North Sumatra University decides to lockdown after lecturers test positive for COVID-19, rector recovered

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The University of North Sumatra (USU) conducted a campus lockdown of all activities following a number of lecturers who tested positive for the coronavirus (Covid-19). One of them has died from the coronavirus disease.

The campus closure will be conducted for one week, from 27 July to 2 August 2020.

The decision was stated in the Circular Letter of Rector 6877 / UN5.1.R / SPB / 2020, Friday, July 24. The Circular Letter was signed by USU rector Runtung Sitepu.

“In response to conditions lately where more and more USU lecturers have expressed positive Covid-19, some have even died, so for our safety with the USU extended family, we have adopted a policy for lockdown,” said USU Head of Public Relations, Elvi Sumanti, Friday, July 24.

Runtung Sitepu said the late lecturer, identified as MHKS, taught at the School of Engineering’s industrial engineering department.

Runtung himself was tested positive for coronavirus on July 10, 2020, and he has undergone independent isolation for the past two weeks. Then he recovered from Covid-19 after two swab tests showed negative results.

Earlier, the Managing Director of USU Hospital, Syah Mirsya Warli, informed of the contact tracking of a member of the Board of Trustees (MWA) and USU Vice Rector I who were confirmed positive for Covid-19. According to him, the results of the USU rector’s swab test was also positive with good condition and no symptoms.

At that time, Syah Mirsya appealed to all who had had close contact with the rector to conduct a swab test at USU Hospital or another rapid test, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, or swab test site in North Sumatra.

Regarding the number of lecturers that positive and died from Covid-19, USU was reluctant to disclose it. That is the authority of the Task Force, they say.

“For this information, we are not authorized to give it to the provincial COVID-19 Task Force,” said Elvi.

During the lockdown period, all leaders, lecturers, and education staff work from home (WFH).

“The attendance list must also be signed online. We implemented this policy after receiving input from the Board of Trustees of USU,” Elvi said.

USU continues the online learning system for the students.

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