At the start of classes for the 2021 autumn semester

To all students, faculty and staff

At the start of classes for the 2021 autumn semester

During the 2021 spring and summer semesters, we held both face-to-face and online classes, from the standpoint of maintaining the benefits of in-person classes and a campus-based education while at the same time working as hard as possible to prevent the spread of COVID-19 infection. Thanks in part to the thorough efforts of students and staff during this period in preventing the spread of infection and in reporting infections and other information swiftly, no cases of infection caused by classes or by the activities of student clubs or societies have been determined so far.
Furthermore, when we look at the situation in society, although the effectiveness of the vaccines is clear, it has been pointed out that they do not provide absolute protection against the Delta variant in particular, and that even when everyone in this country who wishes to do so has been vaccinated, it will be difficult to attain herd immunity in the sense of being able to protect society as a whole. At the same time, while vaccinations move forward, debate about the nature of everyday life from now on has begun.
We would like to request the cooperation of all students, faculty and staff on the following points, in particular, in order for this university to continue with the current system for holding classes, while keeping a close eye on the situation inside and outside the university.

1. Please refrain from eating together
An analysis of the cases of infection at this university shows that almost all are believed to have been caused either by eating together with other people or by contact within the family. Social gatherings which involve the consumption of alcohol or eating and drinking together for a long period increase the risk of infection. Keeping firmly in mind the possibility that careless behavior, at a time when variants are rampant, could spread infection within the university and have a major impact on the policy for the holding of classes, all members of the university are asked to refrain from eating together, as well as from gatherings involving a large number of people or lasting for a long time. Moreover, if you feel unwell, please refrain from coming to the university, and contact Tokyo Metropolitan Consultation Center for Cases of Fever (03-5320-4592).

2. Please inform the university swiftly
In order for measures to prevent the spread of infection to be implemented appropriately within the university, it is important to make careful checks at the time when a case of infection occurs, including confirming the number of people at the university who are infected or who have been in close contact with those infected. If you become infected or have been in close contact with someone who was infected, or if you suspect that you may have been, please ensure that you swiftly contact the Hitotsubashi University Health Center if you are a student (Tel. 042-580-8172), or your department if you are a member of faculty or staff. Use of this information will be limited to the extent required in order to put in place the measures needed to prevent the spread of infection, and will not be shared with or leaked to any other students or staff. We will strictly protect personal data. Moreover, please be assured that the university will under no circumstances subject anyone who becomes infected or has been in close contact with an infected person to adverse treatment.

In particular, there are concerns that infections occurring within groups such as student clubs or societies might not be reported when they occur out of a fear that measures to suspend the activities might be taken, resulting in a delay in taking infection-prevention measures, and leading to the spread of infection. In order to prevent such a situation from occurring, please continue to inform the university swiftly if you become infected or have been in close contact with someone who was infected, or if you suspect that you may have been. Please note that the university will respond strictly if you neglect to report infections occurring within a group even though you are aware of them.

3. Please continue to take thorough measures to prevent infection
The university has fully cooperated with Tokyo Metropolitan Government’s initiative to promote vaccinations by providing a venue, and around 4,000 students, faculty and staff of this university (of which more than 3,000 were students) have been vaccinated at the Kanematsu Auditorium. However, it is thought that infections will occur to a certain extent even among those who have been vaccinated, known as “breakthrough infections” (infections after vaccination). For this reason, both those who have been vaccinated and those who are not yet vaccinated are asked to continue to take infection prevention measures. In concrete terms, these include avoidance of the “three Cs (crowded spaces, close-contact settings, closed spaces)” and the “5 situations” in which the risk of infection is increased, the wearing of masks, appropriate ventilation, and being sure to wash your hands with soap and disinfect them with alcohol-based sanitizer. Moreover, vaccination takes place on the basis that the person being vaccinated wishes to do so. Situations in which a person is forced to get vaccinated due to pressure from those around them, or in which someone is treated unfairly according to whether or not they have been vaccinated, should never occur. Therefore, this university will basically not put in place any differences in treatment depending on vaccination status.

We will continue to make various adaptations to assure learning opportunities, proactively rolling out face-to-face classes going forward at the same time as making appropriate use of online classes, from the standpoint of maintaining the benefits of in-person classes and a campus-based education. However, depending on the future infection situation inside or outside the university (for example, the occurrence of multiple clusters simultaneously within the university, or the confirmation of multiple cases of infection caused by teaching, research, or extracurricular activities), it is possible that the ratio of face-to-face to online classes may be changed, or that the level on the Activity Restrictions Index may be raised and the ways in which classes and administrative tasks are carried out may be changed. In such cases, you will receive a separate notification, but please be aware of the possibility that changes may occur at any time.

9 September, 2021
Yasuhiro Otsuki, Vice President for Crisis Management
Hitoshi Aoki, Vice President for Education
Tetsuro Inaba, Vice President for Student Affairs

Prime Minister’s Office of Japan HP
Office for Novel Coronavirus Disease Control, Cabinet Secretariat HP

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