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Coronavirus: General FAQ

General

Where can I find general information about the spread of the coronavirus?

The "World Health Organization", the "Robert Koch Institute", one of the most important bodies for the safeguarding of public health in Germany, the German Federal Ministry of Health, and the "Gesundheitsamt Bremen” (Bremen’s Health Office) all provide very valuable information on the current development regarding COVID-19. If you are looking for Bremen-specific information, we recommend following the website of Bremen’s senate, where you can find all relevant phone numbers, information on COVID-19 ambulances as well as the latest measures taken by Bremen’s Senate. Jacobs University also provides information on the coronavirus and measures the university takes on its website. This information is frequently updated.

Where can I get coronavirus updates about Jacobs University?

For the most up-to-date information on Jacobs University’s status and practices regarding COVID-19, please visit the COVID-19 information page.

Will Jacobs University remain open or is it possible for the colleges (halls of residence) to get closed in the future due to restrictions by the German government? If so, does the university have a plan for this?

With regard to accommodation and food services for our students, the university has no intention and no plans of closing the campus and its colleges (halls of residence). Since the start of the pandemic, Jacobs University has maintained both accommodation and food services for all students.

Our overriding principle is to protect the health and safety of our employees AND our students – who not only learn, and research here, but also live on campus.
For about 1,000 students the Jacobs campus is their home during the semester. They all have both, a study and rental contract with Jacobs University, which all remain valid during the regular period of a semester.
Given this, Jacobs University has all intentions of continuing to keep the residential colleges open, as the majority of the students have an ongoing need of accommodation, catering and community support.
The university is making all necessary arrangements to maintain all operations in this domain, even in the event of students needing to be quarantined. Moreover, our contact with the Bremen health authorities and with the State of Bremen indicates that we need not expect them to force closure of the campus and its colleges.

With regard to the Fall 2020 semester read the FAQ for new students or for returning students.

Is it safe to stay on Jacobs University’s campus?

The spread and the risk situation regarding COVID-19 changes daily. Therefore, it is not possible to make any verifiable or reliable statement about where, in which area, city, or country it is safer to stay and live, today or in the future. In addition, personal circumstances such as social environment, previous illnesses, the necessity to work etc. must always be taken into account.

We kindly ask students and their parents to take into account that we are dealing with a global pandemic affecting an increasingly larger number of people in countries all over the world, including many of our students’ home countries.
Jacobs University is taking all possible measures to slow down the further spread of the virus in the whole society – but also on the campus of Jacobs University.

What are the current guidelines for social behavior on campus?

With the aim of curbing the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and depending on current developments, the Federal Government and the Federal States (including the State of Bremen) agreed to adapt the respective guidelines for behavior and for freedom of movement and mobility. These are binding for all people staying in Germany.

  • You can find the latest information and regulations from the German government on COVID-19 here (GERMAN only).
  • The latest information on the situation in Bremen (number of current COVID-19 cases, recommended precaution measures and links to the offices and departments in charge) is available here.

Accordingly, Jacobs University regularly adapts its guidelines for social behavior on the campus to the legal requirements. Appropriate changes and adjustments are communicated to students, staff and faculty members, partners and guests on campus as required.

An overview of current corona regulations on the campus of Jacobs University can be accessed here.

All regulations and guidelines must be respected and will be enforced by campus and local authorities.

What are the current guidelines for teaching?

  • All teaching rooms were measured and reorganized in accordance with the general social distance rules. Minimum distance of 1,5 meters in classrooms is guaranteed by the seating order which must be strictly maintained. At the entrance to all teaching rooms the maximum number of allowed seats is defined and Instructors of Record are responsible for not exceeding the allowed amount of people in the room.
  • Disinfectant dispensers are available in the entrance area of every building on campus; please make sure to use them.
  • All teaching rooms are cleaned on a daily basis and have available disinfection sprays, paper towels and disposable gloves for Instructors of Record. Common teaching equipment should be spray disinfected after personal use.
  • When entering and leaving classrooms, everyone must wear a mouth and nose cover. Students are responsible to have their own mouth and nose cover. Seating arrangements in all lecture halls and serveries are designed to ensure compliance with the distance rule of 1,5 meters. Whether masks may be taken off while students and teachers have taken their places depends on the risk situation and will be re-evaluated on a regular basis. The communication on this is done by the Provost.
  • Rooms should be ventilated regularly. Instructors of Record must finish their classes in time and open windows for fresh air circulation, and ensure that all students have left the room no later than 5 minutes after the end of the class. When ventilating the room, the heating should be switched off (if technically possible). In case the same room is used again directly after the break, students are not allowed to enter the room earlier than 5 minutes before the scheduled start of the class. Waiting times and breaks should be spent outside the buildings.
  • Wherever possible everyone is expected to keep a sufficient distance (at least 1,5 meters) from others.

