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Note: Please continue to read the information letters from TU Berlin's crisis committee for the latest update and guidance for students, faculty and staff.

Immediate Measures for Berlin Scientific and Academic Institutions to Prevent the Spread of Coronavirus

Information from the Crisis Committee

Wednesday, 11. March 2020

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,
Dear Members of TU Berlin,

In light of the situation resulting from the spread of the coronavirus, we as a university are obliged to respond responsibly, prudently, and with consideration for the future. Our aims are to stem the spread of the virus, gain time, and adjust our actions accordingly.

On 11 March 2020, the Senate Chancellery for Science and Research adopted immediate measures in agreement with the state universities in the State of Berlin and on the advice of  health experts at Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin.

These immediate measures and additional TU Berlin-specific measures are mandatory for all members of TU Berlin and are effective immediately until further notice.

I ask all TU members to act responsibly to minimize the spread of the virus. Doing so will help protect human lives. I also ask for your understanding and cooperation regarding the following binding regulations. They significantly affect our university life. They are, however, unavoidable and necessary. The Crisis Committee and many other TU members are currently making every effort to implement these measures and provide assistance with their implementation in individual areas.
Please direct all general questions about the virus, illness, and any possible contact with infected persons to the Berlin hotline and relevant public health authority. We are happy to answer questions specifically regarding the University and will make every effort to respond promptly. Please refer to the TU webpage about the coronavirus to remain up to date. The webpage includes updates from the Crisis Committee and further information including how to contact the Committee. 

Please do your part to implement these measures, help your colleagues, avoid large crowds, minimize your travel, and remain calm. The situation will require a creative response from all of us. I ask all management to demonstrate understanding and goodwill in solving this problem. Together we can overcome this situation.

Most sincerely,

Professor Dr. Christian Thomsen
President of TU Berlin

Immediate measures for all Berlin universities

  1. The immediate cancellation of all conferences, conventions and other events during the current lecture-free period as well as for the lecture period of summer semester 2020 (until 20.07.2020). This also applies to events organized by third parties.
  2. The immediate cancellation of all courses requiring physical attendance being held in the current lecture-free period. Each university will examine the possibility of providing these as online Courses.
  3. The universities are required to evaluate on the basis of the guidelines provided by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) whether examinations scheduled for the period up until 20.07.20 can be conducted. Agreement concerning the conducting of state examinations is to be taken in conjunction with the relevant Berlin Senate Departments, namely those for Justice, Health, and Education. Ongoing and scheduled internships which are components of degree programs are to be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the institutions or organizations where the internships are taking place.
  4. The start of the summer semester lecture period for universities is to be postponed until 20.04.2020. The universities are to prepare measures to deal with any necessary postponements of classes and examinations or shortening of semesters (such as providing block seminars or online formats). 
  5. Other functions such as research operations, administration and libraries are to be maintained for the time being. Regarding libraries, TU Berlin is implementing another Concept.
  6. All students, researchers and staff of academic institutions returning from regions designated as risk areas by the RKI are required to self-impose a 14-day quarantine.
  7. Official trips as well as study and research stays in regions designated as risk areas by the RKI are not being approved.
  8. The universities and research institutions are required to communicate applicable measures to their members and to adjust these measures on an ongoing basis to reflect changes to the situation. If they have not already done so, the universities and research institutions are to adjust their procedures for dealing with pandemics.

Special measures are being adopted in cooperation with Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin and Studierendenwerk Berlin.   

Further immediate measures of TU Berlin

In addition, the universities are called upon to introduce further specific measures. The TU Berlin Crisis Committee has adopted the following additional measures to be implemented:

1. Closure of libraries and PC rooms at TU Berlin

TU Berlin will close all libraries and PC rooms from 11 March 2020. Detailed information is to follow. This applies until further notice.

2. Information regarding exams

Detailed information regarding exams and examination dates will follow shortly.

3. Information for parents and guardians of children attending primary schools and childcare facilities closed due to SARS-CoV-2

If the child in your care (children up to and including 12 years of age) is ill, the usual regulations apply.

Parents or guardians of children who are not ill but whose childcare facility or school has been closed are granted paid leave for 10 working days.

Should you wish to take advantage of this option, please apply in writing to Human Resources with proof of closure and details of the expected period of closure. Please submit this application electronically!

You can remain at home as soon as you have submitted your application. You do not require prior approval.

These regulations apply accordingly for staff with civil servant status.
You are further requested to inform your supervisor and remain in regular contact with them.

4. Salary payments during quarantines ordered by the relevant public health authority

The usual regulations regarding pay in the event of illness apply for staff placed in quarantine who are actually ill themselves and officially registered as being ill (salary payment for a period of six weeks with statutory sick pay from the seventh week).

For staff placed in quarantine only as a preventative measure the Law on the Prevention and Control of Infectious Disease (IfSG) applies.

In this case, staff receive payment in line with loss of earnings payments. This will be paid by the employer for the first six weeks. Loss of earnings payment is the equivalent of an employee’s net salary. From the start of the seventh week, this payment will be made by the responsible authority on application by the affected individual. Payment is the same as statutory sick pay in accordance with Section 47 (1) SGB V, provided loss of earnings does not exceed the contribution assessment ceiling. 

5. Documentation

Should you fall ill with COVID19 and remain ill for more than three calendar days, you remain obligated to submit a sick note. This also applies in cases where, in addition to sick leave, a quarantine has been ordered by the responsible health authority.
In the case of such quarantine without simultaneous sick leave due to COVID-19, the persons concerned must submit proof of the order of quarantine by presenting the letter issued by the health authority.

The sick note and/or letter from the health authority are to be immediately submitted via email (scan or photo) to the responsible personnel team. Please retain the original copies.
The rules and regulations in the circular “Sick notes and unexcused absence” of 29.8.2013 continue to apply for sick notes issued for other reasons.

Please inform both your personnel team and your supervisor.

6. Official and non-official travel

TU Berlin is not approving any official trips to regions designated as risk areas (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html).

We also urgently request you to make as few official trips as possible. Please carefully consider whether any such trips are strictly necessary at this time. If not, then please cancel the trip. Cancellation costs will be paid by TU Berlin. 

We further urgently request all TU members not to undertake any trips or only travel if absolutely necessary. This also applies to TU students.

Lastly:
What to do in case of a suspected corona infection? What are the symptoms?
https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus.html 

 

TU Berlin Crisis Committee, 11 March 2020

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