Dear Members of the Koç University Community,
We hope you had a relaxing and joyful summer holiday. As we now gear up for a full return to campus for Fall Semester 2021, we have made some important modifications and updates on our guidance from August 16th.
Our main strategy as Koç University against the COVID-19 pandemic is full vaccination, control via HES codes, use of masks, physical distancing, personal hygiene and diligent filiation.
We are pleased to see that most in our community have taken the initiative to get vaccinated. We have now modified our previous guidance on vaccination and ask all students, faculty and staff to be fully vaccinated, i.e., all individuals must have had 2 doses of COVID-19 vaccine, with the second dose at least 14 days prior to their return back to offices on September 13th for Faculty and staff, and on September 27th for all students. Students who are to reside in the dormitories must have had their second dose 14 days prior to the date that they are to check into their dorm rooms during the week of September 20th.
Faculty, staff and students who are not vaccinated are required to report to the Health Center a negative PCR test result, not older than 72 hours from the date the sample was collected. This is required upon each entry to campus. Information on the notification method of PCR test results will be announced in the coming days.
Those who have had COVID-19 and have not yet been vaccinated as of September 13 and 27, can come to the campus without the need for a PCR test but are required to have at least one dose of vaccination 6 months after having had COVID-19. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to follow this process.
We cannot stress enough the importance of getting vaccinated and to underscore the fact that vaccination remains the most effective way to prevent COVID-19 infection and transmission. In addition to clinical trials, real-world evaluations of COVID-19 vaccines show that vaccines have high efficacy against symptomatic disease, particularly severe illness, hospitalizations, and death according to CDC and WHO.
We strongly encourage those who have not yet received the vaccine to be vigilant and considerate in protecting the health and well-being of themselves and others.
Our earlier guidance on campus operations remains in effect as we anticipate to be fully operational in Fall Semester 2021. Please see more details on our guidelines.
There is to be no change in population density in offices, classrooms and shuttle services with our guidance on vaccination or PCR testing and mask mandate for all students, faculty and staff. However, in areas where masks need to be removed, i.e., food court, measures are to be in place for the population density to be modified based on physical distancing measures.
Everyone is required to wear face masks at indoor campus spaces including all classrooms, offices, laboratories, public areas, common areas such as the Library and the Student Center regardless of vaccination status. Exceptions are allowed for individuals who are alone in a private office or room/laboratory or while actively eating or drinking.
All instructors and students are obliged to wear masks during classes in their classrooms. Whenever possible, classroom doors and/or windows should be kept open, providing fresh air in closed spaces.
Recreational Facilities such as the Sports Center and Indoor Pool are to be open to fully vaccinated participants in the Fall. It is not mandatory to wear masks while working out; however, masks should be worn in locker rooms and before or after the exercise. All equipment should be wiped before and after use.
Please bear in mind that being fully vaccinated greatly prevents serious illness, hospitalization, and death. However, we know that those who have been vaccinated can also get the disease and, to a lesser extent, infect others. Therefore, even if we are vaccinated, we must continue to comply with the mask, ventilation, physical distance and hand hygiene measures.
Cafeteria, Food Court and other Dining Areas:
It is mandatory to wear masks while waiting in line. Please make sure to follow the distance signs on the floors and pay attention to the need to not create clusters.
Meals should be completed as soon as possible and the person who finished his/her meal should wear a mask.
Please also make sure to clean your hands before and after eating.
We strongly encourage wearing masks outdoors on campus as well; especially in occasions where the mandatory 2-meter physical distancing cannot be maintained.
Entry to campus:
All students, faculty and staff are now not required to fill out the Self-Checker App to enter the campus anymore but are required to present their KU ID and have it scanned upon entry to the campus. In order for the vaccine, immunity and PCR tests to be automatically checked during your ID scan, your HES code and current contact number that will be valid during the scan must be submitted via the Self-Checker application. We recommend that you submit your HES code and contact information before you come to the campus and check whether you have permission to enter the campus via the Mobile application. Detailed information will be shared with you by our Information Technologies Department in a separate announcement.
Those who experience COVID-19 symptoms, have a positive COVID-19 test, or those who are exposed to people who test positive are required not to come to the campus and highly encouraged to fill out the Self-Checker App. If you do not have these symptoms, you do not have to fill out the Self-Checker App.
All visitors will also required to be either fully vaccinated or submit a negative PCR test result taken within the last 72 hours.
We now very much look forward to finally being on campus with all of you, but please do continue to be prudent and remain healthy.
Our best wishes and regards to you all,
|Zeynep Gürhan Canlı
Vice President for Academic Affairs
Advisor to the Board of Trustees