Information Updates on the Coronavirus

Information from the Presidentʼs Council regarding the Coronavirus for Students and Employees of Hochschule Geisenheim University

Current Information

Overview of Digital Teaching and Learning Formats

General Information

The President’s Council of Hochschule Geisenheim University urges everyone to remain calm in the face of the current crisis and to treat the situation and each other with due consideration. The information provided by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), the federal government's central institution for monitoring and preventing the spread of infectious diseases, serves as the basis for assessing the situation and making recommendations.

Update March 13, 2020 - Provisions by the Federal State of Hesse

In a crisis meeting regarding the coronavirus situation on Friday, 13 March 2020, the cabinet of the Federal State of Hesse adopted a number of provisions concerning institutions of higher education and their teaching and research facilities.

  • The start of the semester/lectures at all institutions of higher education in the state will be uniformly postponed until April 20, 2020. Larger public events as well as further education and training sessions will not take place until lectures start.
  • Wherever possible, digital teaching and learning resources are to be made available until then.
  • Research, administrative and library services shall be maintained in accordance with the current risk assessment.
  • Examinations shall take place as a matter of principle. The institutions of higher education shall assess all examination dates for feasibility in accordance with the guidelines issued by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), with due consideration of the current risk situation. This applies accordingly to state examinations.
  • Ongoing and scheduled internships as part of degree programs are to be determined in accordance with the risk assessments for the place of assignment.
  • All students, researchers and staff employed in the administration of institutions of higher education returning from risk areas categorized by the RKI are required to observe a 14-day period of self-isolation.
  • Study and research trips to risk areas categorized by the RKI are not permitted.
  • All face-to-face conferences and seminars at institutions of higher education that cannot be postponed have been cancelled for the entire summer semester.

Depending on the type of lecture, all teaching staff should employ digital formats wherever possible. More information on this  will follow.

Update April 6, 2020 - Framework Plan for the Organization of Semester Schedules

Hesse's State Ministry for Higher Education, Research and the Arts (HMWK) and all universities in the state have agreed on a joint framework plan for the organization of semester schedules. You will find the corresponding communication below. The starting date of April 20, 2020 as the beginning of digital teaching in the text refers to the universities, which would have only re-commenced teaching on April 14, 2020. At Hochschule Geisenheim University, the established rule of providing and attending digital classes now, where possible, continues to apply. Face-to-face teaching is not possible at the moment, but we hope that this will change over the course of the semester.

Hochschule Geisenheim University is working on a plan, based on the guidelines agreed with the HMWK, which takes the individual concerns of teaching staff, employees and students into account to the greatest extent possible.

Update April 6, 2020 - Overview of Basic Library Services

The Library of Hochschule Geisenheim University is also obliged to limit the number of visitors to its facilities as far as possible and for this reason has introduced a skeleton service. In spite of this, the Library team aims to continue to support you as much as possible. For example, we are currently providing the following services:

  • The University Library can be reached from 9 a. m. to 2 p.m., Monday to Friday for information and enquiries (including extending borrowed media) via the usual means; by e-mail: Auskunft-Bibliothek(at)hs-gm.de, telephone: ­­­+ 49 6722 502 261, and WhatsApp: +49 171 10 27 571.
  • Books from the University Library collections can be pre-ordered by sending an e-mail to Auskunft-Bibliothek(at)hs-gm.de. The books will be available for collection once they have been registered in the respective user account.
  • An appointment for picking up pre-ordered media will be arranged with each user. Pick-up times are Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. The books will be placed on a table in front of the Library entrance where they can be collected without the need for direct personal contact.
  • For returns, please use the box in front of the entrance.
  • Three workstations have been installed in the Foyer of the Campus building, where you can access the Campus WiFi on your own devices, use the online services on site or view other literature. The workstations are spaced far apart and disinfectant is available.
  • Library staff will continue to support you in your book searches and handle your research requests.
  • Copying services are also available.
  • Online tutorials (via web interface) on researching and managing literature using Citavi are available.
  • Hochschule Geisenheim University's e-learning platform (Ilias) also features online courses on how to use the Library and literature research.
  • In view of the inter-library lending suspended by the HeBIS network, employees and students are being assisted in finding and implementing alternatives to inter-library borrowing.
  • Library staff can also provide assistance in accessing online media.
  • New literature will be ordered where possible and subsequently made available.
  • The copying and sending of ordered journal tables of contents and journal articles to employees will continue.

Should you have any queries or require further assistance, please contact the Library team using the channels mentioned above.

