Coronavirus: info and guidelines

Coronavirus: info and guidelines

Coronavirus: info and guidelines

UPDATE 07/12/2021: Legitimate absence from teaching and assessment activities due to quarantine

Forms of Legitimate Absence

You are in quarantine yourself

A stay in quarantine is considered a legitimate absence from education and evaluation activities, provided you are in the possession of a quarantine certificate.

You can request a quarantine certificate for the following reasons:

  • You have tested positive for COVID.
  • You have COVID symptoms and are awaiting the result of a PCR test through a testing center or through an antigen test via the pharmacy.
  • You had a high-risk contact and you are awaiting the result of your (first) PCR test through a test center.

You can get hold of a quarantine certificate through various channels:

You are a parent of primary school children who are in quarantine or who are staying at home due to the closing week before the Christmas holidays

If students indicate that they are not able to participate in education and assessment activities - either physically or online - due to having to take care of their own children (attending primary education) who have to stay at home due to the extra week of closure of classes before the Christmas holidays, the force majeure rule is applied. Evidence for this (communication from the school) must be uploaded as proof of this force majeure.

You receive a third vaccination

If you are scheduled for a third vaccination, this also counts as force majeure for absence on the day of the vaccination. Your call-up letter serves as proof of force majeure.

Other reasons due to Covid

If you are unable to comply with the procedures and guidelines of the physical or online examinations due to situations other than the Covid-related ones above, the student can directly contact the study coach associated with the study program through the procedure facilities. Please note: this application must be clearly motivated by the student! Facilities must be requested no later than 1 week before your first exam.

Procedure for reporting the absence/force majeure situation

Absence must always be reported via iBamaflex. In case of quarantaine or force majeure choose “Reporting absences and force majeure situations”. You must upload the official quarantaine certificate (1.1.) or the proof of quarantine of your children due to class closure (1.2.) or the proof of facilities (1.3.) in iBamaflex.

Additional actions if the absence coincides with an evaluation

  • Absence must be reported at the latest on the day of the evaluation in accordance with the procedure “Reporting absences and force majeure situations” which can be found on Leho on the information site of your study program under the module “Study contract and administration”.
  • Contact the lecturer before the exam for specific further arrangements. This can be, for example, an online exam variant at the same or a different time or a catch-up exam in the period provided for that purpose.

If you have additional questions, do not hesitate to contact the student secretariat.


UPDATE 06/12/2021: Conditions for sports activities and outdoor activities

In implementation of the measures taken by the government on 3rd  December 2021, the following measures apply as of Monday 6th December 2021:

Students and/or staff can organise outdoor activities and sports activities only subject to the following conditions:

  • No indoor activities allowed (no lectures, pizza evenings, cantus …)
  • Outdoor activities (e.g. Christmas market) only allowed if hospitality protocols are applied
    • Access only with covid safe pass
    • Self-tests advised (to be obtained from STUVO – student services)
    • Face mask when standing of walking around
    • Maximum 6 persons per table – sitting mandatory when eating or drinking
    • All activities end by 11 p.m.
  • Specifically for sports activities
    • Preferably outdoors
    • No public allowed
    • Covid safe pass and self-tests for contact sports (e.g. football, judo …) are mandatory. (Self-tests to be obtained from STUVO- student services)
  • Study trips may be organised on condition that the covid measures in the country of destination are followed. A self-test before the start and on a regular basis during the study trip are advised.

Self-tests can be obtained from STUVO – student services. Contact saar.olivier@howest.be.


UPDATE 26/11/2021: Howest switches to remote teaching as much as possible 

There is no doubt about it: covid strikes again and the infection numbers turn nasty. As a University of Applied Sciences, we assume our responsibility and we don’t want to await the instructions by the government. We shall therefore switch to remote teaching as of Monday 29th November 2021 as much as possible.

The following arrangements apply until the Winter break

Practically:

  • All practice-oriented activities can be organised on campus, provided this can be done in covid-proof circumstances. (social distancing, 50% occupation of the premises if possible, face mask, hand hygiene …)
  • Theoretical classes are organised online if possible
  • Internships and work placements are organised following the instructions on the workplace.

