Corona update: regulations for the CAU from March 29
Relaxations or lockdown? The one hoped for and longed for, the other remains further reality - in view of the development of the infection figures and the spread of the more infectious virus mutations. Even though the original "Easter rest" was taken back again and thus April 1st remains a normal working day: the known restrictions on contacts, public and private life remain in place over Easter and until initially 18.04.21. Thus, it has been decided by the federal and state governments on Monday and thus it was converted for Schleswig-Holstein in the meantime in detailed regulations, among other things in the "Higher Education Corona Ordinance".
For the CAU, this means that on-site teaching, research, administration and other campus life will continue to be limited to a few known exceptions in order to reduce personal contacts to a minimum. In addition, from Monday, March 29, there will be an obligation to wear so-called "qualified" masks on the entire campus in and in front of the buildings. This has already been implemented for retail and public transport and means: only medical masks (surgical masks) or FFP2 masks are permitted. Simple mouth-nose coverings made of common fabric are no longer sufficient.
As a supplementary protective measure, the university is now offering a rapid antigen test once a week. This applies to employees who have to work on-site and cannot work in a home office. The self-tests procured for this purpose by the Ministry of Finance will be distributed from Monday and can be ordered by the institutions and departments. You will receive further information via your superiors, who will be informed about the rapid test procedure in a separate email. In addition to this test offer, since March 8 all citizens have already had the opportunity to take a rapid test free of charge once a week at public test centres. Such a test station is also available for all employees and students from April 6 in the “Sechseckbau” in front of canteen I. A similar offer is also planned for the lower campus.
The familiar hygiene and distance regulations continue to apply throughout the campus and in all CAU facilities, even with a daily negative rapid test.
Lectures and examinations
The practical courses, which are also scheduled in individual cases during the lecture-free period, can be continued as planned. The examinations of the second examination period of the winter semester, which begins on March 29, will take place mainly online, as already announced. Also on April 1st all examinations will take place as planned, as the "Easter rest" will not be implemented. The regulations on free attempts, disadvantage compensation and free semester continue to apply unchanged and are explained in more detail on the Corona page for students. Teaching will also be carried out online in the summer semester 2021. Teaching on site will only be possible in the known exceptional cases (especially for practical lectures). Your faculties will inform you about this in good time before the start of the semester.
The university's libraries have been able to expand their services to some extent in recent weeks, e.g. with regard to the number of workstations available. No case of hardship needs to be reported in order to use the workstations in the libraries. However, due to the current infection situation, it is not possible to open the libraries beyond this. Please inform yourself about the services currently offered on the websites of the UB or the subject libraries as well as on the Corona pages of the university.
The urgent appeal to university employees and their supervisors remains: Wherever activities permit, work should be done from home offices. Where this is not possible, all supervisors remain strongly encouraged to use the possibilities of flexible working hours, shift work and physical barriers to reduce contacts between employees wherever possible. In addition to health protection, supervisors should also give due consideration to employees’ personal circumstances, such as childcare or caring for relatives.
For all facilities in which work is done on site, risk assessments must continue to be prepared by the supervisors. Further information can be found on the website of the Safety Engineer’s Office.
Contrary to what was initially hoped at the beginning of March, the restrictions on team meetings, committee meetings, staffing and job interviews cannot yet be gradually withdrawn. They are to continue to be held as video conferences in order to keep the presence on campus low, to avoid travel and to enable employees who work from home offices to participate. Business trips will also continue to be possible only in justified exceptional cases with the approval of the University Board.
Museums and collections
The CAU museums have recently reopened their doors to visitors in addition to the Botanical Garden. For information on opening hours and applicable hygiene measures, please inform yourself on the websites of the institutions or the CAU’s Corona pages.
A visit to the CAU museums and the Botanical Garden is always worthwhile, but especially in this phase of the pandemic, when we have the feeling of being stuck in lockdown; it is an opportunity to experience a little normality. Nevertheless, whatever you plan to do over the Easter holidays, please be aware that each one of us can help to prevent infections and bring the number of infections back under control. Follow the rules, remain careful and patient and protect yourself, your families, friends, fellow students and colleagues!
With kind regards
Claudia Ricarda Meyer
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of a cell (purple) heavily infected with SARS-CoV-2 virus particles, isolated from a patient sample. Image captured at the NIAID Integrated Research Facility (IRF) in Fort Detrick, Maryland.