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    Staying Home Helps

    16.12.2020 14:48
    The University of Freiburg is extending the closure of all campus buildings over the holidays to January 10, 2021. All libraries are closed as of today The “Nine Muses” in Kollegiengebäude (College Building) I are ready: All campus buildings of the University of Freiburg will be closed from December 24, 2020, to (and including) January 10, 2021. Photo: Klaus Polkowski

    The “Nine Muses” in Kollegiengebäude (College Building) I are ready: All campus buildings of the University of Freiburg will be closed from December 24, 2020, to (and including) January 10, 2021. Photo: Klaus Polkowski

    Freiburg, Dec. 16, 2020

    The community’s health and safety are extremely important to the University of Freiburg. “We want to do our part in the next few weeks to reduce movement and avoid in-person contact in order to curb the rising number of infections,” says Rector Prof. Dr. Kerstin Krieglstein. In accordance with the recent decisions made by the federal and state governments, the University of Freiburg is extending the closure of all University buildings over the holidays until January 10, 2021. The University Library and all campus libraries are already closed as of December 16.

    “The situation is more serious than ever before,” said the Director of the Robert Koch Institute Lothar Wieler on December 15, 2020. The news then spread quickly in the media. Wieler is not usually one to raise the alarm, but at the press conference he held together with the German Minister of Health Jens Spahn, he voiced his concern that the situation in Germany is becoming significantly worse and the number of infections is on the rise, meaning there will be more deaths. While the number of active coronavirus cases was a few thousand this summer, the number has now reached 325,000. Wieler is not alone in hoping that the countrywide lockdown starting on December 16 will have a positive effect.

    To combat the rise of infections in the Freiburg area, the University of Freiburg is also taking action. The University has extended the closure of all buildings over the holidays, meaning all campus buildings will remain closed from December 24 to January 10, 2021. According to the latest Coronavirus Ordinance (Corona-Verordnung) of the State of Baden-Württemberg, all libraries and archives must close before the holidays. This means that the University Library and all campus libraries will be closed as of December 16 and remain closed until (and including) January 10, 2021. This applies to the study areas at Breisacher Tor and Werthmannstraße 4 as well.

    Instruction and working from home

    “These measures are necessary due to the decisions made by the federal and state governments to contain the spread of the coronavirus pandemic,” says Rector Krieglstein. Because every single day can have a positive or negative impact on the spread of the infection, she is appealing to all teaching staff at the University of Freiburg “to immediately move all previously permitted in-person instruction and examinations planned for the period December 16–23 to a later date or switch to a different format of instruction whenever possible.” If this is not possible, however, previously permitted in-person classes can take place as planned. Online instruction will not be affected and will continue as normal.

    All staff of the University of Freiburg are also being told to work from home whenever possible in agreement with supervisors. Staff are also being asked to take time off in-lieu of paid overtime or to take some vacation days until January 10, 2021. “We hope this will also accommodate all parents who have been asked by the government to take care of their children at home,” says Krieglstein. There is also a very real chance that the University will have to declare Level 6 of its Alert Level System (Stufenplans). The University is currently at Level 5. The alert level system is based on the number of new infections in the Freiburg area. If the incidence rate surpasses the mark of 200 cases for three days in a row or longer, the University will switch to essential operations and cancel all in-person instruction. If it becomes necessary to move up to Level 6, we will of course inform you and explain what this means,” says the Rector. For the moment, she is asking everyone to stay alert and, most importantly, stay home.

    All current information, hygiene regulations, and the Alert Level System (Stufenplan) can be found on the website Corona – Information on how to deal with the pandemic.

     



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