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Infection protection concept of the Ostbayerische Technische Hochschule Amberg-Weiden

from November 24, 2021

In execution of the Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance, the following infection protection concept of the university is announced:

1. General Information

In the winter semester 2021/2022, courses at the OTH Amberg-Weiden will generally be held in an online format. Classroom teaching is possible in exceptional cases, e.g. for internships, and can be made possible by the dean at the request of the lecturers. However, the prerequisite for this exception is that both lecturers and students fulfill the 2G rule.
If the districts of the university locations Amberg or Weiden become a hotspot, i.e. have an incidence above 1,000, only online teaching is permitted.

2. General safety and hygiene rules

In general, the applicable infection protection regulations (in particular the Bavarian Infection Protection Measures Ordinance – BayIfSMV, COVID 19 Protection Measures Exemption Ordinance – SchAusnahmV) and occupational health and safety regulations (in particular the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Health and Safety Ordinance – Corona-ArbSchV) must be observed and implemented.

2.1 2G-Rule/3G-Rule for Exams

2.1.1 General Information

With regard to closed rooms, access to the university and the libraries may only be granted to persons who have been vaccinated or have recovered within the meaning of § 2 No. 2, 4 SchAusnahmV (2G rule). In this sense, the 2G rule applies to teaching operations.
An exception to the 2G rule applies to

  • examinations and
  • professional activities necessary for university operations (staff, lecturers) or the implementation of events.

The university is obliged to check the vaccination, convalescence or test certificates to be submitted except for its employees. For this verification, the university shall conduct consistent random checks, taking into account the local and specific circumstances of the university's operations, to ensure compliance with the 2G Rule. In the event of non-compliance with the 2G rule, the university will take appropriate action.

Employees of the university as well as persons working at the university (e.g. lecturers) must provide proof of 3G on a daily basis to their responsible offices (department management, faculty).  

For examinations, the 3G plus rule applies, i.e. students who have not been vaccinated or have not recovered must present a PCR test in order to be allowed to take an examination.

2.1.2 Testing Requirements

Under the 3G rule, tested individuals must provide written or electronic negative test evidence regarding a SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection based on

  • a PCR test, PoC-PCR test, or test using other nucleic acid amplification techniques performed 48 hours or less ago,
  • a PoC antigen test performed not more than 24 hours ago

which otherwise complies with the provisions of the SchAusnahmV (COVID-19 Protective Measures Exemption Ordinance).

Under the 3G plus rule, a PCR test or similar is required.

2.2 Mask Obligation (Maskenpflicht)

In buildings and enclosed spaces, it is generally mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask.

  • at fixed sitting, standing or workplaces, provided that a minimum distance of 1.5 m from other persons is reliably maintained; this also applies, for example, to lecturers
  • for personnel, insofar as reliable protection against infection is ensured in counter areas by transparent or otherwise suitable protective walls
  • or other compelling reasons; these may arise in particular from practical, didactic or university organizational requirements of teaching or other university operations, in particular with regard to practical classroom events and related areas, situations and activities; in particular, neither the minimum distance nor the mask requirement are to be observed if this would lead to impairment of or is incompatible with an artistic activity or performance.

The following are exempt from the mask requirement:

  • Children up to their sixth birthday,
  • Persons who can credibly demonstrate that wearing a mask is not possible or unreasonable for them due to a disability or for health reasons; the credible demonstration is to be made immediately on site, in particular by presenting an original written medical certificate, which must contain the full name, date of birth and specific information as to why the person concerned is exempt from the obligation to wear a mask.

The mask may be removed as long as it is necessary for identification purposes or for communication with people with hearing disabilities. For employees, the obligation to wear a mask during their work only applies within the framework of occupational health and safety regulations.

2.3 Exclusion from participation and stay

In principle, persons may,

  • who show symptoms typical for an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (typical symptoms of an infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 are shortness of breath, new-onset cough, fever and loss of smell or taste),
  • who are subject to a quarantine measure or
  • who have been confirmed to have a current SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection,

do not participate in on-site university activities and do not enter the university (buildings and other enclosed areas). A person who develops symptoms typical of SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus infection while at the college shall immediately leave the college premises and building and notify the college. The university shall immediately report the situation to the responsible health authority, which, if necessary, shall take further measures (e.g. quarantine measures) in consultation with the university, which are to be implemented by the university according to the circumstances.

