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Information COVID-19

Jacobs University’s primary commitment, besides offering a first-class education, is to keep its community 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 an early stage.

Already in January, Jacobs University established an internal coronavirus task force in which members of all areas of the university are represented. Lead by the Managing Director this task meets on a daily basis, 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 slow the spread of the virus and protect the health of community.

The university recognizes that these actions will be disruptive and create challenges for many of us, but the health and safety of our community is our focus at this extraordinary time.

There are no known suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 at Jacobs University.

 

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 – 2 meters distance.)

•    Refrain from touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.


Follow the recommendations of the World Health Organization

 

New Guidelines for Social Behavior on Campus

On 23 March, 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).

In this way, we will continue to consistently reduce public life and social contacts on campus and ensure that the same rules apply in principle throughout Germany.

1.  GENERAL: Citizens / Students / Employees are urged to reduce contact with people outside the members of their own household to a necessary minimum.

2.  KEEP DISTANCE: In public, in common rooms, in shared facilities, in your private room, wherever possible, a minimum distance of at least 1.50 meters, or better still, 2 meters, must be kept from any other person.

3.  TWO PERSONS ONLY: In public area (i.e. streets, pedestrian zones, parks, etc.) it is only permitted to be with ONE other person – keep your distance!

  • Your room: A maximum of 2 people per individual student room – not per shared apartment
  • Common spaces on Campus/in Colleges: A maximum of 2 people per common space. Exceptions to this rule are:
  • Library/Labs: In larger infrastructure rooms with sufficient ventilation as well as the possibility for adequate spacing, it is also possible for more than 2 people to be in that space at the same time. This applies to the library as well as to the experimental natural and life science laboratories on campus.

However, the mandatory distance of 1.50m - 2.0m to the next person must be kept at all times.

4.  OUTSIDE TRIPS: The journey to work, emergency care, shopping, visits to the doctor, necessary appointments and examinations, help for others or individual sports and exercise in the fresh air, as well as other necessary activities, remain possible.

  • Only in groups of maximum 2 people – keep your distance!

5.  NO CELEBRATIONS: Groups of people celebrating or hanging around in public places, in shared facilities, in homes and private institutions are unacceptable given the seriousness of the situation in our country. Violations of contact restrictions will be monitored by law enforcement agencies and the police and sanctions will be imposed in the event of violations.

6.  SERVERIES: In general, all catering establishments will be closed. This does not include the delivery and collection of takeaway food for consumption at home.
After negotiations with local authorities, Jacobs University is offering restricted use of the dining rooms of the college serveries.

Please follow these rules:

  • Only the residents of a specific college can use their college servery
  • No external guests or non-residents
  • Employees are not allowed to use the serveries
  • Each server will have a checklist for its college residents
  • Campus cards and names will be checked when you get in line in the servery
  • Maintain at least 1.5 meters between each person when waiting in line
  • Only a maximum of 25 seats in Nordmetall & College 3 serveries
  • Only a maximum of 20 seats in Krupp & Mercator serveries
  • Only one person per seat/table
  • Minimum 2 meters between each seat/table
  • If seat/table are full, please take your food back to your room to eat

All these regulations are valid until further notice. All regulations 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 increasing number of corona cases in Germany and in Bremen, and the associated rise in demand for personal COVID-19 tests, the Bremen Health Authority has issued new, modified instructions and recommendations for personal examinations. Also, these regulations and procedures may change in time.  

ONLY in case you suffer from fever, cough or respiratory symptoms AND have been in risk areas 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 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 your COVID-19 test is positive, 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.  

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.

 

Entering campus

Against the background of the German government‘s new regulations for the restriction of public life and social contacts, as of March 26, we reduced the accessibility of our campus as a precautionary measure. This is done in consultation with the responsible authorities, institutions and our works council.
The gates around our campus will no longer be accessible until further notice. The main gate will of course remain open and fully accessible to anyone wishing to enter or leave our campus.  
This additional measure aims to further protect our community and is in keeping with Germany’s approach to try and stall the transmission of the coronavirus.

 

Completing the Academic Year

The university continues to be committed to completing the academic year as close to schedule as possible, especially in respect of final-year students. Jacobs University has suspended all in-person teaching activities on the campus until 21 August 2020. All faculty have transferred their teaching activities to electronic platforms by 23 March.

