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Robert Hentschke 
Acting Head
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Christian Renken
Safety Engineer

Kirsten Weingart
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Astrid Goebel
Safety Engineer

René Silberbach
Safety Engineer

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Sandra Brozinski
 

Visiting address

Building V03
Ammerländer Heerstraße 138
26129 Oldenburg

Postal address

Carl von Ossietzky Universität Oldenburg
Stabsstelle Arbeitssicherheit
Ammerländer Heerstr. 114-118
26129 Oldenburg

Coronavirus / Covid-19

Information on the coronavirus for members of the university

Please understand that there is still much to be clarified at this time. We are therefore updating and amending this page continuously.

I. Current situation at the University of Oldenburg

Letter of the President on the start of the winter semester

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues,
dear students:

This week we started into a winter semester which again has brought a premiere: a "hybrid semester" with a combination of online and in-person teaching. Last summer semester we all learned together that teaching, learning and working can be done digitally and online - although it demands a lot of us. In this respect, we are now already experienced. What is new is the combination of digital formats with in-person teaching on campus. In order for this challenge to be mastered, we are all once again called upon to try our best.

In the coming months, all the universities in Lower Saxony - and we, as well - want to allow in-person courses to take place wherever it is necessary and possible. However, under the current hygiene regulations, only a relatively small number of our 16,000 students can be on campus at any one time. Especially if you are one of our freshmen, it is, of course, only right and proper that you get to meet your fellow students personally and have the opportunity to explore the university as a real-life place. As a lecturer, you will - as our surveys show - also be happy to meet your students again in small groups and to be able to exchange ideas directly with them. Over the past few months, you have with great commitment prepared for the hybrid forms of teaching required for this semester. I want to thank you for that!

For you, as employees in administration and facility management, it will continue to be a matter of sensible consideration to decide how and when you will be able to return to work on campus. I am sure that in discussing these steps with your superiors good and safe solutions can be found. From some of you, however, this may require yet more patience. I ask for your understanding.

Unfortunately, one thing remains certain: We must all stay vigilant - the rising number of infections in the Northwest, throughout Germany and around the world speak a clear message. We have implemented very good hygiene concepts for our presence on campus - adopting the well-known rule: A-H-A + L or D-H-C + V in English (distance, hygiene, community mask + ventilation). But these measures will only work if they are being followed. So please stick to them and also pay attention to the other safety instructions you received by e-mail last week.

As we all know, the increase in infections in the population very often has its origin in too close contacts in private life. I must therefore appeal to you to continue to act and behave responsibly. In this way you will protect yourself and your loved ones as well as the people you come into contact with at the university. I am fully aware that it is a particularly bitter pill for you as students to refrain from partying and enjoying each other's company. Normally, this is rightly part of student life - but, right now, you should refrain.

For if we were to register a larger number of infections at the university in a short period of time, we would again have to severely restrict or completely close down access to campus. The semester would then be continued purely digitally; even more people would have to work from home. I very much hope that we will all be spared this scenario. You can all do your part by acting responsibly.

These are difficult times. That is all the more reason to wish you all the best and good health in the coming months, much joy and success in your work, and for you, dear students, inspiring studies.

With warm regards,

Your
Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Michael Piper
President

Special Operations Phase 2

Update: 10-08-20

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues:

summer is over, and winter semester is just around the corner. There is no doubt that, in light of the ongoing corona pandemic, we are once again facing challenging times that will require a great deal of us. Over the past few months, we, the Presidential Board, have been working together with many colleagues to prepare for winter semester as best as possible. We have evaluated experiences, reviewed earlier decisions, and refined concepts. The central question has been whether and how we can expand "special operations" at our university in order to create a bit more normalcy while at the same time protecting everyone's health as much as possible.

Given that hygiene and protective measures are strictly adhered to, "special operations - phase 2" is to essentially allow for as much physical presence on university grounds as possible. All members and associates of the University of Oldenburg are required to act responsibly and actively avoid infection risks. This is the only way to avoid creating a situation at the university that would require restrictions to be imposed yet again.