For persons who belong to a risk group, the regulations according to the information sheet for risk groups according to RKI (cf. Annex 1) apply.

3. General protective measures

3.1 General recommendations for conduct

All persons involved in university operations are generally urged to

  • maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m from other persons wherever possible; where it is not possible to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 m, it is recommended that a medical face mask be worn, without prejudice to the regulations on mandatory masks,
  • avoid staying in confined spaces such as elevators, or to use a single-occupancy mask,
  • to ensure adequate hand hygiene and
  • comply with cough and sneeze etiquette.

3.2 Ventilation concept

3.2.1 Preliminary remark

Regular ventilation serves hygiene and promotes air quality. Increased ventilation can reduce the concentration of virus-contaminated aerosols that may be present in the room air, whereby mechanical ventilation and shock ventilation via windows can be considered.

For the transmission from person to person, a ban on contact, the general distance requirement and a mask requirement apply.

Transmission to humans via potentially infectious objects is countered by regular cleaning of tables, chairs, handles, keyboards, PC mice, etc., but also in particular by hand cleaning.

3.2.2 Free (natural) ventilation

  • Rooms must be ventilated for at least 15 minutes before and after use.
  • Rooms without automatic ventilation must be ventilated regularly, e.g. offices after a maximum of 45 minutes and meeting rooms / lecture halls / seminar rooms / laboratories after a maximum of 20 minutes. CO2 measurements are planned.
  • Shock ventilation is understood to mean the brief (approx. 3 minutes in cold   weather to 10 minutes in warm weather) intensive exchange of air to remove loads from work rooms.
  • The regulations for room ventilation in the presence test operation or in the test rooms are defined in this concept.

3.2.3 Technical (mechanical) ventilation

According to current knowledge, technical ventilation does not promote the spread of  the virus when used correctly, but rather removes contaminated particles. They can therefore be used as follows:

  • Ventilation systems should be run at rated capacity for at least two hours before and after the room is used.
  • During periods when the building is not in use or is vacant, the ventilation should continue to run at a lowered capacity. The systems should not be turned off to prevent buildup.
  • A target value of 400 ppm should be set for CO2-controlled systems. Lowering the CO2 setpoint ensures that the ventilation system will continue to operate at rated capacity. 
  • Recirculation operation of central ventilation systems is to be avoided.
  • Ventilation systems that only circulate and condition room air (heating, cooling, humidifying) shall be shut down.
  • Rotary heat exchangers must be checked for leakage between exhaust and supply air.
  • Ventilation systems in toilet rooms must be kept in operation at all times.

3.3 Cleaning and disinfection concept

3.3.1 Preliminary remark

Precautionary surface disinfection, including of frequently used contact surfaces, is not considered necessary even in the current COVID 19 pandemic. Adequate cleaning represents the procedure of choice. Only in the case of potential contamination by a SARS-CoV-2-positive employee should a decision be made, based on the hazard assessment, as to whether disinfection measures can help prevent the spread of SARS-CoV-2. This may be appropriate for a contaminated work area, if necessary. However, large-scale disinfection in public areas is not necessary. (according to BAuA, 14.04.2020) According to current knowledge, there is no risk of infection from shared files and papers if a (possible) contamination occurred more than 24 hours ago (according to BAuA, 14.04.2020).

3.3.2 Basic hygiene measures

Washing hands with soap:

When?

  • After entering the building or when arriving at the workplace.
  • After visiting the restroom
  • After blowing nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After contact with waste
  • Before meals or before and after preparing food (e.g. during breaks)
  • Before handling medicines or cosmetics (e.g. creams, lip care)
  • Before and after physical contact with colleagues, if this cannot be avoided.

How?

