DUE TO DELTA THREAT:
UST halts limited face-to-face classes, onsite office work indefinitely

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ALL ONSITE classes and office work in UST will shift to remote setups following the implementation of tighter community quarantine protocols in Metro Manila due to the growing threat of the Covid-19 Delta variant. 

The Office of the Secretary General (OSG), in an Aug. 2 memorandum, said programs that had started limited face-to-face classes would shift to the enriched virtual mode (EVM) of learning delivery.

“Limited face-to-face classes are suspended until government regulations allow. The concerned academic units shall facilitate the shift to EVM for students originally scheduled for (face-to-face),” the memorandum stated.

The University earlier moved the opening of first-term classes from Aug. 9 to Aug. 12.

The suspension will affect the second batch of clerks from the Faculty of Medicine and Surgery and internships for the physical therapy (PT) program. The first batch of interns completed their internships in July.

[T]he PT Internship program will continue virtually via telerehabilitation mode,” College of Rehabilitation Sciences Dean Assoc. Prof. Anne Marie Aseron told the Varsitarian.

“Connectivity,” the college’s six-week-long pre-internship and bridging program, will start its second phase this August and end in December.

PT interns were supposed to be divided into two groups for the August internship, face-to-face and online, and switch in January 2022.

Interns initially belonging in the face-to-face group this August will shift to virtual mode, while those belonging to the online group will begin as scheduled, Aseron said. 

“[The online group] will push through with their modules on the four major patient populations that PTs encounter, namely, musculoskeletal, neurologic, pediatrics and cardiopulmonary with special conditions,” the dean added.

Aseron said they were still discussing the adjustments to the face-to-face internship rotations with the Apolinario Mabini Rehabilitation Center of the UST Hospital.

Meanwhile, the second batch of clinical clerks, who started their limited face-to-face engagements last July 16, shifted to a remote setup on July 31, Clinical Clerks Council President Nethania Vasquez told the Varsitarian.

In the limited face-to-face classes, clerks rotate through face-to-face activities, hospital shadowing and online activities.

The first batch of medical clerks completed the clerkship proper on July 10.

Medical technology students started their internship program last July 5, while nursing students were supposed to start their face-to-face Related Learning Experience on Aug. 9.

Office work

Under ECQ, only establishments offering essential services are allowed to operate.

The OSG memorandum stated that remote and work-from-home arrangements would be implemented for all University staff.

“Concerned units may deploy skeleton workforce onsite for identified essential services and personnel. Onsite deployment of skeleton workforce for essential services shall comply with the scheduling procedures of the Human Resource Department (for support staff) and the academic unit (for teaching and non-teaching academic staff) to manage the number of employees in the workplace,” it said.

Metro Manila is under general community quarantine with heightened restrictions until Aug. 5.

It will shift to the most stringent enhanced community quarantine from Aug. 6 to 20.

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