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Hygiene guidance

Illustrations: Wear a mask, do not touch your face, wash your hands for 20 seconds, maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m

Background image: Colourbox.de, Illustrations: FAU/Bärbel Rhades

The health of our students, teaching staff, researchers and staff takes priority at FAU. We have collected the currently valid information and tips for coping safely with the pandemic at FAU in the following guidance. Our guidance is based on the Common guidance for universities resuming face-to-face operations during the coronavirus pandemic drawn up by the twelve universities of Universität Bayern e.V. FAU has adopted this health guidance, revising certain provisions to reflect the individual circumstances at our University.

Downloads: Posters, documents, forms

General measures for infection prevention

The measures described below are intended to protect university members by breaking the chain of infection, to preserve the health of students and staff during examinations and practical courses and to contribute to the containment of the pandemic.

Provisions stipulated in the Hygiene guidance:

A minimum distance of 1.5m must be maintained to other individuals, wherever this is possible. Wherever the minimum distance cannot be maintained, for example in communal areas and access routes in university buildings, a face mask that covers the mouth and nose must be worn.

If the minimum distance cannot be maintained through organisational measures, alternative protective measures should be provided such as transparent hygiene screens for areas open to the public such as information and loan desks as well as, wherever possible, for workspaces that do not allow the minimum distance to be maintained.

Individuals may only be present on campus for the time that is strictly necessary

FAU has also adopted the following rules (updated 21 October 2020):

A face mask that covers the mouth and nose must be worn on university grounds, in communal areas and access routes in university buildings and when entering and leaving rooms. Masks must also be worn in offices whenever there is more than one person in the room.

Masks must be worn the whole time during face-to-face teaching sessions, by students and lecturers alike, even once you are seated, and even if you are still able to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

Until further notice, masks must also be worn the entire time during examinations. If you are unable to wear a mask during an examination for medical reasons, you must clarify this in advance with the person responsible for organising the examination.

More specific provisions stipulated in the current version of the Bavarian Regulation on Infection Prevention and Control Measures, for example for sport, music and examinations, will remain unaffected.

Downloads

  • Download poster ‘You must wear a mask here’: German / English
  • Poster ‘Hygiene measures and rules of conduct for Covid-19’:  German / English

I need to have frequent meetings with my team. We meet in a large room, are at least 1.5 metres apart and ventilate the room regularly. Are we exempt from the obligation to wear masks?

On the basis of the current rules (obligation to wear masks connected to current rates of infection), the answer is no.

Can Perspex screens (sneeze guards) or face shields be used instead of a mask?

No. Perspex does not provide enough protection. The speaker produces aerosols for the duration of the presentation, and must therefore also wear a mask.

Face shields (or clear plastic masks that leave a gap exposed between the plastic and the wearer’s face) and FFP2 masks with an exhalation valve are not permitted, as they let the wearer’s breath flow out to the sides and do not provide sufficient protection.

We have installed protective screens in our open-plan offices. Is it still compulsory to wear a mask?

Yes. Please also make sure that you ventilate the room regularly.

If social distancing rules are observed (in consultation with SG AS), can several people eat in a break room at one time?

No. Break rooms may only be used by one person at a time due to the currently valid rules to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Time slots must be allocated to each employee if necessary and/or signs must be put up to indicate that the break room is occupied and may not be used by others. (Update: 21 January 2021)

What is the situation with oral examinations? Can masks be removed if we comply with social distancing and ventilation requirements?

  • On the basis of the current rules: no
  • Linked to the current rate of infection

When recording lectures, can the person giving the lecture remove their mask if there are other people in the room?

No.

Wearing masks whilst working in laboratories

Those responsible for all face-to-face classes/events held during the coronavirus pandemic are obliged to draw up individual hygiene concepts which must be followed during the class/event in question, in order to prevent infection spreading among staff/students.

Particularly in the case of laboratories, there are official recommendations from supervisory authorities which must be taken account of when drafting an individual concept (for example risk assessment) and observed if applicable to the case in hand. The university is unfortunately unable to give general recommendations that are valid in all instances, as the range of activities is simply too wide.

Generally speaking, when drawing up a hygiene concept for working in laboratories, the first priority should be to ensure that the required minimum distance can be observed, either by taking the relevant organisational measures, or, in exceptional cases, by taking construction measures or modifying the technical set-up of the laboratory. This follows on from an official statement from the Bayerische Landesunfallkasse insurance provider, in which it states that the risks of wearing a face covering when carrying out activities in laboratories to which the German Hazardous Substances Ordinance and/or German Biological Materials Ordinance apply outweigh the benefits from the point of view of infection prevention.

