To all students at the University of Tokyo:
At the present time, the number of people newly infected by the novel coronavirus in Tokyo has grown to over 1,000 per day, and infections continue to spread in the municipalities throughout the Tokyo metropolitan area. In response to this situation, on January 7, the national government declared a state of emergency for the Tokyo metropolitan area (Tokyo and the three neighboring prefectures of Saitama, Chiba and Kanagawa). Meanwhile, with regards to the University of Tokyo, although there have been no infections directly related to on-campus activities, the number of infections connected to students eating, drinking and engaging in extracurricular activities is increasing rapidly. Also, the three months of January, February and March are filled with a number of significant events in your student life, including exams and thesis evaluations. In order for these events to be carried out safely, the University has decided to raise the level of The University of Tokyo Activity Restrictions Index for Preventing the Spread of Novel Coronavirus (first announced on April 3, 2020) to Level 1 from January 11 to February 7. Under these restrictions, students will be, in principle, prohibited from engaging in extracurricular activities. Classes will continue to be held online. Some experiments, training and exams will be allowed to be conducted in person, provided that sufficient measures to prevent infection are taken.
Right now, changes to your behavior are absolutely necessary. From cases so far, we have learned that much of the spread of infection comes from those with asymptomatic or mild cases of the novel coronavirus. The main means of infection transmission is through saliva, and the longer one has their mask off, and the more one speaks or otherwise vocalizes, the easier it is for infection to occur. Also, infections seem to happen if one is with an infected person for a long time in a closed space, even if they are wearing masks. Taking these facts into consideration, during the period of the state of emergency, we ask that you avoid eating, drinking, singing or doing other similar activities together with people who are not members of your household. Also, as infections can occur when taking off masks and speaking, please refrain from speaking when eating during lunchtime or breaks. Furthermore, in the case of infection, in order to prevent a series of infections from occurring, avoiding doing activities in large groups is considered to be effective.
As there have been no cases of infection due to activities on campus, and because we are raising the Activity Restrictions Index to Level 1, the UTokyo campuses are considered to be relatively safe. Therefore, it is possible to engage in research activities required for graduation, as well as other necessary research during this time, while taking sufficient caution to prevent infection.
At Level 1, the Health Centers at Hongo, Komaba and Kashiwa are all still continuing to provide medical treatment. Necessary medical examination systems are in place. They also welcome consultations by phone, so if you have any concerns, please contact them.
January 7, 2021
Executive Vice President in charge of educational affairs
Executive Vice President
Head, UTokyo Coronavirus Task Force