Jump to main content
Press Office and Crossmedia Communications
University News
University News Campus

24th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 23 November 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

As you all know, the infection situation is developing very dynamically and the fourth wave of the Covid 19 pandemic has now reached an utterly dramatic scale. Against this background, the federal government and the Free State of Saxony have initiated measures on short notice to get the situation under control with the new Infection Protection Act (IfSG) and the Saxon Corona Emergency Ordinance (SächsCoronaNotVO).

Therefore, the Crisis Management Team and University Management of Chemnitz University of Technology have made the following adjustments to the regulations in force at Chemnitz University of Technology in line with the measures introduced by the Federal Government and the Free State of Saxony, which are to be observed with immediate effect:

According to § 28b IfSG, the 3G rule applies to all employees in the workplace. This means that employees entering buildings must carry either proof of vaccination or recovery or proof regarding the absence of infection with the coronavirus, which must not be older than 24 hours. In the case of the use of PCR tests or comparable procedures for the detection of the coronavirus, the underlying test must not be older than 48 hours. The one-time requirement to present proof of vaccination or convalescence is on a voluntary basis, but makes it necessary to provide a negative test for each day of attendance if it is not presented. The validity of the test proof must be given at the time of access control. The test certificate must be presented on each working day before the start of on-site activity – preferably also electronically – to the line-managers or persons appointed by them or, if they are not on site or available, to the higher-level unit (dean's office, department, etc.) or, if this is also not possible, to the Human Resources Department. For the documentation and control of the proof of vaccination and recovery, the departmental supervisors or the persons employed by them can use forms that are made available in the FAQ section. In addition to the free citizen tests and in addition to the two existing test stations, Chemnitz University of Technology strives to establish additional central test stations with test offers, which serve to obtain a test certificate, or to further expand the test periods at the existing test stations, based on demand. In addition to the opening hours communicated in the FAQ section, there will also be an opportunity to take tests on November 24, 2021, from 7 a.m. to 9 a.m. in the Central Lecture Hall Building on the Reichenhainer Straße campus.

With regard to Section 1 (5) of the SächsCoronaNotVO ("In the case of office work or comparable activities, the employer shall offer employees the opportunity to carry out these activities at their home if there are no compelling operational reasons to the contrary. The employees must accept this offer if there are no compelling reasons for them not to do so."), it is again pointed out that at Chemnitz University of Technology mobile work is to be used wherever possible and line managers and employees are instructed to fully comply with this as well as the other regulations anchored in the hygiene concept and in the FAQ section.

Against the background of Section 6 (2) Sentence 1 SächsCoronaNotVO ("Meetings of committees and parties are prohibited with the exception of meetings that are mandatory by law and cannot be held online for legal or factual reasons"), committee sessions, meetings, etc., doctoral defenses, introductory presentations as part of appointment procedures, job interviews, studies with participants and surveys (with a separate hygiene concept), outdoor excursions, and events (conferences, meetings, etc.) are generally no longer possible. The Crisis Management Team or University Management decides upon request about on-site events of "mandatory legally prescribed meetings that cannot be held online for legal or factual reasons" (§ 6 paragraph 2 sentence 1 SächsCoronaNotVO).

In view of the regulation of § 13 paragraph 1 SächsCoronaNotVO ("The opening of facilities and institutions of sports operations, fitness studios, and similar facilities for public traffic is prohibited.") as well as the regulation of § 13 paragraph 2 sentence 1 SächsCoronaNotVO (according to which an opening of the respective facilities is permissible "for the practice of sports in the context of official sports, sports science programs" etc.), the offers of the Center for Sports and Health Promotion (ZfSG) are only available for teaching purposes.

For more detailed information, please refer to the FAQ section.

I apologize for the very short notice of the necessary changes, which, however, could not be avoided due to the dynamics as well as the examination of the relevance of the initiated federal and state measures for universities as well as their implementation.

