Information on the coronavirus and its impact on FAU

Information for students and members of staff at FAU

Coronavirus
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The health of our students, teaching staff, researchers and staff takes priority at FAU. We have collected the currently valid information, tips and recommendations for coping safely with the pandemic at FAU in the following guidance.

FAU hygiene guidance

Hygiene guidance at FAU is based on the 16th Bavarian Regulation on Infection Prevention and Control Measures (17. BayIfSMV) and the SARS-CoV2 Occupational Safety Directive (Corona-ArbSchV).

During the regular meetings of the pandemic response team, the situation is evaluated by the pandemic response team (risk assessment) and the hygiene guidance is updated as circumstances require. The hygiene guidance includes the following infection prevention measures at FAU.

Please refer to the detailed notes on each measure. The icon and color coding indicates whether the measure is currently valid.

Hand hygiene

Pay attention to good hand hygiene and wash hands regularly. FAU will ensure that plenty of washing facilities with liquid soap and paper towels are available once students are back on campus.

If you have any reason to complain, please send an e-mail to

Tools and work equipment must only be used by one person exclusively wherever possible. Where this is not possible, regular cleaning is required, particularly before handing tools and work equipment to other persons.

Coughing and sneezing etiquette

Please refer to the information and guidance from the Bundeszentrale für gesundheitliche Aufklärung (Federal Center for Health Education)

Ventilating indoor rooms in compliance with infection prevention regulations

Current research indicates that the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 is mainly transmitted via droplets and aerosols. This means that indoor air hygiene also plays a major role in preventing the spread of infection as well as keeping a minimum distance, observing hygiene guidance and wearing a mask. In indoor spaces, ventilation and air exchange are important measures for preventing infection and preventing the spread of coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. The concentration of airborne viruses is lowest in fresh air.

Sufficient ventilation must therefore be ensured in offices and conference rooms as well as in lecture halls, seminar rooms and laboratory facilities.

Rooms with ventilation systems

All rooms that have ventilation systems on the list of approved rooms at FAU are supplied with the maximum possible amount of fresh air.

At FAU, the required rate of air exchange and the supply of fresh air are ensured by the safe operation of ventilation systems in the

  • lecture halls (see list of approved rooms),
  • seminar rooms (see list of approved rooms),
  • computer rooms (see list of approved rooms),
  • reading rooms at the University Library,
  • swimming pools and sports halls of the Department for Sport Science and Sport.

Further, the following rules apply to the operation of ventilation systems:

  • Ventilation systems must be operated at maximum power before and after a room is used to ensure that the air has been exchanged completely at least once before it is used again,
  • Ventilation systems must not be switched off during opening hours as this would lead to an increased concentration of viruses in the air in the room and consequently to an increase in the risk of infection,
  • Users of a room must check in advance if the ventilation system of the room is in operation or not. Ventilation systems are switched on before and after classes by the facilities department or the Control Center in accordance with the room allocation in FAU UnivIS or the application for room use. Please contact the Control Center at +49 9131 85- 27777, e-mail: leitwarte@fau.de if the ventilation system has not been switched on or if it is not working and refrain from using the room until the cause has been clarified.
Ventilation via windows and doors in rooms without ventilation systems

Rooms should be ventilated regularly by opening the windows. Intermittent ventilation by opening the windows and doors wide is considered most effective. This reduces the risk of infection in rooms such as offices and seminar and conference rooms that are used by several people. Ventilation using windows that are permanently tilted open is less effective, but can be used in addition to intermittent ventilation to prevent a rapid and strong increase in concentration of viruses in the air.

