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.

Our Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept

The translation of this information into English 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.
Translation of German version 2.2 of 11 January 2021

Due to the sharp rise in new cases of COVID-19 infections and the high incidence figures, the Free State of Saxony ordered further countermeasures in mid-December 2020 and issued new Saxon Regulations for Protection Against Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 (SächsCoronaSchVO)1 and accompanying general decrees2. The basic principle set forth in the SächsCoronaSchVO of reducing physical contact with other people to the absolute minimum necessary also applies to places of work and must be observed at all times.

The University’s updated Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept is based on the specifications of the once again updated SächsCoronaSchVO of 8 January 2021 and the accompanying general decree as well as on the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standardsand the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Regulationsof the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. 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 universities5, valid for coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (coronavirus pandemic). The University recommends using Corona-Warn-App.7

The Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept is a general framework for Leipzig University. Specific regulations (e.g. for the use of the University Library) are to be made by the individual institutions and are subject to the Staff Council’s right of co-determination. 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 under the general decree accompanying the SächsCoronaSchVO is Professor Beate A. Schücking, who also heads the University’s crisis management team.

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 (SähsPersVG). Separate regulations and responsibilities apply additionally to the Faculty of Medicine, whereby the special regulations of Leipzig University Hospital must be observed.

The regulations shall enter into force upon publication and apply until 31 March 2021, unless revoked. The University reserves the right to adapt the regulations (e.g. due to new regulations imposed by the Free State of Saxony, or by the Staff Council).

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: Distance
    Keep 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: Masks
    Wear a face covering over your nose and mouth wherever this is mandatory or if you cannot observe the minimum distance.
  • C: Corona-Warn-App
    The University strongly recommends using the Federal Government’s Corona-Warn-App to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an infection.1
  • A: Airing
    If in use, rooms must be aired sufficiently, even during the winter months.

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

a) Access rules for buildings and facilities
b) Social distancing rules
c) Rules on using rooms
d) Personal protective measures
e) Academic and external events
f) Business trips
g) Occupational health precautions and protecting the particularly vulnerable
h) Measures in confirmed and suspected cases of illness.

a) Access rules for buildings and facilities

  • All Leipzig University buildings will remain closed to the general public (external visitors and guests) in particular, although the University Library (loans) will remain open to library card holders.
  • In accordance with the current SächsCoronaSchVO and the accompanying general decree of 30 October 2020, the opening and operation of museums, concert venues, conference centres, botanical gardens, sports facilities for leisure and amateur sports, and events serving entertainment purposes are prohibited, with the exception of permitted online formats.
  • The University Library will remain open for loans with limited opening hours, in accordance with the SächsCoronaSchVO and subject to strict coronavirus protection regulations. If the incidence rate drops below 50, the crisis management team will decide whether to reopen the reading rooms.
  • Computer pools remain closed.
  • In-person teaching must be avoided, with the particular exception of laboratory work, practical courses (Praktika), practical classes, preparatory courses (Studienkolleg Sachsen), and practical and artistic training phases.
  • People are only permitted to enter Leipzig University’s buildings and facilities, and to attend teaching or use University rooms in person, if there is no suspicion that they may have been infected with coronavirus 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. Symptoms of illness 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 or participates in teaching in person, it shall be assumed that they confirm that the above-mentioned reasons for exclusion do not apply to them.
  • Anyone entering Leipzig University’s buildings (teaching, research and administration buildings) and entrance areas must wear a face covering over their nose and mouth. These face coverings must also be worn in all areas generally accessible to more than one person. If social distancing requirements are met, face coverings may be removed in the workplace.
  • Notices displayed in the entrance areas of University buildings will draw attention to the need to wear a face covering, the general hygiene rules and social distancing requirements.  
  • In accordance with the SächsCoronaSchVO and the accompanying general decree, precautions must be taken to ensure that all persons can wash their hands thoroughly after entering the buildings. If there are no nearby sanitary facilities in the building, hand sanitiser dispensers will be made available in the entrances and foyers of highly frequented buildings.
  • 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.
  • The persons responsible under the University’s House Rules have the authority to grant and deny access to University premises.

