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Coronavirus

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© Universität Bielefeld

Current Updates

Calender week 1 /2022

Dear students,

we wish you a happy new year, into which we hope you all got off to a good start. We hope you enjoyed the break around the turn of the year.

As we enter 2022, we continue to address the impact of the coronavirus and its highly contagious variants. This fourth wave is once again about how we can shape and protect our togetherness. In this context, there are some updates and notes with regard to teaching and examinations in the current winter semester based on the Corona Protection Ordinance of the state of 3 December 2021 as updated on 30 December 2021.

The most important points here for you at a glance:

  • Wearing at least a medical mask makes a significant contribution to minimising the transmission of infections. The current obligation to wear a mask on all routes of communication in the university, in classroom teaching, during examinations and at all student workplaces as well as in the library will therefore remain in place. Exceptions from the mask obligation only exist for persons who are exempted by a medical certificate, during practical sports (teaching) events, during laboratory activities, in music lessons and for lecturers in the respective course/examination, if they keep the distance of at least 1.5 m.
  • With regard to teaching, in mid-December 2021 we had recommended to all university lecturers that, due to the high incidence figures, the new virus variant and the upcoming Christmas holidays, they should - where possible - move courses to digital until the end of the winter break (7 January 2022). Due to the still rising incidence figures, the strongly spreading new virus variant and the overall critical pandemic situation, this practice can be continued beyond the winter break until the end of the current lecture period of the winter semester 2021/2022. However, there is still the option of holding courses in attendance, provided that hygiene and safety concepts are adhered to. Your lecturers will inform you accordingly.
  • Furthermore, at least the 3G regulation continues to apply to all on-site teaching events. New: Sports events (e.g. university sports and practical sports teaching events outdoors are only permitted for immunised persons (2G rule). For corresponding indoor sporting events, you must also show a negative test result (2G+). For collective singing (e.g. choir or music events) indoors, the 2G+ rule also applies if the wearing of a mask is to be dispensed with.
  • For the upcoming examinations of the winter semester, the following applies: These can - if planned by the lecturers - continue to take place in attendance, provided that the hygiene and security concepts (especially 3G control) are observed. In examinations that take place on site, the mask requirement applies. We are convinced that the existing hygiene and safety concepts (e.g. spacing, ventilation, 3G regulation, mask obligation) allow presence examinations.

The fact that the start of the new year continues to be marked by the pandemic is something we had all wished for differently. Nevertheless, we must currently assume that the infection situation will worsen in the coming weeks. We trust that through our individual prudent behaviour we can make a contribution to containing the infection situation as well as possible. 

Stay healthy.

Yours sincerely

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Rector

Prof. Dr. Birgit Lütje-Klose, Vice-Rector for Studies and Teaching

Dr. Stephan Becker, Chancellor

 

Due to time constraints, the text was translated using the deepL software.

Calender week 1 /2022

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, Dear Colleagues, Dear Teachers,

We wish you a happy new year, which we hope you have all started well. We hope that you were able to enjoy the free time around the turn of the year.

As we enter 2022, we continue to address the impact of coronavirus and its highly contagious variants. This fourth wave is once again about how we can shape and protect our togetherness. In this context, there are some updates for working within the University, in particular on the wearing of masks, 3G checkpoints for non-immunised staff and the continued organisation of teaching and examination events in the current winter semester.