The following rules apply for ventilation without ventilation systems:

  • Intermittent ventilation should be carried out at regular intervals. We recommend ventilating offices once per hour. We recommend ventilating meeting and seminar rooms once every 20 minutes. How often rooms are ventilated depends on their size, how many people are using the room and for what purpose (e.g. activities with increased aerosol output). Rooms should be ventilated more often during the pandemic. We recommend ventilating offices, conference rooms and seminar rooms every 20 minutes for at least 3 to 10 minutes each time.
  • The duration of intermittent ventilation varies according to the time of year: approximately 3 minutes in winter, 5 minutes in spring/fall and around 10 minutes in summer with the window fully open. Doors should be opened wide, where possible.
  • Conference rooms and seminar rooms as well as other rooms used by several people (e.g. break rooms and kitchens) must be adequately ventilated before and after use.
Use of air conditioning units and other secondary ventilation systems

The use of permanently installed air conditioning units in offices used by one person is not harmful. In rooms used by several persons, such as offices with public access, offices during meetings or conference rooms, air conditioning units that merely circulate the air should only be used to cool rooms before and after they are used if no additional ventilation systems have been installed. The supply of fresh air must be provided by opening the windows as described above.

The use of other secondary ventilation units such as devices that simply recirculate the air in a room without introducing air from outside to lower the concentration of aerosols (such as fans, mobile air conditioning units, fan heaters) is not harmful in offices used by one person only. If such devices are to be used in offices used by several people or those with public access or during meetings, a risk assessment for this type of use must be carried out. Particular care should be taken to ensure that the flow of air does not move from one person to another to prevent an increased risk of the transfer of droplets or aerosols contaminated with the virus. In addition, a sufficient supply of fresh air from outside must be ensured using manual ventilation as described above.

Wearing masks

We recommend people continue to wear a surgical mask in situations in which several people meet in closed rooms.

If you develop any symptoms of a cold, please avoid attending face-to-face sessions. Should this not be possible, you should protect those around you by wearing a mask.

If anybody is present who is concerned about masks not being worn (for example because they belong to an at-risk group) and they ask for masks to be worn, this should be respected even if the individual does not want to explain the reason for their concern.

Please be aware that different guidance may apply to areas belonging to Universitätsklinikum Erlangen. More information is available on the Universitätsklinikum Erlangen website.

Wearing masks in examinations

For ongoing examinations, the requirement to wear a mask will continue to be in place up until and including October 14, 2022.

means that the measure is currently valid

Requirement to provide masks

The University will no longer be providing any masks until further notice. The University is also no longer able to finance the purchasing of masks for employees from the university budget or third-party funds for budgetary reasons.

Maintaining the minimum distance of 1.5m between two people

Maintaining the minimum distance of 1.5m between two people is no longer required until further notice. Please continue to show respect for others.

Availability of tests

According to the latest medical findings, it is no longer considered reasonable for people to carry out self tests if they do not have symptoms. The University is also no longer able to finance the purchasing of self-tests for employees from the university budget or third-party funds for budgetary reasons. You should consult a doctor if you start having typical symptoms.

Requirement to wear a mask

After extensive deliberation, the pandemic response team decided at its meeting on September 21, 2022, to repeal the requirement to wear a mask and change it to a recommendation.

Remote working (due to the coronavirus pandemic)

Please refer to the Agreement on remote working for the current regulations.

Reducing contact at work

At the current time, it is not necessary to reduce contact at work.

means the measure is no longer valid

General information

Procurement of deliveries and services

The rules surrounding procurement of goods and services have been simplified in view of the coronavirus pandemic. The validity of these regulations for simplified procurement during the coronavirus pandemic has been extended until December 31, 2022. Further information is available on the H – Finance and Property Management website.

Information for status groups

Employees

Members of staff who have, or suspect that they have contracted the virus

Members of staff who have tested positive for coronavirus must self-isolate and avoid all contact with others. If staff members are fit to work, they must do so remotely. If they are unable to work, they must submit the usual forms for sick leave. If staff members are unable to work from home, the relevant human resources team must check if working time can be compensated using overtime, annual leave, special leave without pay or, in the case of non-vaccinated staff, leave without pay.

The general legal provisions regarding sick leave apply for all reasons for taking sick leave as well as the individual rules at FAU for when staff are unfit for work.

