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[for OU STUDENTS] 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 while gradually relaxing its own response levels 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's COVID-19 response levels (October 1~October 31, 2020)

Level 0 (normal activities) ~ Level 5 (suspension of activities)

Lectures/classes
Level 0.3 (10/1~)
・Face-to-face lectures are permitted for classes in all years. Lectures held in the classroom will take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (such as strict compliance with room capacity* and requiring masks to be worn by those in attendance).
*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.)
・Online lectures should be held in conjunction with face-to-face lectures
・Use of university network access points is permitted.
Research Level 0.5
・Research and laboratory work may be implemented as normal (limit time spent in research labs to as short as possible; research activities may also be carried out at home).
・Though research guidance in seminar, etc., format is recommended to be held online whenever possible, if meeting face-to-face, all participating members are to wear a face mask, practice spaced seating, and keep room occupancy at 2/3 capacity or below.
・Fieldwork is possible as long as travel restrictions set by the government are taken into consideration.
Extracurricular activities
Level 2
・Certain group activities will be permitted.
  • The latest information will be provided through KOAN.
  • You can also get information regarding the KOAN Schedule and KOAN bulletin board via My Handai.

For Students

1. Handling of classes

Regarding lectures in the fall and winter terms (October 2020~March 2021)

Lectures in the fall and winter terms will be held both online and in person.

In the spring and summer terms, classes were held primarily online, but from the fall term, lectures for all students will be allowed to be held in the classroom.

The format of lectures (in person, online, or a combination of both) varies by course, so for more information, make sure to check any instructions and announcements from your school/graduate school and department.

Lectures that must be held in a classroom will take precautions to prevent the spread of COVID-19 based on the Osaka University Guidelines for Social Distancing in the COVID-19 Era. We ask that all students wear a mask when attending these classes.

Depending on the spread of COVID-19 moving forward, the university may suspend in-person classes and transition to online classes, so you need to secure an online learning environment (i.e. personal computer and internet) to ensure your online learning is successful.

Special arrangements for students who feel anxious about attending in-person classes

During the fall and winter terms of the 2020-21 academic year, Osaka University will provide proper 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.

*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.

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.

For more information, check the KOAN bulletin board and any notifications from your school/graduate school.

Regarding mobile Wi-Fi router rentals

As classes in the fall and winter terms will be held both in the classroom and online, Osaka University will be providing 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 or those with low monthly mobile data allowance.

Please keep in mind that this rental service is only for those who are truly in need. Students who wish to receive a rental router should fill out the 一般アンケート「大阪大学 モバイルWi-Fiルーター貸与申込フォーム」on KOAN by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

Individuals who are already renting a router and wish to continue renting the router in the second half of the academic year (fall/winter terms) should fill out the same form by 12:00 noon on Wednesday, September 23, 2020.

Depending on availability, the university may also be able to provide rental routers to students even after the application deadline has passed, so please consult with us if this is the case.

Contact

Education and Planning Division, Department of Education and Student Affairs

Tel: 06-6879-7082

Regarding class timetable changes from June 1

To reduce congestion in cafeterias during lunch periods due to partial reopening of classes, the university will change the class timetable from June 1 as follows.

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

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

*The following schedule will remain in effect for the fall and winter terms of the 2020-2021 academic year.

Current schedule 

New schedule (from June 1) 

1st period

8:50~10:20

8:50~10:20

2nd period

10:30~12:00

10:30~12:00

Lunch break

12:00~13:00 (60 minutes)

12:00~13:30 (90 minutes)

3rd period

13:00~14:30

13:30~15:00

4th period

14:40~16:10

15:10~16:40

5th period

16:20~17:50

16:50~18:20

6th period

18:00~19:30

18:30~20:00

For details, please read the “Policy notice regarding classes” posted on KOAN.

Guidelines for online learning

The following items are strictly prohibited:
1. Sharing the class’s URL, meeting ID, and/or password with non-registered attendees.
2. Filming and uploading a video of an online class (including contents of the class and video clips of the instructor and attendees) without the prior consent of the instructor.
3. Redistributing materials for online classes to a third party without the prior consent of the instructor.

If you have contracted this new strain of coronavirus or have been instructed to remain at home as outlined in section 11.2 of 11. 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.

2. Extracurricular activities (August 17, 2020 ~ )

Osaka University relaxed the response level for extracurricular activity from Level 4 to Level 2 in accordance with the revised Osaka University’s COVID-19 response levels on Wednesday, July 13, and these levels will remain in effect from Tuesday, August 11.  Thus, extracurricular activity will be handled according to the following guidelines.

*Osaka University's COVID-19 response levels from August 11 until September 30, 2020

From Monday, August 17, extracurricular activities and student use of facilities will be handled according to the following revised rules.

However, the response levels are subject to change depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic and requests for temporary closures and travel restrictions from the authorities. The university will announce any such change, including the suspension of all extracurricular activities.

1. Period: Monday, August 17, 2020 ~ 

2. All official and non-official clubs are allowed to perform:

  • Indoor/outdoor club training without physical contact (sharing sports equipment is allowed)

• For more information about usable facilities, considerations when engaging in activity, and other information, please refer to the notice entitled "新型コロナウイルスに係る課外活動・サークル活動の扱いの一部変更について(8月17日~)" [Handling of club activity in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (August 17~)] on the KOAN bulletin board and "活動レベル2における課外活動の指針".

• 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.

• 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.

• If a club member may have contracted COVID-19, or has had close contact with someone infected with the virus, please contact a club instructor, advisor, and the member’s school as well as the Student Center by telephone or email.

 • 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

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.

For more information, click here.

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. Safety advice on returning to their hometowns and/or traveling

In order to the prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus infection, students are asked to:

  • Refrain from traveling from areas where the number of infected is increasing and traveling to such areas.
  • Refrain from returning to hometowns and traveling.
  • Make an effort to prevent the spread of the virus by wearing a face mask in the public.
  • Get updated information about infection cases in your local community.

For Students, Faculty, and Staff 

8. 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.

If you have been infected with the virus...

8.1 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

8.2 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

8.3 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.

9. 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).

10. Travel overseas

10.1 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 10.2 below.

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

10.2 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 11. 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.

11. For those who have returned from overseas

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

11.1 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.

11.2 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.

11.3 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.

12. Preventative measures by Osaka University COOP (stores, dining halls, textbook sales, etc.)

13. Regarding the yellow alert issued from Osaka Prefecture in response to the spread of COVID-19

On Monday, August 28, Osaka Prefecture made the following requests to universities.

1. Students who have contact with the elderly on daily basis should refrain from going to high risk places for COVID-19.

2. Thoroughly implement measures to prevent the spread of infection in student dormitories and extracurricular activities.

3. Refrain from talking loudly while eating and drinking in large groups because saliva is a non‐negligible factor in the spread of COVID‐19.

4. Only make use of establishments that display the "COVID-19 safety stickers,” issued by the prefectural government to prove that they meet the Disease Control Measures Guidelines for Businesses.

5. Individuals who are experiencing any symptoms should refrain from coming to school and receive a medical examination. 

Reference: Official Webpage of Osaka Prefecture (http://www.pref.osaka.lg.jp/attach/38112/00000000/siryou3-1.pdf) (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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