Central Administration decides to suspend the beginning of Phase 2: return of in-person activities at UFSC

10/01/2022 19:59

Due to the acceleration of cases of Covid-19 contamination, the Central Administration of the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) decided to suspend indefinitely the progress to Phase 2 of the return to in-person activities. Normative Ordinance no. 419/2022/GR was signed this Friday, 7 January 2022, and published in the UFSC Official Bulletin on this same date.

The beginning of Phase 2 in all administrative and academic units at UFSC was scheduled for 10 January. With the suspension, each university office will continue to execute their current activity plans.

According to the Normative Ordinance no. 416/2021/GR, which had its effects suspended, as of 10 January all employees who do not belong to any risk group should return to in-person activities. The return would be carried out according to the activities plan prepared by the office, taking into account the sanitary conditions of the work environment.

In view of the news of increased cases of Covid-19 and overcrowding in public and private health units, the Rectorate held a meeting on Wednesday, 5 January , with representatives of the Permanent Commission for Epidemiological Monitoring, the Prorectorate for Personnel Management and Development (PRODEGESP), and other managers. After the meeting, the Acting Rector, Cátia Regina de Carvalho Pinto, sent a letter to the Commission requesting a statement “regarding the expected beginning of Phase 2 for the resumption of in-person activities in all administrative and academic units”.

The document prepared by the commission highlights the “acute expansion” of the Covid-19 pandemic in the world and the “scenario of explosive increase of cases” in Brazil and Santa Catarina. According to the commission, the effective reproduction number (Rt) – an indicator of the disease’s transmission rate – which had been on a downward trajectory, reversed this trend by the end of 2021. “And this has already been captured by the expansion of the number of people with the disease, whose level went from less than 2,000 cases in the pre-christmas period to more than 8,000 cases in the first days of 2022.”

The Permanent Commission for Epidemiological Monitoring also highlights the confirmation of community transmission of the Ômicron variant in Santa Catarina and the large increase in the percentage of positive cases in Covid tests performed in recent days. “This scenario has already put pressure on the health system, at this moment crowding health units with people in search of diagnostic tests and patients with symptoms of influenza syndrome.” Therefore, the committee expressed opposition to the start of Phase 2 with the resumption of in-person activities on 10 January.

As soon as the statement was received, the Rector issued the new resolution suspending the effects of the ordinances 416/2021/GR and 418/2021/GR, which established the Biosafety Guide for the return of in-person activities in Phase 2. “The University continues its efforts to protect the University Community. We will always act respecting science and preserving lives, and that is what we are doing at this moment,” said the acting Rector.

The UFSC’s actions to face the pandemic have taken into account the principles of safety and precaution, in order to preserve the health and lives of the community members. The Normative Ordinance 416 had the exception that “the deadlines and measures expressed in this normative ordinance can be changed depending on new facts that justify them”. This caution was adopted in other normative instruments published to guide the return to in-person activities at UFSC.

Read more in coronavirus.ufsc.br

Translated by SINTER/UFSC.

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Phase 2: UFSC has new guidelines for in-person work starting from 10 January

04/01/2022 14:11

The Central Administration of the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina (UFSC) published, on 29 December, the Normative Ordinance no. 416/2021/GR, announcing new measures for the gradual resumption of on-site activities in the administrative and academic units of the institution. The date scheduled for the start of Phase 2 is 10 January 2022. In the Phase 2 for combating the COVID-19 pandemic, the following in-person activities are allowed: activities with an impact on COVID-19 or other essential activities approved by the Central Administration, essential in-person organization, and execution of general (administrative and pedagogical) blended activities.

According to the Ordinance, the University’s in-person activities will be resumed following the activity plans presented in the documents reported by each university unit. As in Pre-Phase 2, the units need to make public their activity plan and organize the in-person work shifts. The document also emphasizes that the resumption of in-person activities will be gradual and full-time, and that the work environment for the activities must meet the appropriate sanitary conditions.

The Head of the Rector’s Office, Prof. Áureo Mafra de Moraes, explains that, in Phase 2, all UFSC staff will work in-person at some point, except for those people included in the risk groups, which shall continue working from home. All units shall be open during regular office hours, but staff members can work on rotation. The number of staff members working simultaneously must take into account the environmental conditions, such as air circulation, so as to avoid crowds.

For the undergraduate and graduate programs, Phase 2 maintains the online activities, except for authorized practical and theoretical-practical classes. According to the 2022 academic calendar, approved by the University Council (CUn), the resumption of in-person classes will take place when the next academic semester (2022/1) starts. For undergraduate programs, this will be 18 April. For graduate programs, classes are scheduled to begin on 7 March.

The Phase 2 activity resumption will cover all administrative and academic units at UFSC and at the Professor Polydoro Ernani de São Thiago University Hospital (HU/UFSC), except for the Child Development Center (NDI) and the Colégio de Aplicação [Laboratory School] (CA), which follow a separate calendar. The NDI and the CA shall resume their in-person activities completely during Phase 3, starting from 10 February, according to the Normative Ordinance no. 417/2021/GR.

Both ordinances stress that all deadlines and measures may be altered depending on new events. The guidelines on the procedures and conducts to be adopted for the development of activities at the University are established in the Biosafety Guide for the resumption of in-person activities at UFSC during Phase 2.

Risk Groups

Only servants included in the risk groups, which have undergone recent changes (for more information, refer to the PRODEGESP website), may continue working from home, complying with the Normative Instruction SGP/SEDGG/ME no. 90, of 28 September 2021. On 15 October, the Central Administration issued two ordinances on the subject: Normative Ordinance no. 413/2021/GR, which includes people with disabilities in the risk group, and Normative Ordinance no. 414/2021/GR (with its annex), which sets guidelines for the work of servants included in the risk group.

The current Risk Groups are:

  • people aged sixty or over;
  • smokers;
  • obese people;
  • people with comorbidities: cardiomyopathies of different etiologies (heart failure, ischemic cardiomyopathy, etc.); arterial hypertension; cerebrovascular disease; severe or decompensated lung diseases (moderate/severe asthma, COPD); immunodeppression and immunosuppression; advanced-stage chronic kidney disease (grades 3, 4, and 5); diabetes mellitus, according to clinical judgment; chromosomal diseases with a state of immunological weakness; malignant neoplasm (except non-melanotic skin cancer); hepatic cirrhosis; and hematologic diseases (including sickle cell anemia and thalassemia);
  • pregnant women;
  • parents, stepparents or guardians of children who are of school age or younger, in places where the suspension of in-person classes or daycare services is still maintained, and who need the assistance from a parent or guardian, without a spouse, partner or other adult family member in the household able to provide assistance; and
  • people living with persons with suspected or confirmed COVID-19.

Servants in these conditions who wish to perform in-person work will need to sign a self declaration form and forward it to the Prorectorate for Personnel Management and Development (PRODEGESP) as instructed here.

Activity Plan

The process for approval and publicity of the units’ Activity Plans also changed. The plans must be sent to the Rectorate’s Office (GR) via the Administrative Processes System (SPA) and published on the units’ websites. They shall contain details about the work schedule, rotation and shifts.

Read more: coronavirus.ufsc.br.


Translated by SINTER/UFSC

Read the original article here.