You are of course entitled to deviate from this recommendation after carrying out your own risk assessment, as long as protection is provided in another way or the benefit from an infection prevention point of view is seen as being more important. This may be the case, for example,for activities involving extremely small quantities of hazardous materials (to be defined, e.g. analysis) or the like.

The following rules must be observed when shooting films, film sequences or quotes or recording talkshows and taking photographs:

Film outside where possible

You should film or take photographs outside wherever possible, preferably in locations where masks do not have to be worn (for example in the Schlossgarten or areas which do not count as University grounds).

The following applies to filming inside at FAU:

  • Groups of people interacting in front of the camera (a group counts as any gathering of more than two people) can only be filmed if everyone wears a face covering (preferably a mask with the FAU or UKER logo) and observes social distancing. This is important to ensure the health and safety of all involved, as well as our credibility.
  • If a representative of FAU is interviewed or gives a quote for a TV or radio broadcast, they should remove their mask for the time spent directly in front of the camera. The film team and other people in the room must then wear an FFP2 mask without an exhalation valve to ensure their own protection. The same applies to taking photographs if a person removes their mask in front of the camera. External film and photo teams should bring their own FFP2 masks without an exhalation valve. 
  • Video talks given, for example, by the President follow the same pattern as interviews, in other words the main speaker should face the camera without a mask whilst the others in the room must wear an FFP2 mask without an exhalation valve. If two partners are filmed in a dialogue, they must wear a face covering (preferably a mask with the FAU or UKER logo) and observe social distancing.

If you are unsure about anything or have to deviate from the rules given above, the details of the film shoot should be clarified with Occupational Safety (contact: Friedrich Schüller).

The State Ministry of Public Health and Care Services publishes a list on its website www.stmgp.bayern.de of all administrative districts or independent towns in which, according to the Robert Koch Institute or the Bavarian Health and Food Safety Authority, the number of new cases of SARS-CoV-2 has exceeded 35 cases per 100,000 population within the last 7 days or was exceeded less than 6 days ago. In these administrative districts and independent towns, the following applies at universities from the day following the day on which the figures were first published until the end of the day on which they were last reached:

Deviating from the rules stipulated under the point ‘Conducting face-to-face sessions’, masks must be worn the whole time during face-to-face teaching sessions, even once you are seated, and even if you are still able to keep a distance of 1.5 metres. This also applies to lecturers and invigilators or supervisors attending the face-to-face session or on-campus examination.

All individuals are requested to wash their hands regularly and observe coughing and sneezing etiquette (into the elbow) to reduce the risk of infection. Further information can be provided by Occupational Safety.

The university will ensure that there is sufficient opportunity for washing hands depending on local conditions and the expected number of people (more information on the rules in place at FAU available under the heading ‘Disinfectant’). In sanitary areas and laboratories, cleaning material and disposable hand towels must be provided in sufficient quantities.

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. Otherwise, suitable protective clothing such as gloves must be worn.

The university must ensure that rooms and work equipment are cleaned regularly, at least once per day. This applies in particular to working areas for examinations and face-to-face sessions, which are used in short succession by several participants. The hygiene and safety plan for all face-to-face sessions must include details of the type of cleaning and cleaning intervals.

All universities are responsible for setting out a ventilation plan that is suited to the physical location. How often a room should be ventilated is determined by the size and the usage of the room to ensure effective ventilation. Information on the type and duration of ventilation can be found in the currently valid SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety standards of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs.

All available options for ventilating rooms must be used. If air conditioning is used, measures must be undertaken to reduce the risk of spreading infection, for example by reducing the amount of recirculated air and installing or frequently exchanging filters. If a room is ventilated by opening the windows, open all of the windows to allow stale air to flow out and fresh air to flow in. Ventilation systems must be operated with the highest setting of external air possible. The number of breaks should be increased to ensure that rooms can be ventilated properly. Large rooms should be allocated if the planned activity is likely to produce more aerosols (this applies especially to rehearsal rooms).

Individuals may not enter the university premises if they

  1. have been in contact with a person who has a confirmed case of Covid-19 in the last fourteen days
  2. show symptoms that could indicate a Covid-19 infection, including all respiratory problems irrespective of severity, unspecific general symptoms and a loss of taste or smell.
  3. are required to quarantine at home for 14 days in accordance with the currently valid Immigration Quarantine Regulations (EQV) (www.gesetze-bayern.de/Content/Document/BayEQV/true).

