FAU Corona regulations, Home office and E-Learning at the DCP

What to do now?

Despite the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) restrictions the Administration office DCP and the SSC Chemistry/Molecular Science are working. Here we will provide general information for all our colleagues at DCP (updated Dec 14, 2020).

Some information is only accessible in the intranet; you need a VPN access and your access data.

You might already have the VPN Client on your computer, if not you can try to install the VPN Client (Cisco, the one recommended by the RRZE). The RRZE provides installing instructions in German, you might give it a try…

https://www.anleitungen.rrze.fau.de/internet-zugang/vpn/

Using VPN you can access the intranet and the server of the department. For support, please contact the RRZE.

FAU has set up a programme aimed at providing all teaching staff at FAU with the support they need quickly. An application form is available at schnell-digital.fau.de. We would urge you to make the most of this Service. The page schnell-digital.fau.de offers a lot of useful information for moving to digital teaching and preparing for a semester without face-to-face teaching.

The RRZE can also offer you a ZOOM coaching session to help you switch over to online teaching as quickly as possible. Experienced colleagues at FAU are available to walk you through the basic functions of the software live in a ZOOM meeting. You can cover any questions you have during the 30 minute video conference, and then you should be able to start straightaway with your first session. Book an appointment.

In addition, the Innovation in Learning Institute (ILI) and RRZE recommend using either Jitsi or Eyeson as an alternative to congested Adobe Connect on DFN servers. Information can also be found on StudOn (in German).

General staff regulations and information on teaching/learning related to Corona are provided by the administration of the FAU and are updated by them. Please address questions and concerns, which are relevant for everybody at the FAU to corona-informationen@fau.de and in CC to dcp@fau.de.

FAU’s general regulations

In a bid to curb the spread of coronavirus, a Cabinet resolution was passed on 6 January 2021 dictating that employees should work from home as far as possible, depending on their tasks and the requirements of the organisation they work for. In addition, the revised Law on Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Humans (Gesetz zur Verhütung und Bekämpfung von Infektionskrankheiten beim Menschen (Infektionsschutzgesetz – IfSG)) came into force on 22 April 2021. Under this directive, employers are obliged to offer all employees who work in the office or carry out similar tasks the option to work from home, if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary. Employees must accept and work from home unless they have any valid reasons not to.

If they have not already done so, we would ask managers to make an offer in this respect to employees.

A workplace may be regarded as eligible for remote working if the employee can access e-mails through webmail and make any necessary telephone calls from their home office.

In view of the current situation, managers can offer and approve the option of working from home for their staff directly, taking the need to maintain operations and data protection considerations into account. The SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety Directive entails more bureaucracy, for example as regards officially offering, accepting and rejecting the option to work remotely. In particular, reasons for a refusal are subject to strict requirements. Occupational Safety has therefore drawn up a document referred to as the ‘SAFETY CARD Homeoffice’ which will make it easier to ensure that everything is documented correctly. We recommend that managers fill this in together with their employees.

Please note that any documents taken out of the office must be transported in a closed container or closed bag and must be stored securely to prevent unauthorised access by third parties, including family members, whenever you are not currently working on them, for example in a lockable cupboard.

If the work carried out remotely does not take up 100% of your individual working time, checks must be made as to whether the remaining time can be used to carry out other tasks suitable for working remotely such as drawing up concepts, reviewing documents, training, etc.).

There is currently no general obligation to work on site.

End of the waiver to record working time: Since 27 July 2020, staff are expected to record working time again in areas where this is required. This regulation may change depending on the development of infections and further measures announced by the Bavarian State Ministry for Science and the Arts.

Exceptions to the requirement of recording working time: If as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic you still have to care for children due to restrictions in the opening hours of schools or childcare facilities or for relatives due to shortages in the support they normally receive, you can ask your manager for permission to continue working without recording the hours worked. The offices responsible for tracking employees’ working hours must be informed of your decision not to record the hours you have worked. You cannot choose a combination of recording and not recording hours worked. If you choose not to record your working hours you cannot build up overtime.

