With its Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept, our university is pursuing the goal of protecting everybody by further containing or halting the spread of coronavirus, based on the principles of prevention and the need to enable teaching and research.

SARS-CoV-2: Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept

Version: 6.2
Translation of the German, which was last amended on: 20 July 2022

The English translation on this page is intended solely as a convenience to people who do not read German. Any discrepancies or differences that may arise in the translation of the official German version of this information are not binding and have no legal effect.

General information

The University’s updated Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept is based on current infection levels and Saxony’s coronavirus legislation (SächsCoronaSchVO),1 the Protection Against Infection Act,2 the COVID-19 Protective Measures Derogation (SchAusnahmV),3 and the consultations and assessments of the situation in the crisis management team. Reference is also made to the recommendations on model risk assessment for protection against the spread of pathogens and the maintenance of interim operation at universities4, valid for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus pandemic). The University recommends using the Corona-Warn-App5.

The Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept is a general framework for Leipzig University and subject to the Staff Council’s right of co-determination. More detailed hygiene concepts at the faculties and Central Institutions (e.g. for the use of the University Library) are to be drawn up by the individual institutions/faculties themselves. If, compared to the Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept for the entire University, these additional concepts define more far-reaching measures for members of staff, then in order for them to be valid for members of staff, the faculties and Central Institutions must also present these concepts to the Staff Council, via the Head of Administration and Finance, in a separate co-determination procedure. Technical protective measures take priority over organisational measures, and organisational measures over personal measures. Deviations or compensatory measures must be determined by means of a risk assessment initiated by the person in charge. Advice on this is available from the occupational safety specialists at the Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and from the staff medical officers at the Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin (MIA).

The person responsible for hygiene at the University is Rector Professor Eva Inés Obergfell.

Validity

The updated Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept applies to all staff and students of the University as well as to guests, visitors and employees of external companies working at the University, and is subject to the Staff Council’s right of co-determination under the Saxon Staff Representation Act (SächsPersVG). Separate regulations and responsibilities apply additionally to the Faculty of Medicine, whereby the special regulations of Leipzig University Hospital must be observed.

The hygiene concept shall enter into force upon publication and be valid until 30 September 2022. The University reserves the right to adapt this hygiene concept based on recommendations by the Staff Council or due to new regulations imposed by the Free State of Saxony.

Regulations on hygiene and preventing infections

In order to prevent the spread of coronavirus and other infectious diseases, the Rectorate and the crisis management team, in consultation with the Staff Council, expressly advise members of the University community to observe the general hygiene rules (known in German as “AHACL”):

  • D: Keeping a distance
    • It is recommended to keep at least 1.5 metres away from other people wherever possible.
  • H: Hygiene
    • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.
  • M: Wearing a community mask
    • Medical face masks or respirators are recommended wherever it is not possible to maintain the minimum distance.
  • C: Corona-Warn-App
    • The University recommends using the Federal Government’s Corona-Warn-App to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an infection.
  • A: Airing
    • If in use, rooms must be aired sufficiently and regularly, even when it is cold outside.

In order to minimise the risk of coronavirus transmission, the following regulations must be observed at Leipzig University:

a) Medical face masks and respirators

  • In University buildings, wearing medical face masks (surgical masks), or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves, is highly recommended. In particular, it is advisable to wear a protective mask if the minimum distance to other persons is less than 1.5 metres. Using higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP mask) without exhalation valves is strongly recommended, as these offer significantly better protection. For rooms used for teaching purposes, please also note the rules under f).
  • Medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves are mandatory in the University’s outpatient clinics. If the Free State of Saxony passes other rules while this hygiene concept is valid, those regulations shall apply from the time of publication and replace the corresponding regulation in this hygiene concept.
  • Persons who can credibly demonstrate that it is impossible or unreasonable for them to wear the prescribed mask due to a disability or for health reasons are exempt from the obligation to wear one. This will require an original medical certificate that a mask cannot be worn due to a health impairment, a chronic illness or a disability.

b) Access rules for buildings and facilities

  • People are only permitted to enter Leipzig University’s buildings and facilities if there is no suspicion that they have COVID-19 and if they are not subject to a quarantine order. As a precautionary measure, the relevant department reserves the right to temporarily ban potential contact persons from entering the premises.
  • People with acute respiratory diseases and symptoms of illness are requested to stay at home or to exit Leipzig University’s buildings, rooms and premises, and to consult a doctor in order to prevent the potential infection of other people. This does not apply if the symptoms mentioned have other causes, such as chronic diseases and allergies. Symptoms may include:
    • Increased temperature, fever
    • Problems affecting the respiratory tract (head cold, cough, shortness of breath, sore throat)
    • Headache and aching limbs
    • General weakness
    • Loss of sense of smell or taste
    • Gastrointestinal problems.
  • If someone enters University buildings, it shall be assumed that they confirm that the above-mentioned reasons for exclusion do not apply to them.
  • Notices displayed in the entrance areas of University buildings will draw attention to the general hygiene rules and social distancing requirements.
  • The Department of Construction and Technical Services is responsible for ensuring that posters with the hygiene rules, and hand sanitiser dispensers, are distributed in the relevant entrance areas and removed.
  • The persons responsible under the University’s House Rules have the authority to grant and deny access to University premises.