No. 1 does not apply to students who are working (part-time) in healthcare.

In the case of no. 2 and no. 3, these restrictions will not apply to persons who can show the university an official medical certificate in German or English confirming that there is no evidence of an infection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. Members of staff must show the certificate at their place of work (to the Head of Office for those in ZUV), and students must carry it with them at all times when attending classes on campus and show it to the person holding the session or the invigilator. The medical certificate must be based on a molecular biological test for detecting infection with coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, which has been carried out in a member state of the European Union or in another state that the RKI has included in a list of states with a sufficient quality standard for this purpose, and which has been carried out no more than 48 hours before presentation to the university. Please note that an antibody test is not sufficient.

Information regarding employees who have contracted the virus is available on the coronavirus website under Research and work.

People with a higher risk of developing severe illness (at-risk groups according to the Robert Koch Institute) are recommended to take sufficient measures to protect themselves. This may include wearing respiratory protection at the required protection level. The university must, wherever possible, offer appropriate advice to staff through the occupational medical service. Teaching staff who belong to an at-risk group may offer classes entirely online provided that the learning outcomes of the class can still be met. This also applies to individuals who have been granted exemption from the requirement to wear a face mask for health reasons.

Information on dealing with particularly vulnerable members of staff is available on the coronavirus website under ‘Research and work’.

All members of the university including all professors, research associates, public servants, employees and students are responsible for ensuring that the hygiene guidance is complied with in their area of responsibility. This applies in particular to managers, committee leaders, examiners and teaching staff. This also includes the responsibility to inform the relevant persons (e.g. participants in examinations and face-to-face sessions) in an appropriate manner about regulations on infection prevention applicable within their own area. The university must monitor compliance with infection prevention regulations through inspections held at random.

Lecturers have the responsibility for ensuring that the minimum distance and hygiene guidance is complied with in rooms used for teaching, that face masks are worn where necessary, and that contact tracing measures are used. They may deny access to the room if any of these requirements are not complied with.

Detailed procedures for the implementation of this guidance shall be set out by the university management. The university management may, at their own discretion, adopt stricter regulations.

The FAU crisis team has discussed the pros and cons of using disinfectant in great detail over the course of several meetings, consulting with scientific experts and involving the FAU medical officer Prof. Dr. Klaus Schmid in discussions.

At the end of the day, we have decided not to supply or use disinfectant dispensers on FAU premises. The reasons are as follows:

Routes of transmission

According to our medical experts, the most important route of transmission is droplet infection, during which coronavirus pathogens are shed by infected people in droplets which are expelled when coughing and sneezing (and to a lesser extent also when speaking), remain suspended in the air, and are then breathed in by someone else.

This explains why it is so important that a distance of 1.5m is kept between individuals at all times. A face covering ought to be worn whenever it is not possible to keep this distance apart.

The novel coronavirus cannot enter the body through the skin on your hands. The virus can only lead to an infection if it comes into contact with mucous membranes in the mouth, nose or eyes.

 Hand hygiene

According to our experts, consistent hand hygiene (washing regularly using soap and water, in particular before eating, drinking and smoking; avoiding touching your face) is sufficient outside the hospital.

A sufficient number of handwashing facilities are available in all FAU buildings. Hand disinfection is therefore only necessary in instances when you are unable to wash your hands with soap and water, for example before eating (if you are working away from home or outside the office, for example)

Cleaning

G5 is monitoring the situation closely and ensuring that highly frequented sanitary facilities, terminals and public workspaces (in particular examination rooms) are cleaned well and regularly, and that soap and hand towels are available in toilet facilities at all times. Common cleaning products containing detergents are sufficient for cleaning purposes.

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

Printable templates for notices and posters on hygiene regulations are available in the appendix to the practical guidelines published by Occupational Safety:

Website ‘Biological work materials’ from Occupational Safety (accessible from the FAU network or via VPN).

A maximum of 200 persons may be permitted to attend a face-to-face session. Participants must be seated or organised in a manner that ensures the minimum distance of 1.5m is maintained.

A face mask that covers the mouth and nose must be worn on university grounds, in communal areas and access routes in university buildings and when entering and leaving rooms.

A face mask must be worn at all times during face-to-face sessions, by students and lecturers alike, even once you are seated, and even if you are still able to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

The university must be notified of any face-to-face sessions that are to be held outside of the university premises (e.g. excursions). Further details are governed by the Executive Board.

