Information on special operations at the university within the context of the coronavirus pandemic

The contents of this page are updated and adapted continuously.

PLEASE NOTE: The latest "Explanatory notes on special operations under SARS-CoV-2 conditions at the University of Oldenburg" can be found at "VIII. Files available for download" (Last update: 01/29/21).

I. Current situation at the University of Oldenburg (Last update: 03/03/21)

Letter of the Presidential Board on corona-related restrictions from February 02, 2021

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues,
dear students,

One year ago, in March 2021, the rapid spread of the Corona pandemic caught the university by surprise, causing a temporary shutdown of most of its operations. Since then, the university has gone through various forms of “special operations” in response to changing threat levels. Now it is time to start planning for summer semester 2021. I would have been happy to announce today that classroom-based instruction will return on a large scale during summer semester. Especially first-year students have not yet had an opportunity to get to know the university as a vibrant campus.

Unfortunately, we will once again have to design the coming semester around digital forms of teaching. Despite slightly eased restrictions in public life, the pandemic has not ended. A third wave is looming. As a consequence, the Presidential Board passed a resolution today concerning teaching operations during summer semester 2021:

  • As a rule, lectures, courses and seminars will be held exclusively online. Courses that cannot be taught online will be cancelled. No examinations will be held in person.
  • Exceptions for practical courses or in-person exams may be granted by the Presidential Board upon submission of a well-founded application by the schools. These requests will be reviewed thoroughly by the Occupational Safety Unit, taking into account the regulations laid out in the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance, as well as the Vice President for Instruction.

The lessons learned from the pandemic will be with us for a long time to come. As a university, we want to learn from these experiences. As you know, we have already begun to do so. Digital teaching and learning already works much more smoothly that it did a year ago. Research has also largely been able to find robust solutions for its many tasks. But we also want to systematically use the findings that we and many others have paid for so dearly to better position the University of Oldenburg and the higher education sector in Lower Saxony for the future.

This includes taking those aspects of teaching and learning that have worked better digitally than in-person into the post-pandemic future. The future will look different from the past. It will be enriched by digital opportunities that would have seemed futuristic a year ago - opportunities for increased participation via diverse access points and for diverse target groups, opportunities for more mobile work, opportunities for more flexible, less formalized exchanges across large and small distances. We want to explore and realize these and other opportunities that have grown and will grow out of the crisis together.

The outlook for 2021 is hopeful. A number of effective vaccines are already on the market and testing continues to expand. Nevertheless, I must once again appeal to you to continue to persevere. It is not pleasant, but it is necessary.

On behalf of the Presidential Board

Your

Prof. Dr. Dr. Hans Michael Piper
President

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

The latest version can be found under "VIII. Files available for download" (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 been infected, 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 proceed?"

If you feel ill and are experiencing symptoms of a corona infection, please follow the instructions in "I feel sick and I am showing symptoms of a corona infection. What should I do?"

 

May external persons enter the university?

For the regulations currently in force, please refer to the latest version of the "Explanatory notes on special operation under SARS-CoV-2 conditions". They can be found under "VIII. Files available for download" (German only).

Information for at-risk individuals

Information for at-risk individuals can be found in sections "IV. Information for employees " and "VII. General  information on corona (hygiene/symptoms/illness/protection/etc.)".

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.

Current information on data protection for the purpose of collecting corona-related contact data

Current information on data protection when collecting contact data on the basis of the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance is available here (German only).

Organizational units that collect contact data on the basis of the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance, please use the template "Corona-VO_kleiner_Datenschutzhinweis_fuer_OE" (see "VIII. Files available for download", German only).

For further information, please see points listed under section VI. at " Information requirements for contact data collection".

 

Pick-up of goods from the university receiving department

As a result of the decision taken by the Presidential Board on December 15, 2020 to contain the Corona pandemic, the university's internal delivery service has been suspended.

Please pick up your shipments from the Wechloy campus receiving area.

When picking up goods, please reference the parcel number. The goods receiving department at Wechloy campus is open during the following hours:

- Monday to Friday: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.

