Updated 18.09.20, 11:00

Information on Coronavirus to NMBU employees

  • Koronavirus
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    CDC, Alissa Eckert

Updated 18.09.20, 11:00 New information in italics. 

We must still maintain infection prevention measures:

  • maintain distance
  • wash hands
  • stay at home if we are sick

Information on Coronavirus to NMBU employees

Everyone must take the infection prevention course and familiarize themselves with the action cards for office workplaces in the HSE Handbook

 

 

Teaching and Examinations

 Action card for infection prevention measures in classrooms

Infection Prevention Course

Employees and students must have taken the infection prevention course before they are granted access to the premises.

Infection Prevention Course (in Norwegian)
Training protective measures – Infection Prevention Course (in English)
Information for guests – corona – HSE infection prevention (Norwegian/English)

NEW UPDATE 18.09: Work on campus

We encourage employees to work on campus as much as possible, in order to achieve the most normal workday possible with the physical dynamics we are used to. Some employees need to work from their office more than others, and so some of us must work from home for everyone to get their work done. To decrease the spread of infection, the threshold for working from home will be low. Leaders are responsible for finding flexible solutions for each employee. Reach an agreement with your leader as to your work situation going forward.

Factors we must take into account when on campus are:

  • The possibility to maintain a one-meter distance between people at all times during the workday. According to the Norwegian Labour Inspection Authority, there should be at least one-meter, and preferably two-meters, distance between each office workplace.
  • Employee participation in the strengthened cleaning regime. Checklists exist and disposable cloths have been placed in all kitchens that employees use, for this purpose. 

As of June 15, the Ministry of Education and Research allows events of up to 200 persons. The nature of the room (total area, entrances, etc.) will form the basis for how many people can participate at an event. Independent of group size, an overview must exist of all participants, including contact information, as well as the organizer in charge. Deans and department chairs make decisions for their respective faculties and departments.

NEW UPDATE 18.09: Capacity in meeting rooms on Campus Ås

Here you will find an overview as to the capacity of each individual meeting room on Campus Ås.

Classrooms

Here you can access the teaching schedule for the upcoming teaching period, and information as to how to find vacant classrooms. 
It is possible to book rooms outside of working hours. University Reception administers room booking. 

Guests on campus

All visitors must be informed about the applicable infection prevention measures.

Cleaning routines

Due to extra cleaning requirements there is limited capacity, and the cleaning unit must prioritize its duties. This means that the units must take on extra cleaning duties themselves. We must, on a daily basis, wipe surfaces in our own office workplaces, kitchens must be cleaned by employees, and there are restrictions on the use of common areas such as kitchens, meeting rooms, etc. See the action card for further details.

Hand sanitizer is placed at the entrances to classrooms. It must be used both when entering and leaving classrooms. Disposable wet wipes are placed on each row of benches in auditoriums, classrooms, etc. Students shall use these to wipe down contact points where they work – table, armrests, etc. Each teacher shall wipe down his/her workspace, computer, etc.

Checklists are in place for teachers as to which measures apply for the use of the classroom in question. The person who is responsible for the practical implementation of the teaching must ensure that the measures are followed and remind students of what their tasks are. We request that faculty management informs teachers about this list. The checklist also exists in English.

The cleaner will refill wet wipes and hand sanitizer as part of the daily cleaning routine. Even so,  if cleaning supplies run out contact the Estate Department by email: eia@nmbu.no. Give the building and room number.

University Reception
University Reception is operating under its normal opening hours of 08:00-15:00. Until further notice, internal mail will be delivered on campus Ås on Tuesdays and Fridays. Outgoing mail from NMBU will be delivered to PIB every day; mail must be delivered to University Reception before 13:30 on the days that the mail route is not running. 

If you have questions, contact University Reception at 67 23 00 00 or send an email to servicetorget@nmbu.no.