The university's organisational directive has been updated accordingly: www.uni-bielefeld.de/corona-verfuegung  (English version to follow)

Here is an overview of the most important points:

  • Based on the country's Corona Protection Ordinance of 3 December 2021, as updated on 30 December 2021, in conjunction with the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance, the mask requirement for employees at the University will be extended. Even though many of you currently take advantage of the offer to work in a home office: In some cases, colleagues work in shared offices/workrooms in compliance with the protective measures. Basically, according to the legal regulations, a minimum medical mask (surgical mask) must now be worn indoors as soon as two or more people work together in an indoor space (e.g. office space). This concerns the entire working time and applies regardless of the vaccination status and compliance with the minimum distance. Exceptions apply to persons who are exempted by a medical certificate, when working alone indoors (e.g. in individual office rooms), during practical sports (teaching) events, laboratory activities (if wearing masks creates further hazards e.g. chemical carry-over), music lessons and lecture activities (e.g. lecturers) in courses/examinations, if the distance of at least 1.5m is safely maintained. Furthermore, office rooms may only be entered by colleagues wearing a mask. In offices where only one person is working, masks are not required. In order to avoid aerosol distribution in the corridors, the office door to the corridors must be kept closed.
  • At this point, we recommend that you wear an FFP2 mask in the university premises. As before, there are activities where it is compulsory to wear an FFP2 mask. As FFP2 masks are part of the personal protective equipment, special regulations apply here. This applies in particular to the wearing times, the regulations on multiple use, the instruction on specific use as well as the occupational health precautions (further details can be found in the organisational decree under point 10.1.3). Requests for medical masks (OP masks) and FFP2 masks are to be reported collectively via the departments (i.e. faculty, department, institution) to the e-mail address: arbeitssicherheit@uni-bielefeld.de. The distribution of the masks to the employees takes place in the respective areas.
  • Of course, the obligation to wear a mask remains in force on all routes within the university and continues to apply in classroom teaching, examinations and at all student workplaces as well as in the library. Wearing a mask at all times also applies to formats such as committee meetings, academic conferences and fairs in presence, where people come together over a longer period of time.

 

  • Since the end of November 2021, the legally prescribed so-called 3-G regulation has already been in force in the workplace. In this context, employees of the University who have not been vaccinated or have recovered or who do not wish to provide information about their status must present a negative, certified test result, whereby the rapid antigen test may not be more than 24 hours old (PCR test 48 hours), to the responsible staff at central control points of the University before entering the University buildings. From Monday, 10 January, this will only be possible at the entrance to the main university building (C01). The checkpoint in the X-building will no longer be used.
  • For these employees, this means that only this entrance in UHG C01 may be used. If an activity takes place in other university annexes, there is an obligation to present the test certificate at the designated checkpoint in the UHG and only then to enter the annexe. Furthermore, for all employees who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered or who do not wish to disclose their status, the digital test certificate must be sent to the supervisor by email when they start work.

 

  • In mid-December 2021, we had recommended to all lecturers with regard to the university's teaching operations that, due to the high incidence figures, the new virus variant and the upcoming Christmas holidays, courses should - where possible - be transferred to digital until the end of the winter break (7 January 2022). Due to the still rising incidence figures, the strongly spreading new virus variant and the overall critical pandemic situation, this practice can be continued beyond the winter break until the end of the current lecture period of the winter semester 2021/2022. However, there is still the option of holding courses in attendance, subject to compliance with hygiene and safety concepts.
  • Of course, at least the 3G regulation and the mask requirement will continue to apply to all on-site teaching events. New: Sports events (e.g. university sports) and practical sports teaching events outdoors are only permitted for immunised persons (2G rule). For corresponding indoor sports events, persons must additionally present a negative test result (2G+). For collective singing (e.g. choir or music events) indoors, the 2G+ rule also applies if the wearing of a mask is to be dispensed with.

 

  • For the upcoming examinations of the winter semester, the following applies: These can - if so planned - continue to take place in attendance, provided that the hygiene and safety concepts (especially the 3-G control) are observed. For examinations that take place on site, the mask requirement applies. We are convinced that the existing hygiene and safety concepts (e.g. spacing, ventilation, 3-G control, mask obligation) work well, especially for testing operations.
  • A note on 3-G control in the lecture-free period: For the few (teaching) events taking place in the lecture-free period (from 7 February 2022) and the examinations, there will no longer be central controls in the lecture halls, the external rooms and the larger seminar rooms or parts of the building with several seminar rooms. The 3G checks for these events will then have to be carried out by the respective lecturers (or appointed persons) themselves, as is already the case in the smaller seminar rooms with up to 35 seats. The central control points will be re-staffed at the start of the lecture period for the 2022 summer semester.

