UW response and information on COVID-19 Updated 18.08.2020

As of 19.08.2020 new rules on traveling to Iceland will be in place. Below you will find information and resources regarding these new rules, as well as rules on social distancing and gathering limitations.

Travelling to Iceland

As of 19.08.2020 all travelers entering Iceland must be tested twice for COVID-19. The first sample is done upon arrival. The second sample is taken 5-6 days later. Until the second test has proved negative you need to carefully follow quarantine rules.  

During the 5-6 day period you are required to follow carefully the instructions for persons under home-based quarantine, or instructions for quarantine for visitors in Iceland, depending on your situation.

When in Ísafjörður, students are encouraged to notify staff about their arrival by e-mail. Please note that you are to adhere to the quarantine instructions until negative result is received from the second test.

Please read further information about coming to Iceland on the official COVID-19 information website.

Previous rules, implemented on 31.07.2020, apply until 18.08.2020 at 00:00 hours. Please read previous announcement.

Classes and working at the University Centre building

Currently there is a limit of gatherings of 100-person and a general rule on social distancing of two meters between individuals who do not live together. This applies to all general gatherings and movement in public space. Where the 2-meter rule cannot be respected masks should be used.

Special provisions are in place at colleges and universities, where it is allowed to maintain one-meter social distance between individuals without face masks.

For further information about current restrictions please visit the Official COVID-19 information website.

How to prevent infection and what to do if symptoms are detected

Please follow always the best hygiene measures. You find more on how to avoid infection here

In case you felt any symptoms, stay home and notify us or call the official number, 1700, respectively +354 544 4113 from a foreign phone.  Do not come to UW when you feel sick and not at all to the hospital either. In an emergency or if you are in doubt how to behave responsibly, you are welcome to address any person staff. 

Further information:

Directorate of Health website

Official information website about COVID-19 in Iceland

UW response and information on COVID-19 Updated 31.07.2020

Updated 31.07.2020 

From today, 31.07.2020, there are new regulations in effect concerning measures to keep infection rate with the corona-virus low. This is a bunch of measures which aim at controlling the influx and, at the same time, prevent further distribution of the virus. 

Most important for incoming international students arer the changes in the border control. We advise students and teachers to find information on the official website.  Arriving international students should pay special attention to the instructions on registering before departure. Students from the US have received a special invitation letter from UW.

During the last week or ten days we have already informed the different categories of students coming to UW individually on the procedure of arrival and testing, including the suggestion to keep to special precautious measures (="heimkomusmitgát"). Since today, 31.07.2020, the regulations on heimkomusmitgát are obligatory for all students and teachers of UW who come from high risque areas (which is most countries).

From 31.07.2020, all arrivals from high-risque areas undergo double testing for covid: First on their own expenses upon arrival, and a second test after some five days with no costs for them, at the place of residence here in Ísafjörður. Please note that students will be invited for the second test. If not, UW will arrange that in cooperation with the local hospital.

Arrivals from "safe countries" do not need to undergo testing. However, UW strongly suggests all students keep to the rules of special precautious measures/heimkomusmitgát during the first days and be in contact with us, so we check with the local health authorities whether a test after five days is indicated.

Heimkomusmitgát (special precautious measures) is a lean form of quarantaine for the first five days of stay. In short, during the first five days, arrivals may not contact vulnerable people, they may not attend gatherings with more than 10 persons and should avoid all contacts which are not traceable. However, students are allowed to travel to their future home in Ísafjörður, including flight and flybus, with overnight stay in Reykjavík and go to the grocery store when necessary, but should minimise all contacts and keep extra high hygienic standards. Disinfection liquid is available in all public buildings and the grocery stores, make use of them. Masks are now obligatory wherever a distance of 2 meters can not be kept. Please find detailed information on the special precautious measures here

When in Ísafjörður, students are encouraged to let staff know of their arrival by e-mail, but may not come to UW before second testing/end of the five day's period. It is allowed to walk in the open air exploring the nature around Ísafjörður – where you won't meet with anybody and won't spread the virus.  Enjoy it!

