Welcome to the summer semester 2021. I hope you were able to relax and recharge your batteries during the short semester break. And, above all, I hope you stayed healthy.
On Monday, April 12, 2021 we start our third semester with corona-related restrictions. Once again, it will be a hybrid semester with many digital teaching formats. Courses will only be carried out in a face-to-face setting if physical attendance is necessary for achieving the learning objectives. I have already sent an e-mail to our students to inform them about the situation.
Before we enter into the summer semester 2021, I would like to take this opportunity to thank you: for your commitment to implement digital teaching formats, which are indispensable to keep our university running in the current situation. For your willingness to adapt to the latest technologies and use them in your courses. For your motivation to implement sophisticated learning contents in digital formats. And last but not least, I would like to thank you for providing support for students on the phone, via e-mail or in video conferences. Thank you for going the extra mile so that students can conclude their studies successfully in these challenging times.
Once again, I would like to encourage you to use blended learning strategies in your courses, especially in mandatory online courses. A well-balanced mix of asynchronous and synchronous formats is essential to benefit from the advantages provided by online teaching, i.e. giving students greater flexibility. Further information is available on our website. The eLearning team is happy to support you and answer your questions (elearning(at)hs-gm.de). In the course of the last summer semester, our university successfully implemented many innovative teaching formats – for an overview of our best practice examples, please click here.
Finally, I would like to call on you to take our hygiene plan seriously and make sure that you and your students adhere to the hygiene and safety regulations. Only with consideration and mutual respect can we master these challenging times.
Have a good start to the summer semester and stay healthy.
Prof. Dr. Alexander von Birgelen
Vice-President Academic & Student Affairs
On campus, the so-called 3G rule applies, which means that students must be vaccinated, recovered or tested. They are required to carry one of the following documents if they enter a campus building or facility:
Important information: Free government-paid COVID testing will end on October 10, 2021. Until December 31, 2021, however, everyone who is underage at the time of the test can be tested free of charge. The same applies to pregnant women and students from abroad who are staying in Germany to study and who have been vaccinated with vaccines not recognized in Germany.
Proof of your COVID status must be carried at all times when entering a building or campus facility, and has to be presented to staff members, teachers or security staff upon request. If students cannot present the required proof, they will be expelled from the university premises immediately. The university also reserves the right to take further steps.
1. In teaching areas on the campus, contact data will be collected in classes, exams, and other study-related events such as admissions events as well as when using work stations in libraries, or using practical, PC and learning rooms. At events over several days, contact details will be collected each day. Details will also be collected in dining facilities and other facilities with visitors, with the exception being for takeaway food and beverages. Participation in the collection of contact data is obligatory and a prerequisite for participation in classroom events and the use of the above-mentioned facilities. The name, address and telephone number of the participants as well as the title of the event will be recorded for the sole purpose of enabling the tracking of infections. The contact data is recorded using an electronic system (www.luca-app.de/) or form. For data protection reasons, one form per person must be filled out and submitted to the organizer. The contact data collection forms will be kept by the organizer until the deadline expires. The data is to be kept for the duration of one month from the beginning of the event, protected from third-party access by the responsible health or public order office, and is to be transmitted to them on request or deleted or destroyed securely and in accordance with data protection regulations immediately after the deadline has expired.
Students: If you do not have a smartphone or have forgotten it and you can therefore not use the luca app, your fellow students can also submit your contact data (as a guest entry). In addition, it is also possible to submit contact data in paper form. Contact forms are available in all teaching rooms.
Lecturers: Please do not forget to register yourself. The forms available in the lecture halls and seminar rooms are to be handed out to students who were unable to register by smartphone. After the end of the event, the forms are to be collected in DIN A5 envelopes (with the date, place and name of the event written on it), which are also available in the room, and sent by in-house mail to P3 - Event Management; in addition, marked mailboxes will be hung up on campus. Any questions regarding QR codes and paper forms should be directed to veranstaltungen(at)hs-gm.de or the Info Point (tel. -100)
Guests and External Visitors: For persons who do not have a smartphone or have forgotten it, contact data can also be collected online by other guests (guest list) or by using paper forms. Contact forms are provided in all lecture halls and seminar rooms.
2. At internal staff meetings, minutes should be taken and kept for four weeks, in which the participants are recorded, with online participation identified. External participants are to be recorded with first name, surname and telephone number. Minutes are to be stored for a period of 4 weeks.
In buildings and also on campus, it is important to ensure that people have as little direct contact with each other as possible or that their contact is reduced to a minimum. Contact in rooms of the university, during breaks or other activities is to be kept to a minimum. Physical contact, such as shaking hands is to be avoided.
In the case of unavoidable direct contact, additional protection must be ensured! At consultation and information areas with personal contact, where the safety distance of at least 1.5 meters cannot be maintained, protective screens are provided. Where such screens are not available and the minimum distance cannot be maintained, mouth-nose coverings must be worn.