Surgical masks instead of community masks

The new rules state that it is no longer sufficient to wear simple community masks during on-campus examinations or in buildings and communal areas at FAU.

Now, you are required to wear at the very least a surgical mask. Alternatively, you can choose to wear an FFP2 mask if you prefer. We would recommend that invigilators wear an FFP2 mask. These masks will be organised by the organisational units responsible for the examination and provided to invigilators.

From now on, masks must be worn at all times throughout FAU whenever there is more than one person in a room. This means that until further notice masks must be worn the whole time during face-to-face teaching sessions, even after reaching your seat, and even if you are still able to keep a distance of 1.5 metres.

Masks must also be worn in offices whenever there is more than one person in the room.

Masks are also required in the libraries, even when sitting at a desk.

Until further notice, masks must also be worn the entire time during examinations. If you are unable to wear a mask during an examination for medical reasons, you must clarify this in advance with the person responsible for organising the examination.

Like in the cities of Erlangen and Nuremberg, you must also wear a mask outside on university grounds. This is especially important wherever a lot of people tend to gather. The only place which is exempt at the moment is the Schlossgarten.

You must strictly observe all hygiene rules whenever you are in any FAU building. We would ask you to hold any meetings which do not urgently have to be held in person online instead.

For academic events, the organisers will decide whether they can be held face-to-face or not on the basis of the hygiene regulations. Occupational Safety is happy to advise and give recommendations based on the current situation and rate of infection.

We will of course keep you updated and let you know as soon as there is any change to the situation. We would ask you, however, to keep yourself up to date by checking the information available on FAU’s website https://www.fau.de/corona/.

We update the website regularly with the latest information to keep you up to date in spite of the currently very dynamic situation. The only time updates may be slightly delayed is if information from the authorities first has to be adjusted to the context of the university.

Please note that all travellers entering the Free State of Bavaria who were in a risk area at any time within the last 10 days before entering Germany are obliged to go into self-isolation for 10 days. The self-isolation period might be shortened after 5 days at the earliest by the means of a test.

Information on the current entry requirements can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office – https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/einreiseundaufenthalt/coronavirus

Please note that the entry requirements and regulations for self-isolation are issued by each federal state individually, but are governed by the Federal Government. The regulations can vary strongly in the different federal states (Bundesländer). Please check the website of the Federal Government for the requirements and regulations in place in the federal state you will be staying in – https://www.bundesregierung.de/breg-de/themen/coronavirus/corona-bundeslaender-1745198

Information on the regulations for self-isolation in place in Bavaria can be found on the website of the Bavarian State Ministry for Health and Care (in German) – https://www.stmgp.bayern.de/coronavirus/haeufig-gestellte-fragen/

Please note that there might possibly be different rules and regulations in place for entry and self-isolation when entering from high incidence areas or virus variant areas.

The following countries are currently classified as high incidence areas, virus variant areas or other risk areas: https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html by clicking on „Archive” at the bottom of the page.

Important: A country or region can be declared a risk area at short notice. The list of risk areas is updated on a daily basis and therefore needs to be checked by travelers prior to departure on the website of RKI https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete_neu.html.

Please check the entry requirements and regulations regarding self-isolation again before departure, as it is constantly being updated!

Identifying the relevant health authority

The relevant health authority can be found by following the link https://tools.rki.de/plztool/. Please enter the zip code of your address in Germany to find the relevant health authority.

After entering Germany

Travelers need to go to their apartment or other fitting accommodation immediately and without delay and isolate themselves for the time necessary. This means that no visitors can come by. Entering shops or restaurants on your way to your accommodation is not permitted. Public transportation can be used to get to the place of self-isolation. Please also respect the obligation to wear FFP2 filter masks in all shops, restaurants and public transportation in Germany. This also applies to the airport. A minimum distance of 1.5 meters needs to be kept from any person that is not living in the same household.

