14 August)
On 13 August, the Finnish government issued a recommendation on remote work in the Uusimaa region and also recommended that employers promote work arrangements that reduce risk factors at the workplace. Based on this new recommendation, we will go ahead with the previously decided introduction of flexibly rotating work schedules but with a minor adjustment: remote work is still preferable to on-campus work whenever the employee’s duties allow it. Working on campus will be possible but requires making space bookings in accordance with the practices to be decided in the units by the end of August.
For the time being, we recommend organising all events as virtual events. Detailed instructions for organising events this autumn will be finalised soon and published on https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/coronavirus-guidance-for-events.
On 13 August, the Finnish government also issued a recommendation on using face masks in public transport. As communicated earlier, Aalto University will provide the face masks needed for work and study purposes if safe distances cannot be ensured otherwise. For business travel abroad, the university will provide the face masks required by the airline and/or destination country. Purchasing the facemasks needed for commuting in Finland will be each employee’s responsibility.
For details on the flexibly rotating work schedules and other instructions, see our instructions published on 12 August (below).
Flexibly rotating schedules for on-campus work, teaching to continue mainly remotely (12 August)
As of 17 August, we will transfer to an operating model which allows combining on-campus and remote work safely and flexibly. We are following the pandemic situation closely and are prepared to make any changes needed without delay.
Safe working on campus requires that all of us comply with the shared rules and restrictions. You may come to campus only if you are symptom-free. Remember that meticulous hand hygiene and keeping safe distances is crucial. You should get tested immediately if you have any suspicion of being infected with coronavirus.
To ensure safe distances, the number of workstations on campus will be reduced to about one half of our normal capacity. The units are responsible for planning the rotating schedules for their workstations and making other practical arrangements concerning their working spaces.
Our goal is to introduce flexibly rotating work schedules on 17 August at the earliest and 1 September 2020 at the latest.
As a rule, teaching will continue remotely. As regards teaching offered on campus, priority will be given to first-year students.
Working on campus
All university premises have been checked and to ensure safe distances, the number of workstations on campus will be reduced to about one half of our normal capacity as of 17 August.
The schools and units are responsible for agreeing on the rotating schedules of their personnel, making the space bookings in compliance with each room’s maximum occupancy limit and taking care of any other practical arrangements. The schedules may be planned in a way that considers the demands of each job. The units can make their space bookings using the Infrabooking system or another method of their choice.
Each employee uses only one workstation per day and at the end of the day, tidies up the workstation with the cleaning equipment provided. Visits to other units should be avoided. One-person office spaces may be used flexibly by agreeing on a rotating system. The space booking instructions are currently being prepared at the schools and units. The practices concerning the on-campus work of individuals at a high risk of infection are agreed on with the supervisor and the occupational health service.
To ensure safe and smooth mobility on campus, Aalto staff members are required to have their Aalto ID card visible at all times. You can order an ID card from [email protected]. When you order the card, you can also book a time for taking your photograph for it. If your employment contract is shorter than 6 months, you will get a Visitor Aalto card without a photograph from the Lobby Services.
As a rule, meetings are still organised as remote meetings. Some meetings or workshops may also be organised on site, provided that safe distances and good hygiene are ensured.
As a rule, teaching will continue to be implemented remotely. Teaching which cannot be organised as remote teaching without significantly compromising the learning outcomes or quality of teaching will be organised on campus with due safety measures in place. As a rule, it is the responsibility of the departments and degree programmes to assess the need for on-site teaching on the basis of pedagogic viewpoints. However, teaching as a whole will be assessed from the viewpoint of the entire university and any changes to it are made in consultation with the schools.
The teaching staff will be sent a separate bulletin regarding the teaching arrangements later on.
Student mobility on campus
As of Monday, 31 August, students will gain access those buildings on campus which offer contact teaching or study-related support services or have student cafeterias or bookable self-study spaces. Students can access the buildings during their opening hours through specifically marked entrances.
