COVID-19

UPDATE 9th April 2020 – ON EXAMS AND ASSESMENTS

Due to the ongoing health crisis of Covid-19, IT Sligo continues to adapt our teaching and assessment methods to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff are protected. We will therefore continue to teach remotely online for the remainder of the semester.

The Institute is as always, committed to continuing to provide you with a quality education and support you during this challenging time. In order to comply with the National Directives in relation to the management of COVID-19, a number of changes have had to be made to how we teach and assess your learning.

All students are advised to undertake alternative assessment just as they would have been expected to sit the exams that were planned before the COVID-19 pandemic. The purpose of assessment remains to enable students to demonstrate their learning. The Institutes of Technology will continue to uphold the academic standards and integrity of all awards.

I would like to assure you, this method of assessment will not undermine your qualification and you will be as qualified as any other year of graduates.

We have placed and will continue to place our focus on learners during these extraordinary times. Through our academic governance structures we have balanced the dual needs of maintaining the integrity of awards, while delivering curriculum and assessing students in an appropriate way. We recognise that learners face exceptional circumstances in undertaking alternative assessments, and we have endeavoured to ensure that no learner will be disadvantaged. Examiners and Examination Boards will be mindful of the alternative assessments that were undertaken, and will act to protect the interests of students at this difficult time.

Our objective will always be to ensure students, and particularly more vulnerable students, are facilitated as far as possible in completing their year of study, and continuing in their career trajectory with the minimum amount of disruption.

For some of you, continuing your studies at this time will be impossible due to the impact of Covid-19 on your health or a dependent person or because you are not able to access decent broadband. To assist those who need more time, we are offering a deferment of assessment until August at no extra cost.

I want to thank all our students for the way you have represented yourselves and this institution during this time of social distancing. You have done yourself and IT Sligo proud.

We wish you continued success in your studies and offer you our continued support.

Kindest Regards and Best Wishes,

Dr Brendan McCormack President, IT Sligo

Remote Learning

Remote teaching activities have been in place since March 13th. Remote teaching will continue for the remainder of the semester.

May examinations

1. There will be no onsite campus examinations in May.

2. There will be no examinations in Dublin or Cork in May for online students.

3. There will be no proctored exams for online oversea students

Alternative assessments

An alternative set of assessments have been developed to replace the “traditional” exam where possible. They will take a variety of forms including for example, online examinations via Moodle, Multiple Choice questions/ Quizzes via Moodle, take home open book examinations, essays etc

A very small number of programmes cannot be assessed remotely. In these cases, alternative arrangements will be made to assess your learning in September.

If you have a specific query on an individual assessment, please contact your lecturer in the first instance.

Timing of Semester 2 alternative assessments

Each programme team has worked together to ensure that your alternative assessments are spread out over the next 6 weeks. Exams/ Quizzes via Moodle will start on May 6th . The exam office will issue a revised exam schedule mid – April.

Exam accommodations

The access office will be in contact with students who have been granted reasonable accommodations (e.g. scribe/ reader etc) for exams to ascertain how they can support them with their alternative assessments.

Deferral of alternative assessments

Students who need to defer a module(s) because of changing circumstances related to COVID-19, insufficient broadband or a disability and/or other circumstances that makes participation or undertaking assessments difficult at this time, can opt to defer taking their assessment until the next available sitting in August with no cost implications.

CAMPUS CURRENTLY CLOSED TO ALL STUDENTS BUT WE ARE WORKING AND TEACHING REMOTELY.

Our campus is closed for students but that we are continuing to operate through teaching remotely. As half of IT Sligo students are already online distance learners, we are fortunate to have the infrastructure in place which has allowed us to transition to teaching our on-campus students remotely. Students should keep a look out for emails from their lecturers and a general information updates from the Registrar.

We will continue to address the concerns of all staff and students of IT Sligo and to provide updates by email and on our website at www.itsligo.ie/covid-19

HEALTH SERVICES

The student Health Service is ready to offer support remotely for any students remaining in Sligo and our international students. Please email studenthealthservices@nullitsligo.ie. for further details.

UPDATE COVID19 – SOCIAL WELFARE

Students who have lost income due to closure of workplace caused by Covid19 can claim benefit through the Covid19 Pandemic Unemployment Payment.