Members of staff displaying symptoms of an acute, contagious infection must not come to work. This applies in particular to the following symptoms, which are typical for Covid-19: high temperature, coughing, shortness of breath, loss of taste/smell, sore throat, runny nose and aching limbs.

Members of staff may return to work if they have only slight symptoms that have recently appeared and that are not getting worse, such as a runny nose without a temperature and occasional cough, and have not developed a high temperature within 24 hours of the symptoms first appearing. Nevertheless, staff members should still work remotely wherever possible in such cases.

If this is not possible, the general hygiene guidance at FAU must be observed in order to rule out a risk of infection for the other members of staff.

Vulnerable employees/pregnant women

Measures for vulnerable members of staff, for example those with underlying health issues entailing an increased risk of infection from Covid-19 (e.g. Leukemia, diabetes, lung disease), should be coordinated with their doctor. If you would like, you can arrange an appointment at the Occupational Medical Service to discuss your individual situation.

The extent to which a pregnant woman can be employed whilst observing the ‘standard’ maternity protection regulations and current hygiene regulations ought to be determined on the basis of a risk assessment taking the regional and local situation with respect to the pandemic and the individual circumstances in each case into account. The same applies to the lifting of a prohibition of employment on the basis of the current rate of infection.

Please contact those responsible for this area at Occupational Safety or the Family Service (https://www.familienservice.fau.de/angebote/beratung/) for advice.

Information is available in German on the following pages:

People and students connected to Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

If you have a certain role which means that you work at Universitätsklinikum (e.g. as part of a research collaboration, doctoral thesis, clinical work whilst studying medicine), the instructions issued by Universitätsklinikum will apply to you. Please check the staff portal of Universitätsklinikum Erlangen.

Students

General information on studying and teaching

I have tested positive for Covid-19 / I have had contact with a person who has tested positive

We ask students who have tested positive for the coronavirus after taking part in an examination or face-to-face class to inform the person in charge of the examination or teaching session.

My Corona Warn App shows a red warning (increased risk). What should I do about lectures and seminars and/or examinations?

A red warning does not automatically mean that you have contracted Covid-19. It means that you have met someone who has registered a positive test in the app at some time in the last 14 days. Please get yourself tested as soon as possible. You are entitled to a test free of charge if you have received a warning that you have an increased risk of infection. At present, an antigen test is sufficient, also for those who have been fully vaccinated. You are allowed to attend classes and examinations once you have taken a test (in spite of the red warning).

Once you have taken a test in a test center, please deactivate the Corona Warn App, as otherwise you risk getting another warning in a few days’ time. You can deactivate the app by interrupting the Bluetooth connection.

Which rules apply for lectures and seminars with compulsory attendance in the event of a coronavirus infection or quarantine measures?

No exceptions are made to the obligation of regular attendance in teaching units for which attendance is compulsory in the event that a student has been ordered by the local health authorities to remain in quarantine (contact person) or isolation (infection).

It is irrelevant whether the student is to blame for the absence or not, and there are no exceptions for absences caused directly or indirectly by Covid. Whether or not the student is to blame for the absence, the fact remains that the learning outcome of the specific course for which attendance in person is necessary cannot be met without actually attending the classes. Accordingly, absences are only permitted to the extent stipulated in the relevant examination regulations (no matter the reason for them). If a student has too many absences, the lecturer may be able to offer substitute achievements up to a certain extent. If this is not possible, the student must repeat the teaching unit. There are no differences to the rules that applied to studying before the coronavirus pandemic in this respect.

What special rules apply for courses at the Faculty of Medicine?

All courses that are held in rooms operated by Universitätsklinikum Erlangen, including in the Department of Operative Dentistry and Periodontology and the pre-clinical laboratory at the department are subject to mandatory vaccination which applies to all health institutions (Section 20a IfSG). The 2G rule applies.

The 2G rule (vaccinated, recovered) applies regardless of whether the students are at the pre-clinical or clinical stage of their program.