- Additionally, Monday to Thursday: 2:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. (does not apply before holidays)

Room: W3-0-139 (Wechloy)

Access to the university library

Please regularly visit the page linked below. 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 and cafeteria

Dining halls and cafeterias will be closed until January 31, 2021.

Further information can be found on the following website:

Studentenwerk Oldenburg

II. Information on teaching and examinations (Last update: 02/02/2021)

Information regarding internships carried out outside the university

Due to the Corona pandemic, the Presidential Board's decision currently in force prohibits the completion of all study-related interships inside and outside the university until at least March 31, 2021. However, the decision provides for exceptions to this rule under certain conditions.

Procedures have been developed in cooperation with the schools and the Occupational Safety Unit to allow internships outside the university. These procedures are applicable to school internships, orientation internships, social work and company internships.

The university is responsible for protecting its students' health, even if they complete internships in companies, social services facilities or schools off campus. Therefore, it is paramount for internship sites to have adequate hygiene concepts and measures protecting the health of students working there.

To ensure this, internship sites must confirm to the university during the Corona pandemic that they are in compliance with federal and state protective orders currently in effect. For this purpose, the university provides the following form to be completed by the internship site:

Bestätigung über Rahmenbedingungen für Praktika

Confirmation of framework conditions for internships 

Procedures:

  • Procedure for completing a school internship:

You, as the student, do not have to take action. The Center for Teacher Education - Didactic Center (DiZ) will obtain the school's confirmations for you.
If the school cancels or you are temporarily unable to participate in the internship due to Corona, faculty have already prepared alternative options. Information on who is eligible for these options and how to apply for them can be found in this summary (link forthcoming).

  • Procedure for completing an orientation, social work or company internship:

Please download the form and have the internship site complete it before the internship begins.

The original completed form is sent to the respective internship supervisor(s). The person responsible for the internship is either the instructor who led the preparatory seminar, the institute/department's internship officer or the service office for internships.

The form remains with the internship supervisor(s) until four weeks after the end of the internship. It will then be destroyed in accordance with data protection regulations.

If there are special cases that are not covered by the options described above, please contact your instructors with a description of your case.

Online list of participants for in-person events (academic teaching excluded)

In order to trace infection chains, it is imperative to document the presence of all persons at the university.

For this purpose, we provide an "online list of participants". In this list, you may enter all participants (more than 5 persons) in face-to-face events (academic teaching excluded). Afterwards, you can print the list and attach it to your minutes.

You can find the list here.

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 (, 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: .

 

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 () 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 (Last update: 12/21/20)

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.

Corona-related FAQ page for international students

International students may turn to the International Office's FAQ page for help and advice during the pandemic:
https://uol.de/en/io/covid-19

FAQ list by the Studentenwerk

The Studentenwerk Oldenburg (student services organization) provides information on the current situation here:

FAQ Studentenwerk Oldenburg (German only)

IV. Information for employees (Last update: 02/12/21)

Information requirements for collecting corona-related contact data

When collecting contact data on the basis of the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance, please use the template "Corona-VO_kleiner_Datenschutzhinweis_fuer_OE" (see "VIII. Files available for download", German only) in accordance with the GDPR.

If you have any further questions, please contact the Data Privacy and Information Security Management Unit.

Online list of participants for in-person events (academic teaching excluded)

In order to trace infection chains, it is imperative to document the presence of all persons at the university.

For this purpose, we provide an "online list of participants". In this list, you may enter all participants (more than 5 persons) in face-to-face events (academic teaching excluded). Afterwards, you can print the list and attach it to your minutes.

You can find the list here.

Am I still obliged to work while reduced operations (special 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 are unable to perform their duties during reduced operations (special operations)?

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 and/or nursing individuals permitted to enter university premises?

Pregnant women and nursing mothers (employees and students) are particularly vulnerable.

As of November 3, 2020, pregnant and breastfeeding employees and students are subject to a general ban on entering the premises until at least February 05, 2021.

An exception of up to 60 minutes a day is made for students to go to the library, for instance, and for employees to pick up or drop off files, or the like.