c) Social distancing rules

  • Basic rule: Social distancing is recommended, with people keeping at least 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Where it is not possible to maintain this minimum distance, alternative protective measures should be taken. Here, technical solutions (such as partition walls) take priority over organisational and personal protective measures.
  • The individual facilities are responsible for the procurement and use of technical protective measures.
  • Organisational measures include work processes, which should be planned in such as way that direct contact between people is reduced. Direct contact can be reduced by measures such as communicating online, coordinating working hours, alternating shifts, and working elsewhere or from home.
  • Working from home can be arranged on an individual basis in accordance with the rules of the Dienstvereinbarung Mobile Arbeit (Service Agreement on Mobile Working, DVMA). Separate rules on working remotely apply to members of staff at the Faculty of Medicine.
  • It is recommended that all occupants, with the exception of the driver, wear respirators when sharing vehicles for work purposes.

d) Rules on using rooms

  • If possible, the use of rooms by more than one person at the same time should be kept to the minimum necessary.
  • Consultations, committee work, selection procedures, doctoral thesis defences, meetings and the like may be conducted in person. However, it is still recommended to conduct such meetings online if there are no pedagogical or legal requirements that would make this unfeasible.
  • Enclosed rooms which do not have ventilation systems must be aired thoroughly and frequently, as fresh air helps to quickly dilute infectious aerosols. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened wide for three minutes in winter, five minutes in spring/autumn, and ten minutes in summer. Airing intervals must be adapted to the number of persons. As a rule, rooms should be aired every 20 minutes.
  • In rooms with ventilation systems, the ventilation systems are programmed to ensure a sufficient supply of fresh air.
  • Devices which cause air to circulate (e.g. fans, fan heaters) may only be used in rooms used by one person. This is because the circulating air contributes to the distribution of aerosols in the room, but no fresh air is supplied to lower the aerosol concentration.
  • People should not share work equipment if possible.

e) Personal protective measures

  • Compliance with the general “AHACL” hygiene rules (see point 3)
  • The relevant superiors are responsible for instructing employees about the hygiene measures taken and how they are to be implemented.

f) Rooms used for teaching purposes

  • Rooms used for teaching purposes which do not have ventilation systems must be aired thoroughly and frequently, as fresh air helps to quickly dilute infectious aerosols. Ideally, windows and doors should be opened wide for three minutes in winter, five minutes in spring/autumn, and ten minutes in summer. Airing intervals must be adapted to the number of persons. As a rule, rooms should be aired every 20 minutes.
  • Since the recommended minimum distance of 1.5 metres cannot usually be maintained in rooms used for teaching purposes, students still have to wear medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) during in-person teaching and examinations, even when seated. These are strongly recommended for lecturers and staff.
  • If the minimum distance of 1.5 metres is maintained, students speaking (e.g. students giving presentations, oral examinations) can take off their face masks so that they can be better understood.
  • In the case of teaching and examinations in small groups (of up to around 20 people), the lecturer and students may decide by mutual agreement not to wear face coverings, provided that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres is maintained.
  • In laboratories and rooms used for practical laboratory work, the risk assessment must specify rules for wearing masks, maximum occupancy, etc.

g) Libraries

  • In the libraries, medical face masks (surgical masks), or KN95 or FFP masks without exhalation valves, are mandatory when seated at reading/research places and in all areas generally accessible to more than one person.
  • In University Library rooms, limited zones will be set up in selected locations where it is mandatory for users to wear medical face masks (surgical masks), or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves. The University Library will continuously evaluate and adjust the size and location of these zones as necessary. The limited zones in which it is mandatory to wear face masks must be coordinated (in terms of location and size) with the Staff Council and the Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety. The establishment of these zones applies to libraries only and is not valid for other University facilities.

h) Business trips

  • Business trips to international high-risk areas or areas of variants of concern will not be authorised. If, after the business trip has been approved, a region/country is declared a high-risk area and/or an area of variants of concern, the business trip will not be allowed to go ahead.

i) Occupational health precautions and protecting the particularly vulnerable

  • For members of staff with a higher risk of serious illness (if known), individual protective measures must be provided for in the risk assessment.
  • These members of staff will be offered consultations on occupational health precautions from the staff medical officers at the Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin, for example on special health risks due to a previous illness or existing condition. Advice is also available over the phone or by email. If necessary, individual protective measures should be examined and determined together with the staff medical officers and the person’s superior, in particular for employees belonging to high-risk groups.
  • The employee should register these occupational health precautions as an optional consultation with the responsible HR administrator.

j) Testing strategy and vaccinations

  • To prevent the spread of coronavirus and other infections at the workplace, members of staff have the option to receive two rapid test kits per week.
  • Procurement and distribution
    o Rapid test kits will be procured centrally by the Free State of Saxony and made available to Leipzig University.
    o The Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety will distribute the rapid tests to all management teams in the faculties, Central Institutions and administration. The management teams will be responsible for further distribution.
  • Vaccinations
    o Members of staff should be given the opportunity to get vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus during working hours.
    o When being advised, employees must be informed about the health risks associated with SARS-CoV-2 and about the possibility of a vaccination.
    o Information about vaccination services for students is published on the following page: www.uni-leipzig.de/en/vaccinationdates
  • Obligation to present proof of immunity for employees working in medical areas
    o Here, individual rules have been agreed with the respective areas.

k) Measures in confirmed and suspectec cases of illness, FAQs

The University has published on its website FAQs for staff and students with information about how to deal with COVID-19.

Further Information

All faculties, Central Institutions, institutes including affiliated institutes, working groups, administrative areas and all other facilities under the jurisdiction of Leipzig University must observe and implement the regulations on hygiene and preventing infections. Superiors are responsible for ensuring compliance with hygiene measures. In the event of violations, the head of the facility must be informed. The head may initiate further measures in consultation with the Rector or a delegated member of the Rectorate.

Questions about this Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept can be submitted by email to the following address: umwelt(at)uni-leipzig.de.

You may also like

Information About Coronavirus

Read more

Experten antworten

Read more

Uni Leipzig Digital

Read more