Message from the President
COVID-19 is a once-in-a-century pandemic facing humanity today. With no experience to draw on when it comes to dealing with the disease, it is an extremely difficult task to predict how and to what extent the pandemic situation will unfold. I also find it extraordinary that, as the word pandemic implies “all people”, we are all sharing the experience of an unprecedented calamity with people across the globe in real time.
Amid the COVID-19 crisis, Hokkaido University created a taskforce to gather information and intelligence to respond with its best efforts to the ongoing challenges of the pandemic. However, the turmoil we have been through so far has taught us that this as-yet-unexplored infectious disease is hard to beat. At the present time, we are trying to flexibly accommodate both needs of sustainable education and research and preventing and curving the spread of the virus.
Due to a new spike in COVID-19 cases in Hokkaido, the Hokkaido Government raised its COVID-19 alert from Stage 1 to 2 on October 28, and designated the two weeks from the date as an intensive prevention period. Their Alert Stage was once again raised from 2 to 3 on November 7 with the said period being extended to November 27. This was followed by the decision that the City of Sapporo would enter a more critical Stage 4 on November 17.
Meanwhile, the University took every opportunity to remind all University staff and students to adhere to the public health measures such as indoor ventilation, mask wearing and avoiding dining with those outside their own household, and proceeded with day-to-day activities under the restrictions provided in the Response Plan of our Hokkaido University Business Continuity Plan During Coronavirus Outbreak (BCP). But despite the efforts, new cases still keep emerging in our University community.
Given the circumstances, the University has raised its own Alert Level defined in the BCP from Level 1 to Level 2 on November 18. Please read and follow the instructions set according to the BCP’s Level 2 measures. It is much to our regret that the University operations and activities must be limited to a certain level. However, our priority today is in safeguarding the health and safety of all in the University community.
It is vital for all members of the community to work together in order to curve the spread of COVID-19. I would like to ask you for your understanding and cooperation to pull through this pandemic crisis.
Thank you for your continued efforts to support and safeguard our University community.
November 18, 2020
Head of COVID-19 Task Force
What We Must Do Now to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
(January 12, 2021; amendments added January 15, 2021)
The January 12 meeting of the Hokkaido University COVID-19 Task Force took the decision that the University would continue staying at the Alert Level 2 (Restriction – medium level) prescribed in the Response Plan of the Hokkaido University Business Continuity Plan During Coronavirus Outbreak (BCP).
The decision in context:
– Despite the number of new cases decreasing after having the highest number confirmed within the University community in November, new cases are still being identified and their close contacts are being traced at a steady rate;
– While experiencing an explosive surge of COVID-19 cases across Japan, a state of emergency has been declared in the greater Tokyo area* from Friday, January 8 until Sunday, February 7. The region is facing an increased threat from the virus.
*The state of emergency was expanded to cover 7 additional prefectures on January 13;
– The state of emergency may be expanded to other prefectures as the number of regional cases rises;
– Although Hokkaido has passed a recent peak, over 100 new cases are still reported daily. The Hokkaido Government is currently making arrangements through other authorities to extend its Intensive Prevention Period originally fixed until Friday, January 15†.
†On January 14, the Intensive Prevention Period was extended until February 15; and
– From a comprehensive perspective, the University has resolved on remaining at the Alert Level 2 rather than prematurely easing restrictions to the Alert Level 1. Meanwhile, we keep a closer eye on the transition of COVID-19 cases in the University community to regularly discuss and determine an appropriate Alert Level. A decision about whether the University moves to another Alert Level will be made at the next COVID-19 Task Force meeting on Monday, February 8 with due consideration of the impact of the state of emergency by the Japanese government along with the Hokkaido Government’s COVID-19 measures and the pandemic phase of the region.
In response to the said state of emergency, the Hokkaido Government has added new restrictions “Please refrain from non-essential, non-urgent travel to and from regions under a State of Emergency” and “Please refrain from eating and drinking with people who do not live in your household as much as possible” in its COVID-19 protocols and guidelines.
Requests for Cooperation During Extended Period of Concentrated Countermeasures
We ask every member of the University community to continue efforts to prevent COVID-19 infections under the Level 2 instructions in our BCP and proceed with day-to-day work or study. Please act sensibly and considerately and take account of human rights and privacy protection for COVID-19 patients and their families to prevent biases and discrimination against them.
January 12, 2021
(Amendments effective January 15, 2021)
Hokkaido University COVID-19 Task Force
We moved to Alert Level 2 on November 18th, 2020
- ▼ Messages from the President
- Jun. 1, 2020 What We Must Do Now to Help Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
- ▼ To all studentsUpdated
- Nov. 20, 2020 Attendance Policy If you are diagnosed with COVID-19 Updated
July 10, 2020 Message from the Vice President Ko Hasegawa
Apr. 20, 2020 Basic measures to take in laboratories against COVID-19
Apr. 10, 2020 Important safeguard against Novel Coronavirus
Apr. 9, 2020 Act responsibly during coronavirus outbreak
- ▼ To all staff members Updated
- Nov. 20, 2020 Guidance for Conducting Research Safely during COVID-19 Pandemic Updated
Apr. 10, 2020 Important safeguard against Novel Coronavirus
- ▼ COVID-19 Cases Updated
Mar. 6, 2020 May 3, 2020 Aug. 4, 2020 Aug. 12, 2020 Aug. 18, 2020 1 case 1 case 1 case 4 cases 1 case Oct. 8, 2020 Oct. 12, 2020 Oct. 20, 2020 Oct. 22, 2020 Oct. 27, 2020 1 case 2 cases 1 case 2 cases 2 cases Nov. 5, 2020 Nov. 6, 2020 Nov. 10, 2020 Nov. 13, 2020 Nov. 17, 2020 1 case 1 case 2 cases 5 cases 3 cases Nov. 19, 2020 Nov. 24, 2020 Nov. 27, 2020 Nov. 30, 2020 Dec. 3, 2020 3 cases 2 cases 2 cases 1 case 2 cases Dec. 10, 2020 Dec. 15, 2020 Dec. 25, 2020 Jan. 14, 2021 1 case 1 case 2 cases 3 cases New
- ▼ Related Links
- Hokkaido Government
City of Sapporo
Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare: Coronavirus Q&A
Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology: Coronavirus information and guidance
MOFA’s Travel Advisories and Warnings
“Tabireg” (MOFA’s travel safety information service)