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Information COVID-19

Jacobs University’s primary commitment, besides offering a first-class education, is to keep its community – students, staff, partners, and guests – safe and healthy.

With regard to the ongoing global spread of COVID-19, Jacobs University has taken intensive measures to protect all students, guests and staff members at a very early stage.

Already in January, Jacobs University established an internal coronavirus task force in which members of all areas of the university are represented. Consisting of various departments this task force monitors available data and all developments in regards to the virus, decides on further measures and prepares their implementation. This includes gathering information and recommendations from the "World Health Organization", the "Robert Koch Institute", one of the most important bodies for the safeguarding of public health in Germany, the Federal Ministry of Health and the "Gesundheitsamt Bremen” (Bremen’s Health Office).

Ensuring health and safety means taking actions that aim to limit exposure of Jacobs community members to the virus, imposing social distancing, and generally elevating preventive hygiene practices across the campus.

Jacobs University has implemented a number of actions intended to prevent the virus from entering the campus, to protect the health of the community, and to slow the spread of the virus in the Bremen region.

 

Information

Coordinated by the task force, all members of our community receive direct and regular information through

  • Jacobs University’s intranet
  • 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 channel
  • Videoconferencing
 

Precautionary Measures

Jacobs University recommends its community members to take all precautionary measures available to stay healthy:

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. (See CDC handwashing video.)
  • Use alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. In order to enable this, Jacobs University has installed hand disinfectant dispensers in all serveries, the coffee bar and all relevant administrative offices. Also, free individual disinfection dispensers are available to all Jacobs affiliates.
  • Maintain social distancing (maintain at least 1.5 meters distance.)
  • Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization

Germany has decided to make mouth and nose covers compulsory on public transport, while shopping, or in any other indoor case where people can’t keep a minimum distance of 1,50 meters from another person. You do not have to wear a medical face mask! A scarf or a simple mouth-and nose cover is sufficient. The same rules apply on the Jacobs University campus.

See also these recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO)

We encourage the entire Jacobs Community to use the official "Corona-Warn-App" of the German government 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. It is available as a free download in the App Store as well as in the Google Play.

 

Guidelines for Social Behavior on Campus

In March 2020, the Federal Government and the Federal States have agreed to further extend the guidelines for behavior and for freedom of movement and mobility, which everyone must adhere to (GERMAN / ENGLISH TRANSLATION). Since then, these regulations have been regularly adapted to current developments and needs by the Federal Government or by state governments (State of Bremen).

Accordingly, Jacobs University regularly adapts the guidelines for social behavior on the campus to the legal requirements. Appropriate changes and adjustments are communicated to students, staff, partners and guests on campus as required. In this way we ensure that the same rules apply on campus as in our Bremen neighborhood.

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

We understand this is a massive restriction on campus life and your personal life. Please know that none of us have a choice at this point. All these rules are from the highest federal authority intended to protect us all from the ongoing health pandemic.

 

Medical Examinations

Jacobs University continuously strives to expand options to protect the members of our community within the scope of our possibilities.
 
In view of the continuously changing number of corona cases in Germany and in Bremen, and the changing rise in demand for personal 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 confirmed cases of COVID-19  

  • 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 you test positive for COVID-19, please, immediately inform Jacobs University by e-mail to: healthinfo [at] jacobs-university.de. Only this way we can protect the Jacobs Community on campus from further spread of the virus.  

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 0421 115 you can get information (in German) about the Coronavirus in Bremen.

 

Completing the Academic Year 2019 / 2020

On 12 June, 2020 Jacobs University has successfully completed its academic year with the first virtual graduation ceremony in its history. This event was the culmination of a rapid digitization process in the face of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

As early as in March, Jacobs University has suspended all in-person teaching activities on the campus until 21 August 2020 in order to guarantee planning security, equal treatment and equal opportunities for all its students. Thus, 210 out of 218 courses were successfully held online. The remaining courses (mostly excursions) will be made up for in the current Fall semester as far as possible.

Furthermore, all final-year students were provided with the opportunity to take a qualified and recognized exam in May – which were almost exclusively conducted online. In particular, all graduating students were given the possibility to conduct their finals in order to complete the studies and qualify for their degree.

Jacobs University has thus kept the promise it made to its students at an early stage: to complete the academic year in time and in the scope planned.

 

Fall 2020 Semester

Despite or perhaps even because of this challenging time, Jacobs University is looking forward to the Fall 2020 semester. As planned the Fall 2020 semester began on September 1st.

We know that many of our students, their parents and families have faced significant challenges in recent months due to COVID-19, but rest assured Jacobs University will make every effort to make the start of your semester as easy as possible, while maintaining the health and safety of all students, faculty, and staff. All our measures and initiatives have to comply with the regulations of the Federal Republic of Germany and of the Hanseatic State of Bremen.

We are aware that you have well-founded questions with regard to the start of the Fall 2020 semester:

  • Incoming Students: please, see our FAQ section here.
  • Returning Students: please, see our FAQ section here.
 