What are the current guidelines for conducting research?

Also, within our research laboratories the safety of our coworkers and students is our utmost concern. As an additional precautionary measure against the spread of the coronavirus and in alignment with emerging requirements of the City of Bremen, we have implemented different guidelines for the experimental research laboratories in order to allow a secure reduced operation.

  • Research work that does not require experimental laboratory work should be done through mobile work or in the offices.
  • Enhanced occupational hygiene measures must be in place.
  • Please keep the mandatory distance of at least 1.5meters to the next person at all times.

What does the new rule regarding private gatherings with friends and family mean for life on campus?

On January 5, the Federal Government extended the nationwide lockdown until minimum January 31, 2021. In addition to that, new and stricter regulations further limiting the social life were introduced. All contacts are to be limited to the minimum necessary. In Bremen, only meetings with ONE OTHER PERSON from another household is allowed. This also applies to the campus of Jacobs University, including student flats.

On campus, every student is considered a household.

What exactly does that mean for life on campus?

  • Students may only meet with one person for private purposes.
  • Students can meet another person indoors or outdoors.
  • Following this rule students can do sports together.
  • Clubs can meet in small groups of 2 people. The club rooms in the SAC remain open.
  • This rule does not apply for classes or for work group meetings related to academics.
  • Students can still study with more than two people in the QSAs keeping the minimum distance of 1.5m

What individual precautionary measures does Jacobs University recommend its community members to follow?

Jacobs University is taking all measures to slow down the further spread of the virus in the whole society – this is a question of solidarity within a society as a whole.

Therefore, Jacobs University recommends its community members to take all precautionary measures available to stay healthy. An overview of current corona regulations on the campus of Jacobs University can be accessed here.

All our employees who can perform their services without being present on campus have the option to work remotely in agreement with their supervisor until 31 March 2021.

What are the current regulations for using the serveries on campus?

Due to the latest COVID-19 regulations, all students will have to eat in the servery of their college.

No off-campus students or external guests or non-residential staff are allowed to eat in the serveries anymore. The Coffee Bar and “Friseur” are of course available for take away food.

What sports activities are allowed on campus?

Outdoor sports is allowed together with only one further person.

For individual indoor practice, the Dance Room is available. Students can book it for a maximum of 2 people with the Community Coordinators.

Germany has decided to make mouth and nose covers compulsory in specific areas. What does that mean for me?

You have to cover your mouth and nose while using public transport, entering shops and grocery stores, as well as in certain public spaces in Bremen – for example inside buildings of public service institutions and authorities, when visiting weekly markets, shopping areas in the city of Bremen or Bremen Vegesack or at the different train station forecourts. Please, pay attention to the respective signs!

You do not have to wear a medical face mask. A scarf or a simple mouth and nose cover is sufficient. Therefore, we kindly ask you to show the great sense of community that constitutes our Jacobs Spirit.
On Campus, as a further component of our protection and safety concept, an extended obligation to wear a mouth nose cover is mandatory. This applies to all employees, students, external partners and service providers in the publicly accessible indoor areas.

When entering and leaving classrooms, everyone must wear a mouth and nose cover. Students are responsible to have their own mouth and nose cover. Seating arrangements in all lecture halls and serveries are designed to ensure compliance with the distance rule of 1,5 meters. Whether masks may be taken off while students and teachers have taken their places depends on the risk situation and will be re-evaluated on a regular basis.