 

Home office regulations during the period of reduced operations

Update:

Due to the ongoing restrictions resulting from the corona pandemic, the Presidenial Board and the Staff Council of the University of Oldenburg have extended the "Employment Agreement on Alternative Workplaces during the Corona Crisis" ("Dienstvereinbarung zu Arbeitsplatzalternativen während der Zeit der Coronakrise") until December 31, 2021.

You can find the current version in the the administration portal.


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 while working remotely

Staffmail from 10/15/2020:

Dear Sir or Madam,
dear colleagues,

if you access the systems of the University of Oldenburg remotely, you may also use your private printer. Technical restrictions, which have previously applied to some colleagues, have been lifted.

Please note that organizational regulations in your area of responsibility regarding which documents may not be printed out 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 private paper waste. Such sensitive paper waste may be collected, stored under lock and then disposed of at the university (in accordance with data protection regulations, e.g. in the data protection bins provided). Alternatively, it is also possible to dispose of the documents safely, e.g. by using your own paper shredder. 

If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact the the Stabsstelle für Datenschutz- und Informationssicherheitsmanagement (Data Protection and Information Security Management Unit, ).

Best regards,

Your Stabsstelle für Datenschutz- und Informationssicherheitsmanagement.

Emergency childcare during closure of kindergartens and schools

Emergency child care is generally subordinate to the aforementioned as well as other internal work arrangements. Needs assessments consist of several steps:

Review process for an employer's certificate supporting an application for emergency child care in kindergartens and schools.

1. Responsibility for issuing the certificate

Considered legally relevant statements, the certificates will be processed by Division 1. They must not be issued by agencies other than those authorized to do so!

Applications must be submitted to the human resources department through official channels, and will be received by the respective HR officers.

Outdated forms based on the criteria applied during the first lockdown may still be submitted. They will be corrected by the HR department.

2. Criteria laid out in current ordinance and decree

  • Information on children: How many, age, regular child care (daycare, nursery, school, what grade).
  • Operationally necessary position in an area of public interest: For now, it is sufficient to state your position and duties without an evaluation. In some cases, a brief clarifying statement by a superior or the head of an organizational unit may be helpful. If additional information is required, you will be notified. Whether the other parent meets the criteria may also be taken into account.
  • Lack of childcare elsewhere: Are there any alternative childcare providers in the family, among friends, etc.? What is the share of mobile work? What about your partner's job situation and capacity to provide care?

NOTE: Contrary to the prevailing opinion in 2020, home office in itself is not the solution! The extent to which you are able to work remotely does not always rule out a need for emergency care. Further clarification is needed here: Is childcare possible and reasonable in the context of mobile work? According to current implementation instructions, this may not be the case, for example, if several children, very young children, children with impairments of any kind, children with school-related problems, etc. are to be cared for.

  • Control question: Emergency care must be limited to what is absolutely necessary. It is subsidiary to other possible solutions. In other words, have all other work-related avenues been exhausted, or may other options offer adequate relief, at least in the short run?
  • Hardship? If the criteria do not apply to you, but the result still seems unacceptable, a hardship option may be considered. Please contact the HR department to explore this scenario.

Excerpt from the Lower Saxony Corona Ordinance of 01/22/2021

§ 12 Child day care facilities

§ 12 Section 1 Sentence 4:
Emergency care shall be limited to what is necessary and epidemiologically justifiable, taking into account existing capacities.

§ 12 Section 1 Sentence 8:
Emergency care shall serve to accommodate children,
1. who have at least one parent or legal guardian that works in an operationally necessary position in an occupation of general public interest,
2. who need assistance, especially language-related support, or
3. who will be required to attend school in the coming school year in accordance with Section 64 (1) sentence 1 of the Lower Saxony School Act.

§ 12 Section 1 Sentence 9:
Care is also permissible in cases of special hardship, such as for children whose care is necessary to ensure the best interests of the child, as well as in cases of imminent dismissal or significant loss of earnings for at least one legal guardian.

