- Vaccinations, In-person Classes and COVID Compliance UpdateJuly 7, 2021
As improved access to vaccination continues, the University is taking all measures possible to significantly increase in-class instruction.Vaccinations, In-person Classes and COVID Compliance Update
As improved access to vaccination continues, the University is taking all measures possible to significantly increase in-class instruction. In addition, we are planning for full occupancy in our campus hostels this Fall for all fully vaccinated returning students. This note provides an update on the vaccination efforts, the work underway to provide the maximum number of ventilated in-person classes and the need to continue COVID-compliance inside the campus.
Since the government made vaccination available for individuals 18 years and older, we recently held a vaccination camp. Currently, 82% of faculty and 81% of staff have been vaccinated. In addition, based on a recent survey, 36% of the students are partially vaccinated and 12% are fully vaccinated. We are actively working with the Punjab public health authorities to continue holding these camps on campus. Similarly, all students who have been newly admitted to LUMS are being asked to get vaccinated as soon as possible.
As vaccinations are mandatory, your vaccination status will be embedded in your Smart Card which will allow you access into the campus, the library, the sports complex, labs, hostels, offices, etc. We strongly encourage you to submit your vaccination status by early August which may allow you access to the campus before the semester begins. All day-scholars will have full access to the campus provided they are fully vaccinated. We are also collecting data on how many students are currently vaccinated and working with projections of how many will have received one or more vaccination by the end of August.
While a majority of vaccinated people decreases the risks posed by COVID-19 considerably, it does not eliminate the risk to everyone that comes from those who have not been vaccinated. It is realistic for us to anticipate that, by the Fall, not everyone will be vaccinated; thus, holding all in-person classes will pose significant risks of spreading the virus. There is also the presence of the new Delta variant which at this time might result in another spike in COVID cases. The university will therefore continue to be COVID-compliant until everyone is vaccinated, which we expect will be fully completed sometime this fall.
With the stated goal of having the maximum number of in-person classes this Fall, the following measures are being implemented:
The current classroom occupancy rate is being increased from 35% to 50%.
By adding evening class sessions, the daily teaching schedule is expanded which provides students with added flexibility in their schedules to take more in-person classes.
Classes with large enrollments will be held online to free up spaces for more in-person classes.
Three additional outdoor classrooms are being added to the two existing ones. All 5 outdoor classes will have internet access, fans and lighting for use in the evenings.
The Sports Complex is also being reconfigured for large in-person classes with appropriate ventilation. The Sports Complex will include a schedule for sporting activities which we will share when this is finalized.
Appropriate COVID-19 ventilation means that a classroom has windows allowing for cross-ventilation. Where possible, windows have been installed, but this is not possible in every classroom on campus for structural reasons. All classroom participants must wear masks and practice social distancing. A full inventory of COVID-compliant classrooms is being used by the RO’s office to determine scheduling for the Fall semester. With these steps, the majority of classes are expected to be in-person.
Variants and Observing SoPs
Since March, 2020, the need for continued vigilance is an important lesson that we have learned. During the past year, as COVID conditions improved and deteriorated, the government has lurched back and forth on partially opening, closing and then re-opening school and university campuses. A fourth wave is already prevalent in some of our neighboring countries as well as in some developed countries which have significantly higher vaccinated populations. Variants cannot be ignored nor underestimated. We continue to monitor various institutional responses in these regions so that we are prepared for worst case scenarios. Continued vigilance in observing SoPs during the Summer and Fall will provide significant protection to our community which is why we all will have to continue to wear masks in public and observe social distancing.
Despite the risks that need to be mitigated if things turn for the worse, conditions might still improve as more people get vaccinated. If these conditions actually improve, we aim to have all classrooms with full capacity and a back-to-normal operation by the Spring term.
We should take pride that our students, faculty and staff who have shown tremendous resilience to overcome the constraints imposed by the pandemic and demonstrated great care to those who remain vulnerable. We will work closely with the Student Council and continue to provide updates this summer. We are also eager to welcome you back for Orientation Week. An exciting program that is being planned and will be announced in the coming weeks.
Thank you for your patience and understanding.
The Senior Administration
Deans, Provosts and VC Offices
- Vaccination PolicyMay 27, 2021
The LUMS COVID-19 Vaccination Policy is a necessary step towards safely opening the campus in Fall 2021.Vaccination Policy
Dear LUMS Community,
As we were about to release the new vaccination policy, we heard the possibility followed by the wonderful news yesterday that the government has extended vaccinations that would apply to the vast majority of our students – a great step forward.