That the start of the new year continues to be dominated by the pandemic is something we had all wished for differently. Nevertheless, we must currently assume that the infection situation will worsen in the coming weeks. We trust that through our individual prudent behaviour we can make a contribution to containing the infection situation as well as possible. 

Stay healthy.

Yours sincerely

Dr. Stephan Becker, Chancellor

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Rector

Prof. Dr. Birgit Lütje-Klose, Vice-Rector for Studies and Teaching

 

Due to time constraints, the text was translated using the deepL software.


The most important current regulations:

  • The university is fully open again, also for the general public. Registration at the entrances is no longer necessary
  • In the buildings and on the campus: maintain a social distance of 1.5 m. Masks are compulsory in the public circulation areas in the buildings, in face-to-face lectures (exception: vaccinated or recovered lecturers if they keep a 1.5 m distance), during examinations and at all student workplaces and the library.
  • In the winter semester 2021/202, teaching and examinations will take place predominantly onsite while taking the 3G rule into account. Large-scale lectures and seminars will continue to be held primarily digitally or in hybrid form.
  • In the University library (UB), Main University Hall, and other places in the university, workstations can once more be used on a large scale (but only by students of Bielefeld University). A booking is still necessary in the UB.
  • Individual service and advice centres (e.g., the Infopunkt, the Central Student Advisory Service, the Student Office, or the examination offices) are once again available with a personal service on campus. Please refer to the respective websites for opening hours and conditions of use.
  • Information on library use can be found here: https://www.ub.uni-bielefeld.de/ub/coronavirus

Regulations for University Operations at Bielefeld University during the Coronavirus Pandemic

Organizational decree dated 23 March 2020

Updated version dated 3 January 2022, in force from 10 January 2022

Bielefeld University continues to be operating in the mode of “University Pandemic Operations.” The regulations of this Organizational Decree have been updated in accordance with applicable legal provisions and apply to all employees in teaching and research, as well as technical services and administration who are in a position of employment by the university (pay-scale salaried employees, civil servants, auxiliary staff, instructors).

This Organizational Degree has been updated on the basis of the Infection Control Act of the federal government of Germany in the latest version from 22 November 2021, the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 17 August 2021 in its currently valid version from 30 December 2021; the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance from 6 September 2021 that has been in force since 10 September 2021; the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Protection Regulations dated 7 May 2021; the Coronavirus Ordinance on Travel Entry from 12 May 2021 in the consolidated version from 30 July 2021 and the first amended ordinance from 8 November 2021; the Ordinance governing Exemptions to COVID-19 Protection Measures in the version from 22 November 2021, and the Corona Testing and Quarantine Ordinance of North Rhine-Westphalia dated 8 April 2021 in its currently valid version from 1 January 2022. This Organizational Decree summarizes the current measures in place at Bielefeld University.

All measures continue to pursue the goal of effectively targeting and limiting the risk of infection, thus safeguarding the health of all members of the university community.

-> Complete Organisational Decision (current version)


Additional information

General information and links

Tips for hygiene

What do we know about the coronavirus and how to avoid transmissions?

Interview with Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Hornberg, Professor of Environment and Health and founding dean of the Medical Faculty OWL

Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Hornberg
Prof. Dr. med. Claudia Hornberg

Ms Hornberg, what’s so special about the coronavirus and how dangerous is an infection?

Coronaviruses were first identified in the mid-1960s and can infect not only humans but also various animals such as birds and mammals. It is assumed that the precursors of the novel coronavirus come from animals in the wild.