The Presidential Chair has defined a framework for action, and discussed it with the deans and the crisis management team. We would like to share the results with you today. The following applies with immediate effect:

  • All university buildings will be open and accessible at the start of orientation week. Facilities subject to exceptions resulting from an approved hygiene and safety measure concept will inform the university community separately.
  • Study and teaching activities have priority access to university facilities, especially lecture halls. Other events (e.g. conferences, workshops, fairs, exhibitions, graduation ceremony) must be held off campus (provided they have been generally permitted by the Presidential Chair; separate decisions will follow).
  • Rooms may only be used if they have been properly prepared and hygiene as well as protective measure are adhered to (e.g. maximum number of persons, distances). Rooms may also be used for meetings, conferences, general discussion groups, etc. The individual(s) using the room is/are responsible for ensuring compliance with hygiene and safety rules. In February and March 2021, lecture halls are primarily reserved for examinations requiring personal attendance.
  • Committee meetings, commission meetings, staff meetings, etc. may be held in person. These rooms, too, must be prepared accordingly, and the hygiene rules must be observed. The chairperson of a meeting is responsible for documenting the individuals in attendance.
  • External persons (e.g. external lecturers, participants in continuing education courses, external users of the library) may enter university buildings again.
  • While on university premises, all persons are obliged to comply with the applicable hygiene rules laid out in the "Explanatory notes on special operations."
  • The general ban on pregnant and nursing students entering the library has been lifted. The usual process for preparing and evaluating risk assessments again applies to this group of people.
  • The "Employment Agreement on Alternative Workplaces during the Corona Crisis" ("Dienstvereinbarung zu Arbeitsplatzalternativen während der Zeit der Coronakrise") of March 16, 2020 remains in force and thus, continues to allow for telecommuting. In principle, university workplaces may be used on-site, although the requisite hygiene and protective measures may preclude some workplaces from being staffed in person. In order for staff to return, the head of an organizational unit must draw up a concept and submit it to the Occupational Safety Unit for review as well as the Presidential Board for approval. On this basis, the head may divide on-site work hours among his or her staff (please note the guidelines on "Special Operations and Discretionary Management" as well as "Discretionary Management and Risk Groups" issued by the Human Resources Department on July 30, 2020). Mobile work may be ordered by the head of an organizational unit if necessary. Employees who demonstrably (e.g. confirmed by an occupational physician) belong to a risk group require a special assessment and, if necessary, special work options, both involving an occupational physician.
  • Concepts for work-related activities during special operations drawn up by the heads of the organizational units must be submitted to the Presidential Chair for approval via the Occupational Safety Unit. Previously approved concepts remain in effect. Existing concepts may be adapted by the heads of the organizational units to the requirements for phase 2 of the extended special operations as well as the updated "Explanatory notes on special operations."
  • When organizing university operations, all relevant functions must be maintained.
  • Please note that a situation may arise at any time that would require the reinstatement of special operations, with restrictions on personal presence, or emergency operations in parts or all of the university.
  • In order to deal with possible infections at the university, a central reporting office has been established. In addition, preventive protective measures will take effect in such cases. We will share further information with you in a separate email.

We hope for some good and safe months ahead during which we can work at the university as best as possible and offer our students a wide-ranging education. Please continue to contribute to this endeavour.

With kind regards on behalf of the Presidential Board,

Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Michael Piper, President

Jörg Stahlmann, Vice President for Administration and Finance

Where can I find the latest version of the "Explanatory notes on special operation"?

 The latest version can be found under "VIII. Files available for download" (in German only).

What has to be taken into account if infections occur at the university?

Please always adhere to the distance and hygiene rules applying at the university.

If you have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus, please inform the university. You can find the central contact details under "How should persons who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and contact persons behave? Is there a central reporting office at the university?"

If you feel ill and show symptoms of a corona infection, please follow the instructions in "I feel sick and I'm showing symptoms of a corona infection - what should I do?"

 

May external persons enter the university again?

Yes. External persons (e.g. external lecturers, participants in continuing education courses, external users of the library) may enter university buildings again.

May individuals from domestic risk areas enter the university?

The Lower Saxony Ordinance on the Coronavirus does not contain travel restrictions for employees from domestic risk areas. The University of Oldenburg has issued noch such regulations either.

What do I have to keep in mind when I'm on university premises? May things change at short notice?

While on university premises, all persons are obliged to comply with the applicable hygiene rules laid out in the "Explanatory notes on special operations."

When organizing university operations, all relevant functions must be maintained. Please note that a situation may arise at any time that would require the reinstatement of special operations, with restrictions on personal presence, or emergency operations in parts or all of the university.