Update March 18, 2020: Restricted Library Service / Cafeteria Closed

Pursuant to the Fourth Ordinance on the Control of the Coronavirus of March 17, 2020 by the Federal State of Hesse, the following applies with immediate effect to the facilities of Hochschule Geisenheim University:

  • The Library will remain closed to the public up to and including April 19, 2020.  All of the Library's digital services will continue to be available.
  • The Cafeteria will remain closed up to and including April 19, 2020.
Update March 15, 2020 - New Service Instructions by the Federal State of Hesse

The Federal State of Hesse has issued mandatory instructions for all departments (see reporting requirements, etc.). In addition, there are official instructions for employees who, for instance, have vulnerable family members. The Federal State of Hesse's pandemic plan is applicable. Employees of Hochschule Geisenheim University are obliged to implement or comply with these instructions with immediate effect.

Hygiene Measures

To help prevent the spread of infection, Hochschule Geisenheim University requires that the following hygiene instructions be followed:

  • Wash your hands thoroughly (soap them for at least 20-30 seconds) several times a day
  • When coughing and sneezing, keep your distance from people around you and cover your mouth and nose with a flexed elbow or tissue
  • Keep a distance of 1-2 meters from anyone presenting visible signs of a cold
  • Employees presenting signs of a cold and who feel ill are obliged to call in sick and stay at home
  • Students presenting signs of a cold and who feel ill are obliged to stay at home
  • From now on, please refrain from shaking hands as a gesture of politeness

You will find the latest information bulletin from the RKI or the Federal Center for Health Education containing hygiene recommendations to prevent the spread of infections here.

Risk Regions

Currently, a number of regions in the world where there is a high incidence of infections with the coronavirus have been identified as risk regions by the RKI. A continuously updated list of these risk regions can be found here.

Preventative Measures
  1. Students and employees with a confirmed coronavirus infection are not permitted to return to Hochschule Geisenheim University until a certificate from a doctor confirms that the disease has been successfully cured or is no longer contagious. For reasons of safeguarding the welfare of third parties, they are prohibited from entering the premises.
  2. Students and employees who have travelled from one of the aboverisk regions and developed symptoms that could be attributed to the coronavirus may not return to the university for the duration of the illness plus a further period of 14 days. This only applies otherwise provided they present a medical certificate confirming that they do not have a viral infection.
  3. Students and employees who have been or are still in contact with persons who have fallen ill with the new coronavirus, e.g. because they are or have been caring for them, are not permitted to return to Hochschule Geisenheim University for the duration of the contact plus a further 14 days. Before returning to the University, a doctor’s certificate must be presented as proof that the person concerned is not suffering from a viral infection.
  4. Students travelling from one of the risk regions and who are not suffering from any symptoms, are not permitted to attend Hochschule Geisenheim University for a period of 14 days.
  5. For employees: If you have been in a risk area over the past two weeks, please do not return to work as usual. Contact your manager by phone to let them know. You will then, where possible, work from home for a period of two weeks. Even if it is not possible to carry out your regular activities from home, you must stay there and carry out any tasks assigned to you by your manager (for instance, study specialist literature, etc.).
  6. You must speak to your doctor by telephone (outside surgery hours, call the medical on-call service on 116117) if you suspect you have been infected with the coronavirus.
  7. Lecturers are asked to make materials for classroom courses available online, and when scheduling appointments and examinations, to take into account the particular situation of students who are unable to attend university because of a 14-day waiting period. Any absences resulting from this must not have a detrimental effect on a student successful completing their degree program.
  8. To ensure that the participants can be tracked, a participant list (name, first name, contact details) must be compiled with immediate effect for all gatherings, events and meetings consisting of more than ten people.
  9. For employees: If you have a business trip coming up, it is now (as always) advisable and imperative to follow the travel instructions issued by the Federal Foreign Office. You will find them here.
  10. Business trips to risk areas are no longer permitted with immediate effect; in general, business trips should be reviewed and limited to a strict minimum for the time being.
  11. For (large) events organized by HGU, it should always be considered on a case-by-case basis if they should go ahead, or if it would make sense to cancel or postpone the event or to organize it in a different way. Hygiene recommendations issued by the RKI are displayed in a suitable form at the venues. The event organizers are requested to draw participants’ attention to these recommendations.
  12. As things stand today (March 10, 2020), the new semester and lectures scheduled for the 2020 summer semester will start as planned.
Further Sources of Information

You can obtain the latest daily updates here: 

We will inform you immediately should there be any changes to the assessments above.

Should you have further questions regarding occupational safety and health management, please contact arbeitssicherheit(at)hs-gm.de.

Robert Koch Institute: COVID-19 Dashboard

The COVID-1 Dashboard contains all data on confirmed COVID-19 cases that have been compiled nationwide and transmitted to the Robert Koch Institute (RKI).

 

Public Phone Line

The Federal State of Hesse has set up a public phone line, which you can call should you have any questions regarding the coronavirus. The telephone number is 0800/5554666 and is accessible weekdays from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.