• Preparing for COVID-19 and Influenza Outbreaks this Winter


Preparing for COVID-19 and Influenza Outbreaks this Winter

    The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) has issued an administrative notice about “future infection prevention measures in anticipation of the simultaneous outbreak of COVID-19 and seasonal influenza (flu).”

    In this administrative notice, there was a request to raise awareness of two points: "Measures to prepare for the simultaneous outbreak of COVID-19 and the flu" and "Infection control measures during the spread of infection from this autumn forward."

    As of October, although the number of new infections is on a downward trend, it has been pointed out that the decline has stopped, and that in the coming season when the cold weather becomes more severe, people should be more vigilant for the simultaneous spread of the eighth wave of COVID-19 and the seasonal flu.

    Please pay attention to the following points regarding future infection control measures.
    Infection control precautions Specific infection control measures
    Ensure that those who are unwell remain at home in anticipation of seasonal influenza outbreaks
    ・If you have unusual symptoms such as sore throat, cough, headache, etc., not limited to fever, please refrain from going to school and going out. Faculty and staff should do the same.
    Since cluster cases have been reported in clubs, circle activities, etc., please take appropriate infection prevention measures (wearing and removing masks appropriately according to the situation, and implementing effective ventilation).
    Ensure effective ventilation ・If there is a mechanical ventilation system, always ventilate.
    ・For window ventilation, create airflow by opening windows and doors or by opening multiple windows.
    ・Open the window for several minutes at least twice every hour, for example, at least once every 30 minutes, to increase the ventilation frequency*. (*The number of times all indoor air is replaced with outside air)
    ・If partitions are installed, devise ways to prevent air stagnation.
    ・In the case of ventilation in winter, try to maintain the room temperature at 18°C or higher in conjunction with a heating system. A method of constant ventilation where a window is open slightly in one direction also helps to reduce changes in room temperature.
    ・In addition to classrooms, try to ventilate cafeterias, changing rooms, lounges, student dormitories, and transport vehicles to avoid the three Cs: Closed Spaces, Crowded Places, and Close-Contact Settings
    Ventilation methods to improve "poorly ventilated enclosed spaces" in winter (mhlw.go.jp)
    kanki_teigen_2220719.pdf (corona.go.jp)

    (Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology Administrative Liaison: https://www.mext.go.jp/a_menu/coronavirus/index.html)

    Also, regarding vaccination,
    The Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science, and Technology (MEXT) has called for the "promotion of COVID-19 vaccination because it is expected to prevent infection, reduce the onset and severity of infection, and for the  influenza vaccination to prevent severe cases of influenza."
    The university also recommends vaccination against COVID-19. In addition, students are encouraged to be proactive in obtaining influenza vaccinations. 

    In addition, the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare promote wearing masks. There is no change in the concept of wearing masks as a basic infection control measure, but it is now known that masks should be worn appropriately depending on the situation. For Outdoors, as long as you can maintain a distance from people (approx. 2 m), you do not need to wear a mask unless a conversation is taking place. Regarding wearing masks indoors, please wear them unless you can maintain a distance from others and have little to no conversation.

    The University is committed to preventing the spread of infection and will continue to take measures against infectious diseases so that you can live your student life with peace of mind. In order to protect yourself, your family, friends, and other loved ones, please take appropriate measures to prevent the spread of infection.