 

Concepts and risk assessments during special operations

Concepts for work-related activities during special operations drawn up by the heads of the organizational units must be submitted to the Presidential Chair for approval via the Occupational Safety Unit. Previously approved concepts remain in effect. Existing concepts may be adapted by the heads of the organizational units to the requirements for phase 2 of the extended special operations as well as the updated "Explanatory notes on special operations."

For further information on this matter, please contact your supervisor.

The mandatory wearing of cloth masks covering the mouth and nose (MNS) on campus as well as exemptions from the rule

In order to protect public health, the Presidential Chair has decided to make the use of face masks, i.e. cloth masks covering the mouth and nose (MNS), mandatory in high-traffic areas of all buildings and leased properties. Persons with physical or health restrictions may be exempt from the mask requirement in accordance with the Lower Saxony Ordinance on Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic.

If you require any further information on this matter or have any procedural questions, please contact your supervisor.

University library: Notes for use

Please visit the page linked below regularly. There you will find the latest Information on Using the Library during Special Operations Mode.

More information

Information on the University Sports Centre

Current information regarding the University Sports Centre can be found here.

Dining hall und cafeteria

The Studentenwerk Oldenburg (student services organization) has announced that both the dining hall and cafeteria at Uhlhornsweg are offering scaled-back dining services.

Further information can be found on its website:

Studentenwerk Oldenburg

II. Information on teaching and examination

What measures will be taken by the university in case of a COVID-19 outbreak?

The university has established a procedure for these cases, which is explained in the document "Tracing infections". You can find it in chapter "VIII. Files available for download (in German and English)".

Guidelines for examinations

A set of „Guidelines for examinations” has been published for proctors of written exams during specials operations at the University of Oldenburg. This document is available in both German and English, and will be updated and adapted to current circumstances if necessary.

You can find the publication under "VIII. Files available for download".

Technical information about online teaching

The IT services provide several systems for web conferences that enable communication via text (chat), audio, and/or video. Additional functions for presenting, exchanging, and jointly editing files have been integrated:

  • The existing Cloud Storage service has been expanded to include the components of Talk for chat, audio, and video conferencing as well as OnlyOffice for collaborative work on texts.
  • Stud.IP now includes the web conference platform BigBlueButton: In Stud.IP virtual rooms can be created for any event and used for online teaching. The integrated web conference platform is now designed for much more extensive use by 4,000 to 5,000 participants.
  • Additional web conference platforms are available for internal and external university communication via chat, audio, and video conference:
    • https://meeting.uol.de allows users to record web conferences. This platform is designed for 3,000 to 4,000 participants.
    • https://webconf.uol.de now also offers the possibility of participating in a web conference by telephone. The number of slots available for telephones is limited to 10.
    • https://studconf.uol.de: Students can create study groups in Stud.IP and communicate via this service. Moreover, this platform is to be used when external participants are involved.
    • https://iconf.uol.de is a platform for users with special security requirements. Access is granted upon application via the IT-Service-Desk. It enables users to record surveys, interviews, and long video segments needed for analysis in term papers, master's theses, etc.

In order to be able to use the various platforms for web conferences at the University of Oldenburg, a reasonably up-to-date technical end device is required (desktop, laptop, tablet, smartphone). This device needs to have a microphone and a loudspeaker; a headset usually provides better sound quality and avoids feedback. Current versions of the Chrome or Firefox browser are required. Further information about how to use web conference platforms can be found on the websites of IT services (https://uol.de/en/institutions/it-dienste) and University Didactics (https://wp.uni-oldenburg.de/edidactics/en/covid-19-current-information-about-digital-tools-for-teaching-online/).

If you have any questions, please contact the IT-Service-Desk (ser3bvicedesk@untugi-0+7oldenburg0d.de, Tel.: 798-5555, Mon - Thur: 09:00 AM - 03:30 PM, Fri: 09:00 AM - 12:00 PM), preferably by e-mail.

In addition, the bandwidth of the university's connection to the DFN science network is currently being tripled, and the server infrastructure is being greatly expanded. In order to securely store data required for online teaching, personal storage space (home drive) and personal cloud storage for each member of the university has also been increased from 10GB to 100GB.

Why does the university not currently allow the use of digital communication tools offered by external providers (Skype, Teams, Zoom, etc.)?