Working from Home

The services listed below are safe and secure to use off-campus:

  • Via Home Office you can access your virtual NMBU desktop. You will be able to access your home area, shared folders, email, and administrative services.
  • On the NMBU Portal, you can access select NMBU services.
  • If you are logged in through an unknown network (insecure network), then the IT department recommends you to use VPN.

Here you can read how to use Teams, and where you can get help and support (scroll down for English).

The Ministry of Local Government and Modernisation informs that there is no basis to suspend state employees.

The pertinent special agreement on flexible work hours provides for an additional timeframe from 06:00 to 21:00. The Working Environment Act (§ 10-11 (3)) allows for an employer and employee to make individual arrangements to work between 21:00 and 23:00. It is possible to make such an agreement. The requirement for break times must be observed.

Welfare leave with pay can be approved in accordance with the Basic Agreements for the Civil Service § 22. The employee can also have the right to leave with pay to care for children and relatives living at home, in accordance with the Basic Agreements for the Civil Service § 20.

Information for PhD Fellows, Postdoctoral Fellows, and Residents 

If you are not able to work on your project, we strongly recommend that you register and document the reasons for this. Such registration and documentation may, at a later stage, form the basis for an application for extension of your contract. It is important to maintain close contact with your faculty, advisors, and project leaders, in order to find good solutions together. 

Rights in case of delays due to illness / closed kindergartens / schools due to corona.

Routines for possible extensions for PhD research fellows, postdocs and residents as a result of the corona situation – a guideline.

Frequently asked questions for NMBU students.

Meetings, Events, and Excursions

As of June 15, up to 200 people can gather. The nature of the room (total area, entrances, etc.) will form the basis for how many people can participate in a group. Independent of group size, an overview must exist of all participants, including contact information, as well as the organizer in charge. Deans and department chairs make decisions for their respective faculties and departments. 

We still recommend to hold digital events (gatherings, conferences, meetings, etc.) as much as possible for employees. Teams, Skype and Zoom are tools that can be used. Here you can read how to proceed and where you can get help and support (scroll down for English). NMBU, like the rest of the Higher Education sector, uses Uninett as our supplier. This means that NMBU uses a custom layout for Zoom. Read more about Zoom, personal privacy and security (in Norwegian).

Excursions

If you are arranging an excursion, you must stick to the rules set by the local host and transport company. The Faculty of Environmental Sciences and Natural Resource Management has created an action card for transport, overnighting and activities on excursions (in Norwegian). It can be a good tool to use to ensure infection prevention.

Leave of Absence and Vacation

Sick leave

From July 1 the codes for corona have been removed, in line with the new rules from the government. 

Changes to self-notification
In connection with the corona crisis, the government introduced an unlimited right for employees to use self-notification during the employer period; that is to say, the part of sick leave that the employer pays for. The regulations were to be in place until the New Year, but now the government has removed the right to unlimited self-notification as of June 1, 2020.

This means that we are back to "normal practice" when it comes to self-notification.

"Self-notification due to corona or quarantine: code 1012 – self-notification corona" is now blocked. Only sick leave prior to June 1 can be registered under this code. 

Sick leave
If you are sick beyond the first 16 days, then you will need to be put on sick leave by your doctor. Inform your leader about your sick leave. The Payroll Section will be notified of sick leave by doctor's orders related to the corona epidemic. Your nearest leader is responsible for filling out and sending in the necessary form. More information can be found in the employee handbook.

Leave of absence due to sick children, caregiver's illness and closed kindergartens/schools

NAV has changed the number of care days as of July 1 (in Norwegian). Everyone returns to the normal number of care days and starts afresh with these from July 1 –  Dec. 31, 2020. This is irrespective of whether or not you have used care days earlier in the year. 

The rules for care benefit have changed several times because of the corona situation. The information on this site is updated with regards to these changes. 

The code to use in UBW to register leave of absence due to children before July 1, 2020 is: 2012 Child and/or caregiver's illness (corona). After this date you should use code 2010 to register sick leave. 

Further information about registering leave of absence can be found with the Payroll Section (in Norwegian).  