  • Hold your hands under running water. The water temperature has no influence on the reduction of pathogens.
  • Then soap hands thoroughly for about 20 to 30 seconds (palms, backs of hands, fingertips, interdigital spaces, thumbs, fingernails).
  • Rinse hands under running water. Use a disposable towel or your elbow to close the faucet.
  • Dry the hands carefully, do not forget the spaces between the fingers

3.3.3 Cleaning at the workplace

The surfaces of shared workplaces must be cleaned with standard household cleaners after personal use. This includes in particular surfaces that have come into con-tact with employees and possible carrier substances, e.g. through droplet emission when speaking. It must be checked whether the common use of work equipment can be reduced by organizational measures, e.g. by the personal use of IT input devices (mouse and keyboard) (according to BAuA, 14.04.2020). Cleaning is carried out by the user or – if available – the cleaning staff. These are in particular:

  • Table tops
  • armrests of chairs
  • cabinet and door handles
  • IT devices such as mouse and keyboard, telephone receivers
  • steering wheels
  • Gearshift levers
  • Frequently used tools and devices

Shared use of headsets, writing utensils should generally be discouraged. Otherwise, the shared use of work equipment should be reduced as far as possible.

If disinfection is necessary, e.g. after confirmed contamination, this is done by wipe disinfection. Spray disinfection should be avoided because of possible side effects.

Cleaning agents and disinfectants are procured by the Property Management Department. Only these are to be used.

Disposable gloves and disinfectant wipes are collected in a separate wastebasket with foil and disposed of daily by the cleaning staff.

3.3.4 Cleaning in public areas

Sanitary facilities, social rooms, elevators, handrails, door handles, light switches, etc. are to be cleaned daily by the cleaning staff.

3.4 Contact data collection

Contact tracking of students in the context of face-to-face teaching is carried out by providing a QR code via the university's homepage, which students scan in the respective lecture and register with their identifier. In doing so, students confirm that they have a currently valid 3G certificate in accordance with the university's infectious disease protection concept, which entitles them to access, when attending the lecture.

The registration takes place in every lecture, without booking out. The data will be saved for a period of 4 weeks. Data is transmitted solely for the purpose of providing information upon request and to the responsible health authorities. However, this system does not serve to monitor the attendance of students with regard to lecture attendance. No contact data collection applies to lecturers.

3.5 General public traffic

Public traffic that is not necessary for presence operations is to be reduced as much as possible. If possible, public traffic should be replaced by telephone, mail or electronic communication. This applies in particular to enrollments, applications and the submission of work. For service offers of the university, the alternative offers of the university are to be used as far as possible. Otherwise, it is preferable to make appointments in order to avoid crowding.

3.6 Occupational safety for the staff

3.6.1 Concept for SARS-CoV-2 antigen self-testing

In order to reduce the risk of SARS-COV2 infection in the workplace, the university offers employees who do not work exclusively in their homes a test for direct detection of the coronavirus, which is approved by the Federal Institute for Drugs and Medical Devices, at least twice per calendar week free of charge.

3.6.2 Use of office spaces

The simultaneous use of rooms by several persons is to be reduced to the minimum necessary for operation. If the presence of several persons in an office is unavoidable, the safety distance of 1.5 m should be maintained throughout. If the safety distance cannot be maintained in individual cases, a medical mouth/nose protection mask must be worn. Each room is to be ventilated in accordance with the specifications of the notice "General protective measures Corona virus" (see Annex 2).

3.6.3 Use of protective walls

Transparent protective walls are used as an additional protective measure in suitable cases, especially in service areas.

3.6.4 Provision of protective equipment (masks)

If protection of employees by technical and organizational protective measures is not sufficient and the wearing of medical masks is required, these will be provided by the university. Employees must wear the masks provided by the employer or at least equivalent masks.

3.6.5 Corona Warning App

All university employees are encouraged to use the Corona Warning App when on university property.

3.6.6 Participation in vaccinations

Employees of the university are allowed to participate in protective vaccinations during working hours.

3.6.7 Education on the risks of coronavirus diseases

Employees of the university are informed about the health risks of contracting coro-navirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) and about the possibilities of a vaccination.

3.7 Further measures

3.7.1 General measures and notices

The prominent access areas of the OTH Amberg-Weiden are signposted with the poster ”General protective measures Corona virus“.

The information monitors of the OTH Amberg-Weiden are used as information platforms.

Disinfectant dispensers have been set up in the entrance and pathway areas.

3.7.2 Opening hours

Access to the buildings and thus also to the teaching rooms in the buildings is possible for students until a maximum of 7:30 pm.

4. Face-to-face event

When conducting face-to-face events, participants should, as far as possible, take up a fixed sitting, standing or working position that ensures a minimum distance of 1.5 m from other persons. If the minimum distance cannot be maintained, masks are mandatory.