At all times a minimum distance of at least 1.5 meters ("safety distance") must be maintained from other people in all directions, including on entry, when sitting and moving about. Where this is not possible, alternative protective measures (e.g. mouth-nose coverings) must be observed. The safety distance must be maintained in all university owned and rented buildings, parts of buildings and on the entire campus of Hochschule Geisenheim University! Measures such as barriers, markings or access regulations are to ensure that the distance is maintained. All members of the university, users and guests are obligated to observe the measures for maintaining the safety distance. The safety distance must also be maintained when entering and leaving buildings and rooms and in queues. Group formations in buildings and on the premises are to be avoided.
Covering your mouth and nose is mandatory in all buildings of Hochschule Geisenheim University (also in all 'traffic' areas and in lecture halls). Traffic areas include corridors, entrance areas, stairs and elevators. Wearing a face mask is not required at the workplace if the room is used by only one person, or if the minimum distance of 1.5 m can be kept at all times. If distance requirements (1.5 meters) cannot be observed during joint work sessions or business travelling, wearing a FFP2 face mask or surgical mask is mandatory. In general, these items are intended for single use, but can also be re-used after drying. This regulation applies to all areas and activities at the university, in buildings, outdoors and in vehicles. The use of plastic face protection shields without wearing a mouth and nose covering is not permitted inside campus buildings
It is recommended, if possible, to take a break from wearing a mouth and nose covering or surgical mask after 3 hours (75 minutes in case of FFP2 masks), ideally for a period of at least 30 minutes.
The three main measures (AHA rules) to reduce the risk of infection must be observed: Keep your distance, observe hygiene, wear a face mask.
In particular, regular and thorough hand washing with soap and water for 20 seconds before and after class is recommended.
In addition, hand sanitizers have been installed at many building entrances.
Important exception: If all team members are fully vaccinated, they do not have to keep a distance or wear face masks when they hold meetings, share an office, etc.
In order to protect against infection, interiors should be supplied with as much fresh air as possible. This is one of the most effective methods of removing potentially viral aerosols from indoor spaces.
Fresh air ventilation
The simplest form of ventilation is window ventilation. Impact ventilation, where windows are opened fully, must take place before or at the beginning of the event and then at regular intervals. A ventilation period of 3 to 10 minutes is recommended. Even more effective (if possible) is cross-ventilation via opposite windows.
The time interval for ventilation depends on the size of the room, the number of people, activities (normal speaking or e.g. choir singing) and the available window area. The SARS-CoV-2 occupational safety rule of the BMAS recommends ventilation after 60 minutes for offices and after 20 minutes for meeting rooms.
The Commission for Indoor Air Hygiene at the Federal Environment Agency has recommendations for schools that applies equally to seminar rooms at universities: For room sizes of approx. 60-75 m³ and a number of pupils of usually 20-30 children per class, intensive ventilation is to be provided in every (!) break in class with the windows wide open. In the case of teaching units of more than 45 minutes duration, i.e. also in double lessons or if only a short break (5 minutes) is planned between teaching units, this should also be done during the lessons. (...) If, during the lessons, individual students experience symptoms of illness such as repeated sneezing or coughing, the windows should be opened immediately (shock ventilation as described above). This also applies at home or in the office.
Ventilation systems (RLT systems)
HGU teaching rooms which have an air conditioning system are to be operated with a very high outside air volume flow in the winter semester.
In a statement, the indoor climate department of the German statutory accident insurance (DGUV) states: In technical ventilation, filtered fresh air is continuously fed from the outside into the interior rooms via central or decentralized ventilation systems (RLT systems). (...) In contrast to fresh air ventilation, ventilation systems, when correctly adjusted, guarantee a continuous and sufficient air exchange regardless of the external weather conditions. The risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2 via properly maintained HVAC systems can be classified as low. For this reason, air handling systems should not be switched off, but on the contrary, the supply of fresh air via the air handling system should be increased and recirculation should be avoided or reduced as far as possible. Only a sufficient supply of fresh air contributes to a reduction of a virus-contaminated aerosol concentration.
In rooms with recirculating air coolers it is important to ventilate using the windows.
Mobile air circulation units
According to the Indoor Air Hygiene Commission (IRK) at the Federal Environment Agency, the most effective method of removing virus-containing aerosols from indoor spaces is to provide as much fresh air as possible. Mobile air filter units based on circulating air do not allow fresh air to enter the rooms. In the opinion of the IRK, the use of such air purifiers with integrated HEPA filters in rooms is not sufficient to effectively remove suspended particles (e.g. viruses) by filtering the indoor air over the entire period of use. The use of such devices cannot replace ventilation.
The Indoor Air Hygiene Commission (IRK) also describes which requirements must be checked in advance for the operation of such devices: This would require an exact recording of the airflow in the room as well as a specific placement of the mobile devices. The height of the air flow rate would also have to be adapted exactly to the local conditions and room occupancy. The use of such devices can therefore not replace ventilation measures. Treatment of air pollutants with ozone or UV light is rejected by the IDE for both health and safety reasons.
The above-mentioned documents are available at the following links (in German):
The advisory services of the university administration, the degree programs and the central services are currently available by appointment. This applies, among others, to the Admissions Office and the Examinations Office, which should be contacted by telephone, e-mail or post: List of services. The Infopoint is open. Please note the limited opening hours.