Vacation

In principle, vacation that has been requested and planned ahead of time shall be carried out as normal.  

What Happens this Fall? 

The Ministry of Education and Research’s goal is to kick off the semester start this fall with open learning places. We plan to maintain our study offer this fall, but we must take into account the fact that there is not enough space for as many people to be on campus at the same time as we are used to under normal circumstances. Welcoming new students this fall will be slightly different than previous years. We will have a combination of a digital reception for all new students, and local, group-based receptions at the faculties and programs, all in line with the prevailing infection control advice. Digital solutions for information, the buddy system, and reception, are being planned together with the various contributors, such as SiÅs, Samfunnet and the Uka Board.

  • The introduction week for international students will be completely digital this year and will occur in week 32 as usual.
  • The semester start for students is August 10.
  • Matriculation will be conducted digitally. It will be held on Fri. Aug. 14, from 13:00-14:00, with no classes at the time for students.

For us, the same recommendations apply as for working life in general. We will take necessary measures to ensure that we operate in a responsible manner with regards to infection prevention. We hope to hold campus-based teaching as much as possible, but we plan to have a lot of online teaching this fall.  

We shall have good plans in place for the study progression of at-risk students. It is also important that we continue to develop digital education programs, so that we can ensure good study progression. 

Semester Start for VET, August 2020

The autumn 2020 semester start for the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine will occur on Campus Adamstua, and not on Campus Ås as intitially planned. This is due to construction delays, and was communicated in a message from Statsbygg.

At this time we do not have a new completion date in place, due to the general uncertainties tied to the coronavirus pandemic. We hope it will be possible to start teaching at Ås in January 2021.

 

Work-related Travel and Private/Leisure Travel

NMBU follows the travel advice of the central authorities. You may find FAQ and answers on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs advises against all travel abroad that is not strictly necessary.  The transmission situation in Europe can change rapidly, and before travelling abroad, take into account that there may be local outbreaks of COVID-19, or outbreaks may arise while you are away. Check the advice from the local authorities at your destination and what is covered by travel insurance, including what applies if you become ill while travelling.

Employees who choose to travel to countries not recommended by the central authorities must quarantine for 10 days after returning to Norway. Quarantine means that you must stay at home and cannot be on campus. Work travel must be cleared with your immediate leader.

About cancellations of hotels, seminars, flights, etc.
In general, the State is self-insured and each unit must cover any costs that arise from cancellations of hotel rooms, seminars, etc., if this is not covered by cancellation insurance through credit cards or travel insurance. We ask all units to keep track of costs that are incurred due to the situation with COVID-19 so that we can request compensation from the Ministry of Education.

Private/Leisure Travel

NMBU follows the travel advice of the central authorities.

 

Watch Out for Online Scams

The IT department has seen an increase in the number of viruses and fake emails related to the coronavirus. Be vigilant and be aware that criminals want to exploit the situation. This can include fake SMS, misinformation and financial scams. Contact your IT department if you are unsure about something you have received or been exposed to.

Guidelines for Holding a Public Defence

Guidelines are in place for holding a public defence at NMBU when measures against the coronavirus affect physical participation. The revised guidelines are approved by the Prorector of Research on August 6, 2020 and replace the guidelines from May 14, 2020. New information is in italics. 

As of June 15, the Norwegian Health Authorities allow events with a maximum of 200 participants. The nature of the room (total area, access, etc.) must be considered when estimating the number of participants allowed. This means that public defences may now be held with physical participation. The Dean will decide whether or not the public defence will be held with physical presence in NMBU premises or be fully digitized. Administrative and technical staff at the faculty will organize the physical participation to ensure that the public defence may be held in a secure manner.

Requirement of public access to a defence

It is not a requirement that the trial lecture is a public event. The disputation, however, must be a public defence to be valid. This requirement may not be waived. Below are descriptions of how the requirement may presently be fulfilled.