b) Social distancing rules

  • Basic rule: People must practise social distancing, keeping at least 1.5 metres away from others.
  • Where it is not possible to maintain this minimum distance, alternative protective measures must 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 a way that there is little direct contact between people. Direct contact can be reduced by measures such as communicating online, coordinating working hours, alternating shifts, and working from home. During the current phase of the pandemic, working from home in the meaning of the Dienstvereinbarung zur Mobilen Arbeit (Service Agreement on Mobile Working) should no longer be seen as the exception, but once again as the rule. After employees submit their own application, their direct superiors will decide on the extent to which they should work from home. As before, one prerequisite for working from home is that the employee’s tasks must be suited to working from home. In this context, reference is made to the Dienstvereinbarung zur Mobilen Arbeit (Service Agreement on Mobile Working) and the special rules that apply due to the pandemic, all of which can be found on the intranet.
  • Where working from home and technical solutions are not possible or where people work in situations where the minimum distance cannot be maintained, then personal protective measures should be taken, such as wearing face coverings or protective masks.
  • Contact between people as they move around should be avoided where possible by means of clear routing (such as one-way systems or floor arrows).
  • Congestion in and in front of buildings should be avoided. Appropriate consideration should be given to areas where queues are likely to form, drawing people’s attention to social distancing requirements (e.g. with distance markings or information signs).
  • When using lifts and sanitary facilities, people must observe social distancing requirements and, if applicable, the specified maximum number of people.
  • The minimum distance must also be maintained when sharing vehicles for work purposes. The number of persons in vehicles must be limited accordingly. Where people are unable to maintain the minimum social distance, they must take personal protective measures (face coverings for all or FFP masks for passengers if the driver cannot wear a mask while driving).

c) Rules on using rooms

  • Working in offices is still possible, but people should work alone where possible or in small, fixed teams, observing social distancing requirements. If the minimum distance cannot be maintained, the protective measures mentioned under b) must be considered. In particular, protective measures must be implemented for personal consultations with University staff and students and other persons. Consultations should be offered primarily online.
  • With the exception of laboratory work, practical courses (Praktika), practical classes, preparatory courses (Studienkolleg Sachsen), and practical and artistic training phases, in-person teaching must not be offered at present.
  • In accordance with the SächsCoronaSchVO,1 event organisers and facility operators are required to collect personal data to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. Contact monitoring is now compulsory throughout Leipzig University. There are various possibilities for this; please visit www.uni-leipzig.de/contacttracing.
  • 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 to 30 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.4
  • People should not share work equipment if possible. Where this is not possible, the equipment must be cleaned after use.
  • Existing room cleaning schedules will be maintained.
  • Door handles and stair handrails are cleaned regularly by cleaning staff; disinfecting these is unnecessary and would be unreasonable.

d) Personal protective measures

  • Compliance with the general hygiene rules AHACL (See Section 3)
  • Sanitary rooms must be equipped with running water, liquid soap and disposable towels. If the soap or disposable towels have been used up, replenishment must be arranged immediately (by contacting the Department 4 caretakers).
  • If technical and organisational protective measures cannot minimise the risk of infection at work, then individual protective measures must be implemented such as wearing face coverings, medical face masks or respirator (FFP) masks. The relevant institution is responsible for providing protective masks or face coverings.
  • The relevant superiors are responsible for instructing employees about the hygiene measures taken and how they are to be implemented.

e) Academic and external events

In accordance with the current SächsCoronaSchVO, academic in-person events such as congresses, conferences and workshops with external guests are still prohibited. Such events must be postponed or can be carried out online using the digital formats provided by the University Computing Centre (URZ).

f) Business trips

Business trips should still be reduced to the absolute minimum. Instead of physical contact, digital alternatives should be used wherever possible. Business trips abroad are subject to approval by the Rector. Business trips within Germany are subject to approval by the Deans or heads of the Central Institutions or by the Head of Administration and Finance. In the case of approved business trips that cannot be postponed, the possible restrictions at the destination and resulting consequences must be clarified in advance.

g) Occupational health precautions and protecting the particularly vulnerable

Employees are 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.

h) Measures in confirmed and suspected cases of illness

Instructions and reporting requirements for dealing with COVID-19 symptoms have been drawn up for members of staff as well as students. These are available on the University website:

In September 2020 Leipzig University introduced a coronavirus traffic light system to reflect current infection rates in Leipzig and what these mean for the University. It corresponds to the local seven-day incidence (number of new infections per 100,000 inhabitants in Leipzig over the past seven days). A distinction is made between four colours:

  • Green: Seven-day incidence < 20
  • Yellow: (20–34
  • Amber: 35–50 
  • Red: >50

Since the city of Leipzig has also reached the red level and a clear decrease in the number of infections is not yet foreseeable, the University’s coronavirus traffic light system will be suspended for the term of the current Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept and, as long as the incidence rate in the city is above 50, only the red traffic light image will continue to be used to illustrate the critical situation.

Faculties, Central Institutions, institutes including affiliated institutes, working groups, museums, administrative areas, and all other facilities under the jurisdiction of Leipzig University are required to draw up and submit for approval a concept detailing how the above hygiene and infectious disease regulations will be observed or implemented. The respective superiors, including those of other staff members, and the teaching staff are responsible for monitoring compliance with the 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 concept can be submitted by email to the following address: corona(at)uni-leipzig.de.

Professor Beate A. Schücking
Rector

General email addresses of caretakers
in the relevant areas in the Department of Construction and Technical Services

City centre:

Jahnallee:

Natural sciences:

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