The current pandemic is a hard time for the academic community. COVID-19 security level 2 (marked in orange) was introduced at the University of Silesia in Katowice on 19 October 2020. It includes limitation of on-site classes, closing of University premises for third parties, introduction of remote work for a majority of employees, suspension of the organisation of academic events, suspended mobility of employees and students, as well as ban on visits and movement for the inhabitants of student residence halls and teacher residence halls. To facilitate the University operation during these restrictions, our University offers many forms of support addressed to employees, students and doctoral students.
During the restriction of educational activities, as well as many other activities, the employees, students and doctoral students are likely to be more affected by personal problems. Therefore, the University of Silesia enables free-of-charge use of psychological support provided by specialists from the Institute of Psychology (support for employees) and Student Service Centre (support for students and doctoral students). The method of providing free-of-charge psychological support to all interested individuals is described on the following website: www.zdalny.us.edu.pl/pl/zdrowie-psychiczne.
Out of concern for the health and safety of employees and students, the University has begun cooperation with Centermed clinic in the field of medical consultations. A special on-call medical consultation service for employees, students and doctoral students of the University of Silesia was launched on 18 November 2020. Detailed information on medical support and schedule of medical consultations are available on: https://us.edu.pl/en/konsultacje-lekarskie-dla-pracownikow-studentow-i-doktorantow-uczelni/.
“Share your health!” campaign of the University of Silesia
The members of academic community who have experienced SARS-CoV-2 infection can help in the treatment of other individuals by donating their plasma, which contains antibodies. The University of Silesia campaign “Share your health!” supports the Regional Centre for Blood Donation and Haemotherapy (RCKiK) at ul. Raciborska in Katowice. More information can be found on: https://us.edu.pl/en/podziel-sie-zdrowiem-akcja-uczelni-wspierajaca-oddawanie-osocza-i-krwi/.
Quarantine and isolation rules
The rules for people in quarantine or isolation are specified in the announcements made by Prof. Ewa Jarosz, Vice-Rector for Staff Development and bursar Beata Zawadzka. The individuals who apply for the payment of sickness benefits due to quarantine or isolation do not have to provide the decision of Sanepid (Chief Sanitary Inspector) or sick leave document on paper. However, they should remember to inform the direct superior about the cause of their absence at work by phone or e-mail.
The employees who are in quarantine and, at the same time, perform remote work in agreement with their employer, are entitled to remuneration for the work performed subject to submitting the application form, which can be found on the following website: us.edu.pl/employee/case-pracownicze/case-kadrowe/announcements-kadrowe/. Remote work is not possible in the case of an employee in isolation.
Full announcements are available on the employee’s website: www.us.edu.pl/employee. (https://us.edu.pl/employee/2020/11/12/komunikat-kwestora-university-slaskiego-in-katowicach)
The quarantine time is definitely hard, not only due to a worse physical or mental health and well-being, but also for the organisational reasons. The community of the University of Silesia is ready to provide mutual support, which is why every community member, who is not going through difficult moments due to their own disease, or disease of their family members, can ask the Rector’s Office for help. Employees of the Rector’s Office will try to find the effective forms and methods of support (e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org).
The #UŚsupports campaign can make it easier to find yourself in this exceptional, difficult situation. The authors of materials published on the following website: www.us.edu.pl/in-wspiera are researchers, teachers, artists and support staff associated with the University of Silesia in Katowice, who share their knowledge, experience and works.
Our experts tell how they handle remote work, free time and challenges that until recently we referred to as common daily living. They give clues on how to better understand your emotions and reactions. They prepare sets of physical exercises and games to make the time spent with your family more attractive. They share their artistic work. They prepare routes of virtual tours in your neighbourhood. They reveal what they read, watch, write and listen to at the time of the crisis. They help understand the invisible enemy that we are fighting against and explain how they participate in this difficult struggle by conducting scientific research.
Scientific Premiere Stage
Scientific Premiere Stage is a new initiative of the University of Silesia, which allows to present new scientific achievements of our employees, doctoral students and students. The new initiative is intended to inspire and encourage its recipients to discover the surrounding world, as well as joint meetings, in spite of the social distance requirements. Since November 2020, we have brought the new scientific achievements of our employees, doctoral students and students closer to the world. At the Scientific Premiere Stage we organise meet-the-author sessions in the form of talk shows, promotions of publications, interviews and chamber cultural events.
In the Scientific Premiere Stage: Books series, together with the University of Silesia Press, we recommend the Book of the Week, written by an employee of the University of Silesia. We also encourage you to participate in the unique series called Scientific Premiere Stage: Science Talk Show. The first meeting was held on 19 November 2020. Our guest was Prof. Jan Kisiel, who told us about the breakthrough research on antimatter that made the cover of “Nature” magazine. The recording of the event is available on: www.facebook.com.
The essential information on the University operation (including the information on the organisation of education and e-learning), as well as answers to FAQs, are available on the following website: www.zdalny.us.edu.pl. You can also read about COVID-19 security levels here: https://us.edu.pl/en/uczelnia/status-zabezpieczen-covid-19/.