Important criteria for the use of communication tools at the University of Oldenburg are data protection, information security, and sustainability. In addition to meeting the legal requirements for data protection and security, external tools must be integrable into the university's digital infrastructure. This requires comprehensive technical and legal checks, internal coordination, and the completion of appropriate contracts. Since DFN's well-established service has been experiencing performance problems recently, and many external providers do not sufficiently meet the above-mentioned criteria, our IT services have provided their "own" additional tools (https://uol.de/en/institutions/it-dienste), which can be integrated into the existing infrastructure (including UniCloud and Stud.IP) and whose security falls within the university's sphere of influence.

Please send feedback on this matter to: sergfxnvicedtd9esk@uoijul.de.

 

Where can I find further help with digital teaching?

Whether it’s the eDidactic blog, online consultation hours, collegial exchanges in the Stud.IP community, or online workshops you are interested in: The university's presidential didactics department offers teachers, teaching staff, and students a wide range of information on digital teaching. Turn to the blog, updated daily, to find out about various digital technologies for learning and teaching. The eDidactics team’s popular online consultation hour takes place every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 10.30 to 11.30 a.m. Interested parties can also give the BigBlueButton video conferencing tool a try. Teachers and teaching staff may contact the eDidactics team by e-mail (edidaktik@uol.de) and, if required, arrange telephone consultation appointments. There is also a lively exchange between instructors via Stud.IP - other interested parties may register here as well. And those who would like to further their education can take advantage of the workshops offered by university didactics: Many of the courses have now been converted to online classes.

eDidactics BlogOnline consultation hourStud.IPOnline courses of university didactics

As a teacher, can I also hold consultation hours via video conference?

Yes, the BigBlueButton online conference system is available for this purpose. It is accessed via meeting.uol.de, not Stud.IP. Here, lecturers can create virtual rooms and configure them in such a way that invited students are only allowed to enter upon approval. Please select the option "Approval by moderator before room can be entered" when creating the room. The students can then attend the consultation hour in sequence – the student next in line appears on a waiting list visible to the host. In order to start the conversation, the host confirms a student’s participation with a mouse click. Please note: If you want to offer consultation hours on BigBlueButton, you should inform the participants about this procedure in advance so that waiting times can be taken into account.

More information
 

III. Information for students

Key information for studying during winter semester 20/21

Students can find all information relevant to the online semester (e.g. CampusCard validation, advisory services and contact persons as well as regulations on studying and teaching during special operations, etc.) in the Stud.IP course entitled "Zentrale Informationen fürs Studium WiSe 20/21". All students are automatically added as participants.

FAQ list by the Studentenwerk

The Studentenwerk Oldenburg (students services organization) provides information about the coronavirus and answers any possible questions:

FAQ Studentenwerk Oldenburg

IV. Information for employees

Concepts and risk assessments during special operations

Concepts for work-related activities during special operations drawn up by the heads of the organizational units must be submitted to the Presidential Chair for approval via the Occupational Safety Unit. Previously approved concepts remain in effect. Existing concepts may be adapted by the heads of the organizational units to the requirements for phase 2 of the extended special operations as well as the updated "Explanatory notes on special operations."

For further information on this matter, please contact your supervisor.

The mandatory wearing of cloth masks covering the mouth and nose (MNS) on campus as well as exemptions from the rule

In order to protect public health, the Presidential Chair has decided to make the use of face masks, i.e. cloth masks covering the mouth and nose (MNS), mandatory in high-traffic areas of all buildings and leased properties. Persons with physical or health restrictions may be exempt from the mask requirement in accordance with the Lower Saxony Ordinance on Combating the Coronavirus Pandemic.

If you require any further information on this matter or have any procedural questions, please contact your supervisor.

Distribution of face masks (everyday mask)

During special operations, the university is issuing masks that cover the nose and mouth (everyday masks). These are reusable cotton masks that can be washed and ironed. Such masks are neither a certified medical product nor personal protective equipment.

Nevertheless, these "garments" can reduce the speed of respiratory flow or droplet ejection, e.g. during coughing, and thus, may be effective in slowing down the spread of SARS-CoV-2.

Distribution guidelines:

  • A maximum of 2 masks per person will be issued. If more are required, please obtain the Occupational Safety Unit's written approval.
  • The masks will only be issued on the basis of completed order forms, filled out legibly and signed.
  • As a type of personal protective equipment, the masks issued are assigned to an individual by name, recorded, and documented in accordance with the university's legal obligations.
  • Inadmissible, duplicate, or multiple orders will be charged to the organizational unit.
  • Requests for replacing lost masks must be submitted to the Occupational Safety Unit.

