Last update: September 14, 2020

Contents


1 Introduction and Purpose

1.1 Objectives

The Protection Plan (Plan) describes the measures to be taken during the pandemic period (Covid-19) to ensure the operation of Franklin University Switzerland (FUS), adequately protecting the health of its staff, faculty and students, as well as external visitors, pursuant to Federal Ordinance 2-COVID-19.

The requirements contained in the Plan therefore apply to all FUS staff, students and external visitors.

The Plan complies with the employer's obligation to inform employees.

1.2 Legal Basis

We are creating this manual to meet the requirements of Swiss law and to go beyond it when we have determined that is helpful to protect our staff, faculty, students and visitors, and especially our high-risk constituents.

COVID-19 Ordinance 2 (RS 818.101.24)

Employment Law (RS 822.11) and related ordinances (Italian)

1.3 Information and References

General information on the global and national situation can be found on official websites (non-exhaustive list):

World Health Organization
Swiss Federal Office of Culture
Republic and Canton Ticino (Italian)
Italian Government Decree #IoRestoaCasa (Italian)

2 Organization

2.1 FUS Cabinet

The President’s Cabinet is responsible for the drafting, implementation, monitoring and constant updating of the Plan. The plan may be updated as the epidemiological situation for the region changes.

Any concerns or questions should be directed to Tomaso Rizzi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or members of the Cabinet.

3 Basic Rules

At minimum, the rules of the FOPH (Federal Office of Public Health) campaign Protect yourself and others apply.

3.1 Increased hygiene

3.1.1 Wash your hands (IMPORTANT)

Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly for at least 30 seconds with soap and water, especially before arrival at the workplace, before and after breaks and before and after meetings.

Follow the FOPH instructions: Federal Office of Public Health: How to wash your hands

More specifically:

  • rinse your hands under running water,
  • soap them,
  • rub them until a lather forms. Don't forget to wash also the back of your hands, between your fingers, under your nails and wrists,
  • rinse your hands under running water,
  • dry them with the retractable cotton-roll towel (compliant with COVID-19 safety measures),
  • after washing your hands, it is not necessary to disinfect them.

When it is not possible to wash your hands with soap and water, disinfect your hands with a disinfectant. Disinfectants are available at main entrances, as well as on all floors and office common areas.

Do not touch your mouth, nose or eyes.

Wash your hands after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

3.1.2 Handkerchiefs and other personal waste

Sneeze or cough in a tissue or in the crease of the elbow.

Use disposable paper tissues, to be thrown away immediately after use in the appropriate covered waste bins; these can be found in every building.

3.1.3 Frequently touched surfaces (handles, switches, buttons, etc.)

Clean frequently touched surfaces in your office/area at least twice a day with the detergent that will be supplied to you for this purpose.

In addition, pay particular attention to the careful cleaning of frequently used door handles, switches, and buttons.

This operation is carried out by the cleaning services in the general common access areas.

3.1.4 Objects

Each office, as applicable, will remove non-essential objects that may be touched by various people, such as brochures, newspapers and magazines, in common areas.

Limit the exchange of paper documents and objects (hole punches, pens, etc.). Items such as cups, glasses, plates or dishes are for individual and not shared use.

3.1.5 Use of masks with social distancing

Our plan is based on but goes beyond the guidelines concerning the use of masks (Italian).

Our plan for masks and social distancing is also based on social responsibility, a strength at FUS. We must all act together to remain safe and to keep others safe. We have many at-risk individuals of all ages at FUS and many with at-risk family members, and we will be together with them frequently, often without an awareness of who they are: wearing face coverings effectively reduces transmission of coronavirus from an infected person to others since they cover the nose and mouth, which are the main confirmed sources of transmission of virus that causes coronavirus infection.

All individuals in indoor University facilities must wear disposable surgical-style masks (CE surgical mask or certified FFP2/N95 or N90 equivalent) or fabric/cloth masks that cover their nose and mouth.

Masks will be supplied by FUS. Masks are available for staff, faculty, students and external visitors (see new Visitors’ Registration Guidelines at point 5.3).

