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Message from the president of the University

Dear colleagues,

As the holidays come to an end, I wish you all an excellent return to work; I hope that the summer break provided a much needed rest for you, your family and friends after the very challenging first months of 2020.

As you know, after nearly 6 months off-site, most of our students will finally be able to return to our campus and we will also be welcoming our 1st year Bachelor students who are starting their experience of higher education. We are delighted to finally be able to welcome these students on-site. I know that many of you are working hard on the organization of this exceptional return to the university and I thank you.

The Regional Health Agency (ARS) has confirmed the acceleration of new COVID-19 cases, in particular within the region of Gironde, and given the size and diverse profile of our community, it is very likely that cases will be detected in the coming weeks or months within our university. Our objective is thus to avoid such cases spreading throughout our community.

The number one health measure that applies to all, whether it be staff, students, visiting lecturers or visitors, is the mandatory use of face masks in all interior and exterior university spaces, as of Monday, August 31st. In addition, more than ever, respecting barrier gestures is necessary to stop the epidemic: careful and frequent hand washing and physical distancing. Health professionals speak of the 3 point rule: mask, hand washing, 1 meter distance.

It is also essential that each and every one of you be able to trace your itinerary and contacts in the establishment, in case of positive testing for the virus. This individual vigilance will make it possible, if necessary, to speed up the identification of any so-called “at risk” * contacts (whether it be colleagues, students or visitors) and therefore to limit the transmission of the virus in our community.

Furthermore, if you have symptoms or live with someone (partner, child, flatmate, etc.) who has tested positive for COVID-19, you should isolate and consult your doctor immediately. In practical terms, this means not coming to your workplace, staying at home (while of course informing your employer), and contacting the university workplace health service to find out how to best proceed and protect others in such a situation**. For any questions, a “covid” email address () is available and will direct you to the right contacts in case of doubt.

The COVID-19 section on the university website is currently being updated to provide the necessary information for this new period. In particular, thematic “frequently asked questions” (FAQ), accessible to all, will cover specific questions from university staff (and also students), for example what to do when tested positive for COVID-19 (and for suspected cases, when in contact with cases), protective material, etc. Do not hesitate to consult this section regularly for up-to-date information on the situation or useful contacts.

In this section of the website you may also find the contact details of the different HR and social development services, in particular the workplace health service, who are available should you have any questions or require help. This exceptional period may be very worrying and stressful and I therefore encourage you to consult with the doctors or psychologists here within the university if necessary.

I know that I may count on the collective responsibility, commitment and solidarity of our community in order to make this exceptional start of the academic year a success. I thank you for your efforts.

Wishing you all a pleasant return to the workplace.

Manuel TUNON de LARA
President

* At-risk contacts are defined as contacts between two people without a face mask and / or who did not respect physical distancing. However, only health professionals, after analysis, can formally declare the contact as “at risk”.

** Medical proof of absence may be requested by your employer.

01/09/20