Information letter from the President of Aix-Marseille University to the whole university community.
Marseille, Wednesday 08 December 2021
I am speaking to you following the announcements made by the Prime Minister at the beginning of the week concerning the resurgence of the health crisis in our country. A situation that affects us all, and in the face of which we must persevere in our collective effort. I know how much each and every one of you, each and every one of us, is mobilized to face this crisis. However, we must not relax our efforts, because the virus is still present and continues to circulate. Our priority remains the safety of all.
For these reasons, it seems essential to me, a few days before the well-deserved end-of-year holidays, to take as few risks as possible for our colleagues, our students and our loved ones. I know that I am asking you to make a great sacrifice, but the collective effort, which you have already demonstrated, is once again necessary. Together, let us mobilize to allow us a more serene start to the 2022 school year. Thus, I am sharing with you the new health recommendations that apply from now on for all staff and students of Aix-Marseille University.
1. Barrier measures on site
Barrier measures and the wearing of masks remain of course topical. And I would like to call for reinforced vigilance from each and every one of you concerning the respect of these:
- Wearing a mask in all common areas (corridors, offices, lecture theatres, classrooms, toilets, ....) is mandatory;
- Wearing amask outside the buildings in case of high concentration (if the distance of 2m is impossible);
- Remember to wash your hands frequently, hydroalcoholic gel is available in all premises;
- Ensure regular air renewal in all enclosed spaces: 10 minutes every hour and at least four times a day;
- Clean shared equipment (computer workstations, microphones) between each user using a virucidal wipe or hydroalcoholic solution.
In any case, we must remain vigilant. Everything is set up so that your presence on site is done in strict compliance with the sanitary rules with which no one should compromise. In this context, applying the barrier gestures and the distances between you, in particular in the offices, are major elements of protection against the virus. Their respect is imperative and I ask you all to ensure it.
The use of telework for BIATSS staff must be encouraged everywhere and whenever possible. Thus, you can ask for up to 3 days of telework per week, in the respect of the service requirements. This instruction applies not only to staff who have completed a request for permanent telework, but more broadly to all AMU colleagues (including newcomers).
The objective is to limit the number of colleagues per office as much as possible and to encourage distancing. This is why I am asking the heads of department, in conjunction with the local HR services, to facilitate the implementation of this instruction over the next few days, depending on individual situations and the specificities of each person. Naturally, the situations of those of you who remain the most vulnerable will continue to be the subject of particular attention and will, if necessary, be re-examined in conjunction with occupational medicine.
3. Courses and exams
Initially, and until the end of the year holidays, the courses will be maintained in class. The objective is to disrupt as little as possible the curriculum of our students, which has already been severely affected. Nevertheless, once again, I appeal to your vigilance and mobilization.
The sanitary protocols will be reinforced here too. In addition to the strict respect of the barrier gestures and the compulsory wearing of masks in all the premises, the regular ventilation of the rooms will also come into force. The modalities are as follows:
- For one-hour classes, we prefer the solution of reducing them by 5 minutes before and 5 minutes after to guarantee an optimal ventilation of 10 min between each class of students.
- For longer courses (two hours or more), which do not have an interclass, please respect the opening of the windows every hour for at least 10 minutes. This is true even if the students do not go out.
I remind you that the virus remains suspended in the air, the regular renewal of this one via the ventilation of closed spaces makes it possible to limit this phenomenon and thus the contaminations.
Concerning the modalities for the re-entry in January 2022, they will be explained to you as soon as we have more visibility on the evolution of the sanitary situation following these new restrictions.
4. Gatherings (festive and professional events, thesis defenses, coffee breaks...) :
End of year events
Still following the governmental orders and as a precautionary measure, we are also forced to renounce all events and convivial moments planned for the end of the year, in order to avoid any gathering. I am aware that these events are highly anticipated, and often prepared in advance, nevertheless, they remain settings conducive to active circulation of the virus. We must absolutely avoid it if we want to get out of this health crisis. Therefore, these gatherings, including buffets and coffee breaks, are prohibited until at least the beginning of the school year in January 2022, pending the next instructions to be announced by the government. I would like to remind you that the safety of everyone remains our priority.
Meetings, graduations, councils, seminars, conferences...
In the same logic, all professional, official and institutional events, as well as work meetings will have to be held remotely, regardless of the size of the audience initially planned. If this is not possible, they will be postponed to a later date, when the situation is more favourable.
Thesis defenses and thesis jars
Thesis defenses are a particular case for which a mixed format has been favored. The objective is not to penalize the student who must defend.
Thus, the format will be the following: online for the auditors and a presence is authorized only for the close family of the defender.
On the other hand, the pots of theses are strictly forbidden.
5. The vaccination
Finally, I remind you that vaccination remains the best way to protect yourself and others. The government has announced that as of January 15, 2022, the health pass will be conditional on the booster dose for all persons aged 18 and over. As such, and in order to facilitate your approach, you can now benefit from a leave of absence for your vaccination and that of your children.
I know that this is not a time for celebration and that these new constraints have a strong impact on our professional and personal lives. But I am confident in our ability to make our collective a force. A collective that has, since the beginning of this health crisis, shown an impressive solidarity and on which I know I can count again today. In the face of this new wave, let us be benevolent, let us watch over the safety of our peers and our loved ones together, leaving no one behind. Aix-Marseille University is an institution but above all a community. Let us rely on it to overcome this new ordeal, and together we will celebrate the return to conviviality and festive moments.
Thank you to all of you,
President of Aix-Marseille University
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