As always, thank you very much for your understanding and support!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

23rd Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 16 November 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Unfortunately, as you all know, the number of new corona infections is currently rising sharply throughout Germany - especially in Saxony and thus also in Chemnitz. Against this background, the question naturally arises as to the need to initiate measures against the spread of the infection.

Since a worsening of the situation in the course of the current winter semester was to be expected, the protection of our students and employees is paramount and sudden changes in the Corona crisis management and consequently in the research and teaching operations during the semester should be avoided, the crisis team and the rectorate have relied on a cautious and relatively defensive approach in their planning for the winter semester from the beginning. For example, Chemnitz University of Technology has already had suitable hygiene and protection regulations in place for some time, and since the beginning of the current winter semester, there has been a relatively high percentage of digital courses to prevent or contain the fourth wave. Against this background, the Crisis Management Team and the University Management have come to the conclusion that only minor adjustments to the regulations in force at Chemnitz University of Technology are necessary, which are presented below:

Limited Normal Operation, Particularly for Tested, Vaccinated, and Recovered Persons

Restricted normal operations, especially for those tested, vaccinated and recovered, will essentially continue until further notice. However, this is only possible if the existing regulations are strictly observed and implemented. These include, among other things, the individual office regulation or the square meter key for laboratories, workshops, etc. It should also be noted that mobile work should be used wherever possible. Supervisors and employees are instructed to fully comply with the regulations communicated here as well as those anchored in the Hygiene Concept and in the FAQ section.

With regard to committee meetings, meetings, etc., doctoral defenses, presentations in the context of appointment procedures, job interviews, studies with test persons and surveys (with a separate hygiene concept), outdoor excursions, and events (conferences, meetings, etc.), the following regulation will apply as of 22 November 2021. The following regulation will apply from 22 November 2021: Corresponding (partial) face-to-face meetings can still be held indoors or outdoors up to a maximum of ten people (incl. vaccinated and convalescents) without a separate application to the Crisis Management Team or University Management and in compliance with the applicable hygiene and protection regulations, provided that there are valid reasons, such as the required infrastructure on site or the scope of the topic. (Partial) presence meetings with more than ten persons consequently require the approval of the Crisis Management Team or the University Management. However, it is expressly pointed out that digital implementation should always be the first means of choice.

Business trips will continue to be possible in principle - provided that the official business is urgent and absolutely necessary and cannot be carried out in any other way, e.g. by telephone or video conference - if appropriate official reasons are presented (reduced to the absolutely necessary travel time). However, for travel within Germany to areas with an increased incidence of infection (moving weekly incidence above 50 on the day before the start of the business trip) and for business trips abroad, the approval of the Crisis Management Team must again be obtained from 22 November 2021 (within the framework of the procedural regulation defined in the FAQ section). In the case of domestic travel, this does not necessarily apply to vaccinated and recovered persons, who can have their business trips approved by their supervisors under the above-mentioned conditions if they present appropriate proof - but who can, of course, also turn to the Crisis Management Team as an alternative if they do not wish to do so.

The services offered by the Center for Sports and Health Promotion (ZfSG) can still be used in principle. However, hygiene and protection regulations have been tightened in light of current developments. The currently applicable regulations can be found on the ZfSG website.

Teaching and Examinations

The current stipulations for teaching in the winter semester 2021/2022 basically remain in place. However, lecturers naturally have the option of shifting all or part of their teaching to the digital space, if possible, if they consider this appropriate, and are asked to consider this in consultation with their students. If courses are moved to the digital space and lecture halls or seminar rooms are no longer needed as a result, please report this to the Central Timetable Planning.

The buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology remain accessible during regular opening hours. Central access control in the lecture hall and seminar building will be maintained, and the possibility of free testing will initially remain until 16 December 2021. Students may also continue to use designated lounges at the university in certain cases after prior registration.

The previously restricted opening of the University Library will continue. Space reservation for students to use special software in designated URZ computer pools after prior registration also remains in place. The currently valid regulation for stopping the deadline for homework and final papers is valid until 31 March 2022, from which date the deadline will be reinstated. Corresponding explanations will be published in the FAQ.

