COVID-19 response at Nat and Tech

Guidelines for employees at Natural Sciences and Technical Sciences in connection with COVID-19 infections among students or employees

The local COVID-19 response team for Nat and Tech will ensure a smooth and efficient management of COVID-19 infections among students and staff. However, it is important that everyone is informed about the procedures, so that we can avoid errors, misunderstandings and double work.

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


How to handle cases of infection among students

If a student suspects they may be infected

If, as a teacher, you are contacted by a student who has symptoms or suspects they may be infected but has not yet tested positive for COVID-19, you must do the following:

  • Refer the student to the current AU COVID-19 guidelines. In brief, the guidelines are as follows:
    • Students with symptoms of COVID-19 must stay away from campus and should contact their own doctor/the health authorities to be tested. Students must stay at home until they have been free of symptoms for 48 hours, unless they test negative before that.
    • Students who have been in close contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19 must stay at home and get tested.
    • Students who have been in close contact with a person who has symptoms of COVID-19 but who has not yet tested positive, should be particularly vigilant about any symptoms and should follow the healthcare authorities’ general guidelines for hygiene and social distancing.
    • Students who test positive are encouraged to notify the studies administration via the AU COVID-19 form. This is very important in order for the university to initiate measures to prevent the infection from spreading further.
  • Carry on with your teaching activities as normal. You will be notified by your department if the student tests positive, after which the infection management process will commence (see below).
  • If you notice that a student has obvious symptoms, encourage them to go home, as required under the current AU COVID-19 guidelines, which you may wish to cite.

Note: AU will only take further preventive steps in regard to students with symptoms in the event that they test positive for COVID-19.

If a student tests positive for COVID-19

The infection management process will only commence once the student has completed the AU COVID-19 form.

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 Nat-Tech Studies Administration, who will inform the response team at Nat and Tech.
  • As the student’s teacher, you may 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.
  • You do not have to take any steps until you are contacted.  

Read more about the division of responsibilities below.

Responsibilities - who does what?

The COVID-19 response team

  • in collaboration with study planners, the response team identifies the rooms and classes the infected student may have been in contact with
  • contacts Building Services so that the rooms where the infected student has been can be cleaned immediately
  • informs all students, instructors, teachers and tutors who may have been in the room with the infected student, that individuals who have participated in teaching have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19
  • contacts the dean, other managers and the university management and notifies them of the situation
  • makes sure a contact person at the department takes steps to communicate about the situation internally in the organisation
  • makes sure other departments that use the relevant rooms are informed about the situation
  • cancels or moves teaching scheduled to take place in the relevant rooms, if necessary
  • assesses whether the individual case makes it necessary to implement additional measures to prevent the spread of infection

The department

  • takes steps to communicate about the situation to other employees at the department.
  • decides with the teacher whether to cancel teaching or convert it into an online format while the rooms are cleaned.
  • informs the students about changes to scheduled teaching via Blackboard.
  • takes steps to have classes rescheduled, if teaching has been cancelled.

Teachers

  • If you are contacted by a student who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should encourage the student to fill in the AU COVID-19 form as soon as possible, after which the local COVID-19 response team will take action.
  • 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 until you are contacted.

Isolated cases or an outbreak

As a general rule, no additional measures will be taken in response to individual cases (such as cancellations, sending classes/employees home, etc.). However, multiple simultaneous cases may indicate an outbreak that requires such measures.

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

  • The local COVID-19 response team in consultation with the dean are responsible for assessing and deciding which preventive measures to initiate.
  • The local COVID-19 response team will coordinate any measures with local 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.


How to handle COVID-19 infections among employees

If an employee suspects they may be inflected

  • If you develop symptoms of COVID-19, even mild symptoms, you must stay at home until you are well.
  • You should contact your doctor/the health authorities, who will determine whether you need to be tested.
  • If you develop symptoms of the disease when at work, you must go home as soon as possible and stay home until you are well.
  • You are considered well when you have been free of symptoms for 48 hours or have tested negative for COVID-19.

If an employee tests positive for COVID-19

  • If you test positive for COVID-19, you should inform your manager immediately so that any close contacts at AU can be traced and notified.
  • Your manager will help you identify the colleagues and students you have been in close contact with.
  • Read more about contact tracing etc. at AU here: How to handle symptoms and infection among employees

The manager’s responsibilities

See: For managers: How to handle COVID-19 among employees (in Danish only)