Employees need to wear a mouth and nose cover in work meetings and in the office, provided that more than one person is present and the minimum distance of 1,5 meters cannot be maintained. Employees are asked to generally wear a mouth and nose cover when entering an office that is not their own. The same logic applies to students and guests.

Please remember, that although the wearing of a mouth nose cover is not required everywhere and under all circumstance for practical reasons, it nonetheless does constitute an additional layer of protection, which some of us may consider important, others less so. In other words, some JUB members may generally prefer mouth nose covers to be worn at all times, even though this is not required – if you decide not to wear a mouth nose cover (except in the cases defined above), please be sensitive to the concerns this may raise for other members of our community. We have to work together to reduce the risk of the pandemic to activities on campus, and this requires being sensible about what we do, working within the applicable rules, and being respectful of each other while doing so.

Will the IRC/library stay open?

Based on current federal and state standards to contain the coronavirus, Jacobs University has introduced several safety regulations and guidelines on campus. The regulations for our library, as a place where people meet, read and work together, were adjusted accordingly to protect and promote the health and safety of our whole community.
With the following regulations the IRC remains open:

  • The loaning/check out of books and other library materials at the Circulation Desk is possible during opening hours.
  • Please return all checked out books to the Return Box in the entrance area of the library.
  • Ask for internal renewals if necessary via email or/and use for all other questions: irc-library@jacobs-university.de.
  • All internet terminals at stacks area are closed.
  • Please keep the mandatory distance of minimum two meters to the next person at all times in all library areas, especially at the circulation desk during check-outs.
  • Wear a mouth-nose cover at all times in all library areas!!
  • The library is not public for Non-Jacobs guests.

Which rooms and facilities on the campus have been closed so far or are re-opened again?

Corresponding to protecting our community by promoting social distancing, following regulations are valid from 2 November onward:

  • Colleges Serveries: the serveries will of course remain open. Students are only allowed to eat in the servery of the College they are living in.
  • Sports: the SCC, the Gym and the Pool have to be closed down until further notice.
  • Events: no events are allowed to take place until further notice.
  • Club activities: in-person club meetings or activities cannot be conducted until further notice.
  • Social gatherings: only two people are allowed to meet. Every College apartment counts as one household.

We recognize that these actions are disruptive but the health and safety of our community and our society as a whole is our top priority at this extraordinary time. These regulations apply to everybody. Together we can contribute to prevent the virus from further spreading.

What safety measures are taken regarding the catering facilities?

Our longstanding and trustful catering provider “apetito catering” has taken different and comprehensive measures in order to help prevent the ongoing spread of COVID-19 and to protect all students, guests, and staff/faculty members. We ask for support from the whole Jacobs community in order to support and respect all these measures, and any further measures as circumstances demand.

In addition to all adjustments in the offer and procedure, apetito catering will take additional hygienic precautions for all members of their staff.

The respective current measures and regulations are extensively communicated and published at the appropriate time and place on campus.
All regulations have been approved by the local authorities and are valid until further notice. All regulations must be respected and will be enforced by campus and local authorities accordingly.

I would like to take a doctor’s appointment for a corona virus checkup as soon as possible. What should I do?

In view of the continuously changing number of corona cases in Germany and in Bremen, and the increasing demand for COVID-19 tests, the Bremen Health Authority has issued instructions and recommendations for personal examinations. Also, these regulations and procedures may change in time.

In case you suffer from fever, cough or respiratory symptoms OR have had direct contact with people who are demonstrably ill showing COVID-19 symptoms

  • First contact your primary care physician by telephone! Do not go directly to the doctor's practice or the corona ambulance!
  • Outside the regular office hours of your doctor's practice – like in the evening/night and during the weekend – you can call the Central Health Service of Bremen: CALL 0421-116 117
  • Calls may take a while to get answered. And the Central Health Service of Bremen is running a German language telephone information service, so please wait until a contact person is answering directly. Stay on the line and answer all the questions.
  • Follow the instructions

Be prepared to answer the following questions:

  • General Information: name, last name, mailing address, your health insurance number and provider
  • Symptoms: what kind of symptoms like fever, cough, breathing difficulties, or any other respiratory symptoms do you experience? Since when? Have you already sought medical advice?
  • Travel History: what is your travel history in the last 2 months? In which cities, regions, and countries have you been, when and how long?
  • Contact History: have you been in contact with people infected with coronavirus? (When, where, who?)