Where can a second test be taken if necessary?

A test can be taken in one of the test centres or through doctors-on call (ärztlicher Bereitschaftsdienst). Please call 116117 to make an appointment if necessary.

During self-isolation

Please note that you are not permitted to enter university premises during the period of self-isolation. It is your own responsibility to organise supplies for whilst you are in self-isolation. FAU cannot provide you with supplies during the self-isolation period.

In case of symptoms and or illness

In case you show symptoms of an infection with the Sars-CoVid-2 virus (throat ache, cough, a cold, joint pain, fever, pain while breathing or loss of the sense of smell or taste) you need to contact the relevant health authorities and can contact the phone number 116117 (doctor’s-on call). They can advise you on what to do and point you to a test center or general practitioner if necessary.

Violations of the regulations for entry from areas of risk

The relevant authorities have the right to check if the regulations are being adhered to. Violations of the regulations in force on entry from areas of risk may be fined.

Entry into buildings and to facilities of FAU

Entry into the buildings and facilities of FAU is only possible after the self-isolation period has ended.

Further Information

Extension of the shutdown measures

The shutdown measures have been extended until March 7th. Contact at private meetings is restricted to just one other person not living in the same household. All nonessential shops and services remain closed. Essential shops include supermarkets, drugstores, pharmacies and gas stations. Further information can be found here – https://www.stmi.bayern.de/miniwebs/coronavirus/faq/index.php

A curfew between 22 – 5 is possible in some cities. Please keep yourself informed on the regulations in place in the city of your residence.

Obligation to wear FFP2 filter masks

FFP2 filter masks are mandatory when using public transportation as well as in shops. They should be bought prior to arrival in Germany. FFP2 masks in general are available in pharmacies, retail stores such as “dm”, “Rossmann”, and “Müller“, or on the internet.

Availability via telephone

Please ensure that you can be reached by telephone and email by the Central International Office. Please fill in a valid phone number into our online platform Mobility Online so that you can be reached by the Central International Office. The relevant health authorities will need to contact you, if necessary. Please ensure to be available via telephone and email and to pass on any changes in your contact details to the relevant units.

Recommended

Please bring enough cash (Euros) as well as a credit card with you so that you can do online shopping for food or order food during the time in self-isolation. These two supermarkets make online deliveries: Edeka and Rewe.

Additional information for students with accommodation in Studentenwerk Erlangen-Nürnberg

Self-isolation in your room or single-apartment rented from Studentenwerk Erlangen-Nürnberg is possible. Please note, that it is compulsory that shared rooms like the kitchen or bathrooms are only entered alone when no other tenant is there. After using the surfaces they all need to be cleaned with disinfectant (including door handles, light switches etc.).  A joint usage of shared rooms is not possible during self-isolation.

Should you contract Sars-CoVid-2 yourself, please inform Studentenwerk.

Blanket and covers, sheets, pillows are not provided by the Studentenwerk. Therefore, we recommend students to bring their own sleeping bag and bedsheet or cover and blankets/pillows.

Students need to make an appointment with the care-taker about 2 weeks prior to arrival. Please inform yourself about the rules applicable for moving-in with the care-taker and wear a face-mask and respect the minimum distance of 1.5 meters when moving into your room or apartment.

Please also keep yourself updated on the information regarding the coronavirus published from FAU https://www.fau.de/corona/. Further information on the handling of the coronavirus and its impact on every day life can be found in different languages under https://www.integrationsbeauftragte.de/ib-de/amt-und-person/informationen-zum-coronavirus.

FAQ on Homeoffice and E-Learning at the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy

The following FAQs is answering questions, which are relevant for our department and not covered by the central administration of the FAU.

