Now that semester 1 of the academic year 2020/2021 is almost over and we head towards a well-deserved winter holiday period, it's time to look back on four very intense and challenging months of dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and a very acute second wave of the coronavirus disease. Our Prevention Advisor Marth VANDEN BERGHE, Service for Prevention and Protection of the College of Europe Bruges campus, played a key role in managing the health crisis situation and emphasizes the immense efforts put in by the entire College community.
"All college buildings were provided with the appropriate COVID-19 signage and markings to ensure safe passage for all. In September and October, we organized three joint rounds of COVID-19 testing for all students on our Bruges campus. A team of doctors and nurses was sent to each of our seven residences. Timetables were also drawn up so that each student had his/her own time to come down and could safely have his/her test taken in accordance with the measures", explains Marth VANDEN BERGHE.
"Students who tested positive or had a high-risk contact were immediately quarantined and put into isolation in their residence room. To support those unfortunate students we created a so-called "buddy system". The healthy students helped out there infected fellow students by providing them with food, medicines and other necessary provisions. Those essentials were literally delivered at the doorstep of the student rooms. All students of the Soares Promotion were also provided with the necessary mouth masks."
"Besides organizing tests, it's of the highest importance that we keep students and personnel informed about the procedures and that we can answer all their questions."
Marth VANDEN BERGHE, Prevention Advisor
But there's more: "Together with the General Facilities service, we developed written procedures for housekeeping, so that the bathrooms of our students could be cleaned and the towels and sheets could be replaced in the safest way possible. It's crucial that we protect the health of our colleagues and that they can do their job in a safe and comfortable way. For the colleagues who come into direct and close contact with students (catering, library reception desk, residence wardens, technical services, night-watchmen...) , we provided the highly protective FFP3 face masks", says Marth VANDEN BERGHE.
"The capacity of the class rooms at our Dijver and Verversdijk sites were also systematically adjusted depending on the colour code in force. At this moment, we are facing a code red situation, which means fully online teaching for all courses." Last but not least, our College of Europe Bruges campus Prevention Advisor established a COVID-19 team. "Our team tackles all possible questions, issues and actions regarding the coronavirus and regularly publishes COVID-19 updates on the intranet for students and staff. Besides organizing tests, it's of the highest importance that we keep students and personnel informed about the procedures and that we can answer all their questions. "