Opening hours and regulations are available here: University Library
Opening hours and regulations are available here: Mensa
A plan of the classroom capacities has been put together, based on hygiene and distance regulations, and cannot be changed without prior approval. The maximum capacity in compliance with distance regulations (number of seats) is to be observed. Contact details must be supplied either via www.e-guest.de (online) or paper forms (offline).
The Luca app is a comprehensive solution for digital contact tracing. In addition to testing and vaccinations, it helps to combat the spread of the corona virus as it identifies contacts with infected persons in line with data protection regulations and helps to break the chain of infections.
Please use the Luca app or the provided forms when you are on campus.
The university is committed to recording suspected cases of Corona at an early stage so that protective measures can be taken as quickly as possible. Employees, students and guests are requested to immediately report a confirmed Corona infection or a quarantine requirement to the Occupational Safety and Healthcare Management Department by sending an e-mail to email@example.com or by calling +49 6722 502 285 or 0170 2857749, if there was any personal contact at the university within a period of five days before the first symptoms appeared.
If there is a confirmed Corona infection and the person was at work in the five days before the first symptoms appeared, the workplace should not be used for a period of at least 36 hours, after which contact surfaces should be cleaned with standard household cleaning agents. Cleaning of contact surfaces after a Corona infection can be requested from the Infrastructure Department (haustechnik(at)hs-gm.de).
In general, the infection rate of Corona viruses on inanimate, dry surfaces decreases rapidly at room temperature or higher temperatures. According to current knowledge, shared files and papers do not pose a risk of infection if the contamination occurred more than 24 hours ago.
Regardless of the regular cleaning of surfaces, it is important to wash your hands regularly (20 seconds with soap) and to avoid touching your own face.
Notification procedure for suspected infection:
Immediately inform your Head of Department / Manager / lecturer of all the facts:
Then immediately notify corona(at)hs-gm.de and +49 6722 502 285 or 01702857749.
The neccessary steps will then be undertaken.
In case of a positive corona test or suspected COVID-19 infection, a list of people must be compiled with whom there has been direct contact at the workplace within the last five days (Contact Category I: face-to-face, i.e. any contact that lasted longer than 15 min and with a distance of <1.5 m without wearing a mask). These people must be informed and leave the workplace immediately and quarantine until contacted by the health authorities, who will usually impose an official quarantine, or until a negative test result is obtained.
All further decisions are made by the health authorities.
If you are not contacted by the health authorities, please contact corona(at)hs-gm.de after 3 days at the latest to discuss further action.
Superiors are obliged to ensure that all colleagues employed on site can be reached by telephone at all times. This private data should not be available to third parties.
You have had a confirmed or suspected stage 2 contact with a person who is ill with COVID-19 (Contact Category II, i.e. direct contact with a distance of less than 1.5 m but while wearing a mask or a contact that lasted less than 15 min)? You have had no direct contact but had contact to a direct contact person?Please describe the situation in writing (corona(at)hs-gm.de) or by phone +49 6722 502 285 immediately, so that further measures, e.g. home office can be discussed.
A summary of all entry and travel restrictions can be found here: www.zusammengegencorona.de/informieren/alltag-und-reisen/reisen/
The website provides information on:
Before arrival, please read the latest information on the current classification of the area from which you enter. The latest classification is available on the webpage of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI)
Please note that your vaccination certificate will only be accepted if you have been fully vaccinated with a vaccine approved in the EU. The officially approved vaccines are listed on the Paul Ehrlich Institute (PEI) website.
It is expected that no trips to countries outside Germany will be undertaken if the Federal Government has classified the country as a high-risk area and it is not urgently necessary.
If you have questions, please contact International(at)hs-gm.de.
Information about federal regulations on mandatory Corona tests for people entering the country::
Federal government information for travelers and commuters:
The current German Foreign Office travel warnings:
Important information provided by the Robert Koch Institute and recommended action for people entering Germany:
Information on the designation of international risk areas by the Federal Foreign Office, BMG and BMI
Employees returning to Germany from a high-risk country must inform Human Resources without request by sending an e-mail to corona(at)hs-gm.de .
In addition, please refer to the Regulation to Control the Corona Virus, dated March 13, 2020, in its applicable version. For persons with a confirmed Corona infection and contact persons of category I with close contact ("higher" risk of infection) according to the RKI definition, the obligation to be physically present is lifted for 14 days, provided that public health authorities do not impose self-isolation. During that time, employees will work from home, if possible, using their office laptops. Affected employees must inform their departments without delay if home quarantine has been imposed.
If an infection is confirmed by a positive test result, the doctor reports the result to the public health authorities. People with suspected COVID-19 infection or a confirmed positive Corona test must stay away from the university/work place.
The public health authorities will then contact the person concerned and, if necessary, the university in order to determine further contact people. The following protocol is used:
Contact people in Category II or other contact people (contact to an infected person with a distance of more than 1.5 m or spending time in the same room) do not belong to the closer circle of contact people. Therefore, no quarantine regulations apply to them. As an additional preventive measure for contact persons in Category II, we refer to the possibility of working from home. Nevertheless, there are some information to be observed for 14 days after an infection has occured: