The TU in corona times

The corona pandemic demands incisive restrictions from us – but we seek and find creative solutions for everyday work, for studies, teaching and research, and for personal exchange through digital networking. On this website you will find important current regulations and binding information. This website is updated on a regular basis.

Wear a medical face mask – act and behave responsibly, protect yourself and others

July 2022

Living in pandemic times, we have come to terms with the threat the coronavirus poses to our daily life. However, we must neither neglect nor ignore this threat, particularly as the risk of infection continues to be high. Consequently, it is of utmost importance that we continue to wear medical face masks at TU Darmstadt.

Regulations on wearing masks indoors have changed

May 2022

TU Darmstadt has adjusted its regulations for employees and staff on wearing masks at their workplaces. The University emphasises personal responsibilities of teams at work: Employees and staff may take off their masks at their respective permanent workplace should more than one person occupy office rooms, laboratories or shop floors at a time. However, this requires that all persons concerned are in agreement and that the required minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps) and good ventilation of the room can be ensured.

Good ventilation is ensured if:

  • At least one wing of a window can be opened completely. Tilting the window or opening the louvres is sufficient only if the room is equipped with several windows or openings;
  • - Fresh air can be supplied through a door leading outside (test halls, shop floors);
  • Technical ventilation is provided.

This new option assumes that the respective employees and staff are in agreement regarding the relaxation of the mask-wearing rule. It also assumes that they have agreed on limiting conditions regarding ventilation and the duration of joint occupancy of a room.

Alterations to Coronavirus legislation

April 2022

Recently, the Federal Government of Germany adopted amendments to the IfSG (Infektionsschutzgesetz – German infection control act). The State of Hesse has amended its CoSchuV (Coronavirus-Schutzverordnung – Coronavirus Protection Ordinance) accordingly. This results in several changes as to how to deal with the pandemic at TU Darmstadt. The resulting rules and regulations are listed in the synoptic table below and are in effect since Saturday, 02 April 2022.

There is still a considerable risk of corona infection. The area-wide mask requirement is a suitable means of reducing this risk. As from 02 April 2022, masks must still be worn at all times when using any traffic areas (such as corridors, staircases etc.) of TU Darmstadt, at your workplaces and during courses and other events. The following exceptions are available:

  • Students are permitted to take off their masks during written exams when seated. However, we strongly recommend that they voluntarily continue wearing their masks throughout the written exam.
  • Employees and staff are still permitted to take off their masks at their workplace, provided that they are alone (one person only) in the office.

In addition, the 3G rules no longer apply at TU Darmstadt in most cases. However, they still apply to any indoor events of the University Sports Centre (USZ). Furthermore, it is no longer required to draw up additional hygiene concepts for events.

The instructions and guidelines for employees and staff have also been modified in accordance with current legislation. This new version applies with immediate effect. TU Darmstadt continues to provide opportunities for working mobile from home in close coordination with the respective superiors.

In general, the following applies: The pandemic has not yet passed! The numbers of infection continue to be very high. Please make sure to keep a minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps), observe the general hygiene rules and ventilate rooms regularly.

TU Darmstadt will update its Hygiene and infection control concept and the Instructions and guidelines regularly. This will provide a good basis for the summer semester offering “More ‘normality’ – working on site and mobile from home.”

Subject Mask 3G Hygiene concept Comments
Notes: “Mask”: Free individual choice between medical face mask (surgical mask) or FFP-2 mask.
Definitions of rules 3G, 2G and 2G + can be found in the hygiene and infection control concept.
*Students may take off their masks in learning centres, PC pools and study areas should more than one person occupy a room at a time. However, this requires that all persons concerned are in agreement and that the required minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps) and good ventilation of the room can be ensured.
The overview (status: 24 May 2022) is continuously updated.
Workplace (office, laboratory, shop floor etc.), Employees and staff may take off their masks at their respective permanent workplace should more than one person occupy a room at a time. However, this requires that all persons concerned are in agreement and that the required minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps) and good ventilation of the room can be ensured.
Gatherings on official business YES Person speaking in front of course may take off mask
Indoor traffic areas (such as corridors, staircases etc.) YES
ULB, learning centres, PC pools, study areas YES Exceptions possible*
Courses (exercises, seminars, lectures, practicals, excursions etc.) YES Person speaking in front of course may take off mask
Language Resource Centre, Academic Bridging Courses YES Person speaking in front of course may take off mask
Written examinations (written exams) (YES) Masks are required until seated (refer to traffic areas); wearing masks throughout the entire written exam is recommended
Oral examinations (incl. thesis defence) YES Masks are not required if the required minimum distance of 1.5 metres (4-5 steps) can be ensured
University Sports Centre no restrictions outdoors
Events (organised internal or by third parties): indoors YES Person speaking in front of course may take off mask
Events (organised internal or by third parties): outdoors
Recruiting and appointment procedures YES Person speaking in front of course may take off mask
Activities of university groups YES
Botanischer Garten (botanical garden) and greenhouses YES
Guest houses abroad The regulations of the respective country apply.
Subject Mask 3G Hygiene concept Comments

For all members and guests

In all buildings of the TU Darmstadt the obligation to wear a mask (optionally surgical mask or FFP2 mask).

The Support-Team Gesundheit (Health Support Team) has carried out a risk assessment for the TU Darmstadt and summarises the situation as follows:

  • At the TU Darmstadt, as well as in the public, there are still extremely high numbers of corona cases and a very dynamic incidence of infection.
  • From 19.04.2022, public traffic will increase significantly due to the start of teaching.
  • The infections of employees and students reported at TU Darmstadt continue to occur almost exclusively in the private environment or through children in schools and daycare centres.
  • The hygiene and infection protection concept of the TU Darmstadt offers very good protection against infections if the regulations defined therein are followed.

Maintaining the mask policy significantly reduces the risk of infection, so that working or studying at the TU Darmstadt is at a very low risk of infection. The legal basis for this is the risk assessment mandated in the Occupational “Health and Safety Ordinance” as well as the house rules according to §44 of the “Hessian Higher Education Act” (Hessisches Hochschulgesetz).

Currently, we are aware of 4 TU Darmstadt members who are infected with the corona virus. 1.725 members have recovered. A member of TU Darmstadt died as a result of the infection (status: 30 August 2022).

The following members belong to the crisis team of the TU Darmstadt:

  • President Professor Dr. Tanja Brühl (Head)
  • Vice President Dr. Manfred Efinger (Head)
  • Vice President Professor Dr. Heribert Warzecha
  • Gerhard Schmitt, Director of Directorate II
  • Heike Threin, Director of Directorate IV
  • Stefan Weisenseel, Director of Directorate VII
  • Jana Freihöfer, Director of Directorate VIII
  • Susanne Schienbein, Senior Manager for Work Safety, Directorate IV
  • Sandra Wiesner, Support-Team Gesundheit (Health), Directorate IV
  • Rafael Schäffer, Support-Team Gesundheit (Health), Directorate IV
  • Jörg Feuck, Head of Corporate Communications

Latest information about COVID-19 on the duration of quarantine and isolation can be found on the websites of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI) and Information portal of the State of Hesse (in German).

For regulations and decisions of the state government of Hesse, please go to the website of the Hessian State Chancellery. For decisions of the city of Darmstadt, please go to the website of the city of Darmstadt.

Students

On the current corona regulations at courses and exams: Directorate II website

General study organisation and TUCaN: FAQ & tutorials for students

Detailed information on courses and exams, dates and rooms: TUCaN

Please also check the websites of your department for more information: TU Darmstadt`s Departments and Fields of Study

You can find an up-to-date overview of all test centres in Darmstadt on the following website of the city of Darmstadt.

Social Counselling (Studierendenwerk Darmstadt) offers students support and advice by phone, video or online regarding issues such as job loss and financing problems, right of residence, housing or social security and more. You can also get in touch with the ComeTOgether student team by phone, online or email. Should more personal worries trouble you, please feel free to contact the Psychological Counselling online.

The Financing section of Students Affairs (Studierendenwerk) continues to process all BAföG applications. The application can be submitted at www.bafoeg-digital.de or as a PDF by mail.

The Studierendenwerk has compiled this and other information on the page “Gut zu wissen in der Krise” (in German language).

The Zentrale Studienberatung und -orientierung (ZSB) (Central Service for Student Advisory and Orientation) will continue to be available for advice on all questions that arise in the current situation regarding studies.

The Studying with Child Service, the Family Service and Social Counselling (Studierendenwerk Darmstadt) with their counselling and support services are still open and available for students with children.

International students can find counselling services and contact persons on the website of the Directorate of International Affairs.

If you need a workplace on the TU campus, you may use free central rooms at the TU for this purpose. You can find these with the application “TU Raum-Check”: www.tu-darmstadt.de/raum-check.

Employees and staff

You will find these instructions and information on the following webpage of Directorate VII:

instructions and guidelines for employees and staff

TU Darmstadt continues to provide all employees with free self-tests. These are ordered from Directorate III by the departmental offices or management of central facilities and directorates and distributed in the respective area. Please take advantage of this offer and voluntarily test yourself at least twice a week, even if you have been vaccinated or have recovered. In the case of a positive test result, employees must go home immediately and inform the Health at TU Darmstadt support team (). Please observe the Guide for employees, staff and students in case of a COVID-19 infection.