§ 13 Section 2 Schools

For the duration of the measure pursuant to subsection 1, emergency care in small groups at schools shall be permitted for children in school kindergartens and for pupils generally in grades 1 to 6 during the period from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.. Beyond this period, emergency care at all-day schools may be extended in time.
Emergency care shall be limited to what is necessary and epidemiologically justifiable. The purpose of emergency care is to accommodate children for whom at least one parent or guardian is employed in an operationally necessary position in an occupation of general public interest. Care is also permitted in cases of special hardship, such as for children whose care is necessary to safeguard the best interests of the child as a result of a decision by the Youth Welfare Office, and in cases of imminent dismissal or significant loss of earnings for at least one legal guardian.

Parental leave during closure of kindergartens and schools

What options do I have if I need some time off?

In principle, different regulations apply to those with statutory insurance, private insurance and civil servants.

a) Persons covered by statutory insurance

    a. Children's sick days according to § 45 SGB V
    b. Time off work according to § 29 Section 3TV-L
    c. Claim for compensation according to § 56 IfSG

b) Privately insured persons

    a. Work release according to § 29 Section 3TV-L
    b. Entitlement to compensation according to § 56 IfSG

c) Civil servants

    a. Special leave according to § 9 No. 8 Nds. SUrlVO
    b. Special leave according to § 9 a Section 2a Nds. SUrlVO
    c. Special leave according to § 11 Section 2 Nds. SUrlVO    

What are the rules for children's sick days according to § 45 SGB V?

Parents may take designated sick days for children who have not yet reached the age of 12,

a) if they care for their sick child at home, or
b) if childcare is not available (applies only in 2021).

In 2021, 20 days are now available for this purpose instead of the previous 10 days per child.

Children's sick pay is generally 90 percent of the net pay lost. An application must be filed with the respective health insurance provider.

Parents who (could) work from home but need to care for a sick child instead also have the option of applying for children's sick pay.

Procedure:

  1. An application for time off work (employees subject to collective bargaining) - point 2.2 must be submitted.
  2. You apply for children's sick pay directly with your health insurance provider in the second step.

What are the rules for time off work according to § 29 TV-L?

In principle, the employer can grant leave from work in urgent cases with continued payment of remuneration. This possibility is limited to three working days.

Corona-related closures of schools and daycare centers may be considered urgent cases.

Procedure:

  1. A request for time off from work (employees subject to collective bargaining) - item 1.3 must be submitted.
  2. Your salary will continue to be paid in full by the university.

What are the rules for compensation claims according to § 56 IfSG?

If children's sick days have already been exhausted or if this entitlement does not exist at all - in the case of non-statutorily insured persons - a claim for compensation according to § 56 IfSG may be possible.

The claim for compensation covers 67 percent of the lost earnings, up to a maximum of 2,016 Euros per month, for a period of up to 10 weeks per parent or 20 weeks for single parents.

Prerequisites are:

  1. Closure of a facility
  2. Child has not yet completed 12 years of age
  3. Loss of earnings

Procedure:

  1. A request must be made for time off work (employees subject to collective bargaining) - item 2.2.
  2. The salary will continue to be paid by the university at a reduced rate.

Special leave for civil servants

What are the rules for § 9 No. 8 Nds. SUrlVO?

Special leave with continued payment of salary in urgent cases of up to three working days.

The corona-related closure of schools and daycare centers may be considered an urgent case.

What are rules for § 9 Section 2a Nds. SUrlVO?

The following regulation applies during the year 2021:

Special leave with continued payment shall be granted in the event of serious illness of a child or the corona-related closure of childcare facilities and schools, if the child has not yet reached the age of twelve, or is disabled and dependent on assistance and no other caregiver is available.

As a rule, leave can be granted for up to 10 working days per child - limited to a total of 20 working days if there are three or more children - per year.

Single-parent civil servants may be granted special leave for a total of up to 30 working days per year if they have more than one child.

What are the rules for Section 11, Paragraph 2 of the Nds. SUrlVO?

For extraordinary situations, civil service law offers further possibilities, which may compete with other entitlements. Please seek individual advice if necessary.

Can the university assist me in applying for emergency childcare?

