Handling infection at Aarhus BSS

Guidelines for employees at Aarhus BSS in cases of infection among students or employees

 

The faculty management team has established a local COVID-19 response team, which is responsible for ensuring a smooth and efficient handling of infection cases among the school’s students and employees in close collaboration with the administrative and academic departments.

Here, you can read more about who is responsible for what in the infection handling process.


How to handle cases of infection among students

If a student has symptoms of COVID-19

Do the following if you are contacted by a student who suspects that they may have been infected with COVID-19:

  1. Ask the student to stay at home until they are well. You are considered well when you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours.
  2. Encourage the student to follow the health authorities' guidelines for self-isolation, testing and contact tracing.
  3. Encourage the student to notify the administrative centre via AU’s COVID-19 form if they test positive. This is very important in order for the university to initiate measures to prevent the infection from spreading further.
  4. Carry on with your teaching and exam activities as normal. You will be notified by your department if the student tests positive after which the infection handling process is set in motion (see below).
  5. If you have any doubts about how to handle cases of suspected infection among students, please contact the COVID-19 response team.

If a student tests positive

As soon as - and only if - the student fills in AU’s COVID-19 form, the infection handling process is set in motion at Aarhus BSS.
If you are contacted by a student who has tested positive, it is therefore very important that you encourage the student to fill in the form.

  • As soon as the student has completed the form, it is automatically forwarded to the Aarhus BSS Administrative Centre, who will inform the response team, departments, management and relevant administrative departments.
  • The department will contact the lecturer to inform them of the extent of infection in the class, and whether it is necessary to temporarily change the format of teaching or exams. In other words, you do not have to take any steps until you are contacted.
  • Please note that the administrative centre informs via an email with the sender 'COVID19, Aarhus BSS'. If you receive an email from this sender, you must react straight away so that we can initiate the infection handling process as quickly as possible.

Responsibilities - who does what?

Aarhus BSS Administrative Centre

  • Sends information about the infection case to the local response team, departments, management and relevant administrative departments via the shared mailbox 'COVID19, Aarhus BSS'.
  • Contacts the infected student immediately in order to initiate further contact tracing at AU.
  • Contacts Building Services, who will initiate immediate cleaning of the rooms.

The departments

  • The department contacts the lecturer to inform about the extent of the infection in the class, and whether it is necessary to temporarily change the format of the teaching or not.  
  • The head of department, director of studies or head of department secretariat must inform the lecturer that a student is tested positive and that the classrooms, which the lecturer has booked for the teaching, must be cleaned immediately. Together with the lecturer, it is decided whether the teaching should be cancelled or changed to an online format while the cleaning takes place.
  • The departments will inform the relevant exercise classes via Blackboard, in case infection have been identified among the students in an exercise- or exam class. Students who have participated in classes with an infected person are encouraged to take a screening test – that is to take a corona test without going into self-isolation according to the guidelines from the Danish Health Authority.
  • In case of an outbreak (where several students in the same group are infected), the director of studies or the head of department secretariat informs the whole year group that someone who has attended a class, which has already taken place, has tested positive.
  • If the teaching is cancelled, the director of studies/lecturer/department secretary initiate the rescheduling of classes.

The lecturer

  • If you are contacted by a student who has tested positive for COVID-19, ask the student to inform AU as quickly as possible using this online form.
  • After the student submits the form, the faculty’s COVID-19 task force will be informed and will handle the case. As the student’s teacher, you will automatically be contacted to assist in assessing how much the infection might have spread, and whether it is necessary to make adjustments to the way the course is taught. In other words, you do not have to take any steps before you are contacted.
  • The local task force will consult the head of department/school about the case, including on what conditions the course can be allowed to continue.
  • Next, the task force will contact relevant fellow students and give them the necessary information regarding their access to campus.

The COVID-19 response team

  • Clarifies and communicates a clear process in the event of coronavirus infection among students and staff to employees at Aarhus BSS.     
  • Informs the response teams at the relevant faculties immediately in case of cross-faculty cases of infection.
  • In the event of an outbreak – in consultation with the dean and departmental management, and in collaboration with the senior management team – makes a decision on the possible repatriation of students and the closure of rooms.

 

In the event of an outbreak: Infection among several students in the same group

If several students in the same group are infected, it may be a sign of an outbreak that calls for further measures. In these cases:

  • The local COVID-19 response group and the dean at Aarhus BSS are responsible for assessing and deciding which preventive measures to initiate.
  • Any measures must be coordinated with local line managers, the rector/pro-rector and the central communication and press office.
  • Situations that are not confined to one faculty (because of shared facilities, co-taught courses, etc.) should be handled by the rector/pro-rector, who will make a decision in consultation with the relevant deans.

