COVID-19: Update Feb 27, 2020

In response to national guidelines on the COVID-19 coronavirus, OIST is now adopting the following measures:

  • General visits to OIST, including large school tours, community visits, large delegations, conferences and workshops, and cultural events open to the general public are cancelled or postponed until April 29 and events beyond that date are under review.
  • Essential visitors to campus are now asked questions at the Welcome Desk which relate to their recent respiratory health and travel activity, and they are also informed of the measures required to minimize spread of infection.
  • Meeting participants at OIST (including at internal-only gatherings) should be encouraged to thoroughly wash hands before entering large conference room spaces, where disinfectants will be provided by the OIST Health Center.  All staff and essential business visitors are asked to undertake thorough hand washing, use of disinfectant gels and wipes, and covering of the mouth and nose with a handkerchief, cloth or sleeve when coughing. Many people opt to wear a mask when in public spaces. This assists by preventing direct touching of the mouth and nose.
  • OIST staff are asked to reconsider business trips and instead to explore options for virtual meetings. Some meetings in Tokyo have already been canceled. This is consistent with the latest Japanese government advice on COVID-19, which asks people seriously to consider their travel plans and the need to be in crowded environments. Neighboring international hub airports outside of China remain operational, with flights to and from Okinawa continuing at Taipei Taoyuan, Seoul Incheon and Hong Kong International. You should take account of the sharp increase in infection in these territories and seriously assess the need to travel.
  • Please rest assured that in the event of COVID-19 infection within the OIST community, the University has already undertaken an assessment of organizational impact, and policies are in place to advise staff should there be any need for revised working arrangements. These will be supportive and clear. In the meantime, please take care to observe preventative guidelines issued to date, and should you experience any symptoms of concern, contact the OIST Clinic and stay away from the workplace until your condition has been fully assessed.


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