We have strongly advised to maintain the course schedules when at all possible, as they offer structure and stability. If possible, a number of contact hours may be cancelled if necessary to organise the remote teaching activities.

The programme director will contact the students as soon as possible through the usual channels and platforms to bring them up to date as to how things will be organised for your study programme.

These measures are valid as of 29th November 2021, subject to further instructions and measures imposed by the government. The organisation of the exams will also be subject to the measures that are expected to be communicated by the government. 


UPDATE 18/11/2021: Mouth mask mandatory on campus

We cannot ignore it: despite a high vaccination rate in Flanders, the Covid virus is circulating again. The consultation committee of Wednesday, 17 November 2021 has therefore announced several Covid measures that also have consequences for us.

We are closely following the measures proposed by the Minister of Education. Within those guidelines, we will continue to focus on in-person education that we allow to take place on campus as much as possible.
As of Saturday, 20 November 2021, wearing a mouth mask is mandatory on all campuses. As before, the mouth mask can only be taken off when sitting to eat or drink something. In addition, we need to respect the safe distance of 1.5 meters as much as possible.

Face masks are also mandatory in classrooms and auditoriums. If the lecturer can keep enough distance, they can take off the mouth mask during teaching.

You can always find the most recent information about the Covid measures on campus on the Howest website! If you have additional questions, please contact your study programme coordinator.

We would like to remind you of the well-known safety measures: hand hygiene, keeping distance and ventilating the premises well.

Anyone infected with corona must fill in the online form. Anyone who had a high-risk contact is expected to respect the quarantine rules.


UPDATE 25/10/2021:  Mouthmask in Howest if 1,5 meters cannot be respected

In view of the increasing infection rates, we ask everyone to wear a face mask as of Tuesday, 26 October 2021 if the distance of 1.5 metres from other people cannot be guaranteed. We would like to point out that anyone who wishes to do so can wear a face mask at any time. We remain committed to contact education and on-campus activities.

We are, of course, closely following the federal government’s decisions. If necessary, we will further adapt the measures.


UPDATE 28/09/2021: CO2 measurements and abolition of a mouth mask requirement as of October 1, 2021

Howest applies the rules that are valid in society at large from 1 October. Students and employees no longer have to wear a mouth mask. One is nevertheless free to wear the mask. The disappearance of the mouth mask obligation goes hand in hand with continued attention to other precautions. In particular, adequate ventilation remains essential as a 'line of defence' to prevent contamination.

Recent CO2 measurements show that the mechanical ventilation systems do their job well. In the rooms equipped with ventilation, the CO2 concentration remains below 900 ppm, even at full occupancy. In rooms without mechanical ventilation it is still advisable to ventilate well by opening windows and doors.

We ask to continue to follow the measures in force (quarantine and testing) for people who have had a risk contact.


UPDATE 10/09/2021: Academic year 2021 – 2022 starts under code GREEN

Vice Minister-President of Flanders and Flemish Minister for Education Ben Weyts has given the green light to start the academic year 2021 – 2022 under code GREEN. The virus is still around, but we are literally given some breathing space now that face masks are not always mandatory.

As of Monday 13th September 2021 the following rules apply on all Howest campuses:

  • On campus education is the rule. Theoretical and practical classes are organised on campus.
  • In de classrooms and practice rooms, wearing a face mask is not mandatory when standing or sitting down and there is no need to respect any social distance.
  • It goes without saying that whoever wishes to wear a face mask, can do so.
  • When walking from one classroom to another or within the buildings, wearing a face mask is mandatory.
  • Good hand hygiene is recommended.
  • Rooms and work spaces must be well ventilated. The school management checks the CO2 level in all rooms and spaces.
  • Should you feel unwell, please stay at home and contact a doctor. If advised, ask for a PCR test.

No one knows what Autumn and Winter will bring. We sincerely hope we will not see a fourth wave spoil our hopes! Don’t take any unnecessary risks and enjoy the presence of students and colleagues on campus.