Depending on the incidence of the infection, the Crisis Management Team or the University Management will promptly make arrangements for the central examination period in the winter semester 2021/2022. However, it is already urgently recommended that examinations - as far as possible (i.e. with the exception of examinations that cannot be digitized, e.g. laboratory, computer pool, machine examinations, objective, practical sports and practical health examinations) - be converted to digital formats, as the extremely dynamic development of the pandemic may make it strongly necessary to convert in the short term.

Compliance with Hygiene and Protection Regulations

The current regulations of the Hygiene Concept remain in place. All employees and students are instructed or required to observe them at all times and in full.

Chemnitz University of Technology will continue to offer all employees and student assistants who are present at their workplace the opportunity to voluntarily perform free self-tests at least three times - instead of twice - per week. These can be used both to fulfill the test obligation under supervision and for voluntary regular monitoring before presence activities at Chemnitz University of Technology - of course also by vaccinated and recovered employees and student assistants. It is strongly recommended to make full use of the test offer for voluntary regular monitoring in addition to the existing testing obligation. The tests as well as other hygiene items can be ordered on an ongoing basis.

Please make sure that you do not come to Chemnitz University of Technology - even if you are already fully immunized - if relevant symptoms are present. In addition, please inform us immediately in the event of suspected cases, cases of infection and quarantine cases (by e-mail to: kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de) in compliance with the action guidelines for employees and students.

Please refer to the FAQ section on coronavirus for more details.

Of course, we continue to advocate for the expansion of vaccination opportunities, as there are currently clearly too few vaccination appointments or capacities.

I am firmly convinced that we will also overcome the challenges associated with the fourth wave if we continue to handle the situation responsibly and comply with the applicable rules, and I thank you very much for your understanding and support!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

22nd Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 22 September 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

For the past year and a half, members of our university have been living, working, and studying with the restrictions of the Covid-19 pandemic. Although the vaccination effort has made significant progress in recent months, Saxony is regrettably trailing behind in a nationwide comparison. At the same time, the incidences are far higher than a year ago. For the upcoming 2021/2022 winter semester, we want to venture a cautious opening in the direction of on-site attendance rates, as announced and planned since the summer. Therefore, the following decisions have been made:

Teaching in the 2021/2022 Winter Semester

According to the current status, the 2021/2022 winter semester at Chemnitz University of Technology will differ significantly from the last winter semester. There will be more courses held on site and as hybrid on-site courses. An enquiry about the planned courses has been made and the corresponding approvals have been decided in the Crisis Management Team. The current hygiene and protection regulations, including the need to maintain a minimum distance of 1.5 metres, remain in force for the protection of students and lecturers, which means that room capacities will remain restricted. Consequently, approved on-site and hybrid courses can only be held with the maximum number of people permitted according to the room capacity, while observing the distance rules and complying with the mask requirement. The university has already provided and will continue to provide the necessary technology (mobile microphone, camera if necessary) for courses in hybrid format and has extended its comprehensive set of training offers. Lecturers can always find information on the E-Learning website of Chemnitz University of Technology about current training offers as well as useful tips, e.g. on group allocation via OPAL for the realisation of hybrid teaching. In addition to on-site and hybrid formats, digital courses will also be offered in the 2021/2022 winter semester. Students can consult the course catalogue to find out which courses are offered on site, in a hybrid format, and purely digital.

Changes in Contact Tracing

Contact tracing at Chemnitz University of Technology can be carried out from 4 October 2021 for both courses and other meetings on site (e.g. discussions, committee sessions) by using the so-called event function of the Corona-Warn-App of the federal government – in addition to using Forms for the Documentation of Contact Chains in paper form. For this purpose, all seminar rooms, lecture halls, and meeting rooms under central responsibility will be equipped with room-related QR codes in the next few days. The use of the app is voluntary but highly recommended to accelerate associated processes. However, participants in on-site meetings, i.e. including courses, remain obliged to use at least one means of contact data collection (preferably using the check-in via app, alternatively using the provided form) for the purpose of possible contact tracing. Lecturers are asked to use the OPAL learning platform for the communication of organisational information as well as for the rapid provision of information to students and to set up a course on this platform for each class.