Yes, please submit an application if you need a spot in a childcare program for your child/children. Division 1 - Personnel/Organization will support you and will make every effort to ensure that your application is successful.

Please also refer to:

Emergency childcare during closure of kindergartens and schools

Parental leave during closure of kindergartens and schools

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.

The university regularly provides information about the status of corona-related measures under the heading "I. Current situation at the University of Oldenburg". Please refer to this section for current rules of conduct and corresponding provisions.

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.

Can I get a flu shot at the university?

The university does not currently offer free flu shots. Please contact your family practitioner for easy access to a flu vaccination.

You can find further information here (German only).

How should people proceed 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 Division 1 - Personnel/Organization. Individual solutions for the employees concerned may be found in consultation with the university's occupational physician.

Students: Students should contact Division 3 - Student and Academic Affairs. Individual solutions for the students concerned may be found in coordination with the respective school.

V. Travel

Planning and approving work-related travel

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

  • International business trips: International business trips should still be avoided. Exceptions may be made for absolutely necessary or particularly important business trips, provided that convincing reasons are given.
  • Domestic business Trips: Business trips within Germany should also be avoided as far as possible. Only urgently required or important business trips may be approved - if possible, without using public transportation.

When traveling for business, current provisions on hygiene and protective measures, any quarantine regulations as well as warnings (e.g. from the Robert Koch Institute or the German Foreign Office), especially regarding risk areas, must be observed at all times.

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

Approval by the Occupational Safety Unit is not required, but consultations are possible at (almost) any time.

We ask that any applications for approval of work-related travel are reviewed critically. Special consideration must be given to whether the objective of a business trip may be accomplished by other means or at a later date. Any potential damage caused by not undertaking the trip must be assessed as well. Responsible management may grant its approval only if these aspects are found to favor work-related travel.

With these considerations in mind, everyone can contribute to keeping the rate of infection as low as possible. In addition to our social behavior, responsible travel is an important factor in avoiding infection.

Notes on international travel under public service and collective bargaining law

Current informationon on international travel was provided in the staff mail from 06/26/2020:

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and the upcoming vacation season, the current notes on public service and collective bargaining law concerning international travel apply (ordinance for civil servants issued by the Interior Ministry of Lower Saxony on 06/11/2020 [RdErl. des MI vom 11.06.2020 für Beamtinnen und Beamte] and the ordinance for employees subject to collective agreements issued by the Finance Ministry on 06/18/2020 [RdErl. des MF vom 18.06.2020 für Tarifbeschäftigte], German only).

Civil servants

Employees subject to collective agreements:

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?

Please refer to  "I feel sick and I am showing symptoms of a coronavirus infection. What should I do?"

Travel-related information issued by the state government of Lower Saxony

You can find current information as well as questions and answers on travelling during the pandemic on the website of the state government of Lower Saxony (German only).

These pages are updated regularly to reflect the current situation.

VI. Events (e.g. meetings/exhibits/fairs, etc.) and rooms (Last update: 12/17/2020)

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 Board; separate decisions will follow).

Events for which external parties are responsible should not be held on campus.

Please also note the currently applicable regulations laid out in the most recent "Explanations for Special Operations under SARS-CoV-2 Conditions". You will find these in section VIII. Files available for download", (German only).

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.

Please also note the currently applicable regulations laid out in the most recent "Explanations for Special Operations under SARS-CoV-2 Conditions". You will find these in section VIII. Files available for download", (German only).

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.

Please also note the currently applicable regulations laid out in the most recent "Explanations for Special Operations under SARS-CoV-2 Conditions". You will find these in section VIII. Files available for download", (German only).

Do rooms have to be inspected and approved by the Occupational 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 corona-related information (hygiene/symptoms/sickness/protection/etc.) (Last update: 01/27/2021)

The mask mandate

The Presidential Board has decided to extend the existing general mask mandate by requiring that medical masks (surgical masks, medical face masks) instead of simpler cloth versions covering the mouth and nose be worn in all buildings and rooms of the university, excluding rooms used by a single person. This provision will be in effect from February 1, 2021 until further notice, but at least until March 31, 2021.

