The University of Ghent (UGent) will switch to code red for its educational activities from 26 October for at least four weeks, it announced on its website.
Until now, the university followed code orange of the so-called pandemic matrix set up by the Flemish government. That matrix consists of codes green (zero risk), yellow (low risk), orange (moderate risk) and red (high risk).
“We communicated earlier that we would maintain code orange until mid-November,” the university said. “The rapidly increasing numbers of Covid-19 infections are forcing us to adjust more quickly so that we can continue to guarantee maximum safety on campus.”
“In addition, we do not want to evade our responsibility on a broader social level: students (and staff) not only run the risk of being infected themselves, but also of infecting non-UGent people,” the university said, citing grandparents as an example of an at-risk group.
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The implementation of code red means that there will be no more lectures on campus. As for non-lectures, “specific modalities are being elaborated,” the university said.
The University of Ghent is the first university in Flanders to switch to code yellow.
The announcement comes as coronavirus infections in Belgium continue to rise, with the average number of new cases over the last seven days doubling compared to the week before.
Belgium now stands at 181,511 confirmed coronavirus cases. Nearly 16,000 of those have occurred in Ghent's province of East Flanders.
The Brussels Times