IMPORTANT: In case a student gets tested positive for COVID-19, we ask him/her to inform Jacobs University immediately by e-mail: healthinfo@jacobs-university.de. We urge all students to follow this process since an immediate information flow is of the utmost importance in taking all precautions to contain a further spread of the virus on campus. The same process applies if you are in an ordered quarantine by the Bremen Public Health Office.
In case you are in ordered quarantine by the Bremen Public Health Office caused by a positive test for COVID-19 or by direct contact with a positive-tested person and need urgent medical assistance:

  • Call your primary care physician, the Bremen Central Health Service or the Emergency Number 112 - and ALWAYS state clearly that you are in quarantine!

Support from your Health Insurance Provider
For students who are insured by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), there are two "TK-MediCall" phone numbers of the medical advisory center available. The callers can speak directly with doctors:

  • German speaking hotline: 040-46 06 - 61 91 60
  • English speaking hotline: 040 - 46 06 61 91 40

For students who are insured by the AOK, there are two German-language hotlines of the “AOK-Clarimedis” service:

  • Free of Charge for AOL members: 0800 1 265 265
  • Phone number from abroad (charges apply): 0049 3085614293

The city of Bremen has set up a general information hotline: under the telephone number 0049 421 115 you can get information (in German) about the coronavirus in Bremen.

As a student, where can I get tested and receive an official document stating that I am healthy?

Please call your private physician or in case your physician is out of office Bremen’s Central Health Service at 0421-116117. Please keep in mind, calls may take a while to get answered. And the Central Health Service of Bremen is running a German language telephone information service, so please wait until a contact person is answering directly. Stay in the line and answer all the questions.

You may also call your respective Health Insurance.

For students who are insured by the Techniker Krankenkasse (TK), there are two "TK-MediCall" phone numbers of the medical advisory center available. The callers can speak directly with doctors:

  • German speaking hotline: 040-46 06 - 61 91 60
  • English speaking Hotline: 040 - 46 06 61 91 40

For students who are insured by the AOK, there are two German-language hotlines of the “AOK-Clarimedis” service:

  • Free of Charge for AOL members: 0800 1 265 265
  • Phone number from abroad (charges apply): 0049 3085614293

Whom can students contact if they have health and mental health related concerns during the corona crisis?

For corona related concerns, please, contact: healthinfo@jacobs-university.de. This mailbox is occupied 7 days a week (but not 24/7). However, we have an on-campus emergency support, which is available to our students 24/7, also on weekends. In each college, a Resident Associate on duty is reachable day and night, whenever our students have any questions, concerns and needs
If you need mental advice, please, contact: counseling@jacobs-university.de

Which regulations do occur in case I temporarily leave the campus for travelling?

Traveling in times of the pandemic has become difficult – and is partially even prohibited in many areas and countries around the globe – especially for leisure purposes.

If a student decides to travel (e.g. during the term break), we ask her/him to keep the following aspects in mind to make an informed decision.

