Coronavirus Frequently Asked Questions

Cases at the Graduate institute


What is the procedure if a confirmed case of COVID is reported?

If a student informs the instructor or the teaching assistant that they have tested positive for COVID-19, the instructor or teaching assistant must ask the student to communicate this information to, being sure to copy It is important to note that instructors and teaching assistants must keep any information about students testing positive for COVID-19 confidential. If an instructor, teaching assistant or technical support student tests positive for COVID-19, he or she should contact the Human Resources Department ( and send a message to The Institute will not share the identities of affected individuals beyond a small number of staff who need this information to respond adequately to the situation. If necessary, any protective measures will be taken in coordination with the Office of the Médecin cantonal. For more information, please consult the FOPH’s website and their Instructions on Isolation

How long will the Institute be closed to the public?

The Graduate Institute offices and facilities will be closed to the general public until further notice. We continue to monitor the situation as it develops and are working closely with the local authorities. 

Any visitors to the Institute must announce themselves and will be greeted at the reception desk on the ground floor of petal 1. 

When is the Institute open for members of its community?

Access to the Institute’s buildings is limited to members of the Institute’s community from Monday to Friday from 8:00-22:00 and Saturday and Sunday from 9:00-19:00.

Faculty may access the Institute only to use the technical equipment in order to give or record their course and to access their workspaces.

What are your recommendations about using public transportation?

Following the Federal Office of Public Health we recommend to avoid public transport and use foot or bicycle alternatively. If not possible, we recommend to observe the hygiene recommendations

Is it possible to access the kitchen areas on each floor?
The kitchens are freely accessible during opening hours to prepare your food. Due to sanitary conditions, only 3 people are permitted to eat inside the kitchen area. Please feel free to use the cafeteria, the Maison des étudiants common room, the halls of petal 1 and 2, or your work space.

Is the cafeteria open?
Visit the protection plan for the latest update. 


information related to courses


Who is required to be present in person?

From 22 February 2021, all classes will move online. Professors, teaching assistants, and technical support students will have the possibility to come to the Institute during this period and use the available equipment in order to guarantee quality teaching.

Employees should give priority to teleworking as long as continuity of service to users is ensured. Otherwise, they are allowed to work on site in compliance with hygiene measures or at a distance. An attendance plan is then necessary (QR-code + attendance planning/teleworking via Google Calendar).

Who will be required to wear a mask in the classrooms?

Everyone is required to wear a mask. A person not wearing a mask will not be allowed to enter the premises. Each member of the Institute’s community will receive a washable fabric mask that can be retrieved at the reception desk (Maison de la paix, Petal 1, Level 3) from Monday to Friday, 8:00 until 17:00. If necessary, masks can also be purchased at the reception desk (CHF 15 for a box of 50 surgical masks and CHF 7 for washable fabric masks). Only instructors (including teaching assistants), while teaching, may be exempted from wearing a mask if a distance of 1.5 metres with the closest person is respected. Otherwise, they have to wear a mask. Students and teaching assistants leaving classes are asked to keep their masks on in common areas, and instructors are asked to put them on as soon as they finish teaching.

Will students be able to use the classrooms?

Classrooms are reserved exclusively for professors and assistants to teach their courses.

Who is responsible for disinfecting work surfaces and items that may be touched in the classroom?

The incoming instructor must disinfect items that the previous instructor may have touched (remote control, keyboard, microphone, seat, desk etc.). Students, teaching assistants and technical support students will need to disinfect their seat and the part of the table assigned to them. Disinfectant spray will be available in each classroom. Everyone is asked to disinfect their hands with the hydroalcoholic gel, available in each room in a dispenser.

Will courses be recorded?

All courses will be recorded automatically and will be made available in Moodle for a minimum of two weeks. It will be possible to watch the recordings but not download them. Instructors may then decide to delete them, knowing that all recordings will be automatically erased at the end of the semester. Students will be asked to complete a form granting permission for the use of their image and voice in the recordings. If students refuse to be recorded, they will have to follow the course online.

How will classrooms be equipped?

Each classroom is equipped with two cameras, a digital whiteboard and a screen displaying the students following the course online. Professors, assistants and technical support students will be invited to participate in training sessions before the start of the semester. For courses that do not have a teaching assistant, or where the assistance provided by the teaching assistant is less than 50%, will be provided technical support from students that have been specifically hired for this purpose.

What happens if there is a change of schedule or class cancellation?

If an instructor cannot attend a class, they must inform Student Services ( and send an email to the course distribution list. Changes to class schedules should be kept to a minimum and made for compelling reasons only. 

How should instructors or teaching assistants hold their office hours?

Instructors are to hold their office hours online (e.g. via Webex or Zoom). Instructors are invited to use an online booking system such as to keep track of the students they have met in person. Teaching assistants will be able to, with the help of the department manager, hold their reception hours in a meeting room with an online reservation system.  

See the menu on the right-hand side for more specific questions and answers.