The current illnesses are caused by a new type of corona virus, with the official name "SARS-CoV-2". The respiratory disease it causes is called COVID-19.

As with other respiratory pathogens, an infection with the novel coronavirus can lead to symptoms such as coughing, a runny nose, a sore throat, and fever—just like a common cold. In patients with pre-existing conditions, the virus can take a more serious course with, for example, breathing difficulties or pneumonia. Up to now, most of the patients who have died were already suffering from chronic diseases. Currently, the proportion of deaths in which the virus has been confirmed by laboratory tests is about two percent. However, this only includes data on patients who have been treated in hospital.

How is the virus transmitted?

As far as we currently know, the coronavirus is transmitted from person to person. The main transmission route is droplet infection. This can be directly person to person via the mucous membranes of the respiratory tract or also indirectly via the hands that are then brought into contact with the mucous membranes of the mouth and nose or the lining of the eyes.  Transmission is also possible if only mild or unspecific signs of disease are present. Novel coronaviruses have also been found in stool samples of some infected individuals. However, we do not yet know conclusively whether it can also be transmitted this way.

How can you personally protect yourself against an infection?

In terms of preventive health protection, it is important to adhere to the same hygiene measures that also protect against influenza (flu) infection. These are as follows:  

  • Do not shake hands
  • Regularly carry out good hand hygiene (wash your hands thoroughly with sufficient water and soap several times a day)
  • Avoid touching your face with your hands
  • Observe the coughing and sneezing etiquette (e.g. cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm, use disposable handkerchiefs)
  • if possible, keep at least 1-2 meters away from anybody who is coughing and/or sneezing.

What should people do if they are worried that they have been infected?

First of all, they need a medical examination to determine whether the suspicion of coronavirus is justified. This requires the presence of at least one of the following two constellations:

  • Acute symptoms (fever, cough, a runny nose, a sore throat, and/or infection-related breathing difficulties) or unspecific general symptoms AND contact with a confirmed case of coronavirus.
  • Acute symptoms (fever, cough, a runny nose, a sore throat, and/or infection-related breathing difficulties) AND having been in a risk area (www.rki.de/covid-19-risikogebiete and www.rki.de/covid-19-fallzahlen) within the last 14 days before the start of the illness.

If you suspect that you might have caught the disease, contact a doctor by telephone. Tell the doctor that you suspect that you have become infected with the new coronavirus (and, if appropriate, where you have travelled home from) and discuss what you should do next by telephone before going to a doctor's practice.

Why is there a quarantine recommendation for people who have been in risk areas or who have had clearly documented contact with sick people?

The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) estimates that people who have been in a coronavirus risk area or have had contact with a COVID-19 infected person in the previous 14 days are potentially infected or sick. Persons who have stayed in a risk area designated by the RKI should - even if they have no signs of illness— avoid unnecessary contact with other persons.

The aim of quarantine measures is to interrupt chains of infection and to slow down the spread of the virus as much as possible. This should provide time to find out more about the virus and treatment options, identify risk groups, prepare protective measures, and maintain treatment capacity in the clinics.

Hotline city of Bielefeld

(Supplement dated 09.03.2020)

0521 51-2000: The hotline of the city of Bielefeld can be reached under this number from Friday, 6 March, for all questions concerning the corona virus. From Monday to Friday, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., municipal employees* will provide general information and advice on prevention. Outside service hours, the service point of the Kassenärztliche Vereinigung (Association of Statutory Health Insurance Physicians) is available at 116117. Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator (free version)

Hotline Evangelisches Klinikum Bethel

(Supplement dated 03.03.2020)

Concerned citizens should please follow the nationally established structures and contact their family doctor or the public health department by telephone. A "telephone hotline" has also been set up at Evangelisches Klinikum Bethel (EvKB) for justified suspicions: Tel. 0521 772-77777. It is attainable from 8 to 16 o'clock.

Source: Evangelisches Klinikum Bethel (in German)


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