The spread of coronavirus infections has been a major threat around the world. And this week, that threat reached our doorstep as two members of our Tohoku University community were tested positive for COVID-19, and several more are under observation. We are doing everything we can to help them and hope for their quick recovery.
Across Japan, the number of infection cases has been rising significantly, and Tohoku University is aware of the urgent need to get ahead of the crisis, to protect all our other students and staff.
To that end, students are strongly urged to stay home. All classes will be conducted online and students can access their classwork and lectures from home. Please check with your departments for further instructions. Only the minimum personnel required to continue experiments or research in progress will be allowed in the laboratories on campus, and their time spent in the labs should be as short as possible.
For staff, we have put together the Tohoku University Emergency Action Plan, a set of Business Continuity Planning (BCP) guidelines. It refers to a contingency plan that allows the university to continue functioning, while prioritizing the safety of our people.
Tohoku University is now at level 3 of our 5-tier plan. That means that, effective immediately, all non-essential staff will work from home, and administrative duties will be handled through a combination of skeletal staff, and those doing remote or flexible shiftwork. Meetings should only be conducted as conference calls via ICT like Google Hangouts Meet.
All these new guidelines are on top of the university-wide measures already in place, such as the cancellation of campus events and the ban on all domestic and international business trips.
Students and staff should also note that extracurricular activities are prohibited, and social gatherings are strongly discouraged. This new strain of the coronavirus is extremely contagious, and we cannot stress enough the importance of social distancing.
At Tohoku University - as it is around the world - stemming the spread of infection requires the cooperation of each and every one of us. In the weeks ahead, our discipline and our sense of social responsibility will be tested, but I urge everyone to stay strong, not just for ourselves but for our families, our friends, our colleagues and our community here in Sendai.
We are all in this together.
Contact:Tohoku University International PR Section