Latest Information on Covid-19 | The American University of Iraq Sulaimani

Latest Information on Covid-19

Policies and Procedures for Essential On-Campus Activities

This memorandum outlines important considerations and procedures for activities on campus as our AUIS community continues to combat the COVID-19 global health crisis. The memorandum is based on requirements issued by the Kurdistan Regional Government (“KRG”) and the Sulaimani Governorate, and on guidelines published by UNESCO, the central government of Iraq, the American College Health Association, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, and Johns Hopkins University and other major research universities. This memorandum updates and replaces the memorandum dated May 17, 2020 titled “Policies and Procedures for Essential On-Campus Activities.”

AUIS is committed to protecting the health of its faculty, staff, and students, and of their families and communities, while continuing to meet its educational goals.  This balance is reflected in the following policies and procedures to ensure the safe access of employees and students to the AUIS campus in a way that comports with public health guidelines.

Current Status:  Essential On-Campus Activities are Allowed

The KRG has approved online university instruction and the presence on campus of faculty and staff needed to implement continued student learning online.  The KRG and central government of Iraq have also indicated that limited presence on campus of faculty, staff and students is acceptable for certain classroom-based “practical,” “applied,” and laboratory classes (“practical classes”) that are extremely difficult to teach online. Accordingly, effective immediately AUIS now hosts the essential on-campus activities listed below.  These activities are subject to the health requirements described in this memorandum and may be changed without notice based on changes in government health requirements or in the public health situation.

During this phase, essential on-campus activities include:

  • On-campus work by faculty and staff (“employees”) to support online student learning and practical classes. 

  • On-campus work by employees to support continued University operation, including research and administration of Center grants.

  • On-campus visits by individual students to pay University tuition and other fees and to conduct other administrative tasks.

  • On-campus presence of students to attend practical classes.

Policies and Procedures

  • Who can come, when, and where.  The AUIS campus will be open to AUIS employees and students participating in essential on-campus activities.  Hours of operation will be limited and will be posted.  Employees, students and visitors are expected to follow testing and other procedures required of them upon entry to the campus.  At present, only the Front Gate may be used for entry and exit.  The Bakrajo Gate is closed.

  • Transportation.  Transportation may be provided for employees living in the University’s Pak City apartments. Transportation times will be posted by FMD, and in the case of shuttle buses will require social distancing by passengers. Taxis, and cars without University parking permits, will not be allowed on campus.

  • Social distancing.  All individuals should seek to maintain at least two (2) meters of distance from each other at all times when on campus. When documents or other items must be reviewed or transferred, one party should step back from the document as the other party approaches it.  Follow instructions on signs and floor markers.

  • Masks. While on campus property, students, visitors, and front-gate staff should wear a medical mask at all times in the presence of others. 

  • Meetings. In-person meetings on campus should be avoided when possible. The number of people in such meetings should be minimized.

  • Check-in and check-out.  Employees on campus should continue to follow standard “clock in and out” procedures using their ID cards.

  • Food.  The cafeterias in Buildings A & B will remain closed at this time.  Food in open containers should not be shared.

  • Hygiene.  Continue to observe health guidelines distributed earlier.  Wash hands frequently with soap and hot water and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer when washing hands is not practicable.  Cover your mouth and nose if you must cough or sneeze.

  • And again, social distancing.  At present, the only effective way to significantly reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission is to reduce the number and extent of our physical interactions with each other.  Return to campus for essential activities is not a return to our past ways of working on campus.  Whenever possible, interact electronically rather than in person.

  • Please follow these rules! Employees and students who do not follow these health guidelines may be refused entry to the campus. 

Practical Classes.

Practical classes will provide in-person teaching on campus, while also offering recorded online instruction for students who cannot, or who do not wish to, attend these classes in person.  

  1. Earliest start date for practical classes: September 13, 2020. 

  1. No more than 20 students are allowed in each practical class section, to avoid gathering and to facilitate enforcement of social distancing.  When applicable, students will be grouped in groups of four or fewer to conduct a given experiment or exercise.

  2. Students must wear a face mask before entering the classroom or laboratory. In laboratory classes, all students must wear a white lab coat and gloves. Students will be not admitted into the classroom or laboratory if they are not following the safety rules.

  3. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will be available in the classroom or laboratory for frequent usage. In “wet” laboratories, soap and hand detergents will be available at each sink.

  1. Instructors and teaching assistants will maintain 2 meters of distance from the students.  In laboratory classes, instructors and teaching assistants will wear white lab coats, facial shields and gloves.

  1. Each practical class session will be recorded and made available online (e.g., on Moodle) for all students including students outside Sulaimani.

  1. To allow AUIS to follow contact-tracing protocols, students who are participating in practical classes will need to follow the published schedule, and to remain on campus only as long as the class requires.

Should you experience any flu-like symptoms, it is important to seek medical treatment immediately.  In Sulaimani, kindly call the KRG Ministry of Health COVID-19 hotline at 122 to seek medical assistance for yourself or others.