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COVID 19: access to SISSA and School's activities

07 October 2020

The School is starting again part of its activities and a number of procedures have been put in place to guarantee everybody's safety. They are summarised below through some Frequently Asked Questions.

Pursuing the safety policy for the management of Phase 3 and continuing in managing safety issues but also those related to work/life balance, it is necessary to provide the entire SISSA community with indications for possible cases related to health situations also connected to family life.

Instructions, divided by cases, and useful contacts in case of necessity are available, in English, at this link:
https://www.sissa.it/news/instructions-managment-covid19-cases-and-outbreakes

1. Can I access SISSA?

From 13/09, both SISSA staff (professors, researchers, research fellows and technical and administrative staff) and students will be able to access SISSA without a specific authorization, except for patients susceptible to COVID-19 infection, respecting the opening hours, after taking the required training activity and the filling in the return to work statement. You can carry out individual research activities, in small groups, in laboratories and technical-administrative.

If you are a carrier of diseases susceptible to infection with COVID-19, please follow the directions sent by the Human Resources Office with appropriate communication and consult the health care personnel of your reference (General Practitioner, Specialist) and the Competent Doctor of SISSA.

External collaborators can access SISSA after filling in the self-declaration and following the required safety procedures. Please note that when arriving at SISSA you will have to fill up a registry indicating who is your SISSA contact for the meeting. 

A new regional ordinance signed on 31 July 2020 by Massimiliano Fedriga, President of the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, lays down the rules to be followed for employees of companies or institutions that return or arrive in the region from abroad in order to reduce the risk of infection with Coronavirus.
In particular, scientific or technical administrative personnel sent abroad for work needs and subsequently returned to the region, or persons called from abroad to be hired, or that come back from abroad as a result of private travel, are allowed entry into Sissa only after they have complied with the precautionary measures provided for by laws, measures and protocols.

Detailed information, also in relation to the individual countries of origin, is available on the website of the Ministry of Health.

Those returning from Francia, Spagna, Croazia, Malta, Romania or Bulgaria should, as soon as they enter Italy, contact the Department for Active Surveillance of the ASUGI ( tel.040 3997490 -3997492 mail profilassi.dip@asugi.sanita.fvg.it ) since, as mandated by the DPCM 11 June 2020, they must be subjected to voluntary quarantine for 14 days.

The regional ordinance is available here.

It is stressed that it is necessary, even for those who have already completed the return declaration, to complete the new updated declaration in accordance with the provisions in force. The new updated declaration will be sent shortly with a specific communication.

2. Instructions for the management of Covid-19 cases and outbreakes  

Pursuing the safety policy for the management of Phase 3 and continuing in managing safety issues but also those related to work/life balance, it is necessary to provide the entire SISSA community with indications for possible cases related to health situations also connected to family life. A flowchart of the contact tracing procedure is available here.

Case 1:

You have to stay at home and not go to SISSA in case of fever equal to or higher than 37.5° and/or presence of other flu symptoms (sore throat, cough, breathing difficulties) or other symptoms attributable to COVID-19 (loss of smell and taste, diarrhea, diffuse joint and muscle pain or other symptoms). In this case you have to contact General Practictioner or other regional health systems.

This behavior must also be adopted in case of contacts with family members, cohabiting partners or friends showing the symptoms described above. Access to SISSA must be avoided until the clinical situation of the family member/friends is diagnosed. Smart working mode must also be adopted. 

Case 2:

You have to stay at home and not go to SISSA in case of cold symptoms (stuffy nose, sneezing, sore throat, joint or muscle pain, etc.), without fever or with slight fever (less than 37.5 °)In this case you have to contact the General Practitioner immediately and scrupulously follow his instructions. It is still strongly recommended to stay at home smart working, even if the doctor does not deem or certify a specific state of illness, until clinical improvement or for 5-7 days.

In the case of similar symptoms of cohabiting family members or friends, it is advisable to follow the heath care practitioner’s instructions and to evaluate, with care and responsibility, to avoid access to SISSA, always preferring smart working with a precautionary approach to protect the SISSA community.

Case 3 a:

Access to SISSA is forbidden and smart working is possible in case of cohabiting family members or friends quarantined by the Regional Health Authorities.

Case 3 b:

Access to SISSA is forbidden and smart working is possible in case of cohabiting children, minors or older than 14, quarantined by the Regional Health Authorities Prevention Department following contacts at school. A more detailed communication addressed to technical and administrative staff will follow with more specific indications in terms of leave provided for in current legislation.

Case 4:

Access to SISSA is not allowed If you receive an exposure notification by the IMMUNI app. In this case you are required to contact the Regional Health Authorities and to strictly adhere to its instructions.

Case 5:

Access to SISSA is not recommended in case of cohabitating family members of friends subjected to swab test, in most of the results of the tampon. Smart working mode should be preferred. It is always advisable to maintain a prudent behavior while waiting for the results of swab tests of indirect contacts.

