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Kategorie: ‘Allgemein’

Current Information from the Crisis Management Team

January 28th, 2022 | by

The Crisis Management Team is continuously assessing the dynamic manner in which the infection rates are developing. At our last meeting, we agreed that – despite the rising rates of infection – it would not be sensible to adapt the measures at this time. Instead, we strongly urge you to implement the previous measures consistently.

In this context, the following instructions and information are given:

  • If an employee or a student needs to be present on campus due to the nature of the work that they are doing, they must strictly observe the known hygiene measures. You can also find further information on these measures by visiting the following page https://download.cms.rwth-aachen.de/zhv/5.2/220119_Uebersicht_Regelungen_3G_Test_Maskenpflicht_EN.pdf. Where masks need to be worn, we strongly urge you to use FFP2 masks. These FFP2 masks and other hygiene products can be purchased by the University institutions through the RWTH Purchasing Portal at https://rwth-kaufhaus.de/Hygieneschutz-Produkte/.
  • We would like to remind you that you must provide your employees and students with the option to work from home if their field of work permits this (see also https://blog.rwth-aachen.de/corona/2021/11/23/home-office-angebots-verpflichtung/?lang=en).
  • University institutions can continue to obtain free rapid tests through the RWTH Purchasing Portal. When working on campus in person, all employees and students are encouraged to make active use of the self-tests or other testing options. Increased testing contributes to the rapid identification of infections and thus enables us to break the chains of infection more effectively.
  • Due to the increasing numbers of infections, effective contact tracing by public health authorities can no longer be guaranteed. Because of this, personal responsibility and prudent action are becoming even more important for managers, employees and students. If there is a concrete risk of infection, you should speak about this subject openly. The University Medical Center will be able to provide advice on all matters pertaining to quarantine and the like. The relevant HR department will provide advice on all matters relating to HR law.
  • The increased infection rates mean that we expect that more staff will be forced to call in sick. As a result of this, all critical processes (supervision of test stations, holding exams, etc.) should be reviewed again in the University institutions. Adjustments in personnel or process planning (including working in shifts) may become necessary here.
  • The Federal Government has modified the definition of fully vaccinated as well as recovered individuals. For example, a single vaccination with the vaccine Janssen from Johnsson&Johnsson is no longer sufficient to be considered completely vaccinated. This has particular implications for checking compliance with the 3G rule. You can find further information on this by visiting https://www.rwth-aachen.de/go/id/sqrjx/lidx/1.

Please note that these instructions are not exhaustive. Further questions are also answered on the following page: https://www.rwth-aachen.de/cms/root/Die-RWTH/Aktuell/Aktuell-geltende-Massnahmen/~ghyqc/frequently-asked-questions-about-coronavirus/

The Crisis Management Team and the Rectorate urge all members and affiliates of RWTH to heed these instructions and comply with the measures. This is the only way that we can keep the University running. If changes in the measures do become necessary, we will get in touch with you again.

Booster Dose of the COVID-19 Vaccine – Offer Expanded to All Ages

January 26th, 2022 | by

University Management, the Crisis Management Team, and the University Medical Center continue to strongly encourage all members of RWTH to get a booster vaccination at the recommended interval. Individuals who have not yet been vaccinated are urged to take up a vaccination offer as soon as possible!

Since the University Medical Center is currently supplied with both BioNTech and the mRNA vaccine Spikevax from the manufacturer Moderna, booster vaccinations are now also being offered to all employees and students who are under 30.

Please use the booking portal, which you can find at https://ecampus.rwth-aachen.de/units/hsa to reserve an appointment.  Employees need their personnel number to book an appointment, while students need their student ID number. If you do not know it, you can find it in the RWTH Selfservice under RWTH Data.

Please contact

Please note the following important guidelines:

  • Make sure you bring the necessary documents for primary immunization with you to the arranged vaccination appointment. The University Medical Center can only give proper medical advice if such documents are at hand.
  • If you are unable to keep your appointment or have already made an appointment elsewhere, please send the University Medical Center an email at coronaimpfung@hsa.rwth-aachen.de immediately. Please do not make multiple bookings under any circumstances.
  • The University Medical Center posts new appointment slots on a regular basis. If there are currently no appointments available to book, please keep checking back.

In addition to the vaccinations offered by the University Medical Center, I would like to draw your attention to the following information pages on vaccination services in the area:

In addition, please note that Städteregion Aachen is offering a vaccination service at RWTH for everyone aged 18 and older. You will find the next sessions at http://www.rwth-aachen.de/coronaimpfung.

