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[for OU STUDENTS and PARENTS] Latest information about the novel coronavirus from Osaka University

In this era of coexistence with COVID-19, Osaka University aims to return to normal operations in accordance with the policies of the national government and Osaka Prefecture and the current status of the spread of infection based on "Osaka University’s Standard Measures for Preventing Infections."

In carrying out its activities, the university will comply with the "Osaka University Guidelines for Social Distancing in the COVID-19 Era" while providing proper arrangements for individuals with specific needs*.

*Pregnant women, those who are at high risk of becoming seriously ill, such as the elderly, those with an underlying condition (diabetes, heart failure, respiratory disease (COPD etc.)), those receiving dialysis, immunosuppressants, or anticancer drugs, or those who feel an overwhelming anxiety about COVID-19.

The university will continue to monitor the situation and modify its response levels accordingly.

Osaka University COVID-19 Response Levels (from June 1, 2021) (Level for extracurricular activity changed to Level 4)

Level 0 (normal activity) ~ Level 5 (complete stoppage of activity)

Lectures/classes

Level 2

• Lectures will be primarily held online.

• Lectures may be held in the classroom for major subjects for students in their third year or higher and graduate students. 

• Lectures for students in the first and second year can be held in the classroom in consideration for room capacity, number of students, and educational benefit) in accordance to the notification from the Department of Education and Student Affairs, which will be sent soon.

• Lectures held in the classroom will take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (such as strict compliance with room capacity* and requiring those in attendance to wear masks, wash/sanitize hands, and keep the room well-ventilated).
*Occupants should practice spaced seating, and keep room occupancy at 2/3 capacity or below. (If you sit at a three-seater desk, occupants may leave the middle seat unoccupied and sit at both ends.)

*As a general rule, in accordance with voluntary travel restrictions requested by Osaka Prefecture, refrain from fieldwork that requires travel to a field site.

Research

Level 2

Research and Experiments

• Research and laboratory work may be implemented as normal (research activities may also be carried out at home).

• Refrain from starting new experiments if at all possible.

Seminars, etc.

• Seminars should be held online.

• During face-to-face seminars, etc., all participating members are to wear a face mask, practice spaced seating, keep room occupancy at 2/3 capacity or below, wash and sanitize hands, and keep rooms properly ventilated.

Fieldwork 

• As a general rule, in accordance with voluntary restrictions requested by Osaka Prefecture, refrain from travel.

Extracurricular activities

*Details regarding handling of extracurricular activity, including those held online, will be sent via a separate notification from the Department of Education and Student Affairs

Level 4

Regular Activity, Events, Matches, Training Camps, Etc.

• Individual practice held outside is allowed 

Events, Matches, Training Campus, Etc.

• As a general rule, events and matches are banned (Participation in events and matches hosted by official leagues/associations/etc. will be handled on a case-by-case basis.). Training camps are also banned.

Gatherings that involve eating/drinking

• Any activity, both official and unofficial, that involves eating and drinking in groups, such as dinner parties, parties to celebrate completion of projects, mixers, karaoke, and other gatherings, is prohibited. (This includes activity both on- and off-campus.)

  • The latest information will be provided through KOAN.
  • You can also get information regarding the KOAN Schedule and KOAN bulletin board via My Handai.

1. Handling of classes 

Regarding lectures in the spring and summer terms of the 2021-22 academic year (April~September 2021) [updated May 31, 2021]

[Updated May 31, 2021]

Measures detailed in the April 15 notification remain in effect for lectures at Osaka University.

The university deeply appreciates students' understanding and cooperation in continuing their studies via online lectures at home as opportunities to attend classes in person have remained scarce over such a long period.

In order to once again respond to requests to universities from Osaka Prefecture, and considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Osaka University has decided to keep its activity response level regarding classes at Level 2 (classes are to primarily be held online), although COVID-19 clusters due to in-person classes have not been confirmed.

However, to emphasize communication between faculty members and students as well as among the students themselves, some lectures may be conducted in person with measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 at the discretion of the head of your school. Please check notifications from your class instructors and school, syllabus, and announcements on the KOAN bulletin board.

