To our faculty members, students, and staff members,
As winter approaches, the spread of COVID-19 has increased rapidly in Tokyo, Osaka, and elsewhere across the country, with the number of new cases in Hokkaido reaching 200 on November 9. Shigeru Omi, chairman of the government advisory panel on COVID-19, made urgent recommendations on November 11 calling for strengthening measures aimed at difficult-to-identify clusters, specifically the foreign community and students engaged in extracurricular activities. As a result of this analysis, the clusters have been broken down further into several categories based on those characteristics, and an alert has been issued to institutions of higher education, including universities and professional training colleges.
Institutions of Higher Education Including Universities and Professional Training Colleges
Clusters are appearing at universities and other institutions at drinking parties, at dorms, and at extracurricular activities rather than at classes themselves. Achieving a balance between infection prevention and learning opportunities is extremely important. Municipalities are working together with the health care centers providing advice to students at universities and other institutions in their area for this very purpose and are moving forward with infection prevention awareness and rapidly sharing information in the event of new clusters of infection. Moreover, municipalities are proceeding with efforts to quickly provide medical treatment and testing as needed.
Clusters in the workplace are occurring as a result of after-work drinking parties and smoking breaks rather than the workplace itself. Because of this business operators are coordinating with industry doctors and moving forward with stronger measures than previously implemented in order to prevent infections. In particular, having workers stay home when they feel ill or quickly cooperating with health care centers in cases of suspected clusters.
We’ve been told that the third wave has already begun, and we intend to strictly comply with these recommendations.
Nearly three months have passed since we began online classes in tandem with face-to-face classes in September. We’ve become lax. Even the slightest act of carelessness can result in new clusters. We accept the recommendations mentioned above. What we really need to be conscious of is that these new cases include many people, in particular young people, who experience mild symptoms or no symptoms at all. It’s important for us to be critically aware that there are probably people around us who are infected yet have no symptoms and also that each of us could become the source of infection, and to be considerate of others.
Please avoid the ‘Three C’s’ (closed spaces with poor ventilation, crowded places with many people nearby, and close-contact settings such as close-range conversations), and once more recheck the basics of infection prevention such as ensuring proper ventilation, using alcohol disinfectant, wearing masks, and hand washing.
In particular, we ask faculty members, students, and staff members to wear masks without fail in and out of the school and in and out of the office. Even the slightest act of carelessness can result in the further spread of COVID-19.
We still have a long struggle ahead of us. Let us work together and do our best.
Chairperson and C.E.O.
The Jikei Group of Colleges