Please find attached the LUMS COVID-19 Vaccination Policy – a necessary step towards safely opening the campus this fall. The Vaccination Program has two important goals: (1)To ensure all staff and faculty are vaccinated by August 31st, 2021 (see 3.1 below) and (2) To encourage and facilitate vaccinations for as many students as possible and support students on financial aid by partially or fully reimbursing the cost of the vaccine.
All faculty, staff and students are required to submit their NADRA immunization certificate to HR by the 31st of August 2021. If you have underlying medical conditions and have been advised by a doctor to avoid getting a COVID-19 vaccination, you must have your doctor sign and stamp the COVID-19 Vaccination Exemption Form and submit directly to HR (email@example.com).
Wishing you the best to stay safe and healthy.
- Important Announcements: Classes and Hostels for the remainder of the Spring Semester 2021March 29, 2021
We are well into the 3rd wave with over 4,500 new COVID cases reported each day for the first time since July, 2020. Lahore has an astounding positivity rate of over 20%.Important Announcements: Classes and Hostels for the remainder of the Spring Semester 2021
We are well into the 3rd wave with over 4,500 new COVID cases reported each day for the first time since July, 2020. Lahore has an astounding positivity rate of over 20%. In the past few weeks alone there have been more COVID cases among our on-campus and off-campus student body than any other time since the pandemic began. This is an alarming indicator that COVID is spreading fast in our LUMS community. This also comes with growing reports of people engaging in risky behaviour by not following simple SOPs both on and off campus.
The recent announcement by the government reaffirms that all classes will continue to take place on-line until the 11th of April 2021. In view of the current situation and recommendations from the Healthy and Safety Committee it has been decided that:
- All classes till the remainder of the term will continue online.
- For the next two weeks (29th March - 11th April 2021) hostel students will not be allowed to go in and out of campus. Currently over 500 hostel students are going in and out of campus each day between 8.00 am and 8.00 pm. As the university takes responsibility to ensure the safety of hostel students and other members of our community, this is a necessary step.
- The Superstore will remain open for the rest of the semester and you are encouraged to use the campus facilities to stay healthy.
- If a Hostel student taking online classes wants to go home for the rest of the semester, their remaining hostel fees will be refunded.
We are at a crossroads. If current trends continue, the unfortunate reality is that LUMS may have to impose a stricter lockdown like last year, which would mean all students would be asked to return back to their permanent homes – an action that no one wants to see happen.
Now is the time for everyone to recommit themselves not only to fully comply with the SOPs but also to actively urge your peers to do so as well. We are all counting on you.
Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor
Farhat Haq, Provost
Tariq Jadoon, Vice-Provost
Adnan Khan, Dean OSA
- Update on Campus ClosureNovember 25, 2020
The second wave is a powerful reminder that we must remain vigilant. There is talk of a third wave in January but the truth is, nobody really knows.Update on Campus Closure
The second wave is a powerful reminder that we must remain vigilant. There is talk of a third wave in January but the truth is, nobody really knows. The government’s announcement to close all educational institutions from Nov 26 through Jan 10, fortunately has little impact on our plans to open the campus in the spring. The upcoming exam period and schedule will not be affected. However, to comply with official directives, the following will take effect immediately:
- Critical faculty, staff and students as determined by various Schools, Centers, and other Administrative Units in the university will be allowed access to the campus.
- Hostels will remain open to current residents who wish to stay.
- Certain graduate students will continue to access labs.
- The remaining EMBA/MBA classes will all be conducted online.
- Essential services including food, provisions, health and other facilities will be open as required.
- The campus will no longer be accessible to day scholars from 8:00 am – 8:00 pm as it is officially closed.
- Visitation policies for dorms will be revised and regulated.
You are also invited to join LUMS Live at 4:00 pm tomorrow where we can discuss other issues and respond to your questions. Join us here
We intend to continue preparing the campus to be Covid-19 compliant and plan to open on January 18th. This has included stress testing health and safety measures, the implementation of SOP’s, outdoor classes, and much more. While most courses will be offered online, if permitted, we will be able to offer several in-person classes in SDSB and SSE. While we are making plans to ensure enough spaces are available for residency in the spring, we may not be able to accommodate everyone if restrictions are imposed. We will continue to closely monitor the situation and comply with directives as we have been doing all along.
To all of you, your family members and loved ones who aren’t well, we send you our heartfelt prayers for your safety and good health. Thank you for doing your best under the circumstances, for taking care of others and supporting those who are most vulnerable.
If you find that you are feeling isolating or distressed, please reach out and interact with your peers, faculty and staff. Feel encouraged to get involved in activities and virtual societies that LUMS is offering during this time and take advantage of the services that have been made available for your health and safety.
Thanks again for your outstanding resolve and commitment to LUMS as we move forward.