It is useful to remember that:

a) if a person is COVID-19 positive, even if asymptomatic, or is subjected to quarantine after a close contact with a person certified as positive by regional health authorities, the time off work is configured as a sick leave. In this case access to SISSA is not allowed an it’s not possible to carry out any working activity even in smart mode.

b) It’s not allowed to carry out any activity, neither administrative nor didactic (online lessons), in case of any certified disease.

c)  It is allowed to carry out smart working in case of staying at home as a precautionary measure without any medical certification

The Regional Health Authorities (Dipartimenti di Prevenzione in Italian) contacts are reported below:

Province of Trieste

Tel: 040 3997490 / 040 3397492

E-mail: profilassi.dip@asugi.sanita.fvg.it

Province of Gorizia

Tel: 0481 592836

E-mail:infettive.profilassi@asugi.sanita.fvg.it"> infettive.profilassi@asugi.sanita.fvg.it

Palmanova, Cervignano del Friuli e San Giorgio di Nogaro area

Tel: 0432 921835

E-mail: infettive.bassafriulana@asufc.sanita.fvg.it

Udine, Tarcento e Cividale del Friuli area

Tel: 0432 553264 (Mon-Fri, from 8:30am untill 2pm)

E-mail: covid19.prevenzione@asufc.sanita.fvg.it

3. What do I have to do to access SISSA? Who authorises me?

Please note that the use of spaces for research and technical and administrative support must be carried out in compliance with safety standards (e.g. distancing, use of PPE, etc.). So check the presence of other people in the shared offices and laboratories, book the facilities and common areas: in this way you will be able to work in peace and safety.

Remember that in order to carry out research and work in SISSA, you must be in compliance with the medical examinations; to this end, if necessary, you will be contacted directly by the personnel in charge.

4. How can I get to SISSA?

With your own private vehicle or on foot
The use of the private vehicles must include only the presence of the driver if possible; if you want to bring someone with you, you must both wear facial mask or other protection devices for nose and mouth. During the trip avoid the use of air conditioning and especially the recirculation function. These limits do not apply if the means are used only by cohabiting persons.
It is recommended to arrive between 08.00 and 08.30 not to create long queues with those that use the private shuttle.

With the SISSA shuttle
If you do not have your own means of transport, or you prefer not to use it, you can use the shuttle service that SISSA has set up due to the COVID-19 emergency.

The shuttle departs from the centre and operates from Monday to Friday, excluding public holidays midweek, with the following times and stops:
MORNING:
Inbound: 8.00 (Largo Barriera) – 8.05 (Piazza Oberdan) – 8.30 (SISSA)
Inbound: 9.15 (Largo Barriera) - 9:20 (Piazza Oberdan) - 9:45 (SISSA)
 

AFTERNOON:
Outbound: 19.00 (SISSA) – 19.25 (Piazza Oberdan) – 19.30 (Largo Barriera)

Please note that booking is compulsory.  You must book the Shuttle before Thursday 8 AM of the previous week.
On the shuttle, you must wear the protection devices for nose and mouth and respect the one meter safety distance. 

Please note that to allow for social distancing the shuttle will have limited capacity. Only one person can use a seat row, with the exception of spouses or cohabiting family members.
In the latter case it is sufficient to book 1 seat. 

In case of emergency for the transport service you can call 040 7795959 (until 2 November)
From 4 November on please call 335 6908396
 

Added to this there are public services with bus number 38 and 64, which will reach SISSA as soon as the extension works of the square have been completed.

5. What happens on my arrival at SISSA?

Starting from 14/09, there are no more stringent time slots to respect for temperature measurement.

Access to SISSA is still mandatorily from the main entrance on the ground floor. You will have to sign at your first entrance and when leaving SISSA. Safety protocols and standards are implemented to respect your privacy. 

We would also like to remind you that when returning to the School you need to always fill in / update the return to work declaration, which you should have recieved by email and it's available at the entrance. 

6. How should I behave inside SISSA?

A the maximum number of people who may be present at the same time has been defined for all areas, based on the availability of devices to prevent the contagion, the available space, the time of stay and the activity carried out.
To avoid the so-called «close contact» it is necessary to ensure a low density of people and the respect of a minimum interpersonal distance of: 1 meter in transit areas (corridor); 2 meters in "critical" rest areas (break area, smoking area, etc.) and, unless otherwise specified, in common areas (including offices with more than one persone). A "close contact" is defined as a contact that occurs in a closed environment (e.g. office) continuously for 15 minutes or more with a distance of less than 2 m.
So:
1) The capacity of the common offices has been defined on the basis of the distance between the seats of the stations: if you have any doubts or you have ideas to improve the use of the spaces report it to your coordinator of Area. Here are some examples. 
2) People who do not use the room continuously (for example, those passing for a quick meeting) are allowed in the room, respecting the expected distance.

