Practical instructions for the exceptional situation at the Faculty of Medicine

13.3.2020
Page last updated January 26 | 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.

This page will only contain specified further instructions concerning students, staff and visitors at the Faculty of Medicine. Last updated January 26 (link updated: latest decisions by the UH coronavirus management team)

Coronavirus situation at the University of Helsinki: latest decisions by the coronavirus management team

General instructions by the Faculty of Medicine response centre:

  • Use a protective face mask and practise social distancing. Act as if you or the person you meet is a coronavirus carrier.
  • No information about incidents of exposure at the Faculty will be disclosed.

Buildings

University premises are closed as of 30 November 2020. 

HUS Diagnostic center is opening COVID 19 testing point in Biomedicum on 30.10.

Coronabot and Koronavilkku

Coronabot (koronabotti.hus.fi/en/), Koronavilkku (koronavilkku.fi/en/)

Protective masks

Wearing a protective face mask is required on University premises, unless there are no other people present. In addition, safe social distancing must be always observed whenever possible to prevent exposure.

Read more: The protective mask recommendation of the University of Helsinki.

The Faculty of Medicine has purchased disposable protective masks for teachers, researchers and students. The Faculty has also purchased cloth masks. 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

The Faculty of Medicine response centre would like to remind research groups about notifying about the commencement of new research projects (staff received the link to the notification form in the LTDK Koronatiedote email of 30 November). 

It is of particular importance for research groups to monitor the presence of staff in their group (e.g., using the monitoring Excel).

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. 

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: 

  • All examinations are to be arranged remotely until 31 December 2020. Examinations already booked for the Examinarium facilities can be held, but teachers may no longer book new examinations to be held in them. Examination coordinators must ensure that information about examinations and the practices to be followed are clearly and consistently communicated to students and Examination Services. Information about whether the use of support material is permitted in the examination should particularly be communicated in good time.
  • All group teaching and lectures will be provided remotely, with the following exceptions:
    • Clinical stage small group teaching and practical training continue according to HUS guidelines.
    • Clinical skills workshops and simulation training at Biomedicum may continue in groups of less than 10 people, taking safety guidelines into account
    • In dentistry, instruction in critical clinical skills continues to be provided. In these groups of 25 students, exceptional safety measures (masks, visors, protective gloves) must be followed.
  • Skills examinations (e.g., OSCE) can be organised on location. All relevant safety guidelines (safe social distancing, room capacity) must be observed in such examinations. Teachers should contact the Faculty Examination Services at meilahti-exams@helsinki.fi with any questions concerning examinations.
  • Lectures and seminars will be held remotely.
  • 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. HUS also urges students to comply with the recommendations pertaining to gatherings and face masks in their leisure time activities.
  • 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.
  • Teaching for new students will be provided remotely until the end of 2020.

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 a meeting of the response centre held on 2 December 2020, the Faculty of Medicine provided more specific guidelines for planning teaching. Unless otherwise announced, these guidelines will remain valid until 28 February 2021. In the case of examinations, these guidelines will remain valid until the end of the academic year 2020–2021.

  • Lectures and seminars (including PBL) will be held online.
  • Clinical instruction, laboratory work, clinical skills workshops and simulation training as well as instruction comparable to clinical training will be organised as contact instruction, where necessary.
  • The limit for gatherings of no more than 10 people must be observed on University of Helsinki premises. An exception to this are the facilities of the Ruskeasuo clinical skills workshop, where gatherings of no more than 25 people are permitted, observing special safety measures.
  • Particular attention to complying with safety guidelines must be paid in contact and small-group 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.
  • In the case of contact teaching sessions for more than 10 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 replaced 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.
  • Protective face masks must always be worn on University of Helsinki premises.
  • The permits granted for contact instruction by the response centre are valid until further notice. 
  • 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. 
  • Guidelines for teaching in the late spring (March–May) will be discussed by the response centre in early February.

EXAMINATIONS

  • All examinations must be organised remotely until the end of the academic year 2020–2021, with the exception of examinations measuring clinical skills only (e.g., OSCE). Teachers should contact Examination Services at meilahti-exams@helsinki.fi with any questions concerning examinations.

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