Face-to-face musical, artistic and cultural events and practice sessions which are allowed in accordance with the Bavarian Regulation on Infection Prevention and Control Measures must observe the relevant infection prevention regulations and the hygiene guidance for cultural events and practice sessions. Artistic and musical classes must also comply with the general regulations for face-to-face teaching. An increased distance of 2.0m is required when singing or playing brass instruments. Room allocation will be prioritised according to the research, teaching and administrative operations of the university.

In accordance with the resolution of the Bavarian state government of 28 July 2020, contact details must be recorded for all participants in face-to-face classes to allow contact tracing if an infection is reported.

  • The social distancing rules that are still valid mean that face-to-face teaching can only take place in certain rooms at FAU. A list of approved rooms is available from Occupational Safety.
  • FAU is using an IT system called ‘darfichrein.de’ for recording contact details of those using these rooms, which is a web application that is already being used in hotels, restaurants and other public spaces with great success. The provider, Darfichrein GmbH, is a joint subsidiary of the Institute for Local Authority Data Processing in Bavaria (Anstalt für Kommunale Datenverarbeitung in Bayern (AKDB)) and the Bavarian Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA Bayern).
  • The ‘darfichrein.de’ platform enables simple and contactless recording of contact details via smartphones where users simply scan a QR code and enter their details in the form that opens in the browser on their phone. Occupational Safety has placed more than 4,500 QR codes on the seats available for use in all the rooms on the approved list. Only these seats may be used to ensure that the university complies with social distancing rules.
  • The contact details entered by users are encrypted, stored in AKDB’s data centre and automatically deleted after the end of the storage period. A check-in ticket is created when the user has completed all the fields in the form, entered a PIN and clicked on ‘check in’. The check-in ticket confirms that the check-in procedure has been completed successfully.
  • To ensure that all contact details are recorded, it is important that FAU rooms are registered on darfichrein.de by Occupational Safety only. Please do not create your own accounts. Contact Occupational Safety if you would like to register a room: zuv-sgas-covid-nachverfolgung@fau.de. (This does not apply to lecturers checking into rooms using a QR code)
  • Students who have tested positive for Covid-19 should read the information in the section on studying and teaching on the FAU coronavirus information website.

Darfichrein.de is being used at FAU solely for the purpose of complying with the legal requirement of collecting contact information and serves only to trace the chain of infection for confirmed cases by health authorities (Gesundheitsamt). The system fulfils all data protection and infection control requirements. FAU will discontinue the use of the application as soon as recording contact details is no longer legally required.

If you have any questions about darfichrein.de please contact Occupational Safety (zuv-sgas-covid-nachverfolgung@fau.de.

Download

The bilingual poster explaining the web application darfichrein.de can be hung up at the entrance (of the building or the room).

Further information

The university also recommends using the Corona-Warn-App provided by the RKI while on university premises.

The system for recording contact details will replace the notification procedure for examinations used in the summer semester. Notification is no longer required for on-campus examinations scheduled as planned for winter semester 2020/2021. On-campus examinations in October that were originally scheduled for summer semester 2020 still require notification.

The session coordinator is responsible for providing individuals who wish to record their contact details manually with a contact tracing form.

Anyone attending a face-to-face session who cannot or does not want to scan a QR code will be given a form to enter their contact details manually. They must enter the following data: last name, first name, telephone number (alternatively complete address or e-mail address), location, room (if applicable seat or table number) and when they attended (date and time).

All forms must be kept in a sealed envelope. After the session, the envelope will be marked with the date, time, place and room number of the relevant session.

The envelope will be stored by the session coordinator for four weeks after the session and the data will then be destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations. If a session coordinator is not available, envelopes containing contact forms can be handed to the room coordinator.

If contact tracing is required, Occupational Safety will contact the session coordinator to request analogue contact data. Analogue contact data may be made available at the request of and in consultation with the health authorities.

Public access that is not required for face-to-face operations at the university (research, teaching and administrative operations) must be reduced as far as possible. If possible, public access should be replaced by telephone, postal or electronic communication (for example e-mail). This applies in particular to consultation hours, enrolment, applications and the submission of work and forms.

Services offered by the university that require contact in person should take organisational measures to avoid unnecessary social contact. Appointments must be scheduled in such a way that there are no waiting times or gatherings of people in waiting areas.

Work on university premises must be organised in such a way that multiple occupancy of rooms is avoided (for example by using all available rooms) and the minimum distance is maintained or alternative protective measures are taken.

The university offers support in cases of hardship that may occur for example in organising childcare and will endeavour to find a solution in individual cases.