Students can book a seat in more than 20 self-study spaces using the Aalto Space mobile app, although all study spaces or IT classrooms will not be available. In the Aalto Space application, the self-study spaces are listed as silent spaces. To avoid causing crowds, you should visit the campus only for a valid study-related reason.
(Updated on 17 September)
Aalto staff must avoid business travel, and travelling is only possible in compliance with the current risk assessment procedures. The Aalto University travel guidelines have been updated on 17 September and the new guidelines enter into force as of 1 October. Read the guidelines on page https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/internal-instructions-related-to-coronavirus (requires log-in).
Until 30 September: Aalto University employees, students and visitors are expected to work and study remotely for two weeks after returning from any business or other trip abroad.
As of 1 October: It is recommended to work from home for 14 days after every trip abroad. Persons who arrive from countries with higher incidence rates are expected to remain in voluntary quarantine for 14 days.
(Updated on 17 September)
Until 30 September: We still recommend organising remote meetings rather than on-site ones. If any visitors are hosted on campus, appropriate safety measures must be taken. Furthermore, it must be ensured that the visitor has no symptoms and has not been abroad in the past two weeks prior to his or her visit.
As of 1 October: We still recommend organising remote meetings rather than on-site ones. If any visitors are hosted on campus, appropriate safety measures must be taken and it must be ensured that the visitor has no symptoms. We are not receiving visitors who have arrived from countries with higher incidence rates within the past two weeks prior to the visit. Persons who arrive from countries with low incidence rates may visit the campus even earlier than that if absolutely necessary.
As the coronavirus situation keeps changing continually, we recommend taking particular care in organising events. We are keeping abreast of the development of the authorities’ recommendations and will update the Aalto instructions accordingly as soon as possible. In August, it is possible to organise small-scale events in those university spaces which have a separate entrance. When planning events, it should be noted that in all spaces, the maximum number of seats has been reduced to one half of the normal level.
Use of face masks
Aalto University offers respirators for work and teaching situations where it is not possible to maintain safety distances (for example laboratories, workshops or teaching situations that require close-up work). When Aalto employees travel abroad on business, the university will provide the face masks required by the airline and/or destination country. Purchasing the facemasks needed for commuting in Finland will be each employee’s responsibility.
The ventilation system on the Aalto University premises will be on for several hours before normal office hours, and it will be in effective use during the day and run for hours afterwards. The airflow is at a good level, and the supply air delivered by displacement ventilation is always outdoor air. The ventilation of all university buildings has been checked and adjusted.
The fully updated Aalto guidelines and policies related to coronavirus will be available in the next few days at https://www.aalto.fi/en/aalto-university/internal-instructions-related-to-coronavirus
If you do not find answers to your questions on this site, you can email your question to [email protected].
Crisis Management Team (CMT)
The Aalto University Crisis Management Team (CMT) is responsible for Aalto University’s instructions. The CMT is led by the president. Members of the CMT include the head of security and risk management and the director of communications, and other key Aalto staff as necessary. The CMT is following the coronavirus situation, keeping in close contact with the authorities and formulating the measures to be taken by the university. The CMT is utilising the situational assessment of the Finnish authorities and expert opinion.
- If you suspect you’ve contracted the coronavirus, the Terveystalo website provides instructions for home care and treatment. Contact Terveystalo primarily through Doctor chat 24/7. You will need your online banking credentials or a mobile identification to sign in. If you don’t have these credentials, call 030 6000 and your call is directed to a doctor.
- A nationwide telephone helpline provides general information on the coronavirus, 0295 535 535. This telephone counseling does not provide health counseling or counseling for acute symptoms on call. Open from 8 am to 9 pm on weekdays and from 9 am to 3 pm on Saturdays.
- The public health care helpline number is 116 117 (24/7).
THL.fi: Coronavirus COVID-19 - latest updates
YHTS.fi: Current information concerning the coronavirusTerveystalo website
UM.fi: Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Travel advisories (in Finnish)
UM.fi Ministry of Foreign Affairs - Info on coronavirusWHO.org: Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak
Opening hours for campus restaurants and café's