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Coronavirus

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Current Updates

Calender week 47 /2021

Due to time constraints, this email could not be translated by a professional translator.  We apologise for any linguistic inaccuracies. If you have any questions of understanding, please contact your supervisor.

Dear colleagues,

A fourth wave of coronavirus infections is unfortunately hitting our country with an unexpected magnitude - even though many scientists gave out early warnings. The pandemic is still ongoing. Politicians at federal and state level have now responded to it. New regulations impact our services.

The following changes apply with immediate effect:

  • If feasible for you line of work, we support you working from home. Please accept such offers wherever possible for your private situation. Working tasks in research and teaching as well as operational tasks that imply on-site presence are subject to personal presence. Such tasks are defined by supervisors. In case of personal reasons to rather work in the office, liaise with your superior to decide about exceptions. For technical and administrative staff, the rule of half time working on site is suspended.
  • As of tomorrow, Wednesday 24 November 2021 the so-called 3-G regulation applies to all employees in the workplace. If working in university buildings, you must be either vaccinated, recovered or tested the same day. The employer will check the 3-G status when entering the building.
  • Vaccinated and recovered employees of the university present their proof of vaccination or recovery to superiors once before entering the university buildings (e.g. as a screenshot, photo or via zoom). Documented will be kept in the respective units. For convalescents (without additional one-time vaccination), and end date must be noted. Data will be stored for six months.
  • Employees who are not vaccinated or recovered (or do not wish to disclose their status) must present a negative test result (certified by a testing centre) and identification document (photo ID or Unicard) before entering a university building. The test cannot be older than 24 hours. Access to the main university building and building X for tested persons is allowed exclusively through the main entrances. Test certificates must be presented to personnel in charge. Names and dates will be recorded. In addition, digital test certificates will be sent to supervisors by email before the start of the service.
  • Non-vaccinated or non-recovered persons are not allowed to work in the university buildings on weekends. If unavoidable, individual arrangements must be made with the supervisor to ensure that a negative test certificate is available before entering a building.
  • To make this very clear: Regulations are valid instructions with special emphasis on unvaccinated/unhealthy employees. Non-compliance will have legal consequences under personnel law. You will receive the official service statement with further details tomorrow.
  • Official meetings are to be held predominantly digitally. If you nevertheless hold a personal meeting, 2 G-plus rules apply: personal participation implies vaccination or recovery and above this present a negative test result by a certified test centre from the same day. Non-vaccinated and non-recovered staff will participate in digital form.
  • For events that are not teaching events or official meetings (with external guests, e.g. representative celebrations, colloquia, workshops, etc.), 2 G-plus applies with immediate effect. Organisers will ask for evidence.

The organisational decree has not yet been updated. Regulations apply nonetheless.

One more note: In the weeks to come, due to the pandemic, there may be challenges in individual cases in reconciling family care duties and official obligations (e.g. due to quarantine of children). In such cases and in consultation with your superiors, you may of course adjust the trust-based working hours to the respective situation.

To overcome the pandemic, vaccination is key. We appeal once again: get vaccinated. If already vaccinated, please mind to organize a boosting shot. You will soon have the opportunity to do so on campus. The City of Bielefeld and the University, are setting up an inpatient vaccination centre in Building X. We will inform you about the details shortly.

Stay healthy.

With kind regards

Dr. Stephan Becker, Chancellor

Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gerhard Sagerer, Rector

 


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 1.5m. Masks are compulsory in the public circulation areas in the buildings.
  • 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 11 November 2021, in force from 12 November 2021

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, the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance of the federal state of North Rhine-Westphalia from 17 August 2021 in its currently valid version from 29 October 2021; the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance from 6 September 2021 that has been in force since 10 November 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; the Ordinance governing Exemptions to COVID-19 Protection Measures from 8 May 2021 and the Corona Testing and Quarantine Ordinance of North Rhine-Westphalia dated 8 April 2021 in its currently valid version from 10 November 2021. 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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