Information on the coronavirus and its impact on FAU

Information for students and members of staff at FAU

The coronavirus pandemic has had an impact on all areas of university life at FAU. In order to help you keep abreast of everything that is going on, we have provided all the relevant information on our website, sorted according to topic and kept up to date at all times. Please check this website regularly for updates, and listen to the President’s podcasts to keep yourself up to date.

The decision on a FAU-wide video conferencing tool has been made. FAU President Joachim Hornegger has signed the contract for using ZOOM. FAU will initially acquire a complete package for one year as a pilot project which includes 6,500 employee licences and 40,000 student licences. In just a few days, FAU will get access to the system and will then be able to allow everyone to set up video conferencing with the tool and interact with teachers or within learning groups via video chat. We will also be introducing coaches to help everyone get started in the world of ZOOM. During the course of this year, the Executive Board will evaluate whether ZOOM actually meets all requirements on a permanent basis.

Further information will be provided in due course. Please bear with us as we work on clarifying the details.

No events – no matter how many participants – may be held until further notice.

The only exception are urgent work meetings which cannot be postponed. These can continue to take place provided the hygiene guidelines recommended by RKI are observed.

Please use video or telephone conferences for committee or commission meetings and all other meetings wherever possible.

Instructions for video and telephone conferences for all members of FAU

From Saturday 14 March, all university libraries will close to the public, initially until 19 April (updated 13 March). Information on how you can still access the libraries is available on the website of the University Library. The CIP pools at FAU will also remain closed initially until 19 April 2020.

In addition, the University as a whole is closed to the public until further notice. In other words, the Student Advice and Career Service, the Student Records Office and the Examinations Office (Offices L3–L6), the Office for International Affairs and further facilities are closed to the public until 19 April. The offices can still be reached by e-mail or telephone.

Students are only allowed to enter buildings with good reason (e.g. for pre-arranged individual appointments, to carry out research at their department, or to work in a laboratory as part of their Bachelor’s or Master’s thesis). If stopped and checked, students must explicitly explain their reasons. Students are not allowed to enter buildings for unofficial reasons such as self-study. (Update 7 April 2020)

The Botanical Garden and the Schlossgarten also have to remain closed.

The restaurants, cafeterias and café bar run by Student Services Erlangen-Nürnberg have been closed. Other offices run by the Student Services offering service and advice shall also remain closed to the public until further notice.

Ban on access

The Bavarian State Ministry of Public Health and Care Services has announced a ban prohibiting access to universities in Bavaria by all persons who have visited an area designated by the Robert Koch Institute (RKA) as an area of risk at the time of their visit or up to 14 days after their visit. This ban is effective from 18 March to 19 April 2020. (Update 18 March 2020)


Information on transmission, symptoms and hygiene measures

Person-to-person transmission of the virus has been confirmed. According to the WHO it is most likely transferred via droplets exhaled from people infected with the virus or by touching infected surfaces.

The WHO believes that the incubation period is between one and 12.5 days, but could be up to 14 days, as is the case with MERS-CoV and SARS-CoV.

According to ECDC, typical symptoms of the disease are fever, a cough, difficulty breathing, general aches and pains, and exhaustion. In serious cases, it may also lead to pneumonia with pulmonary infiltrates in both lungs. According to information from China, in more than 85% of cases, the disease affects people aged between 30 and 79. More than 80% of cases have a mild form of the disease. 14% of cases progressed more seriously, leading to pneumonia, and 5% of patients became critical. Not enough research has been carried out on the group of people who were infected but either failed to show symptoms or only experienced very mild symptoms.

If these symptoms appear whilst you are self-isolating, please immediately phone a doctor in order to discuss the next steps.

  1. General recommendations:

  • Pay attention to good personal hygiene (especially washing your hands correctly and regularly) as well as observing the rules of cough etiquette when coughing and sneezing. Information is available on the website of the Unit of Occupational Safety.
  • Avoid contact to people with respiratory illnesses.
  • If you develop a fever, cough or difficulty breathing after spending time in a high-risk area, please contact your family doctor by telephone and discuss how to proceed.
  1. Additional recommendations when travelling:

  • Get the vaccine used against influenza in the northern hemisphere before travelling. The symptoms of influenza are similar to those of SARS-CoV-2. As well as protecting you personally, the vaccine also helps avoid unnecessary suspected cases and eases the pressure on the health service.
  1. Additional recommendations for high-risk areas:

  • Consider wearing a mask in public places (already obligatory in certain towns and cities).
  • Avoid contact to living or dead animals and their excrements. Only consume animal-based products (eggs, meat etc.) if they have been well heated.
  • Observe the warnings and recommendations of local authorities.

The FAU crisis team meets regularly to monitor and assess the situation and prepares all relevant decisions taken by FAU. Please check this website regularly for updates.


German information