---

[Updated: April 15, 2021]

In response to the request to universities from Osaka Prefecture, and considering the situation of the COVID-19 pandemic, Osaka University has decided to raise its activity response level regarding classes to Level 2 (classes are to primarily be held online), although COVID-19 clusters due to in-person classes have not been confirmed. With the raised response levels, face-to-face classes may be changed to online classes.

However, major subjects for students in their third year or higher and graduate students, subjects that involve experiments and training, as well as lectures for students in their first and second years that cannot be replaced by online classes, may be conducted at the discretion of the head of your school. These activities will be conducted while taking measures to prevent the spread of infectious diseases, including COVID-19.

As a general rule, practice and training in subjects for students in their second year as well as General Education will be primarily held online from Thursday, April 15. All of these practice and training classes will transition to online learning by Friday, April 23, 2021. Please check notifications from your class instructors and school, syllabus, and announcements on the KOAN bulletin board. 

For more details, check KOAN.

---

[Updated: March 23, 2021]

Osaka University is planning to bring students back to in-person classes in the coming spring and summer terms in combination with protective measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. We will do our best to provide students with opportunities to communicate among both themselves and faculty members in order to inspire students to cultivate their humanity through face-to-face interaction.

Since the university will reduce classroom capacity to 2/3 that of normal capacity, it may have no choice but to provide online classes as well.

In addition, the university will promote "blended learning," the effective combination of face-to-face instruction and online education specifically tailored to lecture content, year in school, and instruction methods.

Thus, lecture format will vary by subject and class: in-person, online, or a combination of the two. Check these details beforehand with your school, graduate school, or department.

*Please wear a mask when coming to the university and while on campus as classes will be held according to the Osaka University Guidelines for Social Distancing in the COVID-19 Era.

Depending on the current state of the pandemic, the university may suspend in-person classes and transition to online classes, so secure an online learning environment (i.e. personal computer and internet) to ensure you can attend online lectures.

Special arrangements for students who feel anxious about attending in-person classes [updated March 23, 2021]

During the spring and summer terms of the 2021-22 academic year, Osaka University will provide special arrangements to prevent detrimental impacts on schooling attainment and learning of students who do not wish to attend in-person classes for valid reasons*.

Students who wish to apply for these arrangements should do so via the instructions posted to the KOAN bulletin board.

Application period

Current students: March 23 ~ August 31, 2021

New students: April 1 ~ August 31, 2021

*Eligible students include: Students who are at high risk of severe illness from the virus that causes COVID-19, such as pregnant women, the elderly, those with an underlying condition (diabetes, heart failure, respiratory disease (COPD etc.)), those receiving dialysis, immunosuppressants, or anticancer drugs, or those who feel an overwhelming anxiety about commuting to the university to take in-person classes. This also includes students who have reasons for having difficulties attending in-person classes.

Contact

Education and Planning Division (Academic Arrangement Section), Department of Education and Student Affairs
Email: covid-19_hairyo[at]office.osaka-u.ac.jp
*Please replace [at] with @ when contacting this address.

Precautions for online learning

1. 12 keys to success in blended learning

Blended learning is defined as curricula combining face-to-face instruction and online education. Especially since 2020, online classes through the use of the Internet have been actively conducted as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

You can get information about how to implement blended learning from the website “12 keys to success in blended learning.” (link in Japanese)

2. Online learning etiquette for students

We ask you to follow online etiquette so that all students can learn in a pleasant, comfortable, and efficient environment.

3. Tips for taking online classes

The Center for Education in Liberal Arts and Sciences (CELAS) provides tips for students on creating and submitting assignments for online classes.

For details, click here. (link in Japanese)

Regarding the use of internet access points

Students who have online lectures immediately before or after in-person lectures at the university or have trouble with their home Internet connection may make use of Internet access points on Osaka University campuses.