  • Students traveling will do so at their own risk. Please check the validity of your health or travel insurance when traveling during the pandemic – especially when traveling to risk countries.
  • The German government has introduced a digital entry registration system on November 8, 2020. In addition, there is a new quarantine rule when returning or even transiting through risk countries, which includes that you have to stay in quarantine for ten days – even if you bring a negative corona test with you. This period can be shortened in principle if you take a (self-paid) COVID-19 test after the 5th day of quarantine in Germany, but with the added delay of obtaining the (negative) test result, not much shortening can be expected.
  • If too many students decide to leave campus and need quarantine afterwards, Jacobs University’s support system could be overburdened – having negative consequences for our whole community.
  • Please note that if you have to go into quarantine because of a leisure travel, Jacobs University will not be able to include the cost or logistics of your quarantine support as part of our normal service. Therefore, if you do quarantine on campus (and draw on support from us) because of leisure travel, we will have to charge you for the additional expenses amounting to €195 for 5 days of quarantine, including one corona test, or €330 for those who need 10 days of quarantine including two corona tests.
  • If you decide to accept our university’s quarantine support (three times a day food delivery, waste collection, transport to the corona test) when returning to Germany, you have to inform us well in advance by sending an email to healthinfo@jacobs-university.de, otherwise we cannot schedule this service for you.
  • If you decide against the university’s quarantine support, you have to organize the quarantine yourself. In this case, we recommend asking friends and fellow classmates for support – and as we all know, the great solidarity that defines our community no doubt means that they will offer help. In any case, your support system has to follow the safety- and hygiene rules. Food can be delivered to the doorstep but all personal contact has to be avoided during quarantine!
  • Quarantine because of a leisure travel will not be accepted as a reason for being officially excused from academic obligations, including the make-up exams.
  • Bear in mind that you may not be able to travel back to Germany – especially when it comes to national shutdowns and travel bans. This means you might not be able to return to campus in time for your classes and/or January examinations. Please note, that the university and your instructors will not make any special arrangements for you to continue your studies from abroad or from your quarantine accommodation when your absence is the result of a leisure travel.

We strongly believe that avoiding unnecessary risks is the most sensitive approach and have full confidence that our students understand and share our reasoning.

How does the university keep the students up-to-date with regard to COVID-19? Do they have direct contact people on campus?

Jacobs University’s primary commitment, besides offering a first-class education, is to keep its community safe and healthy.
The well-being of our students is a top priority. For years, Jacobs University has installed an on-campus emergency support, which is available to our students 24/7, also on weekends. In each college, a Resident Associate or Resident Mentor is reachable day and night, whenever our students have any questions, concerns and needs.
Additionally, our campus also has its own professional security team. It is always available to our students. Our security team safeguards the well-being of our community members.
We also host an email address for personal health inquiries (healthinfo@jacobs-university.de), which is occupied 7 days a week.
Furthermore, we have a quarantine support system. Every person who is suspected to be COVID-19 positive is quarantined immediately and provided with testing, food and social support.

Regarding the spread of the coronavirus our students receive frequent and regular information through:

  • Jacobs University’s intranet – where an information page on corona was set up.
  • Posters, which were put up in all residential colleges and common rooms of our university
  • Update emails from the university’s leadership
  • Peer group and individual communication
  • Internal social media channels
  • Video conferences

What is the status of upcoming events at Jacobs University?

Since social distancing is one of the corner stones in preventing the further spread of COVID-19, most events at Jacobs University have been canceled throughout the past months.

Events and gatherings (indoors or outside) are not allowed until further notice. This also applies to get-togethers, parties and celebrations, which are not allowed anywhere at any time (indoors or outside).

Will the intersession period be held online?

The decision whether a class will be held online or in-person during the intersession period (January 11 – 31, 2021) is up to the respective instructors. However, we recommend all our instructors to switch to online teaching events whenever it is possible.

For some courses, the online format is not feasible. This especially applies to lab and practical courses, which can only be successfully conducted on-site. We recommend our students to directly reach out to the instructor in charge to get more information on the status of the respective teaching event.

Are the make-up exams in January 2021 written online or in-person?

The make-up exams will be written in-person under social distancing constraints and with an obligation to wear face masks, similar to the examinations that took place in December 2020.

How is the pandemic affecting the Spring Semester 2021?

As we did in the Fall Semester 2020, we will offer courses in presence (taking into account the hygiene standards). Depending on the number of infections and the legal situation in Bremen, the situation on campus will be re-evaluated on a regular basis. All students will be informed of adaptations in the teaching mode as they are implemented, with possible shifts to hybrid teaching or online teaching in dependence on the course type.

To us, in-person contact with peers and instructors has essential pedagogic value. We also have contracted with students and their parents to deliver a holistic campus experience. Whenever possible, we will therefore enable in-person teaching while maintaining strict hygiene measures (please check out the “Guidelines for Teaching” in our FAQ for more information).

ENTERING GERMANY & JUB CAMPUS

What are the COVID-19 regulations for entering Germany?