When holding classroom events, particular attention must be paid to compliance with the regulations on the following points set out in this infection protection concept:

  • Mask obligation
  • Ventilation concept
  • Cleaning concept.

5. Examinations

The time spent on the university campus in Amberg and Weiden before, during and after the presence examinations is to be limited to the absolutely necessary extent in the sense of the contact restriction and the distance requirement for students.

Students enter the university campus and the examination room only shortly before the respective examination. Entering the campus is prohibited for persons under quarantine as well as for persons with symptoms of illness or with previous knowing contact with Corona infected persons (contact persons I) as well as in cases of suspected Corona infection. The 3G Plus rule applies to exams.

Before, during and after examinations, examiners and students are required to wear a FFP2 mask. This applies in particular to public areas (e.g. corridors, hallways, stairwells, toilets). Therefore, it is forbidden to enter and stay in the buildings without wearing a mouth-nose covering. The mask obligation does not apply at the fixed seat as long as a minimum distance of 1.5 m to other persons is reliably maintained (i.e. continuously and during the entire test).

5.1 Behavior in the building, access to the examination room

The cleaned examination rooms are always locked and will be opened 30 minutes before the examination. The university must ensure access to the assigned examination room. The examination rooms are sufficiently ventilated immediately before the examination.

In the case of examinations that take place in several examination rooms, the examiners will assign which examinees sit in which room and inform the students in good time before the examination in order to prevent “search paths“ on the campus or in buildings between the examination rooms.

The examination participants arrive at the examination room 15 minutes before the examination. The examiners coordinate the admission of the students to the respective examination room. The examination participants enter the examination room one after the other (observing the spacing rule) and sign the list of participants at the entrance with their own pen/pencil. The student ID card is to be carried along and deposited at the examination site. The registration of the present students takes place by means of the attendance lists, an additional registration e.g. by scanning the room-specific QR codes is not necessary. The present examiners or supervisors are to be entered in the respective examination protocol.

The attendance list for the examination is placed on a table at the entrance to the examination room. There is also a disinfectant here.

Seats are assigned by the examiner. The seat number is to be entered on the cover sheet of the examination by the student. The seats available and marked in the examination rooms are reserved for the students registered for the examination. The minimum distance of 1.5 meters shall be ensured between individuals in the examination rooms. The examination rooms are prepared accordingly, it is forbidden to make changes in the arrangement of the tables or chairs.

5.2 Conduct of the examination

The examination supervision is to be carried out by the first examiner (according to the examination schedule), who may be supported by additional supervisors. This ensures that any problems that may arise in the course of the examination can be solved quickly.

The unauthorized replacement of the room specified in the examination schedule by another room is prohibited. The rooms have been adapted to the requirements for the presence examinations and are always prepared according to this infection protection concept of the OTH Amberg-Weiden.

The examination documents (task text, additional paper) must be on the required examination places at the latest 15 minutes before the examination (cover sheet upwards, task text not visible).

If masks are to be worn during the examination, they may be removed briefly during the examination for drinking or eating.

The examiner must ensure that the examination room is ventilated as follows:

  • In the case of a 60-minute examination, one ventilation after 30 minutes of 5 minutes each.
  • In the case of a 90-minute examination, ventilation twice after 30 minutes of 5 minutes each time.

According to the time of the ventilation, the examination time is extended in the sense of compensation for disadvantages.

During the ventilation sessions, the examination is not interrupted and work on the examination tasks can continue.

5.3 After the examination

After the end of the processing time, the examinees are asked by the examiner to leave the examination room one by one, observing the spacing rules, starting with the seats closest to the exit. Mouth-to-nose covering is to be worn.

Students will place their examination materials on a table provided in the exit area.

Group formations are to be avoided in the building and on campus, including parking lots, at the end of the exam. Students are to leave the campus immediately or without further delay after completing an examination.

6. Other university operations

6.1 Use of the libraries

When accessing and staying in the two libraries in Amberg and Weiden, an appropriate minimum distance (1.5 m) must be ensured, especially in the waiting area. There are markings in the waiting area to ensure that the safety distance is maintained. When handing out books, the appropriate device of the Plexiglas panes is to be maintained for the protection of the employees.

Mouth-nose protection must be worn by all persons when visiting the libraries. The spacing rules must be observed. In addition, patrons register using the Corona registration system before entering the libraries.