COVID-19 REGULATIONS FOR ENTERING OR RETURNING TO GERMANY

The measures and policies introduced in Germany and in Bremen have proven effective and maintained the rate of COVID-19 infections very low.

During the last weeks, the German authorities implemented specific testing and quarantine regulations for individuals entering or returning to Germany. A new regulation for entering Germany from a Corona risk country/area has come into force on Saturday, August 8 2020.

Persons who enter the Federal Republic of Germany by land, sea or air and who at any time during the last 14 days prior to entry have stayed in an area in which there is an increased risk of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 (risk area) must, upon entry, present a medical certificate stating that they have no evidence of infection with the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
The medical certificate must be written in German or English and be based on a molecular biological test for the presence of an infection with the corona virus SARS-CoV-2, which was carried out in a member state of the European Union or in another state published by the Robert Koch Institute on its website. The molecular biological test, if it has been carried out before entering into the Federal Republic of Germany, must not be carried out more than 48 hours before entry into the Federal Republic of Germany.
The obligation will not apply to persons who have only transited through a risk area and have not stopped over there.

These mandatory COVID-19 tests for all persons entering Germany from a Corona risk country or area will be carried out free of charge at German airports or other central facilities.

Please, find more information about entering Germany and the possibilities for a corona test in our general Coronavirus FAQ section.

 

Campus Stays Open

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 semester. They all have both, a study and rental contracts with Jacobs University, which all remain fully 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 the operations in this domain, even in the event of some 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.

 

Campus Events

Since social distancing is one of the cornerstones in preventing the further spread of COVID-19, starting on 16 March, Jacobs University has canceled all events until further notice.

Please check our event website for updates.

 

Administration / Faculty

Campus operations will continue as normal as possible at this time and the campus will remain open.

We take - out of solidarity principle - all measures to slow down the further spread of the coronavirus in the whole society.
In March 2020, the university asked all employees to work remotely whenever possible. The option of mobile working will remain at least until 16 October.

 

Remote Work

In March 2020, the university asked all employees to work remotely whenever possible. The option of mobile working will remain until 16 October.

Meanwhile, both, at federal and state level, precautionary measures are being gradually reduced. Therefore, Jacobs University is also striving for a gradual return to more presence work on the campus. The return to work on campus is also based on a voluntary basis.

All employees and external service providers must, of course, strictly observe the applicable safety and hygiene measures in all possible steps towards more presence work on campus:

  • Ensuring a minimum distance of 1.5 meters wherever possible
  • Adherence to a maximum number of people per room (one person / 10 sqm room area) wherever possible
  • Wearing mouth-nose covers if the safety distance or maximum room occupancy cannot be permanently guaranteed
  • Observance of the hygiene rules
  • Ensure sufficient and continuous ventilation or fresh air supply.
 

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 Records 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 will be cleaned on a daily basis and will have available disinfection sprays, paper towels and disposable gloves for Instructors of Records. Common teaching equipment should be spray disinfected after personal usage.
  • When entering and leaving classrooms, everyone must wear a mouth and nose cover in the buildings. Please keep your face mask on even when you are sitting on the seats. Students are responsible to have their own mouth and nose cover.
  • Rooms should be ventilated regularly. Instructors of Records are responsible for finishing their classes in time and for opening windows for fresh air circulation, making sure that all students have left the room 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 m) from others.
  • All students are required to obey the hygiene rules and could be expelled from the teaching room by Instructor of Records in case of violation of the hygiene restrictions. By following the hygiene requirements at Jacobs University, you will help to maintain a healthy and safe environment on campus.
 

Guidelines for conducting research

The safety of our coworkers in the laboratories 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, please implement the following 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 1.50m to the next person at all times.
 

Travel information

As an international university, members of Jacobs University’s community not only have their roots all over the world – our community members typically also travel a lot.

Jacobs University has canceled all university-related trips to countries severely affected by the coronavirus. This regulation applies to all risk areas identified by the Robert Koch Institute.

Regarding private journeys, we kindly ask all members of Jacobs Community – students, their parents, staff, faculty - to take into account that we are dealing with a global pandemic affection an increasing number of countries worldwide, including Germany, but also many of our students’ home countries. This may impact international air travel and restrict movement through border closures in unforeseen ways. In addition, travel itself may bring with it heightened risk. With regard to travel guidelines or regulations, please visit the website of the World Health Organization (WHO), the continuously updated list of risk areas by the German Robert Koch Institute (German speaking), the respective travel information of your home country (such as the “Foreign Office” in case of German citizens) or the information of the respective airlines.

 

University Planning

In the event of COVID-19 reaching our campus, we have taken measures to ensure that housing and catering facilities are maintained open as far as possible.

 

Get in Contact

For general questions with regard to the COVID-19, you can reach us at corona [at] jacobs-university.de.
We will get back to you as soon as possible!

This page will be updated in case of any relevant changes in the risk situation and of any measures introduced by the Federal Republic of Germany, the State of Bremen or Jacobs University.