The university libraries and archives may continue operations, provided that the minimum distance, hygiene guidance and requirements for recording contact details are observed, insofar as continued operation is permitted by the infection prevention regulations.

Infection prevention regulations governing public spaces also apply to public spaces on the university grounds.

Infection prevention regulations governing events, gatherings and demonstrations apply to the public spaces and buildings on university grounds. Room allocation will be prioritised according to the research, teaching and administrative operations of the university.

Infection prevention regulations governing religious worship and meetings of religious communities also apply to religious institutions on the university grounds.

For sports, infection prevention regulations and the hygiene guidance for sports apply. The general regulations for face-to-face teaching also apply to practical sports classes. The allocation of sports rooms and facilities will be prioritised according to the research, teaching and administrative operations of the university.

Restaurants and catering services offered by the university must comply with the infection prevention regulations and the hygiene guidance for restaurant and catering services. Room allocation will be prioritised according to the research, teaching and administrative operations of the university. University restaurants remain closed.

Pursuant to Section 15 of the 8th BayIfSMV, conferences, congresses, fairs and comparable events are prohibited until further notice.

At the present time, only virtual channels can be used to meet and exchange ideas. Once the rate of infections is such that events like these can be held again, they should only be offered as a face-to-face session if this is justified for scientific, business or operational reasons. The currently valid infection prevention provisions must be observed at all times.

Infection prevention regulations for cultural sites also apply to cultural sites operated by universities and cultural sites in university grounds. Room allocation will be prioritised according to the research, teaching and administrative operations of the university.

Further information on implementing the hygiene guidance

Practical classes

This applies in particular to laboratory courses, sports courses, fine arts courses (theatre, music, art education), field work and field trips. Conducting practical classes and research activities in special laboratory or work rooms including workshops at FAU must follow the practical guidelines that you will find on the Occupational Safety website (accessible from the FAU network and by VPN).

If you would like to hold a practical class, please complete the form included in the practical guidelines from the Occupational Safety website which must also be signed by the individual responsible and send it via e-mail to your Occupational Safety representative. Your representative will contact you should they require further details.

Those responsible for all face-to-face classes/events held during the coronavirus pandemic are obliged to draw up individual hygiene concepts which must be followed during the class/event in question, in order to prevent infection spreading among staff/students.

Particularly in the case of laboratories, there are official recommendations from supervisory authorities which must be taken account of when drafting an individual concept (for example risk assessment) and observed if applicable to the case in hand. The university is unfortunately unable to give general recommendations that are valid in all instances, as the range of activities is simply too wide.

Generally speaking, when drawing up a hygiene concept for working in laboratories, the first priority should be to ensure that the required minimum distance can be observed, either by taking the relevant organisational measures, or, in exceptional cases, by taking construction measures or modifying the technical set-up of the laboratory. This follows on from an official statement from the Bayerische Landesunfallkasse insurance provider, in which it states that the risks of wearing a face covering when carrying out activities in laboratories to which the German Hazardous Substances Ordinance and/or German Biological Materials Ordinance apply outweigh the benefits from the point of view of infection prevention.

You are of course entitled to deviate from this recommendation after carrying out your own risk assessment, as long as protection is provided in another way or the benefit from an infection prevention point of view is seen as being more important. This may be the case, for example,for activities involving extremely small quantities of hazardous materials (to be defined, e.g. analysis) or the like.

Examinations

Occupational Safety have prepared practical guidelines for carrying out on-campus examinations. You can find these guidelines on the Occupational Safety website (accessible from the FAU network and via VPN). In the appendix to the practical guidelines, you can find detailed information on topics such as basic standards, operational procedures, and recommendations on when and how to wear masks.

The system for recording contact details will replace the notification procedure for examinations used in the summer semester. Notification is no longer required for on-campus examinations scheduled as planned for winter semester 2020/2021. On-campus examinations in October which were originally scheduled for summer semester 2020 still require notification . Please refer to the detailed information provided by the Examinations Offices.

Contact

corona-informationen@fau.de

FAU Occupational Medical Service – BÄD

www.baed.fau.de

Phone: +49 9131 8523666

Occupational Safety

Occupational Safety website (available from the FAU network. Information on VPN access from home is provided by the RRZE

Phone: +49 9131 8526778


FAU mask

(Image: FAU/Celina Henning)

Face mask with FAU logo

Face masks with the FAU logo are available from the restaurants at Langemarckplatz, Erlangen-Süd and Regensburger Straße in Nuremberg. They cost 5 euros each.