Who receives everyday masks:

  • Employees and student/scientific assistants, indicating their personnel number.
  • Students working on Bachelor's or Master's theses, stating their matriculation number and including a note in the field "Approval of higher volume."
  • Scholarship holders, providing exact details of their scholarship in the field "Approval of higher volume".

No mask is issued WITHOUT these specifications!

In order to distribute everyday masks as fast and contactless as possible, each organizational unit should bundle their requests in one order form.

Place of distribution:
Wechloy site, ring level
Distribution hours:
From May 11 - 29, 2020, daily from 9:30 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m.
Starting on June 2, 2020, masks will only be distributed from the laboratory supplies warehouse.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Please send only one person to pick up the equipment and bring a bag or similar carrying device. An order form is required for distribution.

Downloads:
Bestellformular (German, please download before filling out)
Alltagsmaske Kurzanleitung (German)
How to wear cloth face masks (English)

 

Am I still obliged to work while reduced operations remain in effect?

Moving your place of work to your home, you are still obliged to work, unless ordered otherwise. It is expected that you can be reached by telephone during your normal working hours and that you are on call to carry out important work at the university. In addition, we ask you to check your e-mails regularly and tend to them if necessary (e.g. via webmail, https://uol.de/webmail). Please also keep yourself informed about current developments on the university's website (https://uol.de/en).

Payroll accounting is maintained at all times.

What about employees who are not allowed to enter the university and who, due to the emergency operations, are unable to perform their duties?

If you are not designated to work on site at the university and your work cannot be carried out from home, you may be released from your duties after consulting with your superior. Nevertheless, you remain under obligation to be available by telephone during your normal working hours and to be on call to perform important work at the university. You are to inform yourself regularly about current developments at the university and check your e-mails. You may be notified by e-mail and via the website when business as usual resumes.

Payroll accounting is maintained at all times.

Are pregnant women as well as nursing students and employees permitted to enter university premises again?

The general ban on pregnant and nursing students entering the library has been lifted. The usual process for preparing and evaluating risk assessments again applies to this group of people.

Home office regulations during the period of reduced operations

The "Employment Agreement on Alternative Workplaces during the Corona Crisis" ("Dienstvereinbarung zu Arbeitsplatzalternativen während der Zeit der Coronakrise") of March 16, 2020 remains in force and thus, continues to allow for telecommuting.

In principle, university workplaces may be used on-site, although the requisite hygiene and protective measures may preclude some workplaces from being staffed in person. In order for staff to return, the head of an organizational unit must draw up a concept and submit it to the Occupational Safety Unit for review as well as the Presidential Board for approval. On this basis, the head may divide on-site work hours among his or her staff (please note the guidelines on "Special Operations and Discretionary Management" as well as "Discretionary Management and Risk Groups" issued by the Human Resources Department on July 30, 2020).

Mobile work may be ordered by the head of an organizational unit if necessary. Employees who demonstrably (e.g. confirmed by an occupational physician) belong to a risk group require a special assessment and, if necessary, special work options, both involving an occupational physician.

The agreement, including all relevant forms, is available on the administration portal (Personnel Service/Mobile Work).

The Employment Agreement authorizes superiors to permit individual employees to work remotely. In order to maintain the functionality and performance of the University of Oldenburg, superiors are also given the option to order individual employees to work remotely. However, it is required that the nature of an employee's job allows for mobile work to be carried out and that all necessary work equipment is available. Please coordinate requests for mobile work with your superiors.

Information on the use of IT services during special operations

The university's IT services provide and regularly update all information on their website.

Information on printing during mobile working

Staffmail from 10/15/202020:

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues,

if you use a remote access to the systems of the University of Oldenburg, you can also use your private printer. For some colleagues, technical restrictions have applied up to now, but these have now been abolished.

Please note that organisational regulations of your area of responsibility, which documents may not be printed and which documents may not leave the University of Oldenburg, still apply. If in doubt, please contact your superiors.

In addition, however, some points regarding data protection and information security must be observed:

- In principle, documents should only be printed if absolutely necessary.

- Documents with personal data and those classified higher than " VS- Nur für den Dienstgebrauch" may not be printed on private printers.

- If documents have to be printed at home, the documents should be removed from the printer immediately.

- Printouts should be stored securely, i.e. usually locked. 

- Other people in the household should not be able to read the documents.