The Vice Chancellor and Provost offices, Deans, and Administration
- Note to StudentsNovember 13, 2020
We are pleased to announce that starting from Monday, November 16th, you will be allowed access to the campus from 8am to 8pm every day.Note to Students
We hope you and your loved ones are keeping safe.
We are pleased to announce that starting from Monday, November 16th, you will be allowed access to the campus from 8am to 8pm every day. You will be required to card in as well as card out. Failure to do so will lead in revocation of campus access privileges for the semester.
Sports Wellness & Recreation has organized several programs you can sign up for and more details will follow. We also encourage you to take advantage of the campus facilities including the library and computer labs.
It is required that you read the attached COVID-related SOPs and strictly follow the protocols for masking, distancing, and hygiene. A team of monitors has been assigned to ensure that the campus community is doing its part to keep everyone safe. We also expect you to self-monitor and encourage your peers to follow the protocols. Given the seriousness of infection and contagion, non-compliance will result in fines and penalties. Your efforts to follow these SOPs successfully will go a long way in making it possible for us to welcome everyone back in January.
Please note, smoking is no longer allowed on campus except in designated smoking stations, the details, and SOPs of which will be communicated soon. Similarly, to address the problem of littering on campus we are devising new rules to ensure cleaner spaces for everyone.
As you know, the gradual opening of the campus this Fall is helping us to determine whether we can safely fully open this Spring.
We are looking forward to seeing you soon!
Dean of Students
- Update On Campus ProtocolsOctober 6, 2020
We are continuing to monitor and minimize the health and safety risks to reopen the campus.Update On Campus Protocols
We are continuing to monitor and minimize the health and safety risks to reopen the campus. Three weeks have passed since we invited the first group of students who required connectivity to return to campus. There is much we have learned from implementing new SOP’s and feedback from students living here. We are adjusting our policy to allow students to go off campus during the day but everyone must return by 8pm.
This additional flexibility also comes with greater responsibility for students, since going off-campus increases the risk of exposure to COVID-19. It also means, that should any student become sick with COVID, they will have to leave the campus until they have fully recovered. The protocols for reporting, getting help from the campus medical clinic, getting tested, etc., are elaborated in the SOP’s which all campus residents must read and follow.
We will be inviting the second group of students to live on campus early next week as we endeavour to complete necessary preparations (exact move-in dates to follow). We have increased the size of this second group. It will include the third group that was originally planned to return later in the semester. We hope this will make for a smoother transition for everyone.
Finally, we want to reaffirm our intention to open the campus in the spring. Barring a second wave, if all campus residents continue to mask, distance and maintain proper hygiene and if we can avoid a COVID outbreak on campus this term, we will welcome everyone in the spring semester. While most of us would like classroom instruction to fully resume at that time, we are also continuing to explore options for hybrid and online learning.
Most of all, we want to take this opportunity to thank the students who have been very patient on campus, and the staff that have been working around the clock to ensure that the campus is COVID-compliant and that resources are mobilized to make your transition back as seamless as possible. We also want to thank you for your extraordinary patience, and resilience to overcome multiple challenges that have come your way.
We will continue to keep you update as the situation on campus evolves.
Best wishes, take extra care
Farhat Haq, Provost
Arshad Ahmad, Vice Chancellor
- Students Share On Campus Living Experience with LUMS ManagementOctober 3, 2020
A townhall meeting was held on October 3, where more than 95 students invited to live on campus during the first phase of the partial reopening, shared their experiences.Students Share On Campus Living Experience with LUMS Management
A townhall meeting was held on October 3, where more than 95 students invited to live on campus during the first phase of the partial reopening, shared their experiences with the senior management of LUMS.
Representing the University were Vice Chancellor, Dr. Arshad Ahmad; Provost, Dr. Farhat Haq; Vice Provost, Dr. Tariq Jadoon; Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director Health and Safety at LUMS, Dr. Samia Altaf; Dean, Mushtaq Ahmad Gurmani School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Dr. Ali Khan, and Dean Office of Student Affairs, Dr. Adnan Khan, who listened to the queries and concerns of the students, and discussed ways in which the students could be made more comfortable on campus.
Here are some key takeaways from the discussion:
‘Our goal is to have the same rules for everyone on campus.’
Dr. Arshad Ahmad said that during the trial period the management tried to implement some SOPs to see if they actually work not just for the students on campus, but for everyone residing at the university. “We are mindful and we do know that there appear to be different rules for different people here. Our goal is to have the same rules for everyone on campus and that is the direction we are going in. That includes students, faculty and staff as well as any visitors.”
He also explained that this informal discussion would help the LUMS management support the needs and requests of the students on campus, as well as be better prepared for the next cohort. “We are putting pieces together from this experience to determine whether we can allow more mobility, including work, that goes beyond the campus. There are many data points to pick up that will determine the decision. The good news is that we will be deciding soon.”