Overview of the type of masks that may be worn for protection against the Coronavirus:

Type/feature

Mouth-nose protection (simple cloth mask)

Medical mask

FFP2

Intended use

for private use without a legal standard on filtering properties

for protecting others

for protecting yourself/occupational safety

Labeling

none, because it is an article of clothing

CE label on packaging indicating a medical device

CE label (including a number) on packaging and the product itself, considered personal protective equipment (PPA)

Protective effect

depends on the design, protects against droplets during inhalation, may slow the speed of respiratory flow and reduce droplet ejection

protects against droplets during inhalation, less effective against aerosols

protects against droplets and aersols

Length of permissible daily use

all day (reusable)

all day (disposable)

restricted

Permissible where?

outdoors on university premises

outdoors on university premises

Mandatory:

in all high-traffic areas, inside all buildings and rental facilities of the university

during all in-person lectures, seminars and exams

at all meetings, gatherings and other functions
(e.g. committee and commission meetings)

Not intended for official use

Note on FFP2 masks at the university

Wearing FFP2 masks to protect against a Coronavirus infection is not intended at the university. Officially classified as respirators, FFP2 masks are subject to special regulations with regard to (intended) use and permissible wearing time. They must not be worn for more than 75 minutes without at least a 30-minute break.

Since FFP2 masks thus cannot be worn at all times, the university has decided not to adopt them as protection against infection during the Coronavirus pandemic.

Should another hazard require the use of an FFP2 mask, a risk assessment has to be submitted to and reviewed by the Occupational Safety Unit. Upon approval, an FFP2 mask may be worn in that particular circumstance only.

Exemption from the mask mandate

As a matter of principle, there is currently no exemption from the mask mandate at the University of Oldenburg. If you have any questions, or would like to petition for a stand-alone solution in a specific case, please contact Division 1 (employees) or 3 (students).

Obtaining medical masks at the university

Medical masks can be obtained from the BI laboratory supply depot at the Wechloy campus. Billing is done through a central funds center; there are no costs to the organizational unit. For more information, please refer to "Obtaining medical masks" below.

Obtaining medical masks

Medical masks are provided for members of the University of Oldenburg (i.e. attending employees and students) as warranted and needed.

Students will receive the medical masks at mandatory in-person examinations/lectures/seminars from the person in charge.

Costs: Billing takes place via a central funds center. The organizational unit does not incur any costs.

Dispatch: Dispatch by internal mail is possible, but may take longer. In this case, please send the completed and signed issue form, including your office/room number, to:

Pick-up: Pick-up at the BI laboratory supply depot at the Wechloy campus:

Room W3 0-135 (Level 0, ground floor)
Business hours/collection hours
Mon - Fri: 9.30 a.m. - 12.00 p.m., Mon - Thu: 2.00 p.m. - 3.00 p.m.
The depot is closed in the afternoon prior to a public holiday

Download the mask issue form (German only)

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

Do not come to the university, but please contact your general practitioner by telephone for further diagnosis. Outside of regular consultation hours, you can contact the on-call medical service of the City of Oldenburg:
Phone: 116 117 (nationwide)

As with any spontaneous absence, the following applies:

  • Employees: please inform your superior by telephone or e-mail.
  • Students: please inform the InfoService of Division 3 (Dezernat 3) by telephone or e-mail (studium@uol.de or 0441/798-2728).

If you have tested positive for the coronavirus or you suspect to have been exposed, please notify the university using this contact form: https://uol.de/en/formular-coronavirus_intranet.

Who issues quarantine orders?

In accordance with the Infection Protection Act ("Infektionsschutzgesetz"), state health authorities with local jurisdiction (e.g. the local health department) may order and organize quarantine measures.

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 proceed 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 proceed? Is there a central reporting office at the university?

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

  • In case of a positive test result or an official quarantine order, a voluntary report should be made as soon as possible via our online contact form or by subsequently calling our corona reporting office at 0441/798-5000.
  • Persons who have not officially been ordered to quarantine help interrupt possible infection chains by staying home out of an abundance of caution.

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

(03/03/2021)