- Official paper documents containing personal data must not be disposed of in the private paper waste. Corresponding paper waste can be collected, stored locked and then disposed of at the university (in accordance with data protection regulations, e.g. in the data protection bins provided). On the other hand, it is also possible to dispose of the documents safely, e.g. using your own paper shredder. 

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the the Stabsstelle für Datenschutz- und Informationssicherheitsmanagement (dsm/f1g6@uol.deweqry).

Best regards,

Your Stabsstelle für Datenschutz- und Informationssicherheitsmanagement.

Tips for working from home with children

The German Social Accident Insurance (DGUV) gives advice on working remotely from home with children. For all parents who are currently looking after their children and working from home at the same time, here are a few tips from "The safe house" campaign on how they can manage that twofold burden as safely and health-consciously as possible:

  • Try to define a fixed period of time for working remotely. Discuss with your employer beforehand whether you can also do some work in the evening, for example, when the children are in bed.
  • If you do not have your own office in your home, set up a "no-go zone". This signals to others: "Please do not disturb, people are working here." Tape or pillows on the floor, for example, could serve as barriers.
  • If there are two of you working from home, divide and define clear times for childcare. If the weather is nice: Going for walks outside with your children is still possible. If the weather is bad: a brochure by "The safe house" campaign offers ideas for indoor games: https://das-sichere-haus.de/broschueren/sicher-gross-werden (German).

Stress and a hectic pace facilitate falls - the most common cause of accidents in home offices.

  • Make sure that cables from your PC, laptop, and printer are stowed away so that you cannot fall over them or get tangled up. Stick loose cables to the floor with wide adhesive tape.
  • Toys that are lying around quickly become a trip hazard. Encourage your children to play only in their own room, if possible.
  • Stop working if you want to cook and small children live in the household. Hot food left on the stove unattended is a serious source of danger.
  • Take adequate breaks and stretch. Oftentimes, improvised home office workplaces are not ergonomic.

Closure of kindergartens and schools

If kindergartens and schools are closed, there may be an increased need for childcare. If childcare (other than personally provided care) cannot be ensured, or if home-based forms of work such as telework or mobile work are not possible, the University of Oldenburg may grant paid special leave for civil servants on a case-by-case basis in accordance with the state’s special leave regulation (“Sonderurlaub unter Fortzahlung der Bezüge gemäß Nds. Sonderurlaubsverordnung”). For employees subject to collective bargaining agreements, paid leave may be granted in accordance with § 29 Para. 3 TV-L.

Please note that these leaves of absence are limited to a few days according to collective bargaining and public service law as well as the currently applicable case law. It remains to be seen whether new regulations will be issued if current circumstances persist.

If you are affected, please report to your superiors following the same procedures that apply in case of illness.

My nursery offers emergency care. Can the university support applications for an emergency childcare place?

Yes, please submit an application in any case if you need a childcare place for your child/children. The Department 1 Personnel/Organization will support you and will make every effort to ensure that your application is successful.

May I be absent from work to avoid getting infected on the way to work or through contacts at work?

The fear of being infected with the coronavirus at work or on the way to work is understandable, but does not entitle employees to be absent from work, according to current risk assessments.

I commute to work and rely on public transportation. May I stay at home to minimize the risk of infection?

Currently there are no bans on using public transportation. However, the current hygiene measures of the operators must be observed. Aside from that, employees generally bear the risk of travelling to work and are responsible for reaching their place of employment safely.

I have immunocompromised or chronically ill relatives at home. Can I work from home?

For the protection of your relatives, you should exercise the same caution you would during flu season. Other than that, there is no higher risk of infection in a work environment than in private life. The fear of being infected with the coronavirus at work or on the way to work is understandable, but does not entitle employees to be absent from work, according to current risk assessments.

How should people behave if they are at a higher risk of the disease progressing severely (e.g. in case of a preexisting condition, a suppressed immune system, ...)?

It is particularly important to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible, for example by following the general guidelines (washing hands, keeping distance from sick people) and other measures to reduce contact.
Educating vulnerable individuals about the disease's clinical characteristics is also important, as it can help them recognize symptoms early. Infected persons should contact their family practitioner or other medical counselling services by telephone as soon as possible.

The RKI has published information specifically for higher-risk groups (German). 

Contact points for affected persons at the university:
Employees: Employees should inform their respective superiors or contact the Division 1 - Personnel/Organization. In accordance with the company doctor, individual solutions for the employees concerned may be found.