Go to: https://www.gov.ie/en/service/be74d3-covid-19-pandemic-unemployment-payment/

  • This only applies to:
  • 1. you are a student over 18 who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic
  • 2. you are a non-EU/EEA student over 18 who has lost employment due to the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic

UPDATE COVID19 – EXTENDED ISOLATION MEASURES – MARCH 27TH 2020

In addition to all of the existing measures that are already in place, with effect for a two-week period until Easter Sunday, 12th April.  The campus will remain closed to students and non-essential staff until 19th of April.
Everybody must stay at home in all circumstances, except for the following situations:
1. To travel to and from work, or for purposes of work, only where the work is an essential health, social care or other essential service and cannot be done from home. A list will be provided.
2. to shop for food and household goods or collect a meal
to attend medical appointments and collect medicines and other health products for vital family reasons, such as providing care to children, elderly or vulnerable people.
3. to take brief individual physical exercise within 2 kilometres of your home, which may include children from your household, as long as you adhere to strict 2 metre physical distancing for farming purposes, ie food production or care of animals all public and private gatherings of any number of people outside a single household or living unit are prohibited.
The virus might be in your household already – so don’t spread it to someone else’s.
This prohibition includes social family visits that are not for the vital reasons

UPDATE COVID19 – ERASMUS/INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS – MARCH 16TH 2020

Attention International/Erasmus Students: Hope that you are keeping well during this difficult time.

We need to establish how many Erasmus Students are still in Sligo and how many of you are planning to go home.

Could ALL Erasmus students please contact Eileen Gillen on Eileen.gillen@nullitsligo.ie and inform her of your intentions to stay or leave.

If you are still in Sligo we would like to be able to support you by completing your contact details in the link below.  Some of you may have already done so.

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=VYK7dhKT_k-ZfBr76sawXP8zsthm8d1CryToQEfTNWdUQ0ZNODI1R0dXVzUwRFVZNUg0UVdBMlNIVS4u

If you intend leaving Sligo could you complete the travel form on the link below.

https://forms.office.com/Pages/ResponsePage.aspx?id=VYK7dhKT_k-ZfBr76sawXP8zsthm8d1CryToQEfTNWdUQkFPTVhMOUNZOVFaTFQ0N080MEtZVENFVC4u

Please let us know if there is anything we can do to support you while you are away from home.

 

UPDATE COVID19 – March 11th 2020

FAQ’s Regarding IT Sligo Operations – Covid19

Are there any cases of confirmed Coronavirus in the Institute?
There are no confirmed cases of coronavirus on campus. The safety and well-being of the Institute of Technology community is, and always will be, our highest priority.
What will happen if somebody is diagnosed with Coronavirus?
If a student or staff member of IT Sligo tests positive for the Coronavirus, the Department of Public Health will undertake the contact tracing required and advise of any actions the Institute maybe required to take.
What should you do if you feel unwell? ( e.g. sore throat, dry cough etc)
Please phone your G.P. or if you wish to avail of Student Health Services on campus please phone them on 071 93 05463 or email studenthealthservices@nullitsligo.ie . Please do not attend student health without phoning first.
I have been abroad, what should I do?
Please check out www.hpsc.ie  where it will give you up to date appropriate advice.  This website is updated daily.
How can I protect myself from coronavirus?
DO

Wash your hands properly and often

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze

Clean & disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Follow the travel advise from the Department of foreign Affairs

Stay at home if you are sick to help stop the spread of whatever infection you may have

 

DON’T

Do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

Do not share objects that touch your mouth-for example, bottles, cups

 

More information on protecting yourself and others can be read from the HSE website.

Has the Institute any plans to close?
IT Sligo campus will be closed until 29th March.  We are now delivering lessons where possible remotely online.  Lecturers will be in touch with more details.

 

What about lectures/ classes if the Institute must close?
Academic staff are currently reviewing the content yet to be delivered and will deliver remotely online.
What about exams if the Institute must close?
Academic staff are currently reviewing possible other means of assessing your learning.  You will be advised of any changes to exams/ assessments if they are warranted.
International Students/Erasmus
In the event of closure, international student on campus will be supported on a voluntary basis by staff to ensure that they are not socially isolated, that they have adequate health and living support and are in contact with their families.