The health authorities assess that this is an outbreak if at least three cases of infection arise within an exercise class. In such cases, the specific situation is assessed and the starting point is that the relevant class is sent home for one week. The class will be notified directly and can follow the teaching online during the period.

The whole year group on the programme will also be informed as soon as possible that an exercise class has been sent home and that they are asked to be particularly aware of the symptoms of infection. The head of studies for the programme concerned, in consultation with the transmission, is responsible for informing about the return of classes.

Exams

If a student is diagnosed with COVID-19 in connection with exams, the procedure above for identified infection must be followed.

If the student contacts you before the exam due to suspicion of infection, isolation due to infection of a family member or because the student is in a high-risk group, follow the guidelines for Aarhus BSS students on the coronavirus FAQ page.

If a student tests positive after taking an exam, the following applies:

Exams conducted as a home test or online

If the exam activity that the infected student participated in was held online or as a written home test, the department must inform said student's exercise class that there is a case of corona infection.

This only applies if the student has been in physical contact with their exercise class within 48 hours prior to the development of symptoms.

Exams with physical attendance at AU

  • For exams with physical attendance (oral examinations, defences and written on-site exams), the department must inform all students and employees who participated in the exam of the case of infection and encourage them to be aware of any development of symptoms and take steps to prevent further infection.
  • If the student participated in a written on-site exam or oral examination/defence on campus within 48 hours before infection was confirmed, the relevant rooms must be cleaned immediately, and any ongoing exam activity must be moved to another room.
  • If the student has participated in an oral examination on campus within 48 hours before the infection is identified, examiner, co-examiner and the students who have participated in the oral examination will be informed. Everyone who has participated in the same exam activity as an infected person is encouraged to take a screening test – that is to take a corona test without going into self-isolation according to the guidelines from the Danish Health Authority.

If all recommendations and guidelines for infection prevention and infection control have been complied with during the conduction of the exams, the remaining exam activities may be carried out as planned.

In the event of an outbreak

If at least three students from the same exam activity or exercise class test positive, this may be a sign of an outbreak that requires further measures.

The local COVID-19 response group and the dean at Aarhus BSS are responsible for assessing and deciding which preventive measures to initiate. In this case, oral examinations, if they extend over several days, should be converted into a different format.

Infection across faculties

If it is assessed that a student has participated in activities across faculties (e.g. in credit modules, supplementary subjects, interdisciplinary degree programmes, etc.), the response team must notify the response teams at the relevant faculties immediately.

How to handle cases of infection among employees

If an employee has symptoms of COVID-19

  • Employees with symptoms of COVID-19 must stay home until they are well, even if their symptoms are mild. In relation to infection with COVID-19, you must stay home until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours.
  • If you start having COVID-19 symptoms at work, go home as quickly as possible. Stay home until you have been symptom-free for 48 hours, or until you test negative for the virus.

Whom should you contact if you have tested positive?

If you test positive for COVID-19, we encourage you to tell your manager immediately so that any close contacts at AU can be notified.

Your manager will help you clarify which colleagues and students you have been in contact with.

Employees at the departments who have tested positive for COVID-19 are encouraged to inform the head of department and the head of department secretariat immediately.

Employees in the administrative centre are encouraged to inform their line manager immediately.

The manager's responsibilities

  • To help identify the colleagues and students an infected employee has been in close contact with at the university, together with the employee and the Danish Patient Safety Authority.
  • To immediately notify the colleagues and students who have been in contact with the employee who is infected with COVID-19. Managers must inform close contacts of the following:
    • That someone they have been in contact with is infected with COVID-19 (without revealing the identity of the infected employee)
    • That they need to self-isolate and take a COVID-19 test
    • That they should be particularly vigilant about any possible symptoms
    • That they should be even more careful about adhering to the general guidelines on good hygiene
    • That they should consult the Danish Health Authority’s material for close contacts
  • To make sure that thorough cleaning of the infected employee’s work station and surrounding areas is performed without delay.
  • To notify their head of department, administrative centre manager, deputy director, who will then notify the dean/university director about the situation as soon as possible.
  • To notify Lea Sofie Staunsager, lss@au.dk, and head of press affairs and communication Sys Christina Vestergaard, scv@au.dk, about the situation as soon as possible
  • To notify other relevant colleagues (who are not close contacts) that “an employee is on sick leave or has been sent home due to (the risk of) COVID-19, colleagues who are at risk of infection have been notified, and the workstation has been cleaned”. As a matter of principle, the specific health conditions of specific employees should not be named (pursuant to GDPR rules).