All participants must meet the vaccination or recovery status stipulated in the Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Humans (Section 22a IfSG)

Do the semesters from summer semester 2020 to winter semester 2021/22 count as regular semesters and what applies to the standard duration of studies?

Since the legal amendment to the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG) came into effect on August 1, 2020, followed by the amendment on December 23, 2021, the following has applied retrospectively to the standard duration of study and study deadlines, with effect from April 20, 2020:

Summer semester 2020, winter semester 2020/21, summer semester 2021 and winter semester 2021/22 shall not be considered study semesters (Fachsemester) in the context of the standard dates and deadlines stipulated in the examination regulations for the degree programs (Section 99 (1) BayHSchG). This means that the semester in question will not be considered when calculating the expiry of standard dates and deadlines and students will automatically be granted an extension. Students enrolled in summer semester 2020, winter semester 2020/2021, in summer semester 2021 or in winter semester 2021/2022 will have their standard duration of studies extended by one semester, provided they have not already had a deadline extended on the basis of this rule (Section 99 (2) of the Bavarian Higher Education Act (BayHSchG)).

This happens automatically and will be indicated accordingly on the certificate of enrollment and transcript of records. All that is included on your final academic record and your degree certificate is the date you sat your final examination (achieved the degree of XYZ on xx.yy.zzzz). It does not state the number of semesters you studied or whether or not you exceeded the standard duration of study.

More details on how this rule works and examples are given on the Examinations Office website.

I am pregnant, can I attend face-to-face classes and examinations on campus?

It continues to be important that students who are pregnant or breast feeding do not suffer any disadvantages as a result of the pandemic. We have to carefully weigh up the requirements of the degree program against legal requirements to protect the mother and her unborn child.

The Bavarian authorities (Gewerbeaufsichtsamt) responsible for ensuring maternity protection laws are adhered to at Bavarian universities have currently issued the following guidelines: the general prohibition of entry into university buildings has been lifted for pregnant students.

However, when in university buildings, pregnant women are obliged to wear at least a surgical mask. We advise pregnant members of staff to wear an FFP2 mask whenever there are other people in the room. According to the current rules of the supervisory authority for occupational safety, pregnant members of staff are permitted to be in the same room as a maximum of 10 other people.

They are allowed to use university services such as the libraries, computer rooms or study rooms without restriction. All restrictions regarding taking part in practical courses imposed in light of Covid-19 have now also been lifted. However, the restrictions on dealing with biological substances or hazardous substances stipulated in the Maternity Protection Act shall explicitly continue to apply. Any such activities must be included in the prescribed risk assessment.

If an examination cannot be taken in a digital format, pregnant students can still participate provided a separate room can be made available. Provided the minimum distance can be kept, several pregnant students may be seated in one room. Although masks must be worn when in buildings, they can be removed once seated. In all other instances, Section 4(4) Coronavirus Regulations shall apply, according to which the examiner can set an alternative examination date or arrange a change of examination format if so requested by the affected student and in consultation with the relevant Examinations Committee and the Dean of Studies.

It is still a risk for pregnant students to attend lectures in a lecture hall. Care should be taken to avoid large gatherings of people at all times. However, pregnant students should not incur any disadvantages as a result. Pregnant students are therefore asked to contact their lecturers in good time in order to discuss individual solutions for lectures and seminars. Teaching staff are required to offer these students alternative solutions that allow them to continue studying their degree programs.

Pregnant students are strongly encouraged to arrange a consultation with either Susanne Kramarenkoff (Student Advice and Career Service) or the Family Service at FAU. Every consultation is treated in the strictest confidence. Susanne Kramarenkoff (Student Advice and Career Service) is responsible for reporting the pregnancy to the supervisory authority for occupational safety.

Finally, we would like to stress that all students who are either pregnant or breast feeding are responsible for taking all other hygiene-related precautions to protect themselves and their child.

Where can I find information about the current rules regarding examinations that require attendance in person?

The latest information concerning examinations is available from the Examinations Office website.

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