In view of the risk posed by the coronavirus COVID-19, the Department of Chemistry and Pharmacy (DCP) has taken important measures. Each scientific area has designated a responsible contact person who is available for urgent questions regarding the closure of laboratories/offices. Please limit your inquiries – if possible – to the usual operating hours, unless exceptional circumstances require this.

The contact persons are:

  • Inorganic chemistry: Christian Färber (christian.faerber@fau.de)
  • Organic chemistry: Michael Brettreich (michael.brettreich@fau.de)
  • Physical/theoretical chemistry: Guido Sauer (guido.sauer@fau.de)
  • Pharmaceutical chemistry/food chemistry: Harald Hübner (harald.huebner@fau.de)

Above all, please inform your international employees about the current situation. Although public access is not yet planned, it is permitted to enter the DCP buildings for research and work purposes with an appropriate authorisation or an activated FAU-Card, if the FAU hygiene regulations (e.g. distance requirements, mask requirements, …) can be complied with. Please clarify in advance with your supervisor or the respective contact person what you must observe in your specific case.

Please draw up a master plan (in consultation with the responsible contact person in your area) of who may enter which laboratory or office, when and under what conditions, but remember that the buildings will remain closed to public access. So please have the appropriate access authorisations for all eligible employees activated on their FAU card or provide them with the appropriate keys.

Regardless of the above measures, all employees who belong to the COVID 19 risk group should continue to have the opportunity to work from their home office as much as possible until further notice. For scientific discussions and the exchange of information within the group, please make sure to use alternative means of communication, e.g. by telephone, E-Mail, ZOOM or Skype. Also make sure that you can work via VPN.

We will inform you about further developments as soon as they are available. Please check your e-mails regularly.

Here you can find the latest COVID-19 guidelines for travelers in English (and Chinese) from the Bavarian Ministry of Health:

www.stmgp.bayern.de/coronavirus/ and https://www.zusammengegencorona.de/en/.

Please contact your Supervisor to find out whether you are allowed to enter your workplace during the COVID-19 restrictions and, if so, which safety regulations you must comply with. And please be sure to have your FAU card on you when you go to work and back home from work. Even if you have an access permit to enter the Chemikum building, you need the FAU card to be able to enter the Chemikum.

Pregnant employees are temporarily banned from the FAU facilities for the period when the incidence value is exceeded (>35 new corona virus infections per 100,000 inhabitants / week). Expectant mothers should therefore continue to work in home offices for the time being.

Currently, the Chemistry buildings are still not open for public access, but employees are still allowed to enter the Chemistry Buildings for research work. But the FAU continues to request all employees to work remotely as much as possible to avoid infection with COVID-19 (check FAQs of the FAU).

Pregnant employees are temporarily banned from the FAU facilities for the period when the incidence value is exceeded (>35 new corona virus infections per 100,000 inhabitants / week). Expectant mothers should therefore continue to work in home offices for the time being.

Currently valid until further notice: You can make home office arrangements with your supervisor, but please note the following:

IT-safety: do not pass your access data to a third party.

Data protection: business data are only to be processed on your business computer. Due to the current situation there is a special arrangement for the data protection (official information only in German available). You are allowed to do research on your private computer.

A business laptop computer has to be provided by the working group, the recommended equipment is: VPN, mail (including the installment of function addresses), office programmes, FAUBox, browser, if possible a safe access to the file server of the FAU. In case an access to the file server of the FAU is not possible, documents which are needed to work on should be stored in the FAUBox, to have an access from home. All staff members working from home should check already in the office all necessary tools and options are working. Please make sure, you know all your necessary access data for the various tools, IdM, StudOn, mail, WordPress etc.

Please do not forget to turn all radiators in the offices down to 1 to avoid unnecessary energy consumption in case of prolonged absence!

With DFNconf, a Jitsi server operated locally at the Erlangen Regional Computing Centre (RRZE), MS Teams and Zoom, FAU has various web conference platforms which you can choose from depending on what you need them for. An overview is available on the RRZE website . Information on coaching sessions is available on the ILI website ‘schnell digital’.

