The UT has a central crisis team, led by UT chairman Victor van der Chijs. ‘We now meet every week,’ says crisis team member Oeloff. ‘The moment the virus breaks out at the UT, it's important that we have the protocols and agreements with government agencies in order.’
Oeloff cannot say anything about the possible consequences that a local contamination would have for the daily operations at the UT. ‘We are discussing this internally and are thinking about scenarios. Not only medically, but also with regard to the effects on our business operations.’
Being prepared as well as possible is the main message for the UT. Especially since the first corona infection in the Netherlands since yesterday is a fact, followed by a second one today. ‘Good and careful preparation is important, but it is also vital to keep calm,’ says Oeloff. ‘It's a serious virus. But you must not forget to put it in perspective compared to other viruses such as the flu. And above all it is important to follow the advice of experts, also regarding hygiene.’
In addition to the crisis team, a team of experts from the departments CES and HR has been monitoring virus developments for weeks since the outbreak in the Chinese city of Wuhan. ‘They meet every week. Based on the latest information we pass the latest updates through to our student and employee portals, along with – if necessary – emails to managers,’ says Oeloff. According to Oeloff, the UT is also in close contact with staff and students who are in risk areas or who are planning to return from risk areas.
Parallel to the internal precautionary measures, the UT is in constant contact with government agencies such as RIVM, GGD and the Twente Security Region. ‘We follow the national guidelines, in accordance with all other universities in the Netherlands.’
The guidelines for students and employees
- Do not travel to areas that are code red (not travel) or code orange (only necessary travel).
- If you come from a code red area, the guideline is to observe a 14-day quarantine at your home and to monitor yourself for complaints.
- If you come from a code orange area, you only monitor yourself for complaints for 14 days.
- If you have any complaints, contact your general practitioner by phone.