Urgent need for blood donors

January 25th, 2022 | by

Due to the Corona pandemic, the shortage of blood reserves to supply patients in the StädteRegion Aachen has become much more acute. For the University Hospital of RWTH Aachen and the StädteRegion Aachen, this means that the care of seriously ill and injured people can only be guaranteed with the participation of the citizens of the StädteRegion Aachen. All RWTH employees between the ages of 18 and 65 are encouraged to donate blood regularly and also to promote it among their friends and acquaintances.

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State Government Again Increases Individual Standard Period of Study for Students in North Rhine-Westphalia

January 19th, 2022 | by

While face-to-face courses were the norm at universities in North Rhine-Westphalia at the start of the winter semester – and numerous courses can still currently be held in person – many universities have increasingly had to switch to online or hybrid formats during the current semester due to the current pandemic developments. To ensure that students do not suffer any disadvantages as a result of this situation, the state government has decided, after a thorough review, to again increase the individualized standard period of study for students by one semester for the winter semester 2021/22.

Due to the pandemic, this regulation had already come into effect in the three previous semesters. The corresponding regulation for the current winter semester will come into force via an amendment to the Coronavirus Epidemic University Ordinance in the coming days. With the increase of the individualized standard period of study, the NRW Ministry of Culture and Science is creating the conditions on the part of the state for the maximum BAföG period of eligibility to be extended by one semester as well. The increase of the individualized standard period of study by one semester also eases time pressure for students – for example, when it comes to taking exams tied to specific deadlines – and is thus intended to provide additional support.

Further information is available on the website of the state government.

Important information on Corona booster vaccination

January 10th, 2022 | by

The Standing Committee on Vaccination (STIKO) has updated its recommendations on COVID-19 vaccinations again.

The STIKO now recommends that everyone aged 18 and older receive a booster dose with an mRNA vaccine from 3 months after their last dose of the primary immunization. Persons who were vaccinated with the Johnson & Johnson vaccine are advised to receive the booster dose as early as 4 weeks after primary immunization.

University Management, the Crisis Management Team, and the University Medical Center continue to strongly encourage all members of RWTH to get a booster vaccination at the recommended interval. Individuals who have not yet been vaccinated are urged to take up a vaccination offer as soon as possible!

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Important Information on the Current Developments From the Crisis Management Team

December 6th, 2021 | by

The State of North Rhine-Westphalia has amended the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance once again. Due to these adjustments and the general developments regarding infection rates, the Rectorate and the Crisis Management Team have agreed on the following regulations and recommendations:

Teaching and Exams:

The previous regulations for 3G checks for attendance at teaching activities and exams are still in effect (see www.rwth-aachen.de/go/id/svufv). This also applies to the Access Concept, which regulates the thoroughness of the checks.

For all teaching activities and exams, all participants are also required to wear a mask, including when they are at their seat. This requirement applies to study spaces too. Exceptions only apply to events where masks cannot be worn for occupational safety reasons (e.g. potentially lab and practical courses in chemistry) or for immunized instructors (2G rule) who can maintain the minimum distance (1.5m) from all other participants at all times.

Research & Ongoing Operations (Objective: Contact Reduction):

  • Congresses/Symposia/Third-Party Events
    • For events that are not associated with teaching and exams, only thorough checks are to be carried out (complete check of 2G or 3G proof – depending on the type of event – as well as thorough proof of identity).
    • All participants are required to wear a mask at events, including when they are at their seat. Exceptions only apply to immunized instructors (2G rule) who can maintain the minimum distance (1.5m) from all other participants at all times.
  • In-Person Work Meetings/In-Person Work on Campus
    • Groups of employees who wish to continue to make use of the 2G rule (see https://www9.rwth-aachen.de/global/show_document.asp?id=aaaaaaaaaaoefvh) are now required to use a self-test every workday.
    • We would like to remind you of the obligation to make a home office offer in the relevant areas of work (see also https://blog.rwth-aachen.de/corona/2021/11/23/home-office-angebots-verpflichtung/).
    • The need to attend any work meetings in person should be questioned (ideally, switch to a virtual format). If in-person meetings are necessary, however, the number of participants should be kept to a minimum.
    • When it comes to business trips, we also strongly recommend critically questioning if they are necessary at present with the objective of reducing such trips and postponing them where possible.

In addition, given the current situation, the Rectorate and Crisis Management Team recommend not holding work events (such as Christmas parties) at present. If such events do, however, go ahead, any employees who do not attend for infection prevention reasons must not suffer from any disadvantages.

