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 3.0 of 26 March 2021.

The Free State of Saxony has issued new Saxon Regulations for Protection Against Coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19 (SächsCoronaSchVO)1 and new accompanying general decrees.2 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 SächsCoronaSchVO of 5 March 2021 and the accompanying general decrees as well as the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Standards3, the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Regulations4 and the updated SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety and Health Ordinance (Corona-ArbSchV)of 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 and subject to the Staff Council’s right to co-determination. Specific regulations (e.g. for the use of the University Library) are to be made by the individual institutions. 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.

This hygiene concept shall enter into force upon publication and approval by the Staff Council and apply until 30 June 2021, unless revoked. The University reserves the right to adapt this hygiene concept through the Staff Council or due to new regulations imposed by the Free State of Saxony.

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
    Keep 1.5 metres away from other people wherever possible.
  • H: Paying attention to hygiene
    Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly. Cough and sneeze into the crook of your arm.
  • M: Wearing masks
    It is urgently recommended that a medical face masks or respirators be worn in places where it may be difficult to maintain the safety 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.7
  • 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) Medical face masks and respirators
b) Access rules for buildings and facilities
c) Social distancing rules
d) Rules on using rooms
e) Personal protective measures
f) Academic and external events
g) Events in the Paulinum – Assembly Hall and University Church of St. Paul; opening of museums and the Botanical Garden
h) Business trips
i) Occupational health precautions and protecting the particularly vulnerable
j) Testing strategy
h) Measures in confirmed and suspected cases of illness.

a) Medical face masks and respirators

  • Cloth face masks are no longer permitted in University buildings.
  • Medical face masks (surgical masks) or higher-quality respirators (KN95, FFP masks) without exhalation valves must be worn in all areas generally accessible to more than one person.
  • If the minimum distance and area requirements are met (1.5 metres and 10 square metres per person respectively), then medical face masks / respirators may be removed in the workplace. .
  • If a risk assessment shows that using medical face masks does not offer sufficient protection for employees, and that masks designed to protect the wearer are necessary, then respirators must be provided. This applies in particular if the activities carried mean there is an elevated risk of aerosol emission, or in the case of workplace activities involving contact with other persons where one of the persons present is not required to wear a medical face mask.
  • The relevant institution is responsible for providing protective masks. Procurement is carried out centrally by the Free State of Saxony.

b) 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 and returns) will remain open to library card holders with restricted opening hours. If the incidence rate for the city of Leipzig drops below 50 (according to RKI figures), then the reading rooms can be reopened for University staff and students, subject to strict hygiene rules, and primarily outdoor sporting activities (University Sport, fitness programmes) may be offered. Starting in June, it will be possible to offer hybrid courses, in-person teaching in small groups, and other University Sport and fitness programmes if the infection rate is low (below 35). The crisis management team will decide on the exact time.
  • Update on 15 April 2021:
    (tobe specified in version 3.1 of the Hygiene and Infectious Disease Concept, publication date still unknown)
    • If the coronavirus incidence rate remains below 100 for seven days (based on RKI figures for the city of Leipzig), the University Library reading rooms can reopen for staff and students. This will be subject to: proof of a negative rapid coronavirus test, wearing a medical / surgical face mask.
    • If the coronavirus incidence rate remains below 50 for seven days (based on RKI figures for the city of Leipzig), then the reading rooms can reopen – subject to hygiene rules, but without the test requirement.
    • Further information is available on the University Library website.
  • In accordance with the current SächsCoronaSchVO and the accompanying general decree, it is possible to open museums and botanical gardens. In Leipzig, this is governed by the relevant general decree issued by the City of Leipzig. The individual provisions applicable at Leipzig University are described under 3g) below. The opening of concert venues, conference centres and indoor recreational areas, and events serving entertainment purposes, are still prohibited, with the exception of permitted online formats.
  • If the incidence rate for the city of Leipzig drops below 50 (according to RKI figures), then selected computer pools may open.
  • People are only permitted to enter Leipzig University’s buildings and facilities 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 medical face mask or respirator covering their nose and mouth. In all areas generally accessible to more than one person, people must also at least wear medical face masks. If social distancing requirements are met, face coverings may be removed in the workplace.
  • Tradespeople and service providers are required to wear at least a medical face mask in and outside Leipzig University premises.
  • Notices displayed in the entrance areas of University buildings will draw attention to the need to wear a medical face mask, 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.

