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

Latest Information on Covid-19

Reopening of AUIS Campus
Policies and Procedures for On-Campus Activities: Phase 3
Effective Date: Sunday, 3 January 2021
 
Visit our Continuity Page for more information about AUIS's emergency policies and procedures in response to the coronavirus pandemic.
 
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, Johns Hopkins University, and other major research universities. Over the last ten months, AUIS has developed new procedures to protect our community against the virus while maintaining the smooth flow of University operations. This memorandum updates and replaces the memorandum dated 13 September 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: More On-Campus Activities are Allowed
 
The KRG has approved in-person university instruction and the presence on campus of faculty, staff, and students. In accordance with this approval, effective 3 January 2021, AUIS allows the on-campus activities listed below. 
 
These activities are subject to the health requirements described in this memorandum and may be changed by AUIS without notice based on changes in government health requirements or in the public health situation.
 
During this phase, permitted on-campus activities include:
  • Work by faculty and staff (“employees”) to support student learning and related activities, including classroom-based teaching.
  • Student presence to attend classroom-based courses, pay University tuition and other fees, and conduct other administrative tasks.
  • Work by employees to support continued University operation, including research and administration of Center grants.  
  • Meetings with approved visitors that are impractical to conduct online.
Employees, students, and visitors will receive a temperature test before they are admitted on campus, and while on campus are required to:
  • Wear a face mask,
  • Maintain social distancing,
  • Wash hands and use hand sanitizer as necessary, and
  • Follow other procedures as set forth herein.

General Policies and Procedures

  • Who can come, when, and where. The AUIS campus will be open to AUIS employees, students and approved visitors. Hours of operation will be limited and will be posted. At present, only the Front Gate may be used for entry and exit. The Bakrajo Gate is closed. 
  • Employee check-in and check-out. Employees on campus should continue to follow standard “clock in and out” procedures using their ID cards. 
  • Transportation.
    • Taxis, and cars without University parking permits, are not allowed on campus.
    • The Pak City shuttle will operate with revised procedures that include limited occupancy, passenger use only of designated seats, use of facemasks, and temperature testing before admission to the vehicle. The shuttle schedule will be posted by FMD. 
  • Social distancing. All individuals should maintain at least two (2) meters of distance from each other at all times when on campus. Avoid physical contact such as handshakes and hugging. Follow social distancing instructions on building signs and floor markers. When documents or other items must be reviewed or transferred, one party should step back from the document as the other party approaches it. 
  • Masks. While on campus, whether indoors or outside buildings, employees, students, and visitors must wear a medical mask at all times indoors or in the presence of others. Remember, though, that a facemask is required in addition to social distancing, and not as a substitute.
    • Approved face coverings include cloth masks (homemade sewn, quick cut, bandana), and surgical masks. Faculty may wear face shields in classrooms, but face shields are otherwise unacceptable substitutes for facemasks.
    • AUIS will provide disposable facemasks to all employees, students, and visitors who forget to bring their own masks to campus. A fee may be required for AUIS masks.
      • Ensure the face covering fits properly over your nose and under your chin.
      • Do not share your face coverings.
      • Do not use face coverings for more than one day at a time.
      • Wash cloth face coverings with regular laundry detergent before the first use and after each use.
      • Replace face coverings immediately if they become soiled, damaged (e.g., ripped, punctured) or visibly contaminated.
  • Hygiene. All employees, students and visitors are asked to:
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
    • Wash hands frequently with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds. When washing hands is not practicable, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
    • Cover your mouth and nose if you must cough or sneeze.
    • Open room windows when outside weather allows. The University’s modern HVAC system uses a high proportion of fresh air.
  • Campus Spaces. Occupancy will be restricted in many campus spaces. Where applicable, signs will be posted outside rooms indicating the maximum occupancy.
  • Meetings. In-person meetings on campus should be avoided when possible, and replaced with meetings by phone or Zoom. All meetings between faculty and students, for example during office hours, should take place over Zoom. If an in-person meeting is necessary, the number of attendees should be minimized and all social distancing, facemask, seating, and other health requirements must be strictly observed.
  • And again, social distancing. At present, the most 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. Returning to campus in this phase is not a return to our past ways of working on campus. Unless necessary or as this policy explicitly allows, interact electronically (e.g., phone, Zoom) rather than in person.
  • Please follow these rules! Employees and students are required to follow these health guidelines. A failure to do so may result in being refused entry to or dismissal from campus.   
Additional Procedures for Academic Classes

All courses will likely be taught part-time (on average, approximately 50%) by faculty in campus classrooms, with the remainder of classes taught online. All classes will likely be recorded to offer online instruction for students who cannot, or who do not wish to, attend classes in person. Students will only be permitted in classrooms if they are following all required safety procedures.

Classrooms. The room size along with our social distancing will determine how many students are allowed in each classroom. When applicable, students will be grouped in groups of four or fewer to conduct a given experiment or exercise. The layouts of many classrooms will be altered to ensure the required two (2) meters of distance between each person, including the instructor.

Chairs and layout for each classroom will be determined before the term begins. A sign will be placed in each classroom indicating the number of people allowed. Additional chairs are not allowed to be brought into a classroom, nor may chairs or desks be moved.

Laboratories. In laboratory classes, all students must wear a white lab coat and gloves. Instructors and teaching assistants will wear white lab coats, facial shields or masks, and gloves. In “wet” laboratories, soap and hand detergents will be available.

Duration of Stay on Campus. Students participating in classes on campus will need to follow the published schedule, and to remain on campus only as long as required by classes or other approved activities.

Common Areas

Common areas such as hallways, elevators, stairwells, lounges, and offices will have signs to assist people in socially distancing. Signs in stairwells, hallways, rooms, entrances/exits may indicate the direction of travel. In common areas such as lounge spaces or dining halls, no furniture should be moved. The AUIS Gym will remain closed.

Clubs and Extracurricular Activities

All student club meetings and other student gatherings must be pre-approved by the Department of Student Services. All student activities on campus are subject to the policies described in this document.

Elevators

Observe capacity limits posed outside each elevator. Do not touch elevator buttons directly; use an object (pen) or piece of clothing to press the buttons. Because elevator space is limited, please allow yourself extra time when moving between classes and meetings.

Cafeteria

The cafeteria will have significantly reduced occupancy, with limited in-house seating. Chairs and tables should not be moved. Seating will not be available for anyone not actively dining, or when the cafeteria is closed for meals.

Student Dormitories

The KRG and central government of Iraq have authorized universities to reopen student dormitories in accordance with university procedures. Residential students can expect reduced occupancy in AUIS dormitory rooms, generally one student per bedroom and bathroom, and restricted use of shared spaces (e.g., laundry facilities). Additional information will be provided to students about move-in and check-out processes, guidelines related to occupancy and other dormitory procedures.

Offices

Staff and faculty should limit or avoid (through remote work, staggered shifts, etc.) being in a shared office space with others when possible. If needed, use of vacant offices may be temporarily permitted to provide necessary separation, or furniture may be moved to create the required distance.

Cleaning and Sanitization
  • The AUIS Facilities Management Department (“FMD”) will clean and disinfect hightouch surfaces (i.e. doorknobs, faucets, railings, light switches, elevator buttons) regularly, and will clean classrooms, shuttle vehicles, and other campus facilities daily. Cafeteria food stations and checkout area will be cleaned regularly.
  • Disinfectant wipe dispensers and hand sanitizer dispensers will be available on campus for use by students and faculty.

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.