 

 

In the meantime we would remind everyone to remain vigilant:

Wash your hands regularly

  • Avoid close contact with people.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing and discard used tissue.
  • If you feel ill our have any symptoms of a cough, fever, shortness of breath – STAY AT HOME and contact your GP by phone.

The Critical Incident Management Team continue to meet regularly and updates regarding Covid-19 will be shared with all students and staff via email, website and/or official IT Sligo social media channels.

We ask students and staff to keep checking your email.

What to do if you think you’re at risk of Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

  • Student Services are the primary point of contact for students who have queries regarding their health status. Students to be advised to make their initial contact with the student health centre by phone.
  • Health Services:  contact 071 93 05463 or email studenthealthservices@nullitsligo.ie 

The following areas are affected with a spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus):

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Italy

The risk of catching Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland is still low. This may change. However, most people may continue to go to work, school and other public places, as usual.

If you are not feeling well STAY AT HOME

If you are feeling unwell, please stay at home.   If you have been to one of the places listed above in the last 14 days and you are not feeling well, check if you have symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus). These are fever (high temperature), cough or difficulty breathing.

If you do have symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), you should phone your doctor or emergency department (ED) immediately.

Do not visit a doctor or ED – phone them first. This is so you do not accidentally put other people at risk. If you do not have a doctor, phone 112 or 999.

Tell them about your symptoms. Let them know you have been to a country or region with a spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

If your doctor thinks that you need to be tested, they will tell you where the test will be done. They will also tell you when to expect results.

Avoid contact with other people by self-isolating.

If you are feeling well

  Please follow the advice on how to protect yourself from Covid-19 (Coronavirus) and other infections such as flu.

Avoid spending time with people that are ill with a cough, high temperature, or breathing problems.

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus):

  • avoid contact with people by self-isolating
  • phone your doctor or emergency department
  • tell them your symptoms and let them know you have been to a country or region with a spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

Read advice from the HSE on what you need to do if you’ve been in an affected area or in contact with a confirmed case.

If you think you have been in contact with a confirmed case of Covid-19 (Coronavirus)

 Phone HSE Live on 1850 24 1850 if you think you have been:
  • in contact with someone confirmed as having Covid-19 (Coronavirus)
  • to a healthcare facility in another country where Covid-19 (Coronavirus) patients are being treated

You will be put in contact with your local Department of Public Health staff who will give you information and advice.

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus), avoid contact with people by self-isolating and phone your doctor or emergency department.

Symptoms

 It can take up to 14 days for symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) to show.

Symptoms of the virus include:

  • a cough
  • shortness of breath
  • breathing difficulties
  • fever (high temperature)

More information on symptoms of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is available from the HSE.

How Covid-19 (Coronavirus) spreads

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) can be spread:

  • 1. directly, through contact with an infected person’s body fluids (for example, droplets from coughing or sneezing)
  • 2. indirectly, through contact with surfaces that an infected person has coughed or sneezed on and which are, therefore, contaminated with the virus

As it is a new virus, we do not know how easily the virus spreads from person to person. We do not know if someone can spread the virus before they show symptoms.

The virus may only survive a few hours if someone who has it coughs or sneezes on a surface. Simple household disinfectants can kill the virus on surfaces. Clean the surface first and then use a disinfectant.

Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is spread through close contact with an infected person. A close contact involves either face-to-face contact or spending more than 15 minutes within 2 metres of an infected person. Close contact does not include someone you passed on the street or in a shop. The risk of contact in that instance is very low.

More information on how Covid-19 (Coronavirus) spreads is available from the HSE.

How to protect yourself

To protect yourself:

  • 1. wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based hand rub if your hands are not visibly dirty
  • 2. practice good respiratory hygiene, that is, when coughing and sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue – discard tissue immediately into a closed bin and clean your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water
  • 3. maintain social distancing, that is, leave at least 1 metre (3 feet) distance between yourself and other people, particularly those who are coughing, sneezing and have a fever
  • 4. avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth – if you touch your eyes, nose or mouth with your contaminated hands, you can transfer the virus from the surface to yourself

For people working with the general public who are feeling well and do not have respiratory symptoms (for example, cough, fever, shortness of breath), facemasks are not recommended. There is no evidence that using masks in this setting is of any benefit to people who are not sick.

