Practical instructions for the exceptional situation at the Faculty of Medicine

13.3.2020
Page last updated October 21 | An exceptional situation has been declared at the University of Helsinki in the evening of 12 March 2020. This news contains information on the special measures taken into use at the Faculty of Medicine.

The latest University-level information on the coronavirus situation is updated here: Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki.

Safety of the learning and working environment at the start of the autumn term – Guidelines from 17 August onward

This page will only contain specified further instructions concerning students, staff and visitors at the Faculty of Medicine. Last updated October 21 

2.9. Coronavirus screening for students of the faculty of medicine

1.9. Coronavirus infections among students of the faculty of medicine

Coronabot and Koronavilkku

Coronabot (koronabotti.hus.fi/en/)

Koronavilkku (koronavilkku.fi/en/)

Protective masks

On University premises

The Faculty of Medicine has purchased disposable protective masks for teachers, researchers and students. The masks are available from 24 August onwards. The Faculty is also purchasing cloth masks, which will become available at a later date. A separate announcement will be made concerning their availability.

The protective masks distributed by the Faculty of Medicine are to be used in accordance with the protective mask recommendation of the University of Helsinki.

How are masks distributed?

Masks for teaching:

-The necessity of using masks is assessed by course coordinators.

-Masks are distributed by course coordinators.

Masks for work duties:

-Masks will be distributed to the departments/research programmes, to be used in situations to which the relevant recommendations apply. The departments/research programmes will provide further instructions on mask distribution. The purpose of use and quantity of masks must be recorded when picking them up. Mask use will be monitored to assess the need for additional purchases.

Clinical hospital training

In the case of traineeships, the safety and security guidelines of the traineeship organisation (e.g., hospitals) are observed, and their equipment is used. Therefore, the hospital is responsible for providing the protective masks needed in all clinical instruction.

Ad­mis­sions in­for­ma­tion

The changed admissions information are published in Finnish and Swedish on the University of Helsinki website.  

Events

The latest information on events ant planning events for autumn 2020 can be found here, on the UH Coronavirus situation page

Travel, com­mut­ing and vis­it­ors

The latest information can be found here, on the UH Coronavirus situation page

Research

Latest: Research activities from 1 June 2020

The latest information on tele­com­mut­ing and work­ing on the University premises can be found here, on the UH Coronavirus situation page. On the same page, you will find a list of the tings you are responsible for if you need to work on the University premises. 

 See also safety and security guidelines for laboratory facility use

Impact of the coronavirus on research funding

  • Negotiations can be conducted on an individual basis to extend the research funding granted by the Faculty of Medicine.
  • In externally funded projects, the external funding is used to pay salaries, regardless of whether staff can be assigned tasks suitable for remote work.
  • The University has gathered information on the impact of the coronavirus on the practices of research funders. This information and links are in Flamma

Teaching 

University-level guidelines for teaching in autumn 2020 

For ad­mit­ted stu­dents: You can find coronavirus (COVID-19) related questions and answers for admitted students on the Instructions for students -website. The page will be continuously updated when new information is available.

Teaching arrangements at the Faculty of Medicine in the autumn term 2020 (to be updated as needed)

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the leadership of the University of Helsinki has recommended that teaching continue to be provided remotely during the autumn term 2020. The Faculty of Medicine has decided to specify instructions for the arrangement of teaching in the autumn as follows: 

  • Lectures and seminars will be held remotely.
  • Instruction involving patients, laboratory work, simulation teaching, necessary components of communication studies and other teaching situations requiring physical presence as well as well-justified small group teaching may be provided as contact instruction. Under the leadership of  degree programme leader it can be decided together with the leader, teacher and planning officer which of the small group teaching situations can and should be held physically (updated 26.5). As a rule, social distancing will be practised as far as possible in teaching situations. Taking into account safe distances in the University’s teaching facilities, the specified maximum capacity of rooms must not be exceeded.
  • As the coronavirus pandemic is accelerating, special care in observing the relevant safety guidelines must be taken in contact and small group teaching. The permissions granted by the Faculty’s response centre to provide contact teaching continue to be in force until further notice. The Faculty would like to emphasise that the use of face masks is recommended in all contact teaching. (updated 28 Sept.)

  • An individual course may include both remote and contact teaching.
  • Compulsory attendance in remote teaching sessions may be required, and the teacher may compile a list of students present.
  • In instruction involving patients, in the group sizes of such instruction and/or clinical courses, the guidelines issued by the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS or the relevant healthcare organisation (traineeship organisation) must be observed. Teaching provided in the patient facilities of HUS is permitted from the beginning of the autumn term 2020. Students must wear surgical masks in the hospital’s patient facilities. The current guidelines on visiting the hospital and related quarantine measures, protective measures, hygiene and safe social distancing in hospital facilities provided by HUS must be taken into consideration in teaching, and education organisations must review them with students before initiating any teaching or traineeships.
  • Course examinations and retake examinations can be arranged on-site in connection with Faculty (retake) examination days. Examinations measuring skills (such as OSCE) may be held on-site. On-site examinations can be held provided that social distancing is practised (consider safe distances, room capacity). Examinations can also be arranged remotely or in an Examinarium facility. Teachers should contact Examination Services at meilahti-exams@helsinki.fi with any questions concerning examinations. If the teacher wants to hold the examination on-site the teacher must be in touch with Examination Services as early as possible (but no later than one month before the date of the exam) so that sufficient number of rooms and supervisors can be reserved for the exam sessions. (based on the updated instructions of the Governement and University the exam guidelines have been specified and updated by the Faculty 25.6)
  • In the autumn, new students in basic education will be offered other contact instruction in addition to small group teaching in order to integrate them into the student, Faculty and University community. When booking facilities, observe guidelines for hygiene and safe distances, and when necessary, divide teaching groups into two adjacent rooms for parallel sessions. The Faculty’s Covid-19 response centre will decide on plans made by the degree programmes.
  • The Faculty’s Covid-19 response centre will decide on any exceptions.
  • It may not necessarily be possible to substitute courses requiring physical presence with other assignments or independent study. Regular attendance requirements and practices apply to students in high-risk groups. Any alternative course completion methods must be agreed with the teacher coordinating the course.