Students: Students should contact the Division 3 - Student and Academic Affairs. In accordance with the faculties concerned, individual solutions for the students concerned may be found.

What happens to previously approved vacation days or other types of leave of absence during the period of reduced operations?

Previously approved vacation days or other types of leave of absence remain valid.

V. Travel

Planning and approving work-related travel

With its staffmail from July 27 2020, the Presidential Board has published new information on travel at the university:

  • International business trips: International business trips should still be avoided. Only absolutely necessary or particularly important business trips can be exceptionally approved, provided that the reasons are explained.
  • National Business Trips: Business trips within Germany should also be avoided as far as possible. Only urgently required or important business trips can be approved - if possible without using public transport.

There are no special regulations regarding the responsibility for approval. The "Guidelines for the approval of business trips" of the University of Oldenburg apply. It is the responsibility of the authorizing units to evaluate the given justifications and, if necessary, the hygiene and protection measures presented. The approval must be based on strict standards.

If you require any further information on this matter, please contact your supervisor.

I am currently planning a private trip to a particularly affected country. What do I have to consider?

Regulation issued by the responsible ministries:

We expressly warn against planned or booked holiday travel to a particularly affected country or area listed in travel advisories issued by the RKI or AA. These travel warnings must be observed.

Note under public service law (“dienstrechtlicher Hinweis”): Undertaking holiday travel which leads to an infection with the coronavirus may constitute a breach of the employee's obligation under public service law; failure to maintain good health may result in disciplinary action (“Verstoß gegen die beamtenrechtliche Pflicht zur Gesunderhaltung”).

Note for employees subject to collective agreements (“Tarifbeschäftigte”): employees bear the sole risk (e.g. illness, local quarantine measures, obstacles to return travel) associated with visiting an affected country or area listed in travel advisories issued by the RKI or AA.

I have returned from a trip, and early signs of illness are developing - what should I do?

VI. Events

May public events be held at the university?

Study and teaching activities have priority access to university facilities, especially lecture halls. Other events (e.g. conferences, workshops, fairs, exhibitions, graduation ceremony) must be held off campus (provided they have been generally permitted by the Presidential Chair; separate decisions will follow).

May meetings involving committees, commissions, staff or others be held in person?

Yes. Rooms must be prepared accordingly, and the hygiene rules must be observed. The chairperson of a meeting is responsible for documenting the individuals in attendance.

Which rooms may be used for what purpose?

Rooms may only be used if they have been properly prepared and hygiene as well as protective measure are adhered to (e.g. maximum number of persons, distances).

Rooms may also be used for meetings, conferences, general discussion groups, etc. The individual(s) using the room is/are responsible for ensuring compliance with hygiene and safety rules. In February and March 2021, lecture halls are primarily reserved for examinations requiring personal attendance.

Do rooms have to be inspected and approved by the Workplace Safety Unit?

No. But the Workplace Safety Unit is available to advise the facilities on the preparation of rooms for use in accordance with the currently applicable hygiene rules at the university.

The organizational units to which the rooms are assigned are responsible for their clearance and use. These units are responsible to ensure that the rooms meet the university' s current hygiene principles with regard to furnishing, disinfection and maximum occupancy.

 

VII. General information on corona (hygiene/symptoms/sickness/protection/etc.)

Who is considered a contact person with a higher risk of infection?

Anyone who has had contact with a sick person at least two days before that person began experiencing symptoms is considered a contact person. Contact persons have a higher risk of falling ill themselves if

  • they came in direct contact with an infected person for at least 15 minutes, e.g. during a conversation.
  • they came in direct contact with an infected person's secretions or bodily fluids, e.g. during kissing or coughing.
  • they work in the medical field or nursing and, without wearing protective gear, came within less than 2 meters of an infected person, e.g. during an exam.
  • they traveled on an air plane with an infected person, but only if 1) they sat in the same row or up to 2 rows in front of or behind the infected person (regardless of the flight's duration) or 2) they were among the crew or other passengers, e.g. after a longer conversation.

I have come in contact with individuals who have tested positive for coronavirus, but I am not showing any symptoms. What should I do?

  1. First, please contact your general practitioner exclusively by telephone. Outside of regular consultation hours, you can contact the on-call medical service of the City of Oldenburg: Phone: 116 117 (nationwide)
  2. Describe your situation on the phone and state that you have had contact with a person who has been tested positive.
  3. Your doctor will make a preliminary assessment of your state of health and discuss the further procedure, such as an appointment for testing or quarantine measures, with you.
  4. Follow your doctor's instructions and be available for any questions from the authorities.
  5. Please voluntarily report your suspected case or your positive corona test result or an officially ordered quarantine as soon as possible using the contact form of the university or, subordinately, by calling the  central reporting office 0441/798-5000.

Persons who are not in an officially ordered quarantine help to interrupt possible infection chains by their precautionary absence. The procedure described here is a preventive protective measure of the University of Oldenburg and does not replace the orders of the public health authority.

I feel sick and I'm showing symptoms of a corona infection - what should I do?

For further diagnosis, please contact your general practitioner exclusively by telephone. Outside of regular consultation hours, you can contact the on-call medical service of the City of Oldenburg:
Phone: 116 117 (nationwide)

Further steps for:

  • Employees: If you suspect to have been infected, please inform your superior and Division 1 (Dezernat 1) by telephone or e-mail.
  • Students: If you suspect to have been infected, please inform the InfoService of Division 3 (Dezernat 3) by telephone or e-mail (studium@uol.de or 0441/798-2728).

Please notify the university if you have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus or if the public health department has ordered that you be quarantined. A central reporting office has been set up for such notifications: https://uol.de/en/formular-coronavirus_intranet

Who issues quarantine orders?

In accordance with the Infection Protection Act ("Infektionsschutzgesetz"), state health authorities may order and organize quarantine measures. The Infection Protection Act authorizes state health authorities, among other things, to order persons to shelter in place or to not enter certain premises until necessary protective measures have been taken (Federal Ministry of the Interior, Building and Community).

How can I protect myself from infection?

  •     Ensure a distance of at least 1.5 meters.
  •     Wash your hands thoroughly and regularly with soap.
  •     Wear a cloth face mask (MNS).
  •     Ventilate sufficiently and regularly

The University has also published a poster on this topic, which you can find here.

Can imported goods, objects, packaging (cardboard boxes, envelopes) from regions where the disease is widespread be a source of human infection?

Based on the transmission pathways identified so far and the relatively low environmental stability of coronaviruses, it is unlikely, according to the current scientific consensus, that imported goods such as food, consumer goods, toys, tools, computers, clothing, or shoes could be a source of infection with the novel coronavirus. (BfR)

How should people behave if they are at a higher risk of the disease progressing severely (e.g. in case of a preexisting condition, a suppressed immune system, ...)?

It is particularly important to reduce the risk of infection as much as possible, for example by following the general guidelines (washing hands, keeping distance from sick people) and other measures to reduce contact.
Educating vulnerable individuals about the disease's clinical characteristics is also important, as it can help them recognize symptoms early. Infected persons should contact their family practitioner or other medical counselling services by telephone as soon as possible.

The RKI has published information specifically for higher-risk groups (German). 

Contact points for affected persons at the university:
Employees: Employees should inform their respective superiors or contact the Division 1 - Personnel/Organization. In accordance with the company doctor, individual solutions for the employees concerned may be found.

Students: Students should contact the Division 3 - Student and Academic Affairs. In accordance with the faculties concerned, individual solutions for the students concerned may be found.

How should persons who have tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and contact persons behave? Is there a central reporting office at the university?

Persons tested positive for the SARS-CoV-2 virus and contact persons please behave as described below:

  • In case of a positive test result or an officially ordered quarantine, a voluntary report should be made as soon as possible via our online contact form, or subordinately by calling our corona reporting office at 0441/798-5000.
  • Persons who are not in an officially ordered quarantine help to interrupt possible infection chains by their precautionary absence.

The procedure described here represents a preventive protective measure of the University of Oldenburg and does not replace the orders of the public health authority (“Gesundheitsamt”).

General information

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) provides ongoing information on the situation as it develops. Answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ) can be found there as well.

The Federal Foreign Office issues current travel warnings and an information sheet on the coronavirus.

The Federal Centre for Health Education (BZgA) provides information for the general population on its website.

The Occupational Medical Service (BAD) of the University of Oldenburg has released a current information leaflet on the subject.

General information is also published by the State Chancellery of Lower Saxony.

English information: WHO travel advice for international traffic in relation to the outbreak of the novel coronavirus 2019-nCoV and Q&A on coronaviruses. 

Webmqdasterparb2 (chrjlis5htiauxn.renken@qs6vuol.dbi3ue) (10/26/2020)