c) Social distancing rules

  • Basic rules:
    • People must practise social distancing, keeping at least 1.5 metres away from others.
    • A minimum area of 10 square metres is required for each person in the room.
  • 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 elsewhere or from home. During the current phase of the pandemic, “mobile working” within the meaning of the Dienstvereinbarung Mobile Arbeit (Service Agreement on Mobile Working) should no longer be seen as the exception, but once again as the rule. In cases of office work or comparable activities, superiors are required to allow employees to work elsewhere (“mobile work”) if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary. After employees submit their own application, their direct superiors will decide on the extent to which they should work elsewhere or from home. As before, one prerequisite for working elsewhere or from home is that the employee’s tasks must be suited to working elsewhere or from home. In this context, reference is made to the Dienstvereinbarung Mobile Arbeit (Service Agreement on Mobile Working) and the special rules that apply due to the pandemic (see also the intranet).
  • Where working elsewhere or 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 protective masks (see 3a).
  • 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.
  • All occupants must wear a medical face mask when sharing vehicles for work purposes. Alternatively, all passengers must wear a respirator if the driver cannot wear a medical face mask while driving.

d) Rules on using rooms

  • Working in offices is still possible. The requirement of 10 square metres minimum space per person/workstation in the office is mandatory.  If, for a limited period, it is not possible to maintain the minimum distance, the protective measures mentioned under c) 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, practical sports activities in sport science degree programmes, preparatory courses (Studienkolleg Sachsen), and practical and artistic training phases, in-person teaching must not be offered at present. If the infection rate improves sufficiently (below 35), it will be possible to offer hybrid courses and in-person teaching in small groups from June. This will be decided by the crisis management team.
  • In accordance with the SächsCoronaSchVO1, event organisers or facility operators are required to collect personal data of visitors to Leipzig University, in order to facilitate contact tracing in the event of an outbreak. It is also recommended that contact between individuals be recorded for internal University visits. There are various possibilities for this; please visit this page for more details.
  • 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.
  • 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.

e) Personal protective measures

  • 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 protective masks (see 3a).
  • The relevant superiors are responsible for instructing employees about the hygiene measures taken and how they are to be implemented.

f) Academic and external events

In accordance with the current SächsCoronaSchVO, academic in-person events such as congresses, conferences and workshops 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). Physical events will be possible from 1 October 2021 at the earliest. The crisis management team will make a decision on the next steps in June at the earliest.

g) Events in the Paulinum – Assembly Hall and University Church of St. Paul; opening of museums and the Botanical Garden

  • The Paulinum has its own hygiene concept.
  • Church services are possible with an incidence rate of below 100 (according to RKI figures for the city of Leipzig). A weekly COVID-19 rapid test or self-test is required for all participants at the University, and a separate hygiene concept must be drawn up. Separate exemptions apply for Easter Sunday.
  • All other events in the Paulinum are possible if the incidence rate drops below 50 (according to RKI figures for the Free State of Saxony and the city of Leipzig). This is governed by the relevant general decree issued by the City of Leipzig.
  • The outdoor areas at the Botanical Garden may be opened if the incidence rate drops below 100 (according to RKI figures for the Free State of Saxony and the city of Leipzig). This is governed by the relevant general decree issued by the City of Leipzig. Indoor areas cannot be opened until the incidence rate drops below 50 (according to RKI figures for the Free State of Saxony and the city of Leipzig). A weekly COVID-19 rapid test or self-test is required for all participants at the University.
  • Leipzig University’s museums will not be allowed to open until the incidence rate drops below 50 (according to RKI figures for the city of Leipzig). This is governed by the relevant general decree issued by the City of Leipzig. A weekly COVID-19 rapid test or self-test is required for all participants at the University.

h) Business trips

Dienstreisen sind weiterhin auf das absolute Minimum zu reduzieren. Für Kontakte sind vorrangig digitale Formate zu nutzen. Für Auslandsdienstreisen ist die Genehmigung der Rektorin erforderlich. Dienstreisen im Inland sind von den Dekanen und Dekaninnen beziehungsweise Leitern und Leiterinnen der Zentralen Einrichtungen oder von der Kanzlerin zu genehmigen. Bei nicht aufschiebbaren genehmigten Dienstreisen sind die möglichen Beschränkungen am Reiseziel und die sich daraus ergebenden Konsequenzen vorab zu klären.

i) Arbeitsmedizinische Vorsorge und Schutz besonders gefährdeter Personen

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.

j) Testing strategy

Under Section 3a Paragraph 1 of the SächsCoronaSchVO, employers are required to offer weekly self-testing to employees who are not working from home.

Procurement and distribution

  • Rapid test kits will be procured centrally by the Free State of Saxony and made available to Leipzig University.
  • The Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety will distribute the rapid tests to all management teams in the faculties, Central Institutions and central administration. The management teams will be responsible for further distribution.
  • The Free State does not plan to test students. Students with an employment contract at Leipzig University are considered employees.

Briefing, practical instructions

  • The Office for Environmental Protection and Occupational Safety and the Mitteldeutsches Institut für Arbeitsmedizin will provide guides and practical instructions.
  • Testing should preferably be done at the beginning of the week.

Disposal

  • Rapid tests should be disposed of with normal residual waste.

k) 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:

All 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 observe and implement hygiene and infectious disease regulations. The respective superiors 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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