- Update On Campus ProtocolsOctober 6, 2020
We are continuing to monitor and minimize the health and safety risks to reopen the camUpdate On Campus Protocols
We are continuing to monitor and minimize the health and safety risks to reopen the campus. Three weeks have passed since we invited the first group of students who required connectivity to return to campus. There is much we have learned from implementing new SOP’s and feedback from students living here. We are adjusting our policy to allow students to go off campus during the day but everyone must return by 8pm.
This additional flexibility also comes with greater responsibility for students, since going off-campus increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. It also means, that should any student become sick with COVID, they will have to leave the campus until they have fully recovered. The protocols for reporting, getting help from the campus medical clinic, getting tested, etc., are elaborated in the SOP’s which all campus residents must read and follow.
We will be inviting the second group of students to live on campus early next week as we endeavour to complete necessary preparations (exact move-in dates to follow). We have increased the size of this second group. It will include the third group that was originally planned to return later in the semester. We hope this will make for a smoother transition for everyone.
Finally, we want to reaffirm our intention to open the campus in the spring. Barring a second wave, if all campus residents continue to mask, distance and maintain proper hygiene and if we can avoid a COVID outbreak on campus this term, we will welcome everyone in the spring semester. While most of us would like classroom instruction to fully resume at that time, we are also continuing to explore options for hybrid and online learning.
Most of all, we want to take this opportunity to thank the students who have been very patient on campus, and the staff that have been working around the clock to ensure that the campus is COVID-compliant and that resources are mobilized to make your transition back as seamless as possible. We also want to thank you for your extraordinary patience, and resilience to overcome multiple challenges that have come your way.
We will continue to keep you update as the situation on campus evolves.
Best wishes, take extra care
Farhat Haq, Provost
Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor
- Students Share On Campus Living Experience with LUMS ManagementOctober 3, 2020
A townhall meeting was held on October 3, where more than 95 students invited to live oStudents Share On Campus Living Experience with LUMS Management
A townhall meeting was held on October 3, where more than 95 students invited to live on campus during the first phase of the partial reopening, shared their experiences with the senior management of LUMS.
Representing the University were Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad; Provost, Dr. Farhat Haq; Vice Provost, Dr. Tariq Jadoon; Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director Health and Safety at LUMS, Dr. Samia Altaf; Dean, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. Ali Khan, and Dean Office of Student Affairs, Dr. Adnan Khan, who listened to the queries and concerns of the students, and discussed ways in which the students could be made more comfortable on campus.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
‘Our goal is to have the same rules for everyone on campus.’
Dr. Arshad Ahmad said that during the trial period the management tried to implement some SOPs to see if they actually work not just for the students on campus, but for everyone residing at the university. “We are mindful and we do know that there appear to be different rules for different people here. Our goal is to have the same rules for everyone on campus and that is the direction we are going in. That includes students, faculty and staff as well as any visitors.”
He also explained that this informal discussion would help the LUMS management support the needs and requests of the students on campus, as well as be better prepared for the next cohort. “We are putting pieces together from this experience to determine whether we can allow more mobility, including work, that goes beyond the campus. There are many data points to pick up that will determine the decision. The good news is that we will be deciding soon.”
‘The idea is to have one more phase instead of two.’
Dr. Samia Altaf gave an overview of the situation on campus. “We have set up many new systems and procedures, and mobilised our resources even in these constrained times. In the past two weeks or so, we have had just one positive case of COVID-19. That case and all its contacts were traced and managed meticulously. We also had three suspected cases, but after following set protocols and having them isolated and tested, we found out that they were COVID negative, which was a huge relief.”
Keeping in mind this data, Dr. Tariq Jadoon explained that though initially the plan was to have phase two and three, “We are thinking about slightly modifying our SOPs. Based upon the experiences we have had so far, the idea is to have one more phase instead of two in approximately 10-15 days and bring in 200 odd students to campus.”
Dr. Adnan Khan reiterated that the data collected from phase one is promising and that very soon in phase two, more students would be invited on campus.
‘Let the Deans know if you have issues with the courses.’
Dr. Ali Khan also encouraged the students to get in touch with the Deans of their respective schools if they face problems regarding their academics. “Let the Deans know if you have issues with the courses. It is incumbent upon us to look into the issue. Feedback is essential at this point.”
Dr. Farhat Haq told the students that the frustration they feel about online learning is something the whole community is feeling. “Faculty members are also concerned and I would encourage you to reach out to the Dean with your complaints if you are feeling that you are not being heard.”
The campus has counselling and psychological services for students to access.
In response to concerns raised by students regarding mental health, Dr. Samia Altaf highlighted different ways to tackle this issue. She said that the campus has counselling and psychological services for students, which you can access from 9 am to 5 pm directly, and after 5 pm there is a possibility to connect through phone or other means.
“I am also offering that anytime students on campus can gather together 6-8 people in one place at one time for 40 minutes, I am happy to come and we can have a conversation about what is causing us stress. We can meet outside under a tree, six feet away from each other, while all of us are wearing masks and we can talk about strategies to relieve your stress.”
Many students also raised concerns about how they were suffering from poor health due to online classes.
Dr. Altaf agreed that it is inevitable one feels anxiety, which in turn affects the physiological state. “This is why I have repeatedly stressed that physical activity and fresh air are absolutely essential every day.”
‘Go for a walk, be out in the open, get some exercise.’
Dr. Ali Khan reiterated the necessity for the students to factor in physical activity in to their everyday lives.
He encouraged students to send in suggestions on how more outdoor activities could be introduced while keeping each other safe. Dr. Khan was most appreciative to a student’s suggestion that bicycles should be made available on campus and was keen to look into the matter and provide them for students.
In response to a few questions, Dr. Adnan Khan clarified that outdoor activities are encouraged as long as students did not cluster or come into close contact with each other.
The students appreciated the efforts by the LUMS management to hear their experiences and being open to suggestions while ensuring the health of the entire community is taken care of. Dr. Ahmad encouraged all the students to take the survey as feedback was imperative for LUMS to make more informed decisions with regards to the students.
- Student and Staff Test NegativeSeptember 30, 2020
I am happy to announce that the test results for all five individuals are negative.Student and Staff Test Negative
I am happy to announce that the test results for all five individuals are negative. The individuals had strictly followed the SOPs which helped protect them. Guided by the SOPs and Health and Safety Committee, together we will continue to strengthen an efficient and sustainable system which we hope will protect the LUMS community against COVID-19.
Dr. Samia Altaf
Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director, Health & Safety
September 30, 9:00 pm (PKT)
- COVID-19 Case MonitoringSeptember 29, 2020
On September 26, we received confirmation that a house officer at LUMS tested positiveCOVID-19 Case Monitoring
On September 26, we received confirmation that a house officer at LUMS tested positive for COVID-19. The house officer was on campus for an eight-hour shift the night before reporting sick. Through contact tracing we determined that five individuals, including one student, had enough interaction with the COVID-positive individual to warrant further monitoring. All five individuals were following the health and safety protocols by wearing masks. The student is in isolation on campus and thankfully has not shown any symptoms for the past four days. The other four individuals are in quarantine at their homes. Three of them are asymptomatic, and one person has developed mild symptoms.
Placing the health and safety of the community as its top priority and to rule out any COVID-19 cases, all contacts are getting a PCR test today. The staff will be allowed back on campus only after they test negative.
Dr. Samia Altaf
Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director, Health & Safety
- SOPs for Health and SafetySeptember 11, 2020
Please find attached the latest versions of following important guiding documents prepa