Regarding mobile Wi-Fi router rentals

As classes are held both in the classroom and online, Osaka University provides rental mobile Wi-Fi routers free of charge to Osaka University students (both undergraduate and graduate) who have difficulties accessing the internet due to financial circumstances. Information regarding rentals in the 2021-22 academic year will be posted to KOAN in the near future.

How to apply:

To apply, fill out the モバイル・Wi-Fiルーター貸与申込フォーム (Application Form for Rental Mobile Wi-Fi Routers) on the 一般アンケート (General Questionnaire) page of KOAN. 

Application period and deadline:

Current students whose student ID number will not change from April 2021: 5:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 30, 2021

Students whose student ID number will change from April 2021 (e.g. new students who will be entering the university in April 2021 or current students who will be entering graduate school): Thursday, April 1 ~ 5:00 p.m., Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Make sure to make an application within the above period, otherwise the application will become invalid.

Who is eligible?

As a rule, the following students are eligible.

  • Students who are receiving, applying for, or will apply for financial aid from JASSO or other private organizations
  • Students who are or will be applying for the Osaka University Tuition Fee Exemption Program

Terms of service

  1. You can only use the router for taking lessons at OU.
  2. You must return the router when the university ends the service, when you leave school, or when you no longer need it because you have better internet access.
  3. You will be charged by the university if the device is lost or damaged.
  4. These routers are free to rent; however, shipping fees will be charged (about 1,000 yen) when the university sends the router.
  5. The amount of monthly data you can use is 50 GB.

Rental period: April 2021~ February 28, 2022

*Initiation of service may be delayed depending on the availability of routers.

*If there are too many applications, the university will rent to students in order of necessity, giving priority to students entering the university in April 2021. Please note that not all applicants will be able to rent these routers.

Contact

Education and Planning Division, Department of Education and Student Affairs

Tel: 06-6879-7082, 7104

Regarding the class timetable in the spring and summer terms of the 2021-22 academic year

To reduce congestion in cafeterias during lunch periods, the university will hold classes according to the following schedule.

(If your school/graduate school has its own class schedule, please follow that instead.)

This schedule also will apply to online classes held in real time.

Class Schedule

1st period

8:50~10:20

2nd period

10:30~12:00

Lunch break

12:00~13:30

3rd period

13:30~15:00

4th period

15:10~16:40

5th period

16:50~18:20

6th period

18:30~20:00

If you have contracted the new strain of coronavirus or have been instructed to remain at home as outlined in section 10.2 of 10. For those who have returned from overseas...

Please confirm with the Student Affairs Division of your school/graduate school regarding handling of classes and final exams.

To parents of Osaka University students

For details regarding the format and handling of courses at Osaka University, click here.

[Reference]

Initiatives at Osaka University in the Era of COVID-19

Osaka University's COVID-19 response levels

2. Extracurricular activities (June 1~June 20, 2021)

*In consideration of requests from Osaka Prefecture in response to the extension of the state of emergency declaration issued by the central government as well as the current state of the COVID-19 pandemic, activity levels regarding extracurricular activities will be changed according to the details listed below.

Osaka University COVID-19 Response Levels (from June 1, 2021) (Level for extracurricular activity changed to Level 4)

1. Period:

Tuesday, June 1 ~ Sunday, June 20, 2021 (This period is subject to change.)

These response levels are subject to change depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and social conditions. The university will announce any such change.

2. Activity guidelines:

Changed from Level 5 to Level 4

Regular activity

Individual practice held outside is allowed. (Online activity may also continue to be held.)

Events, matches, training camps, etc.

As a general rule, events and matches are banned (Participation in events and matches hosted by official leagues/associations/etc. will be handled on a case-by-case basis.). Training camps are also banned.

Gatherings that involve eating/drinking

Any activity, both official and unofficial, that involves eating and drinking in groups, such as dinner parties, parties to celebrate completion of projects, mixers, karaoke, and other gatherings, is prohibited. (This includes activity both on- and off-campus.)