The university libraries in Amberg and Weiden are currently open to limited visitor traffic. It is possible to pick up preordered books by appointment (Click & Collect). The reading room, group and individual workrooms, and the PC area are not open to visitor traffic.

It is also possible to register a new user, provided that the library is informed of the relevant data verbally or by e-mail. Training courses for students and external users (mainly pupils) are held virtually without exception.

6.2 Other use of university facilities and rooms

With regard to the other use of the premises or rooms of the university, reference is made to the relevant infection control regulations:

  • Other use of sports facilities to the relevant infection control legal requirements for sports, in particular to the framework concept for sports,
  • gastronomic offers refer to the relevant infection control legal requirements for gastronomy (e.g. refectory, cafeteria, coffee lounge), which they implement on their own responsibility,
  • cultural events and film screenings to the relevant infection control regulations, in particular to the framework concept for cultural events and the framework concept for cinemas,
  • conferences, congresses and trade fairs to the relevant infection control regulations, in particular to the framework concept for conferences, congresses and trade fairs, and
  • the use of facilities on the university campus that are designed for religious services and meetings of religious communities, in accordance with the relevant infection control regulations.

The provisions of this infection control concept and other special framework concepts apply accordingly, insofar as they are compatible with the practical, didactic or university organizational requirements of teaching and other university operations.

7. Control and house rules

The university monitors compliance with the infection protection concept and takes appropriate measures in the event of violations. Persons who do not comply with these regulations may be subjected to the consistent use of domiciliary rights in compliance with the applicable legal provisions.

All university members must ensure that the infection protection regulations and the infection protection concept are observed in the areas for which they are responsible. This applies in particular to supervisors, chairpersons, examiners and lecturers. This also includes the responsibility to provide appropriate information about the currently applicable infection protection regulations within their own area of responsibility.

8. Justification

The pandemic situation caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus continues worldwide.

In view of the daily updated infection situation in Bavaria, the above mentioned measures are necessary to contain the very fluid infection situation and to keep the health care system efficient.

The defined measures aim to protect the members of the OTH Amberg-Weiden by interrupting the infection chains, to preserve the health of students and employees and to contribute to the containment of the pandemic.

This general order is subject to more stringent higher-level regulations.

Reference is made to the SARS-CoV-2 Occupational Safety Rule of the Occupational Safety Committees of the Federal Ministry of Labor and Social Affairs.

9. Effective Date

This general decree of the OTH Amberg-Weiden concerning its infection protection concept will come into force on 14.09.2021.

The provisions of the general order may be revoked in whole or in part at any time or may be subject to incidental provisions.

 

Attachment 1

Risk groups according to RKI

Certain groups of people are at increased risk for severe COVID-19 disease. According to the RKI, the particularly at-risk groups in the regularly updated “SARS-CoV-2 Fact Sheet on Coronavirus Disease-2019 (COVID-19)” include the following groups of people who are at increased risk for severe courses of the disease following infection with SARS-CoV-2 (with a steadily increasing risk after the age of 50):

Persons with certain pre-existing diseases

  • of the cardiovascular system
  • of the lung (e.g. chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD))
  • Patients with chronic kidney and liver diseases
  • Patients with diabetes mellitus (diabetes)
  • Patients with cancer
  • Patients with a weakened immune system (e.g., due to a disease associated with immunodeficiency or due to the use of drugs that weaken the immune system, such as cortisone).

Basic procedure for employees

It is recommended that the employees concerned contact their direct supervisor to coordinate their activities and any necessary protective measures.

Notes

According to the guidance issued by the Maternity Protection Committee on 14.04.2020 (at the instigation of the BMFSFJ), pregnant women who are regularly exposed to social contact with other people have an increased likelihood of infection. If protective measures cannot be adequately ensured and thus an irresponsible risk cannot be ruled out, a ban on employment is pronounced.

Healthy employees who live in a household with a person who belongs to a risk group according to the RKI do not belong to the defined risk group themselves. In order to enable the above mentioned groups of persons to minimize their individual risk of infection with the Corona virus as much as possible, it is imperative that healthy employees contact their direct supervisor to coordinate their activities in individual cases.

Additional information on dealing with students from risk groups

Students who belong to one of the above mentioned risk groups or who live in a domestic community with members of risk groups must consult with the laboratory director before participating in the internship.

Attachment 2

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