‘The idea is to have one more phase instead of two.’
Dr. Samia Altaf gave an overview of the situation on campus. “We have set up many new systems and procedures, and mobilised our resources even in these constrained times. In the past two weeks or so, we have had just one positive case of COVID-19. That case and all its contacts were traced and managed meticulously. We also had three suspected cases, but after following set protocols and having them isolated and tested, we found out that they were COVID negative, which was a huge relief.”
Keeping in mind this data, Dr. Tariq Jadoon explained that though initially the plan was to have phase two and three, “We are thinking about slightly modifying our SOPs. Based upon the experiences we have had so far, the idea is to have one more phase instead of two in approximately 10-15 days and bring in 200 odd students to campus.”
Dr. Adnan Khan reiterated that the data collected from phase one is promising and that very soon in phase two, more students would be invited on campus.
‘Let the Deans know if you have issues with the courses.’
Dr. Ali Khan also encouraged the students to get in touch with the Deans of their respective schools if they face problems regarding their academics. “Let the Deans know if you have issues with the courses. It is incumbent upon us to look into the issue. Feedback is essential at this point.”
Dr. Farhat Haq told the students that the frustration they feel about online learning is something the whole community is feeling. “Faculty members are also concerned and I would encourage you to reach out to the Dean with your complaints if you are feeling that you are not being heard.”
The campus has counselling and psychological services for students to access.
In response to concerns raised by students regarding mental health, Dr. Samia Altaf highlighted different ways to tackle this issue. She said that the campus has counselling and psychological services for students, which you can access from 9 am to 5 pm directly, and after 5 pm there is a possibility to connect through phone or other means.
“I am also offering that anytime students on campus can gather together 6-8 people in one place at one time for 40 minutes, I am happy to come and we can have a conversation about what is causing us stress. We can meet outside under a tree, six feet away from each other, while all of us are wearing masks and we can talk about strategies to relieve your stress.”
Many students also raised concerns about how they were suffering from poor health due to online classes.
Dr. Altaf agreed that it is inevitable one feels anxiety, which in turn affects the physiological state. “This is why I have repeatedly stressed that physical activity and fresh air are absolutely essential every day.”
‘Go for a walk, be out in the open, get some exercise.’
Dr. Ali Khan reiterated the necessity for the students to factor in physical activity in to their everyday lives.
He encouraged students to send in suggestions on how more outdoor activities could be introduced while keeping each other safe. Dr. Khan was most appreciative to a student’s suggestion that bicycles should be made available on campus and was keen to look into the matter and provide them for students.
In response to a few questions, Dr. Adnan Khan clarified that outdoor activities are encouraged as long as students did not cluster or come into close contact with each other.
The students appreciated the efforts by the LUMS management to hear their experiences and being open to suggestions while ensuring the health of the entire community is taken care of. Dr. Ahmad encouraged all the students to take the survey as feedback was imperative for LUMS to make more informed decisions with regards to the students.
- Student and Staff Test NegativeSeptember 30, 2020
I am happy to announce that the test results for all five individuals are negative. The individuals had strictly followed the SOPs which helped protect them.Student and Staff Test Negative
I am happy to announce that the test results for all five individuals are negative. The individuals had strictly followed the SOPs which helped protect them. Guided by the SOPs and Health and Safety Committee, together we will continue to strengthen an efficient and sustainable system which we hope will protect the LUMS community against COVID-19.
Dr. Samia Altaf
Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director, Health & Safety
September 30, 9:00 pm (PKT)
- COVID-19 Case MonitoringSeptember 29, 2020
On September 26, we received confirmation that a house officer at LUMS tested positive for COVID-19. The house officer was on campus for an eight-hour shift the night before reporting sick.COVID-19 Case Monitoring
On September 26, we received confirmation that a house officer at LUMS tested positive for COVID-19. The house officer was on campus for an eight-hour shift the night before reporting sick. Through contact tracing we determined that five individuals, including one student, had enough interaction with the COVID-positive individual to warrant further monitoring. All five individuals were following the health and safety protocols by wearing masks. The student is in isolation on campus and thankfully has not shown any symptoms for the past four days. The other four individuals are in quarantine at their homes. Three of them are asymptomatic, and one person has developed mild symptoms.
Placing the health and safety of the community as its top priority and to rule out any COVID-19 cases, all contacts are getting a PCR test today. The staff will be allowed back on campus only after they test negative.
Dr. Samia Altaf
Professor of Practice of Public Health and Director, Health & Safety
- SOPs for Health and SafetySeptember 11, 2020
Please find attached the latest versions of following important guiding documents prepared by the Health and Safety Committee.