• Individual practice is allowed as long as the activity does not involve contact with many other individuals and is held with careful measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and any potential clusters. When holding any kind of activity, take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 by avoiding close contact and crowding (including in changing rooms), washing your hands before and after any activity, disinfecting equipment, abiding by rules regarding masks, and refraining from dining with others. In addition, do not force participation from students (especially younger students) who have personal health issues or family members with health issues, or students who may have anxiety regarding extracurricular activities.

• Don't forget to manage your own personal health in addition to taking action and following rules in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19, consult with a medical facility or health center and follow their instructions.

• If a club member may have contracted COVID-19, or has had close contact with someone infected with the virus, please contact the administrative office of the member’s school/graduate school (or the Department of Safety and Hygiene at night/on holidays at covid-19[at]dash.osaka-u.ac.jp) as well as the Student Center by telephone or email.

*Note: Please replace [at] with @ when contacting the address listed above.

 • Suita Student Center - TEL: 06-6879-7120
gakusei-sien-sa1[at]office.osaka-u.ac.jp
• Toyonaka Student Center - TEL: 06-6850-5022
gakusei-sien-sa2[at]office.osaka-u.ac.jp
• Minoh Student Center - TEL: 072-730-5081
gakusei-sien-sa1[at]office.osaka-u.ac.jp
  *Please replace [at] with @ when contacting these addresses.

3. Job hunting

Osaka University has developed its Job Hunting Guidelines as follows.

1. During job hunting, avoid unessential outings and make full use of online counseling services provided by companies, if possible.

2. Ask any companies at which you will receive a job interview to have an alternative job interview, such as an online interview, or reschedule the interview due to restrictions on your activity in accordance with instructions from the university under the state of emergency declaration.

3. If you cannot get approval from said company regarding an alternative interview or rescheduling, put the interview on hold and inform the company that you will consult the university. Seek direction from the Career Center or a career advisor of your school. The university may make a request to the company as necessary.

4. If you have any worries about job hunting, no matter how small, please consult the Career Center or a career advisor of your school.

5. All consultation services about career and employment provided by the university are now being conducted online.

Students hoping to receive a consultation are encouraged to use the service after making a reservation.

When participating in job hunting and events related to career-building, etc., keep in mind the following:

(i) Be sure to take preventative measures (wearing a face mask, washing your hands).

(ii) Avoid any unnecessary activity, take lots of time to rest, and maintain good health.

(iii) Contact one of Osaka University's Student Centers if your attendance at any job-hunting activity or career-building event could result in an infection with this new strain of coronavirus.

• Suita Student Center - TEL: 06-6879-7120
• Toyonaka Student Center - TEL: 06-6850-5022
• Minoh Student Center - TEL: 072-730-5081

Email: gakusei-sien-career[at]office.osaka-u.ac.jp
(Please replace [at] with @ when contacting this address.)

4. Financial support (tuition fee exemption, scholarship, etc.)

Because students are not currently allowed to come to the university due to the state-of-emergency declaration, any receipt and submission of files for tuition fee exemption and financial aid will, as a rule, only be carried out via postal mail.

The university will continue to respond to any inquiries regarding application procedures by email or telephone during this period.

For more information, please visit the links below.

Exemption programs (Tuition Fee Exemption)

All documents will now be accepted via postal mail.

The university is accepting applications for tuition fee exemption for those who have difficulties paying tuition fees due to COVID-19. For more information, please visit the Exemption Programs page.

For information regarding hours of operation of Student Centers, click here.

• Suita Student Center (Tuition Fee Exemption)

TEL: 06-6879-7088,7089

5. Regarding timing of tuition fee payments (Note: this payment period has ended.)

The automatic withdrawal date for tuition fee payments for the first semester has been delayed from Wednesday, May 27 until Monday, July 27, 2020 due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

6. Annual Physical Examinations for all OU Students (2020-21) 

In order to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, physical examinations will be held in an unusual manner. For more information, click here.

7. Health Management

Preventing infections

• Be sure to take everyday measures to prevent the spread of infection (washing hands with soap and water, disinfecting hands with hand sanitizer, practicing proper cough etiquette i.e. wearing a mask)

• Avoid close contact in closed crowded places with poor ventilation

• Wear a mask at all times indoors, and when interacting with others outdoors

• Wear a mask if you have a cough but not a high fever.

