Frequently asked questions about preventing the spread of the coronavirus at Uniarts Helsinki

Updated 6 November.

We are updating current information and instructions for the bulletin How coronavirus affects the University, the article is updated regularly.

Study

How do I know if my course will be held online or on University premises?

Teachers and Student Services will inform students about teaching arrangements. Changes are also currently being updated for the Pepi study guide. 

Not all students have a computer of their own that is needed in remote learning. Is it possible for the university to provide monetary support for acquiring a computer?

At present students can make use of the equipment in the university’s IT classrooms.  

University students are expected to acquire various goods and materials needed in their studies, and a computer is included among these. However, the university is examining various options for supporting students in the matter. 

When we stick to remote teaching on all courses that can be organised remotely without compromising the course’s learning objectives, we reduce the number of people who are on campus at the same time and in close contact with others. For the same reason, personnel working in the University Services is mostly working remotely.

Remote teaching reduces the overall risk of infections, and it helps us secure our possibility to arrange contact teaching on courses that would otherwise be very difficult to organise. Completely sticking to remote teaching on suitable courses may also temporarily give us the chance to offer new facilities for contact teaching and artistic activities.

Teaching

Do teachers need to keep track of students participating in their teaching?

A list of participants who have registered for the study unit is available from Oodi, if needed. In some of the study units the teacher monitors attendance by students in connection with classroom instruction as part of teaching. Those on the premises can also be listed based on passes that are issued, so the teachers do not need to keep separate records of students at this stage because of the coronavirus situation.  

Procedure when infected

What should I do if I suspect that I have an infection?

When you have symptoms of a flu, stay at home immediately, because the infection risk is highest during the first 2–3 days, when it is important to avoid contacts with other people and to take care of good hand and coughing hygiene. 

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever, coughing, headache, diarrhoea, muscle pain, sore throat, runny nose, shortness of breath and loss of the sense of smell or taste.  

Personnel: if coronavirus symptoms emerge, personnel can get in touch with the Mehiläinen Digital Clinic, or call the number for telephone reservations (personnel) to get a coronavirus test.

Students can contact your healthcare centre or emergency clinic by phone. You will be given instructions on what to do by a healthcare professional. For the time being, the FSHS does not provide coronavirus testing, because the duty is that of the public sector in accordance with the Communicable Diseases Act.

The residents of Helsinki and Espoo can do a check-up and book an appointment for a test in the online Omaolo.fi service. The residents of Uusimaa can review their symptoms and book a coronavirus test using the Coronabot service.

Guidance

  • ​General information about the coronavirus (National telephone service): 0295 535 535
  • Guidance for the residents of Helsinki concerning the coronavirus offered by the City of Helsinki: 09 310 10024. The phone service is open Monday through Friday at 7:00-20:00. Outside of these hours, the number is 116 117. 

How long must I stay away from the university if mild corona symptoms emerge?

If coronavirus symptoms emerge, personnel can get in touch with the Mehiläinen Digital Clinic, or call the number for telephone reservations (personnel) to get a coronavirus test. Students can contact your healthcare centre or emergency clinic by phone.

A positive test result

If your coronavirus disease has been confirmed, stay at home for at least 14 days and avoid close contact with other people. If the test result is positive, the infectious disease authority in your home municipality will contact you and give you quarantine instructions.

A negative test result

The result of the test indicates the situation at the time of sampling. A negative test result does not rule out the possibility that you have become infected after taking the test, or that the infection is not incubating.

If the test has been taken due to symptoms, and symptoms have cleared or significantly reduced when the test results arrive, you can return to normal everyday life. If symptoms reoccur and/or you experience prolonged symptoms, it is important to get tested again. 

If a person has been exposed to a confirmed coronavirus case, a negative test result is not sufficient grounds for ending the quarantine, and the person must stay away from the campus for the time period ordered by the doctor of communicable diseases.

What should I do if I receive a notification of a possible exposure in the Koronavilkku app?

If you receive an alert of potential exposure in the Koronavilkku app, the app will give you instructions on how to seek a coronavirus test, for example. It is important that you stay at home and monitor your health during the next two weeks, avoid contact with people and take care of good hand and coughing hygiene. The app can also be used to make a symptom assessment and to contact health care to discuss further course of action. You should contact your teacher-in-charge or your supervisor about arrangements concerning remote studies or work.

You will not be placed into quarantine by the Epidemiologic Operations Unit based on the app’s alert. The municipality’s Epidemiologic Operations Unit will contact you and possibly place you into quarantine if the infection chain tracing determines you have been in close contact with an infected person.

What is the procedure if a student or an employee of Uniarts Helsinki is diagnosed with coronavirus?