Adapted regulations of the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance

November 24th, 2021 | by

The State of North Rhine-Westphalia has adapted the regulations of the Coronavirus Protection Ordinance in response to the increasing infection rates. The following regulations are significant for RWTH:

  • Teaching activities, use of the University Library, and congresses are still permitted in compliance with the 3G rule (vaccinated, recovered, tested).
  • Admission to cultural events is now only permitted in compliance with the 2G rule (vaccinated, recovered).
  • The 2G rule also applies to University Sports offerings – both indoors and outdoors.
  • From November 26, 2021, at the latest, the CovPassCheck app published by the Robert Koch Institute should be used to check digital vaccination certificates whenever possible. The app is available via popular app stores.

Further, the Crisis Management Team strongly recommends wearing a mask at indoor events or similar, even if there is no legal obligation to do so.

3G Rule Implementation in the Workplace

November 23rd, 2021 | by

3G Rule for Employees

The new 3G rule applies to all RWTH employees – including all students and research assistants as well as instructors – whenever they work on site. All employees must have valid proof of vaccination, recovery, or a negative test result (usually no older than 24 hours) when they start their working day at RWTH. If it is possible to carry out a supervised self-test in the respective university institution, this must be agreed in advance with the supervisor, carried out immediately upon entering the workplace, and appropriately documented. This supervised self-test then counts as proof.

Instructions for performing supervised self-tests and a documentation template are available here (PDF).

3G Compliance Check

According to the requirements of the Infection Protection Act, a daily, complete check of the 3G proof has to be carried out. At RWTH, this obligation is delegated to the head of the respective university institution or to individuals appointed by them. As this is a sensitive matter, this task should only be delegated upon mutual agreement.

Provided that proof of vaccination or recovery has been checked once and this check has been documented (see below), employees with valid poof of vaccination or recovery can then, in principle, be exempted from these daily checks. They must, however, have this proof on them at all times. The focus of the checks is the validity of the test certificates.

Employees who cannot provide the required proof shall be denied access to the workplace. The relevant HR department will offer advice on such matters as required.

Documenting 3G Compliance Checks

In order to comply with the data minimization principle of the data protection regulations, it is sufficient to “tick off” the first name and last name of the employees on a list on the respective day of the check if appropriate proof has been provided by the employee. For your convenience, a corresponding template is available here (PDF).

When it comes to vaccinated and recovered individuals, proof of a valid certificate only needs to be recorded and documented once. The end date of the recovered status must also be documented. A template is also available for this (PDF).

Proof of vaccination and recovery status and negative test certificates is subject to particularly stringent data protection. For this reason, the data, including the lists, must be kept securely in the respective university institution, separate from other files or data. In particular, it must be ensured that unauthorized individuals (external third parties, but also employees not entrusted with the documentation) cannot gain knowledge of the recorded data.

The data must be deleted or destroyed six months after collection.

3G Rule Applies to All RWTH Buildings

November 23rd, 2021 | by

From November 24, 2021, the 3G rule will apply to all RWTH employees. An event-related 3G rule has already been in effect for some time for both courses and other events at RWTH. These regulations aim to protect employees and students from infection. Considering the above regulations, the Rectorate has now decided that, as a matter of principle, the 3G rule will apply to anyone accessing any of RWTH’s buildings. Therefore, any persons who enter the University premises must have appropriate proof of 3G compliance from November 24, 2021, onward.

The heads of the university institutions, any individuals appointed by them, and members of University Security are authorized to check this proof. Should someone not be able to provide sufficient proof, they are to be expelled from the premises under the University’s rights as the householder. If necessary, University Security is to be called in.

The Department of Facilities Management will promptly provide appropriate signage for all accessible entrances to university buildings. A template is also available here (PDF).

Obligation to Make a Home Office Offer

November 23rd, 2021 | by

In the updated Infection Protection Act, employers are once again under a so-called homeoffice offer obligation. This will be in effect for a limited period until March 19, 2022, and applies to all staff who perform office work. The head of the higher education institutions shall, per the statutory requirements, offer employees who carry out office work or comparable activities the opportunity to carry out these activities at home, provided that there are no compelling operational reasons opposing this.

The legislator has made it clear that for office work or similar activities, employers are only exempt from offering their employees the opportunity to work from home in particularly justified exceptional cases. Activity-based hybrid forms of work may also be considered. Employees must accept such an activity-based home office offer if there is no reason to oppose this. Reasons for declining this offer could, for example, be a lack of space in their home or if they are unable to work undisturbed.

This latest home office offer obligation aims to reduce contacts at the workplace again as much as possible. If employees have to continue to work on site, the workplaces freed up by granting home office to others should therefore be used as much as possible to further the objective of contact reduction. Sharing an office at the same time should be avoided at all costs.