• Enter buildings after washing or sanitizing your hands.

To protect yourself while eating out:

• Refrain from drinking/eating in large groups.

• When eating or drinking at a table without a transparent plastic panel, sit diagonally.

• Limit conversation while eating.

• Abstain from holding meetings while eating and drinking in large groups, which increases the risk of infection.

If you have been infected with the virus...

7.1 If you get cold-like symptoms such as a fever and cough,

(a) Check your temperature every morning. If you have a fever and cough and/or if you need to continuously take antipyretic, you will not be allowed to come to the university.

(b) If you have cold-like symptoms and a fever and cough or have a sense of fatigue, breathing difficulty, or an intense fever (especially if those symptoms persist for 4 days or longer), immediately contact the counseling center for those returning from overseas and those who had contact with the novel coronavirus (hereinafter “counseling center”) opened in a healthcare center and follow their instructions.

(c) If you contact a counseling center, please give your department/school a summary of your situation and instructions from the center by email or phone.

(d) If you are advised to seek medical attention by the counseling center, you must visit the medical institution that you are introduced to, while observing hand hygiene and cough etiquette.  If your infection with the novel coronavirus is confirmed, contact the administration office of your department/school. After regular business hours or on holidays, please contact both your department/school and the Department of Safety and Hygiene at [covid-19@dash.osaka-u.ac.jp] by email.

(e) If you are confirmed to be infected with COVID-19, follow the instructions of a health center (i.e. get admitted to a hospital or care facility or undergo treatment at home), and suspend your attendance at school (students) or take compulsory leave (faculty and staff)

(f) If you are infected with COVID-19, you must stay in a hospital or care facility, or stay home in accordance with the instructions from the medical institution. This will be treated as suspension from work/school.

(g) If you have been informed from a health center that you are a “high-risk contact” with someone who was confirmed to be infected with COVID-19 and instructed to seek medical attention at a medical institute or monitor your symptoms at home, immediately contact the administration office of your department/school by email or phone. After regular business hours or on holidays, please contact both your department/school and the Department of Safety and Hygiene at [covid-19@dash.osaka-u.ac.jp] by email.

(h) If you have been identified by a health center as a "high-risk contact," you must suspend your attendance at school (students) or remain at home (*1) (faculty and staff)

*1 As a rule, this will be considered compulsory leave, but if there are no problems with your health, you may carry out your work from home.

Symptoms are more likely to become severe in individuals noted below, so if cold-like symptoms, such as fever and cough, are observed in the following individuals, contact the counseling center immediately and follow their instructions.

(i) The elderly 

(ii) Those who have underlying disorders, such as diabetes, cardiac failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and other respiratory diseases 

(iii) Patients on dialysis 

(iv) Patients treated with immunosuppressants or anticancer drugs

(v) Pregnant women

7.2 Home healthcare

If you have the following symptoms, immediately seek medical attention.

(a) If you suffer from a breathing problem (e.g. If you continuously have more than 20 breaths per minute or your lips turn blue.)

(b) If you are groggy (e.g. If you are unconsciousness and cannot respond to voice.)

(c) If you have low blood pressure or a shock symptom (e.g. If your face turns pale or your fingertips become cold.)

(d) If you cannot take meals and fluids

7.3 Returning to work/school

If your symptoms have improved, you can attend school/work according to Osaka University’s COVID-19 response levels, after the following has happened:

  • No symptoms have re-emerged during a 24-hour period after your cold-like symptoms (such as fever or cough) improved (or you have been tested negative for COVID-19 via a PCR test), or
  • You have followed medical advice on when you should return to school/work.

8. Regarding physical and mental care

The Health and Counseling Center is currently offering counseling services to individuals with any concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).

9. Travel overseas

9.1 Regarding travel to countries/regions with alert level set by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs

Infection Alert Level
Level 3: Cease all travel (Travel Suspension Recommendation)
Level 2: Cease nonessential and non-urgent travel

(a) Bear in mind you will be unable to leave the country because of the suspension of commercial transportation.

(b) If you need to travel for an unavoidable circumstance, follow the instructions noted in 9.2 below.

*For more information, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website. (link in Japanese)

9.2 Travel to regions/countries other than those noted above

(a) Heed the Travel Advice and Warning issued by the MOFA.

(b) Make sure to check the latest information from the websites of the MOFA, Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, and the World Health Organization (WHO), and the Japanese Embassy in your destination country before traveling, stay away from contagion areas, wash your hands with soap and running water, and use alcohol sanitizer.

(c) Register with the MOFA’s Overseas Travel Registration (Tabireji or ORR Net (Overseas Residential Registration)). Students must also register their trip on the Osaka University's Overseas Travel Registration System.

(d) Whether business or personal, inform your family/friends/work of your contact information while abroad and the address at your travel destination.

(e) Buy international medical insurance and travel insurance that cover treatment of infectious diseases.

(f) After returning to Japan, take note of any changes in your health and follow the directions in 10. For those who have returned from overseas below.

Currently, many countries are checking the body temperature of passengers arriving from overseas. Please note that if you are suspected to have a fever and the flu-like symptoms, you may be quarantined for a while to confirm whether you are infected with the novel coronavirus.

10. For those who have returned from overseas

For Osaka University faculty, staff, and students returning from overseas

10.1 If you had a fever and respiratory symptoms when returning to Japan

Immediately contact a quarantine station at an airport or seaport and follow their instructions. In addition, contact the administration office of your department/school to communicate instructions from the quarantine station or medical institution and ask for advice on work/study.

10.2 If you had neither a fever nor any respiratory symptoms when returning to Japan

(i) If you visited and/or had contact with a resident of any epidemic area or countries/regions designated as risk level 2 or above
 Refrain from going outside for the first 14 days from the day following the date of your return to Japan and carefully monitor your health condition. In addition, contact the administration office of your department/school for instructions. As a general rule, you will not be allowed to come to the university and must stay home for 14 days from the day following the date of your return.

(ii) if (i) does not apply to you
Carefully monitor your health condition for 14 days from the day following the date of your return.

10.3 If you developed cold-like symptoms, such as a fever within 14 days from the day following the date of your return:

(i) If you visited and/or had contact with a resident of any epidemic area or countries/regions designated as risk level 2 or above
Refrain from coming into contact with other people, wear a mask, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and immediately contact your nearest counseling center and follow their instructions. In addition, contact the administration office of your department/school to communicate instructions from the counseling center and ask for advice regarding work/study.

(ii) If (i) does not apply to you,
Follows the instructions in 8. If you have been infected with the virus... and immediately contact your nearest medical institution and follow their instructions. In addition, contact the administration office of your department/school to communicate instructions from the medical institution and ask for advice regarding work/study.

11. Preventative measures by Osaka University COOP

12. Important ways to slow the spread

  • Refrain from unnecessary and nonurgent outings both within and outside of Osaka Prefecture. ("unnecessary and nonurgent outings" do not include going to the hospital for regular treatment, going to buy food, medical supplies, and/or daily necessities, commuting to and from work, exercising and talking walks outside, and any other outings that are required to maintain your health and/or livelihood)
  • If you must travel outside of Osaka Prefecture, make sure to take measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and take a PCR test either before you leave or after you arrive
  • Do not enter dining establishments that do not take proper measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 or those that serve alcohol and/or offer karaoke
  • Refrain from drinking in groups in public places (such as on roads, in parks, etc.)
  • Refrain from leaving your house after 8 pm and avoid crowded places and hours.
  • If you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, however small, get examined by a doctor.

Reference: Official Webpage of Osaka Prefecture (link in Japanese)

Related webpages

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Japan

Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology

Regarding measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19

Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare

Regarding COVID-19

Osaka Prefecture

List of counseling centers for individuals who have returned from overseas and those who had contact with COVID-19

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