 Participation

  • The PhD candidate, the disputation leader and the three members of the evaluation committee must attend (the trial lecture and) the public defence.
  • Should NMBU’s internal member of the committee not be able to attend, the faculty will appoint a new internal member for the evaluation committee (cf. PhD regulations section 14 (5) d. and section 14 (7)). Should one of the external members of the committee not be able to attend, the internal NMBU member may step in to fill the role of this opponent.

A fully digitized disputation can be held

  • The public defence may be held by completely digital means should physical presence be hindered as a result of the corona situation.
  • Technical conference solutions to be used are Teams, Skype for Business or Zoom (see the Learning Center's site for more information).
  • Digital presentations must be shared with all physical and digital participants. This applies as well to the final and approved PDF version of the PhD thesis.
  • The requirement for a public defence may be met by giving access to join via the digital platform.
  • Questions from the audience – ex auditorio questions – must be facilitated, including asking questions via the digital solution or by email.
  • It is recommended to ask it@nmbu.no and learningcenter@nmbu.no whether there is a need to restrict the number of participants in the digital room for the public defence. This is to limit the risk for technical problems.

Disputation/ public defence conducted with physical participation in NMBU premises

  • At a disputation/ public defence conducted with physical participation, necessary infection prevention measures must be in place. Please note the measures in section 12 of the NMBU action card for office workplaces in the HSE Handbook, an action card for corona infection.
  • It must be documented who will participate and who will be the appointed responsible person for the meeting.
  • There must be a distance of at least one meter between each participant. A maximum of 200 participants may by physically present at a public defence held on NMBU's premises. Participants must be seated with one whole seat between each other. The seats that may be used have been labelled. The maximum number of particpants allowed in each auditorium and room at NMBU is indicated, as the sizes of the rooms vary. The number allowed will be displayed on the door of each room, until an overview has been published for all rooms. The Festsalen at Campus Ås can currently hold 84 persons maximum. Questions may be sent to the NMBU Head of Security.
  • The room must be tidied, aired out, and all contact surfaces must be cleaned by the participants after the meeting has ended.
  • Coffee, tea, and water served at the event: use disposable cups and glasses and make sure that they are disposed of after the meeting has ended. Pitchers and carafes must be cleaned. Offering other beverages or food is not allowed.
  • External guests must receive information about the current protective measures against the virus.

The announcement of the public defence must contain information about:

  • As a result of the coronavirus outbreak and accompanying restrictions there are limitations to physical participation during the public defence (insert the maximum number of participants into the text).
  • Information about digital access to the (trial lecture and) public defence, including information about the digital platform that will be used.
  • How to access the approved thesis. This may be done, eg., by sending the PDF version of the approved thesis by email or by sharing the document with registered participants via Office365 OneDrive.
  • How to oppose ex auditorio.
  • Who can answer questions prior to the (trial lecture and) public defence.

The public defence must be cancelled should one of the following occur:

  • The NMBU internal member of the committee (or the internal substitute member) is not able to attend
  • One of the external committee members (or the internal committee member who acts as a substitute opponent) is not able to attend.

Contact persons:

 

Testing If You Suspect Infection

If you are sick and think that you might be infected with corona, call your doctor. If you have symptoms of corona, you will be tested. You must report to your leader if you are infected. 

Students who suspect that they are infected with corona must stay at home for two days to see if they get better. If they do not have a doctor in Ås they must contact Ås municipality doctor's office for testing.

 

About the Emergency Crisis Team

NMBU has created an emergency crisis team comprised of university leadership, the Head of Security, the Chief of Health and Safety, and others. The team meets daily and evaluates the current situation on an ongoing basis.

Updated information, guidelines, frequently asked questions and much more can be found in the HMS handbook (internal links in Norwegian).

Advisory resource group
The advisory resource group consists of members from BIOVIT, MINA, KBM, SHF, the Veterinary College and representatives from the protection service and central HSE / emergency resources. Members have expertise in infection control and HSE. 

Please also follow Ås Municipality and Oslo Municipality's websites for information.

 

 

Published 11. March 2020 - 15:35 - Updated 18. September 2020 - 10:55