Please follow always the best hygiene measures. You find more on how to avoid infection here

In case you felt any symptoms, stay home and notify us or call the official number, 1700, respectively +354 544 4113 from a foreign phone.  Do not come to UW when you feel sick and not at all to the hospital either. In an emergency or if you are in doubt how to behave responsibly, you are welcome to address any person staff. 

Further information:

Directorate of Health website

Official information website about COVID-19 in Iceland

UW response and information on COVID-19 Updated 14.03.2020

Updated Announcement at 18:00 14.03.2020

On 13.03.2020, the Icelandic minister of health, in accord with the minister of culture, has announced a ban on mass-gatherings. Part of this is that universities will be closed for four weeks to prevent a massive and uncontrollable spread of the virus.

Although the University Centre of the Westfjords is a very small institution and although there is still no reported case in the Westfjords, the regulation applies to all university level, including the University Centre of the Westfjords. This has the following consequences:

From Monday, 16.03.2020 until 12.04.2020, there will be no required physical attendance at the University Centre building, neither in connection to class work nor for other services. There will be no in-class-teaching ongoing at the University Centre. Teaching will be moved to an online-format, which students can attend from their homes. Student-related matters will be dealt with via e-mail or phone.

Staff will be able to work from home and accessible via e-mail and telephone. Phone calls to the office number will be forwarded to mobile phones. When calling, please respect standard working hours unless there is an emergency.

The University Centre is not the only institution in the building and the reception desks services many institutions in the building. However, we will reduce this service during the next four weeks. The receptionists will work only one at a time. The reception desk will be open on weekdays from 09-13. Beyond that time the building will be accessible only for people who have a key.

Those who have an access-key to the University Centre and a working place there may continue to work from their working place but shall make sure to follow the intention of the set regulation. The access is limited to this narrow group. Reception of guests will not be allowed. Ongoing construction work will continue.

In times like this there can be a higher demand for student counselling. Margrét Björk Arnardóttir is a counselor and will be available via telephone or e-mail.

Students, teachers, staff and colleagues from other institutions are encouraged to contact staff with any considerations. The more physical meetings are reduced or excluded, the more we must pay attention to stay in contact and know of each other's thoughts and needs.

Further information:

Directorate of Health website

Official information website about COVID-19 in Iceland

UW response and information on COVID-19

Civil protection distress phase due to COVID-19

As previously announced, the National Commissioner of the Icelandic Police has declared a civil protection distress phase in consultation with the Chief Epidemiologist and the Directorate of Health. 

Students and staff at the University Centre of the Westfjords are reminded of the importance of following instructions from the Chief Epidemiologist; the latest information is always available on the Directorate of Health website. You can also read questions and answers about symptoms and other information on the coronavirus and COVID-19

Hygiene

The absolute best defense against the spread of disease is to wash your hands well and regularly, cf. the following publication. Extra emphasis is placed on cleaning the UW-building. 

High-risk areas / travel

Students and staff are asked to stay up to date with the latest information about areas that have been defined as high risk. People should not travel to these areas but if it is unavoidable, they must quarantine themselves in accordance with instructions from the Chief Epidemiologist and the Directorate of Health.

Symptoms/illness

It is crucial that anyone experiencing symptoms of illness or who has potentially been exposed to infection, e.g. due to travel, calls the phonenumber1700 for guidance. Students are also welcome to contact staff. Those experiencing symptoms must remain at home and under no circumstances attend class.

People at greater risk

People at greater risk, e.g. older people and those with underlying health conditions such as cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, lung diseases or immunosuppression may consider to work from home, avoid unnecessary gatherings of people and practise good hygiene. Students at UW belonging to this group should let staff know of their background.

Gatherings/events

No ban on mass gatherings has been declared at this point, but this might change. There are no mass gatherings expected this spring at UW. We shall inform registered participants in the Conference on Icelandic Society in April specially.

Teaching and learning

Students may expect courses to be taught via distance teaching in case a teacher is unable to attend in person because of COVID-19. At this point, this is only a theoretical option, but we prepare for it. 