Visitors must wear a mask at all times.

Masks are required in the classroom. Social distancing of at least 2 meters must also be maintained.

Masks are not required outdoors on campus, but social distancing requirements must be observed anywhere outdoors on campus.

Social distancing of at least 2 meters is required at all times in ALL settings.

Social distancing is mandatory, including when masks are being used.

3.1.6 Proper use of masks

The following guidelines apply.

  • To obtain maximum protection the mask should fit the face well. It must completely cover the face from above the nose to under the chin and remain in position.
  • Therefore:
    • position the mask on the nose and mouth so that the reinforced part is on the bridge of the nose,
    • pass the elastic around each ear or tie the laces behind the head,
    • cover the chin with the lower part of the mask,
    • adjust the reinforced upper part so that the whole edge of the mask adheres well to the skin,
    • do not exchange used masks with other people,
    • wash your hands with soap before putting on the mask and after throwing away single-use masks,
    • dispose of single-use masks as household waste when soiled or after four hours of use.

We recommend that you watch this video about how to use a surgical mask correctly.

3.1.7 Waste

Cleaning staff will be directed to empty the waste bins regularly (especially those near where you wash your hands). They must avoid touching the waste directly and always use tools (broom, shovel, etc.). Faculty and staff should avoid touching waste. Cleaning staff are not to compress the waste bags.

3.1.8 Use of service vehicles

For travel with service vehicles, the use of surgical masks is mandatory if there are other passengers besides the driver.

Service vehicle drivers must thoroughly clean the interior and the outdoor door handles with a cloth and a special sanitizing detergent at the end of the journey.

3.1.9 Cleaning of premises and relative ventilation

The cleaning of the premises is adapted to the actual frequency of use.

Cleaning is carried out, as a rule, when there is no other person on the premises.

Cleaning staff are required to ventilate the rooms, where it is not already guaranteed by a mechanical ventilation system.

The site Aria Fresca, Idee Chiare (Italian) gives indications on the airing of the classrooms (FUS classrooms received a good rating).

3.1.10 Cleaning of toilets

The frequency of cleaning the toilets, where used, has been increased to twice a day.

3.1.11 Positioning and use of hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are available at counters and in meeting rooms.

3.2 Social distancing—other concerns

3.2.1 Distance between people

The distance of at least 2 meters between people must be maintained in all circumstances. Handshakes should be avoided.

Assemblies with more than 5 people should be avoided.

As far as possible, receive guests by appointment in order to avoid prolonged waiting.

Where absolutely unavoidable, contacts between people less than 2 meters away should be kept as short as possible, of course always with masks.

3.2.2 Journey to work

If possible go to work on foot, by bicycle, scooter or motorcycle. If you use a private car we recommend traveling alone.

If public transport is used, avoid, if possible, peak times and comply with the recommendations issued by the authorities and transport companies.

For those who use a public transport pass and decide to go to work with a private car, FUS will provide parking spaces available free of charge.

3.2.3 Circulation, hallways, waiting and break areas

In many of our buildings some hallway traffic will be strictly one-way to maintain social distancing requirements. These routes will be clearly designated.

Where it is not possible to guarantee the meeting of people by respecting the distance of 2 meters, one-way routes are usually defined with specific signs. Elevators should be avoided. In case of need, they must be used by only one person.

In common areas, the number of tables and chairs will be reduced to ensure that distances are maintained. Do not move or rearrange the furniture.

If possible, supervisors should stagger work and break times, in order to reduce the number of people present in the common areas at the same time.

3.2.4 Dining Services

The rules of social distancing must also be respected at catered events and in the Grotto and the North Campus dining area. The number of occupants and the positioning of tables will be arranged to meet social distancing guidelines. Crowds of people in line will be avoided. External guests will not be served and cannot stay inside these structures.

In addition to the aforementioned hygiene measures, in serving meals to students, trainees and participants in continuing education courses the dining service will:

  • prohibit people from serving themselves and taking their own cutlery,
  • stagger the flow of people,
  • provide protection for food and personnel (e.g. Plexiglas screens).

3.2.5 Meetings

If possible, meetings should be held by video conferencing instead of face-to-face.

Face-to-face meetings must be held in well-ventilated rooms, with a limited number of people suitable for the size of the room. The indicated space is at least 4m2 per person.

The number of chairs for meeting rooms has been adapted accordingly and a sign indicating the maximum number of people will be posted on the doors of meeting rooms.

The meeting organizer will ensure that each meeting room has wipes and disinfectant/soap to allow users to clean/disinfect contact surfaces before and after meetings.

The duration of face-to-face meetings should normally be limited to 2 hours. The meeting room must be regularly aired at the beginning and end of the meeting by the meeting organizer or designee, and when feasible, the windows will be left open during the meeting.

3.2.6 Travel

We recommend that you limit travel to a minimum.

Business travel abroad is prohibited, until a date to be defined.

For indispensable business trips within Switzerland it is recommended to travel alone by car.

3.2.7 Material deliveries

For the delivery of materials/books, if possible opt for postal delivery. Incoming and outgoing mail is distributed by a designated person in each team who collects and distributes. The designated person must maintain hand hygiene regularly.

3.2.8 Work premises

Where possible, one person should work in each room at any one time. In the case of large rooms/offices, it is possible to allow one person every 10m2 to work. All rooms must be ventilated at least 4 times a day for about 10 minutes: each employee is responsible to do this for his/her office.

3.2.9 Teleworking and office attendance

Until at least December 31, 2020, FUS recommends, when possible and as determined in conjunction with supervisors, teleworking for all employees.

3.2.10 Hours and work shifts

Flexible working hours and shifts will be organized in order to limit the number of people present.

4 Prevention and Safety

4.1 Potential contagion

The guidelines of the Federal Office of Public Health must be observed. In particular, those who experience flu symptoms (fever above 37.5° C or the sensation of fever, cough [mostly dry], sore throat, breathlessness or respiratory ailments, muscle pain, sudden loss of smell and/or taste) must stay at home immediately even in case of mild symptoms and consult their doctor by phone.

Anyone who has had close contact with Covid-19 patients in the past 14 days (less than two meters away, more than 15 minutes) must stay home for 10 days.

4.2 Reporting illness

People who are ill, regardless of sickness, must report their illness to their line manager and the administration.

A medical certificate is required for periods of illness longer than 5 working days. In the event of an accident, for insurance reasons, the event certification remains unchanged, according to the Staff Handbook.

During the period of remote working, all employees are insured against professional injury for related activities.

4.3 Self-quarantine

If arriving from a country defined by the Swiss federal authorities as a high risk country or if the employee has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive individual, self-quarantine is necessary.

All employees must follow the instructions related to the quarantine and FUS regulations contained in this document and those of their immediate superiors. As a general rule, quarantine is considered as a teleworking period. For questions, please see the Quarantine FAQ.

4.4 At-risk groups

According to COVID-19 Ordinance 2, people over 65 or people with certain chronic diseases and pregnant women are considered particularly at risk.

Employees belonging to an at-risk group or who live in an apartment shared with people at risk must be particularly protected.

Students belonging to an at-risk group must not be discriminated against with regards to access to education, and ad hoc solutions must be identified to allow them to continue their studies.

They can only be accepted on-site for activities in which social distances are constantly guaranteed.

4.4.1 Pregnant women

For pregnant women, the Swiss Society of Obstetrics and Gynecology recommends that they work remotely.

4.5 Tracking of contacts

Tracking of attendance and contact between people on campus is essential. In the event of a positive case of coronavirus, that individual’s contacts must be traceable. The organizer of meetings or gatherings must collect the contact information of all participants (name and phone or email) and inform the participants that this is being done and how it will be used. The data will be stored and then destroyed after 14 days unless explicitly requested by (and then provided to) the Cantonal authorities.

The mandatory use of the SwissCovid app (for android or iPhone), will also facilitate the tracing of contacts within our campus. Staff, faculty, and students must have the app, and visitors will be required to download the app if they do not have it. Exceptions must be cleared with Tomaso Rizzi (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

4.6 Data regarding COVID-19 infection and quarantine

Self-reports of COVID-19 illness and quarantine will be forwarded to the Coordinator of Student Medical Services and Wellbeing (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for students and to the V.P. for Finance and Administration (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) for Staff and Faculty.

Medical confidentiality will be maintained. The information will be used for requests from the cantonal authorities and not released without the specific consent of the individual or his/her legal representative. Contact tracing is now being performed by the cantonal authorities. Those in the FUS community who may have come into close contact with the positive case are contacted directly and given instructions to prevent further spread. Any discussions with FUS staff or faculty with the individual who has tested positive will be treated confidentially.

Contact tracing information is used for the sole purpose of protecting community health. Your activities are not shared with student conduct teams or others in the FUS community; your name is not shared when notifying those who may have been exposed. Our concern is your health, the health of your friends and the FUS community.

4.7 Cleaning after a positive case has been identified

FUS cleaning staff will deep clean and sanitize the area in which the person worked and/or attended class, as well as the public spaces in the building. This enhanced cleaning is performed within 8-12 hours of the case confirmation.

4.8 Work hours

Maximum flexibility in the management of working hours is guaranteed between 06:00 and 22:00.

The department head is responsible for monitoring the sustainability of the staff workload.

Working from home, the workload remains unchanged based on the contractually stipulated degree of employment.

Unless explicitly agreed otherwise with the direct superior, overtime is not allowed in the case of teleworking.

4.9 Vacation

An extension is granted until March 31, 2021 to use the remaining vacation from 2019-2020 or earlier. Planning must be agreed with your direct supervisor, ideally by September 30, 2020.

5 Performance Activities

5.1 Courses continuity

Lessons and exams are held in presence (masks are required), remotely or in a hybrid format, as appropriate in compliance with the conditions of hygiene, social distance and other provisions issued by the authorities and by FUS.

In these particular cases, students will be informed in advance and will receive clear indications directly from their professors and from Academic Affairs.

In the case of attended activities, the specific recommendations (Italian) must be respected.

As far as possible, avoid changing classrooms (reduce mobility within the educational establishment).

To guarantee the distance of 2 meters between the people present in the classroom, it is also possible to rely on the indicative value of one person every 4m2.

With the exception of lessons, gatherings of young people or adults should also be avoided. There is also a ban on gathering more than 30 people in public spaces and smaller groups may only be formed by respecting the rules of social distancing.

5.2 Counters and reception

Where necessary, counters are equipped with protective features (Plexiglas).

Where necessary, a distance of 2 meters will be marked on the ground in front of the reception area.

5.3 Visitors’ Registration Guidelines

In Fall 2020, visits to campus will be limited. All visitors must sign in and out at Reception or in the Office of Admissions (which will use its own process) as described below. Groups of no more than three people from a single family unit will be allowed to visit campus. There will be no in-person classroom visits at least until October 1st. These guidelines will be updated based on the evolving situation.

Whether a visitor is a member of the public walking across the University campus, a person attending an appointment, an invited guest or is visiting for any other purpose, the University has a duty to register them.

Visitors include individuals who are not current Faculty, Staff, Trustees or students: therefore, visiting faculty, visiting scholars, contractors, vendors, volunteers, individuals invited to attend workshops, seminars or conferences, individuals invited to attend interviews or meetings, any individual who is visiting the school. Visitors will be asked to deposit an ID (passport, ID card or driver’s license) with Reception, sign in and out using the visitor registration form and will be issued with a badge which they should wear throughout their stay and return to the Reception or to the office that issued it before they collect their ID and leave the University.

Completing the visitor registration form (which also registers vehicles for parking purposes) before the arrival will help to speed up the registering process when visitors arrive on site.

Pre-registration also allows the University to screen visitors in case they come from countries where quarantine is required.

Staff and Faculty must register their scheduled visitors in advance with a timely communication to the University Reception.

Visitors must download the SwissCovid app before coming to campus and must wear masks while indoors.

6 Information/Distribution

This Protection Plan will continue to be in effect until further notice. Updates will be published regularly.

Any concerns or questions should be directed to Tomaso Rizzi at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..