Jacobs University aims to offer all final-year students the opportunity to take a qualified and recognized exam in May. We anticipate the final examinations to be conducted, with very few exceptions, in the designated time period 18- 30 May. In particular, all graduating students will be given the possibility to conduct their finals this semester in order to complete the studies, qualify for their degree, and participate in our graduation ceremony.

Graduation 2020
Since it is very likely that some travel restrictions will still be in place in June and that there will still be rules for restricting social contacts – in Germany but also worldwide – at this point we cannot be certain that an event like our yearly Graduation Ceremony with a large group of people can take place in this summer.
 
Therefore, the Class of 2020 will be the first in Jacobs’ history to celebrate their graduation online! While this may not be the ideal situation, with the help of the student Graduation Committee we are nonetheless working on organizing a memorable live online ceremony for you!
 
This option provides all graduating students with the same experience and nobody would be advantaged or disadvantaged by being present or absent. This format also gives students the opportunity to watch the event with their families at home and still celebrate with them regardless of the circumstances.
 
Furthermore, the university will offer the lifelong option for all 2020 graduates to be included in future graduation ceremonies in subsequent years, in 2021 or thereafter – whenever it’s convenient for you.

 

Students Option for Returning Home

Jacobs University continues to be committed to completing the academic year as close to schedule as possible. The university has switched all teaching to digital platforms until 21 August 2020. Jacobs University aims to offer all final-year students the opportunity to take a qualified and recognized exam in May. We anticipate the final examinations to be conducted, with very few exceptions, in the designated time period 18-30 May. In particular, all graduating students will be given the possibility to conduct their finals this semester in order to complete the studies, qualify for their degree, and participate in our graduation ceremony.  

Students who decided to return home and to stay there until end of examination days on 30 May 2020 will not suffer formal disadvantages regarding his or her teaching and examination situation.  
The principle of equal treatment for students on and off-campus applies.

To students who wish to leave the campus for understandable reasons in order to return to their home country or to their families the following applies: All study and rental contracts with Jacobs University remain fully valid. There will be no contract terminations or adjustments. Given this, the rental contracts and the associated access and use of the apartments remain fully valid through the spring 2020 semester.   
 
To maintain the student status and secure the right to study, it is imperative to keep fulfilling all enrollment requirements stated in the admission and enrollment policy, this also includes the compulsory German health insurance.
 
For security reasons and regulations, the university administration requires a “Temporary Retreat Form” to be filled in online. This form can be accessed, filled in and submitted directly online here.  
 
Whatever your personal decision, we wish you in particular a healthy and an academically insightful and successful time - whether here on campus in Bremen or off-campus with your family and friends.

 

New Quarantine Regulation for Return Travelers to Germany

On 9 April 2020 new governmental regulations for entry and return travelers to Germany have been in place. These regulations provide for mandatory quarantine measures for travelers entering Germany from abroad.

The basic and obligatory regulation for persons entering Germany – regardless of the country of travel and their respective citizenship – is the following:

  • Anyone who has entered the Federal Republic of Germany from another country, whether by land, sea or air, is required to remain in a precautionary quarantine for 14 days.
  • In addition, travelers must immediately inform their local health office that they are required to be in quarantine.

This kind of preventive, not medically ordered quarantine, means for students of Jacobs University the following:

  • Stay in your apartment.
  • Prevent direct social contacts.
  • Ask your friends or fellow students for help. They can simply leave food and supplies outside your door and might collect all trash.
  • Do not receive any visitors in your apartment during your quarantine.
  • Send information on the start and end of your preventive quarantine to healthinfo [at] jacobs-university.de (all information sent to this address will be treated anonymously and strictly confidential).

For further questions especially on returning to Germany please see the FAQ from the Federal Ministry of the Interior.

 

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 this period until end of 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.
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). The university is making all necessary arrangements to maintain all 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

New government regulations (GERMAN / ENGLISH TRANSLATION) went into effect to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. 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.
The university has asked all employees to work remotely whenever possible.

 

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:

1) Research work that does not require experimental laboratory work should be done through mobile work or in the offices.

2) Enhanced occupational hygiene measures must be in place.

3) Please limit the maximum number of persons working in the laboratories to 2 persons 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 cancelled 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 world-wide, 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.