Practising social distancing in public spaces is everyone’s personal responsibility.

The Faculty’s degree programmes may provide detailed specifications to these guidelines on teaching arrangements.

These guidelines will be supplemented with specifications on patient safety, among others.

Kari Peltola and Tiina Tuominen, the Faculty of Medicine counselling psychologists, provide consultation to students through a safe and secure remote connection.  For information on the services offered by counselling psychologists, see Instructions for Students  and access a direct link to book an appointment for individual counselling

Help and support in questions related to educational technology are available on: https://blogs.helsinki.fi/medi-peda/ (Medipeda, in Finnish). For University-level instructions for teachers, please see https://teaching.helsinki.fi/en/article/effect-coronavirus-teaching.

For University-level instructions for students, please see the coronavirus page on the Instructions for Students website

Planning of teaching for spring 2021 (Faculty of Medicine)

The rector has made a decision on the overall policy for the planning of teaching for the spring term of 2021 (13 October 2020, HY/2278/00.00.06.00/2020), in addition to which the Faculty of Medicine has decided to further specify the teaching arrangements for spring 2021 as follows: 

  • As a rule, lectures and seminars are held online.
  • Clinical instruction, laboratory work, simulation training, interaction training, where necessary, and other small-group teaching sessions that require a physical presence and whose organisation can be justified will be organised as contact instruction.
  • Under the direction of degree programme directors, course coordinators and education planning officers/academic affairs coordinators collaboratively decide on the degree programme-specific guidelines for small-group teaching organised as contact instruction. As a rule and whenever possible, safe social distancing must be observed in teaching. The capacity of the University’s teaching facilities, which has been determined in observance with safe social distancing, cannot be exceeded.
  • Particular attention to complying with safety guidelines must be paid in contact and small-group teaching. Individual courses can include both remote and contact teaching.
  • In remote teaching, attendance can be required and an attendance list compiled by the teacher.
  • In clinical instruction and related group sizes and/or clinical courses, the guidelines of the Hospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa or the relevant healthcare traineeship organisation are to be observed. Students must wear surgical face masks in the hospital’s patient care facilities. The current guidelines on entering the hospital and related quarantine measures, protective measures, hygiene and safe social distancing in hospital facilities provided by the hospital district must be taken into consideration in teaching, and education organisations must review them with students before initiating any teaching or traineeships.
  • Course examinations and related resit examinations can be organised in a physical examination environment on the Faculty’s (resit) examination dates, provided that the required facilities are available. Skills examinations (e.g., OSCE) can also be organised on location. All relevant safety guidelines (safe social distancing, room capacity) must be observed in such examinations. Examinations can also be organised online or by using the Examinarium system. Teachers should contact the Faculty Examination Services at meilahti-exams@helsinki.fi with any questions concerning examinations. If teachers wish to organise examinations or resit examinations on location, they must contact Examination Services as early as possible, no later than one month before the examination date, to ensure the provision of sufficient facilities and the required number of invigilators.
  • To support the inclusivity of student groups, contact instruction can be organised, whenever possible, in different stages of studies, provided that the courses targeted at the students in any given stage include no other compulsory contact instruction (e.g., clinical instruction, laboratory instruction). Facilities are to be booked in a manner that makes it possible to comply with hygiene instructions and safe social distancing. When necessary, teaching can be organised simultaneously in adjacent facilities, or according to a hybrid model where part of the students on the course follow the teaching remotely. For non-compulsory contact instruction (e.g., clinical instruction), the Faculty’s response centre comprehensively approves plans drawn up by each individual degree programme.
  • In the case of contact teaching sessions and examinations for more than 20 people, decisions are always made by the response centre.
  • Any other exceptions are always decided by the response centre.
  • Teaching that requires attendance cannot necessarily be substituted for with substituting assignments or self-study options. In the case of students in at-risk groups, normal absence guidelines apply. Substitute assignments are to be agreed with the course coordinator.
  • The Faculty emphasises that face masks should be worn in all contact teaching.
  • The permits granted for contact instruction by the response centre are valid until further notice. 
  • The overall amount of contact teaching planned by individual degree programmes must not significantly exceed the amount of contact teaching provided during autumn term 2020.

In shared facilities, each individual is responsible for observing safe social distancing. 

Within the framework of these guidelines, degree programmes can lay out more specific guidelines for teaching arrangements.

Dissertations

Please follow the university-level student guidelines that are updated continuously here

Questions:

If you have any questions about measures to be taken at the University as a result of the coronavirus, please send an email to coronavirus@helsinki.fi.
 

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The most up-to-date information on the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki is updated here: Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki

Only additional information meant specifically for students, personnel and visitors of the Faculty of Medicine is updated in this news. 

Faculty of Medicine's Response Centre:

The most up-to-date information on the coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki is updated here: Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki