Corona update: regulations for the CAU from April 19

Dear Members of the University,

In contrast to our hopes in autumn and winter, spring has not brought a positive turnaround in the development of infection figures. On contrary, the incidence figures are unfortunately continuing to rise significantly at present. Against the background of this dynamic, the state of Schleswig-Holstein has extended its "Higher Education Corona Ordinance" until 9 May. An expansion of on-site teaching, research, administration and other campus life is therefore not possible at the moment. Instead, this must continue to be limited to a few known exceptions as of 19 April:

  • Teaching in the summer semester will again take place predominantly digitally. Currently, based on the "Higher Education Corona Ordinance", face-to-face teaching continues to be possible only in the known exceptional cases for practical courses.
  • The services of the libraries will continue to be limited to the lending and return of media. Workstations are available in the UB and individual subject libraries. 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 CAU museums and the Botanical Garden of the University are open with restrictions. Please check the websites of the institutions or the Corona pages of Kiel University.
  • For the university workplace in research, administration and services, the urgent appeal to work in home offices, still remains. In all other cases, 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. Appropriate consideration should be given to employees' personal circumstances, such as childcare or caring for relatives.

Even if work is done on site at the university, meetings, committee meetings, staffing and job interviews shall continue to be held as video conferences in order to keep the presence on campus as low as possible, to avoid travel and to enable employees who work from home office to participate. Business trips will also continue to be possible only in justified exceptional cases with the approval of the University Board.

Please be sure to observe the familiar hygiene and distance regulations for all on-site activities and events, as well as the obligation to wear so-called "qualified" masks (medical or FFP2 mask) on the entire campus in and in front of the buildings. In addition, it is essential to follow the other requirements that result from the respective hygiene concepts for teaching events and from the risk assessments at the workplace. And last but not least: Please take the contact restrictions seriously, even in your private sphere, and protect yourself and others!

Take advantage of the opportunities for free rapid tests at numerous public testing centres and stations, e.g. in the “Sechseckbau” in front of Mensa I. Another testing station is expected to open on the lower campus before the end of April. Since the beginning of April, the university has been 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. Information is available from the management of your institutions or your supervisors.

Whether you take a rapid test at a test station or a rapid antigen test at your workplace, always be aware that a negative rapid test is only a snapshot. Even if the rapid test shows negative results even on a daily basis, the familiar hygiene and distance regulations continue to apply throughout the campus and in all CAU facilities and must be observed and followed.

In his Easter speech, Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier said that he knew that words of encouragement do nothing to help after 13 months of pandemic. At the same time, however, he made it clear that our country is in the midst of the third wave and that the upcoming weeks once again require harsh restrictions. All universities, not only in Schleswig-Holstein but throughout the country, are also experiencing this tension. The faculties of Kiel University, together with the University Board, decided at an early stage that teaching in the summer semester will take place predominantly digitally in order to give teachers and students planning security. For us at Kiel University, it means to continue to work pragmatically and creatively to make the best out of a situation that is unsatisfactory and tiring for all members of the university, even if this sounds just like a further appeal to keep going.

But: As before, we all have no other effective alternative than to consistently avoid contact, adhere to hygiene regulations, testing and vaccinating to counter the pandemic. Therefore, we ask you to continue – despite all the burdens associated with the pandemic-related restrictions – to support and implement the necessary measures described. The more consistently we all adhere to these guidelines in both our professional and private contexts, the sooner we will be able to return to normality.

Take good care of yourself and stay healthy.

Yours sincerely,
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.