Due to restrictions in teaching and examination operations caused by the corona virus SARS-CoV-2, the FAU administration adopted a so-called “FAU Corona Statute” on 18.04.2020, which, among other things, permits the resumption of examination operations under very special safety regulations. This is currently being adapted on the basis of the experience gained during the summer semester and in consultation with the faculties, student representatives and the management committee of the Graduate Centre, and will be published once the amending statutes have been adopted.

The winter term 2020/21 will be a hybrid Semester. A hybrid semester means that face-to-face teaching is offered to supplement online teaching. However, all compulsory classes must continue to be offered online to ensure the participation and inclusion of students who are currently abroad and unable to leave the country, of students with pre-existing conditions to whom face-to-face teaching would pose a particularly high risk and of students with children, who are required to study at home due to school or childcare closures.

To facilitate digitization, FAU has acquired licenses for ZOOM and Camtasia. We also refer here to the support program “schnell digital”: https://www.studon.fau.de/schnell-digital.

The FAU offers more support and information here:

The lecture halls are prepared for examinations (with attendance) with the following occupancy:

  • H1 with 30 examination places, room manager: birgit.haltrich@fau.de; eva.landeck@fau.de
  • H2 with 12 examination places, room manager: birgit.haltrich@fau.de; eva.landeck@fau.de
  • H3 with 12 examination places, room manager: birgit.haltrich@fau.de; eva.landeck@fau.de
  • C1 with 25 examination places, room manager: alexander.scherer@fau.de
  • C2 with 25 examination places, room manager: stefanie.karosi@fau.de
  • C3 with 16 examination places, room manager: alexander.scherer@fau.de
  • C4 with 16 examination places, room manager: stefanie.karosi@fau.de

The room management has equipped the lecture halls with seat markings and safety instructions.

Please note the following instructions:

  • Examinations (with attendance) from 25.05.2020 onwards must be registered centrally in time, please do this via the following link: Notification of examinations/ inspections. It is important that the specified deadline is met: at least 10 days before the examination date. Notification of the examination does not yet constitute a room booking – please contact the respective room manager regarding the reservation. The department Arbeitssicherheit has created a list of approved rooms in which examinations / inspections can be carried out. Please observe the guidelines on hygiene for all examinations.
  • If you have any problems with the notification of the examination, please contact corona-prüfungsanzeige@fau.de exclusively.
  • If acute respiratory symptoms occur during the test (especially severe coughing fits), the person concerned can complete the test in an individual room. Alternatively, the examination may be cancelled due to illness. In both cases, the facts of the case must be reported to the responsible health authority.
  • Participants must be registered according to examination places in order to enable a possible follow-up questioning or contact tracing. The examination places are marked with numbers.
  • All participants should not belong to a vulnerable group (age over 60 and for all persons who have a medically certified concomitant disease or states of immunosuppression).
  • Candidates in the vulnerable group should report this and be given the opportunity to enter the examination site either through a separate entrance or at a certain time individually and take the examination in a separate examination room.

In addition, inform the candidates by mail of the following rules of conduct in advance:

  • The minimum distance of 1.50m at all times for students and examination supervisors must be observed. The examination rooms must be entered and left in a thinned-out queue (see floor markings). Large Collections of students at entrances or in front of restrooms must be avoided.
  • The coughing and sneezing etiquette (into the elbow) must be observed, as well as thorough hand washing.
  • Persons with cold symptoms (acute respiratory symptoms) are not allowed to participate and must sign out to the examiner. In case of justified suspicion, the family doctor or the public health department must be contacted.
  • Candidates must indicate whether they belong to the vulnerable group (over 60 years of age or medically attested concomitant diseases) so that special measures can be taken.

Should participants in the lab course show symptoms of COVID-19, the Department of Chemistry & Pharmacy has drawn up generally applicable instructions of behaviour for all employees. Please follow these instructions.