If a student or an employee of Uniarts Helsinki is diagnosed with coronavirus, the following guidelines are followed:

  1. The Epidemiologic Operations Unit of Helsinki traces transmission chains in cooperation with Uniarts Helsinki and places those who have been exposed in quarantine.
  2. If a person is diagnosed with coronavirus and if other people have possibly been exposed to the virus, this will be announced by email and on the university’s intranet and website. Possible media enquiries should be forwarded to the communications team.  
  3. The university negotiates with the Epidemiologic Operations Unit and follows the instructions issued by the Unit.
  4. As a safety measure, Uniarts Helsinki may order its students and staff to study and work remotely for 14 days.  

If a person who has attended an event at Uniarts Helsinki is diagnosed with coronavirus, the following guidelines are followed:  

  1. The Epidemiologic Operations Unit of Helsinki traces transmission chains in cooperation with Uniarts Helsinki and places those who have been exposed in quarantine.
  2. If a person is diagnosed with coronavirus and if other people have possibly been exposed to the virus, this will be announced via the university’s communication channels. Possible media enquiries should be forwarded to the communications team.  
  3. The university negotiates with the Epidemiologic Operations Unit and follows the instructions issued by the Unit.

Who should I contact if rumours start flying about possible coronavirus cases and if the media approaches personnel or students?

Possible media requests should be directed to communications.  

Information about an infection or suspected exposure falls under privacy protection, and a person’s health information may only be handled by those who have it as part of their job. The university will inform employees and students on a general level about a possible infection or suspected exposure after learning of it and will instruct the people to work from home.  

Persons who have been infected are urged to report their infection unprompted to those with whom they have been in close contact recently. However, in Finland those who are infected are not obligated to report the matter to anyone other than a doctor investigating the matter, and the doctor will launch an investigation to track down the possible chain of exposure as required by the Communicable Diseases Act. 

Facilities

Are the university’s facilities rented out for external operators?

For the time being, the university does not rent out its facilities for external operators. The decision does not apply to situations where the renting is arranged by another organisation (e.g. the Helsinki Music Centre’s service company).

Has cleaning and ventilation of university facilities been upgraded in the corona period?

We have upgraded the cleaning and ventilation of every building.  

Are the gyms and saunas on university premises open like normal?

The gym of the Theatre Academy will be opened, but the number of visitors is to be limited and equipment is being rearranged to ensure safe distancing. Spray disinfectant and wipes will be available at the gym. Saunas will not be in use in the coronavirus period. 

Can the windows of the buildings be opened?

Unfortunately, the windows of buildings in the main facilities cannot be opened because this would interfere with automatic ventilation.

Can the formation of aerosols be prevented by singing straight in the direction of exhaust air, for example?

Singing into an exhaust air valve does not significantly add to safety, and mainly causes ergonomic problems. It is most important to maintain the indicated distances between people and to consider the number of people in the space.   

Is it possible to completely eliminate the circulation of indoor air from classrooms where teaching takes place?

Unfortunately, this is not possible. However, the indoor air in our facilities is as clean as possible, as there are separate machines that bring in air and remove air from the building. This means that aerosols do not circulate through the same machine. 

Personnel matters

Does Uniarts Helsinki require a certificate of absence for temporary nursing leave (5 days) or sick leave (6 days) in situations in which getting a coronavirus test result is delayed?

If access to a coronavirus test or getting the results of the test is delayed, it is possible, with the permission of a supervisor, to stay away from work until the result has come and/or the person has recovered.  

Can the number of parking spaces for personnel be increased temporarily to make it easier to come to work by car?

Unfortunately, the university is not able to increase the number of parking spaces. There are parking facilities near each main facility (the M, N, and R buildings as well as Botta, Kookos, and Elimäenkatu) where it is possible to ask about available space for weekday parking.

Can shared workstations be temporarily relinquished and taken into personal use?

Shared workstations can be reserved for one working day at a time in the pandemic period. When the work is over the workstation is cleaned for the next user using substances acquired for this purpose. The university also recommends cleaning the workstation before starting work. 

The unnamed workstations allow for sufficient distance in multifunctional facilities. If the facilities have designated workstations for employees, the employees must ensure in other ways (such as shift arrangements) that sufficient distances are kept for purposes of safety.      

Events

Can exhibition openings be arranged by invitation?

Uniarts Helsinki’s coronavirus readiness group has taken the view that no events with more than 50 invited guests are to be held. Events with fewer than 50 participants may be arranged if safety instructions are given, and if those instructions are obeyed. 

Remote work

How does Uniarts Helsinki support ergonomics in remote work?

Even if no devices specifically designed with remote work in mind are available, it is possible to ensure good ergonomics also at home. Symptoms caused by poor working postures are usually caused by working too long in the same position. It is important to remember to change positions and workstations throughout the day and to take enough breaks in general.  

The university is offering its personnel and students the BREAK PRO break exercise programme for mobile devices. The programme is a tool designed by physiotherapists for breaks in work to improve ergonomics and increase well-being at work through activation and giving reminders to take breaks. 

Other measures to support ergonomics in remote work are currently under consideration.