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Dear colleagues, dear students,

These are difficult times for our country due to the ongoing COVID epidemics and the impact it has on society. Our health care system has reached its maximum capacity. In order to avoid a situation when people have no access to health care and there is no medical staff to look after them – and COVID is not the only disease that may require hospitalization – we need to strengthen our protection against the spread of COVID. We must take strong steps to stop the increase in the number of new cases and also to end the stagnation in the number of newly confirmed cases and to eventually reduce the amount of the virus among people.

In order to achieve this, the government has announced extraordinary measures, and also CTU is going to improve its system of protection.

It is very important to understand how the measures implemented in our system of protection actually work, i.e. to understand that by abiding by them we actually protect the people around us! By covering our nose and mouth, by self-testing we reduce the probability of making someone else sick in a situation when we do not even know that we have been infected. It is our moral obligation as humans to act to protect the health and often also lives of those around us.

CTU has decided to offer its employees the possibility to self-test with antigen self-tests. In a few days those of you who need to be physically present at CTU will receive saliva self-test kits that you can use at home. The amount of the tests available will be limited at the beginning, but will increase gradually – depending on the number of tests available to CTU – so that anyone who wants to take a test will be able to do so.

Our defence system will consist of the following rules:

  • We will work from home whenever possible.
  • People who will need to work in CTU buildings will self-test before they come to work. Three days shall be left between two tests (e.g., Monday and Thursday when you go to work every day, or just one test at the start of the week and one at the end of the week). If you come to work once a week, one test per week is enough.
  • People who need to be physically present at CTU will register in a distribution system that we are now launching, and will enter the dates when they self-tested in it.
  • A self-test is similar to getting an alcohol test after a party to make sure there is no alcohol in our bloodstream. In this way, we make sure we pose no threat to those around us and that we can perform our work. Getting tested is a way to protect others (family and friends, colleagues) – especially in case infected people experience no symptoms, and this is currently the case with 2-3% of the population.
  • Self-testing at home isn’t of course the only possibility, but it is a way to complement other currently available tests (antigen and PCR), which we recommend to use depending on your possibilities and availability of testing capacity.
  • If you test positive, it means you cannot come to work in CTU buildings. It’s similar to a positive alcohol test. If you test positive after self-testing, inform your employer that you are unable to work in CTU buildings. You will work from home and at the same time you should follow the government regulation in case of a positive COVID test (getting a PCR test to confirm the infection if you experience no symptoms, quarantine until the test, and if positivity is confirmed, isolate for 14 days).
  • If you are not feeling well, you experience COVID symptoms and you got a positive result after self-testing, again, inform your employer about your inability to work in CTU buildings and proceed in line with your doctor’s advice. A PCR confirmation is not needed.
  • CTU guarantees that during the period of isolation and quarantine you will receive full salary, not just sick pay
  • It is also crucially important to wear protective equipment, type FFP2 (KN95), which CTU has provided and will continue to provide to you. Collective protection can be ensured only if everybody wears protective equipment when they are with other people – my mask protects you, your mask protects me! This applies also outside CTU buildings.

By following these guidelines that we must all accept as our personal responsibility to oneself and to others we will surely be able to handle this critical time in the pandemic. The sooner we start following these safety measures, the sooner the pandemic will end. Please remember that it is really important to behave responsibly and to do our best to protect ourselves and others. The danger we face is hidden from us as the activity of the virus is mostly unnoticed and only the tip of the iceberg is visible. Let’s please use these measures as weapons in the battle against this health crisis and as tools to minimize social, economic and other impacts of the pandemic. The longer the pandemic will last, the worse they will be; the less we try to protect ourselves, the longer it will last.

I most kindly ask you to adopt and use this defence system at CTU. In this way, CTU will be a safe place and it will be able to ensure economic stability of its employees.

Thank you, good luck and stay safe!

Vojtěch Petráček,

Rector, CTU