Universiteit Utrecht
Coronavirus update 9 July
Dear students and colleagues,

This is the coronavirus update of 9 July.
Startup progress
The reopening of buildings is in progress and the group of employees who regularly or occasionally come back to the campus is growing. The first doctoral defenses and graduation ceremonies were once again held in the University Hall. These were a combination of a face-to-face and online meetings. Click here for a photo report of the first practicals that took place again in the Utrecht Science Park. The increase in capacity within UU campus buildings makes the plans for the UIT, the Orientation days, and the introductions of student associations look promising. All the work student organizers are doing to make 'corona-proof' events merits a big compliment!
Keep in touch
Despite these great steps, we know that some of the students and employees don't have “an easy time of it”, to put it mildly. This was also the conclusion of a survey of university journals, which although had a low response from Utrecht, underlined the need for in-person social encounters. We will continue along this path and make maximum use of the space available for face-to-face happenstances. We will re-open more study places, pay attention to the facilities for working from home, and take workload into account in all the choices we make. Above all, we have to look out for and take care of each other.
But also keep your distance
This also means that when you come to the campus, staying 1.5 metres apart remains the norm. Over the past few weeks, we have found that a large majority of students and staff comply with these rules, but unfortunately there was also a small group of students in the Educatorium who didn’t do this, and who didn’t allow themselves to be held accountable for it. We just can't let that happen, certainly not if the number of visitors increases in September. It became clear last week in Enschede that students too can become infected. Our own Hans Heesterbeek said last week in DUB: "You have to be aware that you're not only doing it for yourself, that you're keeping your distance, but especially for your fellow human beings. With risky behaviour you give the virus the opportunity to perpetuate itself and you also make tracing a lot more difficult". Let's really take that to heart.
Events and congresses
We already mentioned earlier that we cannot perform a health check at events and therefore cannot facilitate large-scale conferences for the time being. In addition, education and research have been given priority over events when allocating space. All in all, this means that the capacity for organising events in our buildings is very limited. For now, until the end of 2020, we will not be holding live congresses, seminars and other events in our buildings until the end of 2020. Only in very exceptional cases is a 'live' event possible. We ask you to be creative, and to look for solutions where a conference can take place (partly) online.
For many, the summer holidays are almost upon us. We will stay at our post for a while, and you can expect a (last) update for the summer next week.

Kind regards,
The Executive Board,

Anton Pijpers, President
Annetje Ottow, Vice President
Henk Kummeling, Rector Magnificus

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