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions are in place for entering Germany from a large number of countries. Moreover, individuals are often obliged to self-isolate for a specific period. Details are available here.

Please check here for up-to-date entry requirements into Germany.
You can find the latest official Q&A from the Federal Ministry of Health here.

What countries are considered high-risk?

Please, click here for the latest list of high-risk countries named by the Robert Koch-Institute. Please note that this list can change on a daily basis.

What are the current regulations for students returning from travel aboard?

As of January 11, Germany enforces the following rules:

  1. You are obliged to go directly to your own home immediately after entering the country and remain there in quarantine for a period of ten days after your entry. Please note that if you do not or cannot take advantage of the University's quarantine support, you will need to arrange quarantine yourself.
  2. You are not permitted to receive visits from persons who do not belong to your household during the aforementioned period of 10 days. Please note: The household of our students usually consists of 1 person!
  3. You are legally obliged to immediately inform the Bremen Public Order Office of your return by means of the Digital Entry Registration which you must fill out before returning to Germany. This also applies to persons who first entered another federal state of the Federal Republic of Germany.
  4. However, the duration of the quarantine can be shortened by a negative test result. You have the option of taking a corona test from the 5th day after entering Germany. For the test an appointment is required (for more details see: https://www.jacobs-university.de/coronavirus-general-faq). You may leave quarantine to go to the test center. If the test is negative, you may leave quarantine altogether. You are obliged to keep the result at hand until the 10th day after your original entry to be able to show it upon request.

I have a COVID-19 test done. How will I receive the result?

There are currently no nationwide standards for the transmission of test results. Therefore, it may vary from region to region. The transmission of the test results is primarily done via the “Corona-Warn-App" application. However, the test result may also be transmitted via e-mail, SMS, personal phone calls or via the official Website https://www.mein-laborergebnis.de.

IMPORTANT: In case a student gets tested positive for COVID-19, we ask him/her to inform Jacobs University immediately by e-mail: healthinfo@jacobs-university.de. We urge all students to follow this process since an immediate information flow is of the utmost importance in taking all precautions to contain a further spread of the virus on campus. The same process applies if you are in an ordered quarantine by the Bremen Public Health Office.

The Bremen Health Office is recommending the following procedure:
Official "Corona-Warn-App"

  • Download the official “Corona-Warn-App
  • During the COVID-19 test you will receive a written confirmation with an individual QR code. This is directly linked to your test sample and is also sent to the laboratory.
  • By scanning the QR code with the official "Corona-Warn-App" (see below) you can set up an automatic notification when your test result is available.
  • Official Website “https://www.mein-laborergebnis.de
  • Enter the multi-digit QR number you received during the COVID-19 test on the website https://www.mein-laborergebnis.de
  • Check if your test result is already available.
  • It will take about 24-72 hours until the test result is available. Your data will only be transmitted if you have agreed to this.

    The Bremen Health Office will only contact you in case of a positive test result. This will be done by telephone and / or in written form.

.

CORONA-WARN-APP
We recommend the entire Jacobs Community to use the official "Corona-Warn-App" to fight the further spread of COVID-19.

The Corona-Warn-App helps us to determine whether we have had any contact with an infected person which could result in a risk of catching the virus. This way, we can interrupt chains of infection more quickly. The app is a service by the Federal Government. Download and use of the app are entirely voluntary and free of charge. It is available as download in the Apple App Store as well as in Google Play. The app is supporting German, English and Turkish language settings. It is expected to be available in five other languages shortly: Arabic, Polish, Bulgarian, Romanian and Russian are currently under development. The respective language of the app is based on the system language setting of your smartphone.

Country availability
Currently, most corona warning apps are only available in the respective app stores of each country. This is due to the fact that the users mostly live in the respective country. Also, the processes behind the app, including those related to testing, are based on the respective national health structures.
The official “Corona-Warn-App” for Germany is available to download in all national app stores in the European Union, as well as in Switzerland, Norway, Great Britain and Turkey (see RKI list of countries here).
If your Apple Store or your Google Play is set to another than these countries you will have to switch your country settings manually in order to download and use the Corona-Warn-App.