Should a ban on mass gatherings be declared or the University Centre be closed, all effort will be made to continue teaching remotely in order to avoid disruption to studies as far as possible. Practical teaching, excursions and the like may be temporarily suspended in that case.

Students attending single courses this spring, may seek advice for their individual case. UW is guided by goodwill and is reviewing its refunding policy for single courses in spring term 2020.

Services

Basic services to students and staff will continue to be available in the event of a ban on mass gatherings or closure of the University. However, they might only be available by phone or remotely.

Summer Job: SIT Program Assistant May 28 - July12

Summer job: AD assistant

The University Centre of the Westfjords and the School for International Training (SIT), Vermont, USA are looking for someone to act as a program assistant for a field school group this summer. 

Students (mostly undergraduate) are enrolled in a cross-disciplinary summer program in renewable energy sciences. Duration of the program in Iceland: May 28 – July 12

The program assistant works closely with and reports to the AD. S/he has a variety of functions and responsibilities that fall into 3 main categories: academic, administrative and student welfare. The assistant needs to be flexible and prepared to be available 24/7 if needed.

For more info and contact, see this job ad.

Summer job: AD assistant

The University Centre of the Westfjords and the School for International Training (SIT), Vermont, USA are looking for someone to act as a program assistant for a field school group in June and July 2015. 

Promotional Meeting on National Planning Framework

The Icelandic National Planning Agency is promoting a proposal for a National Planning Framework 2015-2026. An open meeting on the framework will be held at the University Centre on January 14 at 12:30-14:30.

Symposium on the Icelandic Social Sciences 2015

The 2015 Symposium on Icelandic Social Sciences will take place in Ísafjörður 17th-18th of April. It is organized by the University Centre of the Westfjords in cooperation with the University of Akureyri, Hólar University College and Bifröst University. It is an annual event where the contemporary Icelandic society is in focus. Diverse studies within e.g. the fields of social studies, anthropology, political sciences and other related sciences will be presented. The main focus of this year's symposium will be on the wide range of different social groups in Iceland and how they interact.

The aim of the symposium is to create a discussion venue for social scientists, whether employed by universities or scientists engaged in research in other fields. Also, the symposium gives students of social sciences an opportunity to participate in scholarly activities.

Among the topics: 
  • Health and Society
  • Religion
  • Nation and Culture
  • Equality Issues
  • People with Disabilities
  • Senior Citizens
  • Immigrants
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Economy and Regional Development
  • Tourism Studies
  • Research Methods
  • School and Society
  • Criminology
  • The Icelandic Constitution
  • Icelandic democracy
  • Information and Knowledge Society

Responsible for organization
Birna Lárusdóttir, Project Manager, University Centre of the Westfjords.
Pernilla Rein, Project Manager, University Centre of the Westfjords.

 

More information on the symposium is available in Icelandic.

Or contact Pernilla Rein, pernilla@uwestfjords.is, or phone +354 450-3044.

 
Call for papers: those who are interested in holding a lecture or presenting a poster, please send title and abstract (150 words) to birna@uwestfjords.is later than February 16, 2015.

 

Two new employees at the University Centre

Two new employees have now joined the staff of the University Centre of the Westfjords. Birna Lárusdóttir, project manager, will be responsible for various projects relating to the University Centre website as well as coordinating seminars and conferences held by the University Centre. Birna has a BA degree in Communications from University of Washington and she has a long experience in journalism as well as in editiorial work.[mynd 1 h]

Jennifer Grace Smith, United States, will be responsible for the Writing Centre of the University Centre. She is a former student from the Coastal and Marine Management Program at the University Centre and graduated in 2012. She also holds an MA degree in Chinese from Johns Hopkins University. She therefore has an excellent background for helping students in the masters program who will be writing there thesis in another language than their own. THe University Centre welcomes both Birna and Jennifer to their posts.[mynd 2 h]

Two Positions Available at UW

Two part time positions are now available at the University Centre of the Westfjords. First a 25% Project Manager position and second a Writing Centre supervisor position. Further information about these two jobs is available on our Icelandic webpage.
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