The most important action we can take to protect ourselves from Covid-19 (Coronavirus) is regular hand-washing and good respiratory hygiene.

Read a step-by-step guide from the HSE on how to properly wash your hands and avoid infection.

Treatment

There is currently no vaccine to treat or protect against Covid-19 (Coronavirus). However, many of the symptoms can be treated.

Antibiotics do not work against Covid-19 (Coronavirus) or any viruses. They only work against bacterial infections.

Currently, the flu poses a greater risk to life in Ireland than Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

If you get the virus, your healthcare professional will advise treatment based on your symptoms.

More information on treatment is available from the HSE.

Travel advice

There are four Security Status levels on the DFA Travel Advisory service:

(a) Normal Precautions

(b) High Degree of Caution;

(c) Avoid non-essential travel

(d) Do not travel (see the DFA Travel Advisory service for further details).

 

The IT Sligo Critical Incident Team is recommending as from Monday 9th March that staff & students should refrain from international travel and should not travel to their overseas destination if the Security Status shown is (c) Avoid non-essential travel; OR (d) Do not travel.

Where the Security Status shown is either (a) Normal Precautions; (b) High Degree of Caution, staff & students should register with the DFA via DFA Travel Advisory service so they can be contacted quickly in an emergency, such as a natural disaster or a family emergency etcetera.  They should also fill out the IT Sligo Travel Information form.

In doing this we appreciate that there are students and staff currently abroad and that we have students on placement, studying and researching at international locations. We also have many international students on campus.

We are advising all students/ staff who are out of the country to be aware of and follow local guidelines and to make contact with the relevant Irish Consulate. If any student/ staff wishes to return home they should contact their Head of Department. Erasmus and international students should contact the international office.

We are putting processes in place so that no one will be required to travel for work or study abroad and students will not  be disadvantaged academically. Academic staff are being asked to explore ways of learning and assessment that does not require overseas travel.

Where a member of staff considers it essential to travel to an international meeting, this needs to be discussed in advance with their line manager and they will be required to ‘self-certify’ based on their own health and to make the decision to travel or not.

This position relates to travel on Institute business. Where you are considering travelling for personal reasons unrelated to the Institute, please make sure to follow the guidelines provided by the HSE and Department of Foreign Affairs.

IT Sligo prioritises the health and welfare of the staff and students and that these proposals while inconvenient are in the best interests of our community.

As a matter of course Students & Staff who believe their travel is essential should also register their details with the Institute before undertaking overseas travel by filling in the Travel Information Form below:

Travel Information

Always follow travel advice from the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) if travelling to a country or region with a spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus).

Irish citizens who are abroad, or who intend to travel abroad in the near future and have concerns about Covid-19 (Coronavirus), can ring the department’s dedicated phone line: +353 (0) 1 613 1733

Ports and Airports

 The following areas are affected with a spread of Covid-19 (Coronavirus):

  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Singapore
  • South Korea
  • Iran
  • Japan
  • Italy

There are no entry restrictions to Ireland at present.

To date, entry screening at ports and airports is not recommended by World Health Organization (WHO) or the European Centre for Disease Control (ECDC).

Effective public health protocols in place at ports and airports include:

  • airline crews have been briefed by the HSE in recent weeks
  • in the event of a suspected case, contact tracing forms will be distributed to all passengers and completed forms will be passed to HSE lead personnel at the incident site
  • prior to disembarking, passengers will be advised to contact their GPs should they develop symptoms within the following 14 days
  • the airline is instructed to decontaminate the aircraft in accordance with WHO aviation hygiene standards

The ECDC is closely monitoring the Covid-19 (Coronavirus) outbreak and providing risk assessments to guide EU Member States and the EU Commission in their response activities.

WHO is sharing statistics on confirmed cases of Covid-19 (Coronavirus) in Europe. The data is updated regularly.

Advice for people who have recently returned from affected areas is available from the HSE.

  • Student Services are the primary point of contact for students who have queries regarding their health status. Students to be advised to make their initial contact with the student health centre by phone.
  • Health Services:  contact 071 93 05463 or email studenthealthservices@nullitsligo.ie