Our everyday working life has changed profoundly due to the Corona crisis: Moving towards mobile work, while in parts having to take care of children at home as well, reducing face-to-face contacts to a minimum and so forth. A gradual partial return to on-campus work will be shaped by experiences from the home office phase with digital communication. New work structures have to be developed and designed. In these situations, feelings of insecurity and the desire for help and support can arise.

The TU’s Executive Board would like to explicitly point all employees and staff towards our proven support services provided by the Social Counselling & Conflict Management team. The team members will assist you competently by phone and, on request, by video conference as well.

The TU Darmstadt day-care centres guarantee regular care (under pandemic conditions) at the usual times. In addition, the TU Darmstadt offers employees and students the ad hoc care facility “Fluggis Abenteuer Land”. Further information can be found on the website of the Family Service.

POE (Department of Human Resources and Organisational Development) offers employees and staff virtual course formats and face-to-face events for in-house training, professional development and further education. The whole course programme is published on the website of POE. POE offers customised counselling for senior managers on the subjects of (virtual/hybrid) leadership, management and cooperation including possibly arising challenges due to the current situation.

Our company doctors at the mas are available to assist both employees and managers with offers and advice. There is also a Corona hotline.

Read the information on the pages of diectorate VII: Corona virus – Information for employees.

Please observe the current hygiene and infection control measures at TU Darmstadt.

For more information about mobile work, please visit the webpage on working mobile from home on a longer-term basis.

In most cases, mobile work is possible with a university-provided mobile device. We have set up secure remote access to private mobile devices for a small number of employees and staff who do not have access to a university-provided mobile phone, tablet or laptop. Please take all necessary precautions and use your private devices responsibly to ensure that the IT systems of TU Darmstadt are not exposed to additional risks. Make sure to have the latest anti-virus software installed and updated regularly on your private devices. Be aware of the risks to TU Darmstadt when working with private devices. The Chief Information Security Officer has compiled the requirements to be met for using private devices on a webpage.

Please note as a TU member with staff management responsibilities, that your employees and staff members must indicate their consent to using their private devices for university work. Please inform them about the importance of data protection. Hence, data may only be stored and saved on Hessenbox and/or TU drives, but not on private devices of any kind. For staff in central administration, access to the central administration drives and to various databases (such as SAP ERP and HCM) is currently only permitted by using university-provided devices. Please contact the respective system administrators to clarify authorisations.

An extended accident insurance cover for employees and staff working mobile from home came into force on 18 June 2021. Employees and staff on mobile work are covered by the statutory accident insurance when working from home. Lately, insurance cover is provided for mobile work to the same extend as for working on site at the university. There is no fully equipped home office with PC and telephone connection necessary. However, the tasks and work performed from home must be directly related to the insured job at the university. Hence, the accident insurance covers the full scope of activities directly linked to the job as if performed at the university. With the amendment of the law, this now also includes walks within one’s own household, for example to fetch a drink or something to eat or to go to the toilet.

The insurance cover, however, does neither apply to activities which require leaving one’s domestic work area nor to any activities which can be attributed to one’s private/personal life (such as running errands, grocery shopping, exercising etc.).

For more information (in German only), please visit the website of the Unfallkasse Hessen (Hessian accident insurance company under public law).

For more information about the organisation of mobile work, please visit the webpages of the Directorate VII.

ZOOM campus licence for students, employees and staff: More information, How-to-use handout and the statement of the Data Security Officer.

In case of sickness, employees and staff need to notify their superior as usual on the first day of sickness. Please send the required “Krankmeldung – Sick leave notification” form (opens in new tab) electronically to the respective person in charge at the Directorate VII. Please send in the “Gesundmeldung – Recovered notification” form (opens in new tab) via email as well. It is not necessary to sign these forms.

Should employees or staff be unable to work for more than three calendar days, they need to submit a medical certificate of incapacity to work including a likely duration of illness by the next working day at the latest. This complies with the general rule that was in place before the coronavirus pandemic. Detailed information can be found on the Dec. VII website under “Incapacity to work”.

The Directorate VII – Human Resources and Legal Affairs continues to recommend using electronic communication methods as much as possible. This also applies to applications for continued employment and recruitment. Please return the completed regular forms electronically via the official channels (putting someone on CC does not suffice, you need to pass on the explicit agreement of the respective person/office responsible).

Please submit applications to increase or reduce working hours, for parental leave, notifications of pregnancy and other matters (such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, change of name, bank details and/or postal address) that are not linked to forms, as necessary, by email. There is no need for any specific form; however, to observe the official channels, please direct your email to the respective person in charge at the Directorate VII.

As a rule, any leave already scheduled and approved has to be taken.

For more information, please visit the websites of Directorate VII – Human Resources & Legal Affairs.

For more information regarding the amendment to this law (ceiling on fixed-term employment contracts with academic employees in qualifying positions) due to the COVID-19 pandemic and the implementation of the amendment at TU Darmstadt, refer to the website of directorate VII (in German).