Masks, distances and hygiene measures
Keep a safe distance of at least one metre. In the corridors, on the stairs, in the bathrooms and in all common areas always wear the surgical mask provided at the entrance or the one in your possession, if considered suitable by the staff at reception. Reduce the movements inside the building to those that are really necessary for your activity.
Wash your hands frequently with soap and water and with the dedicated detergents placed on each floor of the School.
Specific individual protection devices (FFP2, FFP3) gloves and hair caps must be used only by those who perform specific tasks (reception, front-office, laboratory workers, etc.)

Cleaning workstation
At the start and at the end of your shift, disinfect the workstation with the product for surfaces available on each floor. Be especially careful to clean well the phone, mouse, keyboard and touch-screen devices. The same product can be used on other surfaces, such as the desk and chair.

Ventilation of the premises
A number of operating and maintenance measures for the ventilation systems have been taken in order to minimise the risks of transmitting the infection.

7. What should my health condition be in order to access the School?

In order to access the premises:
• you should have not been subjected to quarantine measures or have not tested positive for COVID-19 or, if you have, you should have carried out two negative diagnostic swabs for SARS-COV-2;
• you should have not had contacts with family members, cohabiting partners or friends who are positive for COVID-19 and you should not enter or remain in the School in the event of contact with people positive to the virus in the 14 days prior to return;

Moreover:
• you have to stay at home and not go to work in case of fever higher than 37.5 ° and/or the presence of flu-like symptoms (fever, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing) or other symptoms attributable to COVID-19 (loss of smell and taste, diarrhea, diffuse joint and muscle pain or other symptoms). In that case, you have to contact the General Practitioner and / or the other regional health systems. In this sense, you have to be able to declare that you do not have the symptoms listed above;
• you have to know and comply with the rules given on social distancing, hand washing, the correct use of masks, the disinfection of environments;
• you are not allowed to stay at the School and you have to declare it promptly if, even after entry, there are potentially dangerous conditions (fever and / or flu-like symptoms or other symptoms mentioned above); in that case you have to remain at an adequate distance from the people, return home and contact the General Practitioner.

8. Are teaching activities carried out in person or online?  

Starting from Monday 5 October, the teaching activities take place at SISSA. All the classrooms have been equipped to ensure maximum safety for teachers and students in attendance but we trust in the contribution of everyone to comply with the safety standards, such as spacing, hand sanitation and use of the mask. For those who will not be able to attend in person, access to training will be guaranteed through an online connection.

9. How are progress reports organized?  

The School wants to encourage in person talks: for this reason, the progress reports will be given at SISSA  even thought only the teachers and the student will be admitted to the room. All the other people will be able to follow the sessions online through Zoom or Teams.

10. Can external guests attend PhD thesis dissertations?  

Phd thesis dissertation is a unique moment that concludes the 4-year training at SISSA. External guests who want to participate in person are welcome but with some important restrictions. For safety reasons, no more than 3 or 4 guests per candidate will be admitted. In any case, their total number depends on the volume of the room and can’t be more than 16 per session. A “Safety angel” will be in charge of guiding the guests and checking their compliance with safety procedures.

11. Are the bar and the canteen open?

From Wednesday 7 October the canteen will be fully functional.

To ensure the spacing and the correct sanitation procedures of the spaces, the number of meals that will be served at the self-service will be temporarily limited to about 75% of the average meals served during the period, also in consideration of the lower presence of a good part of the undergraduate and master's degree students in science communication.

The methods of using the self-service will be as follows:

opening hours 11.45 - 14.30;
booking mandatory on the same day at the link https: https://services.sissa.it/mensa/ of the time and seat where the meal will be consumed. The system will send an email with which the booking must necessarily be confirmed and a summary email which will be shown at the cash desk;
take-away meals will be collected in the self-service area and no longer at the bar;

Until the end of the COVID emergency it will not be possible to consume the take-away or personal meal on the canteen tables. Solutions will be activated, within the limits of the available spaces, to briefly use places / areas dedicated to the purpose.

Furthermore, we inform you that it is now possible to monitor, in respect of privacy, the queue at the bar at the link https://services.sissa.it/cam/lunch/
maximum collaboration is requested to guarantee the safety of all of us, therefore we remind you to scrupulously respect a few simple rules, without which it would not be possible to provide the catering service:

sanitize your hands
respect the time and place assigned to the self-service
respect the interpersonal distance in line and during the consumption of meals / drinks
always wear a mask (except to eat a meal)
stop only for the time necessary for the consumption and / or collection of the goods

 

12. Some SISSA documents to read (in Italian)

DOCUMENTO PER L’AVVIO, LA GESTIONE, IL MONITORAGGIO DELLA RIPRESA DELL’ATTIVITA’ PRESSO LA SEDE DI VIA BONOMEA

LINEE GUIDA RELATIVI A EROGAZIONE ATTIVITA’ DIDATTICA, DISCUSSIONE DELLA TESI, ESAMI DI PASSAGGIO D’ANNO

(Photo by Markus Winkler on Unsplash)