Room managers for laboratories, research halls, decentralised meeting or miscellaneous rooms used for courses or other meetings, etc. are requested to also equip the aforementioned rooms of the individual structural units with the QR codes of the Corona-Warn-App by 1 October 2021 and to subsequently transmit them via e-mail to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de.

With regard to the changes in contact tracing, please also note the associated information in the FAQ section on the corona virus, which contains instructions on the creation or designation of QR codes for room managers, on handling, and on the concrete procedure for warnings through the app.

Implementation of the “3G Rule” for Teaching

In the 2021/2022 winter semester, students are required to comply with the testing and verification obligation in order to participate in courses on site or in hybrid format, i.e. access is only granted to those who have tested negative (the results of rapid antigen tests are valid for a maximum of 24 hours), those who have been fully vaccinated, and those who have recovered. For rapid processing of the controls, it is recommended to carry the proofs in digital form preferably via the Corona-Warn-App (in combination with the TUC Card).

Lecturers are instructed to carry out a corresponding visual check of all students' certificates on site before the start of each course (also with the support of student assistants). Lecturers will find information on what to look out for when checking certificates in the next few days in the FAQ section on the corona virus.

In order to reduce the workload of lecturers, a central access control for checking proof of testing, vaccination, or convalescence will be set up in the entrance area of the Central Lecture and Seminar Building (ZHSG), Reichenhainer Straße 90, starting on 11 October 2021. This means that lecturers of courses in the ZHSG are exempt from checks.

In order to comply with the testing obligation, Corona self-tests can still be carried out at the university under the supervision of the lecturer and by using the TU-internal form. In addition, Chemnitz University of Technology strives to offer a central testing facility at the Reichenhainer Straße campus. Information on this will be published in the FAQ section. The buildings remain accessible during regular opening hours.

In addition, the Hygiene Concept for Conducting On-Site Courses must be observed and complied with. Lecturers who have drawn up their own specific hygiene concepts in the past semesters for holding on-site courses elsewhere than in lecture halls and seminar rooms, e.g. for courses in laboratories, computer pools, sports facilities, etc., are instructed to check these concepts before the start of teaching to ensure that they are up to date, to compare them with the higher-level concepts of the university (fundamental deviations such as relaxations or tightening are not permitted) and to adapt them if necessary. To coordinate the concepts, you are welcome to contact the Office for Occupational Safety and Environmental Protection (by e-mail: bfau@tu-chemnitz.de).

Common Rooms for Students

Students who are unable to transfer home from the university due to the rapid succession of on-site courses and digital formats can use designated rooms at Chemnitz University of Technology in the 2021/2022 winter semester after making a reservation in advance and observing hygiene and protection measures. The possibility to book a room will be available from 4 October 2021 under the following direct link: https://mytuc.org/alternativraum. Further information will be available shortly in the FAQ section on the corona virus.

Use of the University Library

The use of the University Library remains possible under the previously communicated regulations. From 27 September 2021, the opening hours will be extended. The rooms and services can then be used from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. If you spend less than ten minutes in the rooms of the University Library for the purpose of collecting pre-ordered media or returning borrowed media, you will also no longer need to present a proof of testing, vaccination, or convalescence. You can find more information, e.g. on using the University Library as a study room, in the FAQ section.

Changes Regarding Business Trips

Based on a decision by University Management, the regulations on applying for and carrying out business trips in Germany and abroad were adjusted as of 20 September 2021. The principle of only carrying out business trips in particularly justified exceptional cases and reducing them to an absolute minimum overall remains in place. However, in order to optimise processes and to decentralise and make the handling of business trips more flexible, new regulations now apply with regard to approval by the Crisis Management Team or University Management. More information can be found in the corresponding FAQ entry.

Continuation of Limited Normal Operation, Particularly for Tested, Vaccinated, and Recovered Persons

Limited normal operation, particularly for tested, vaccinated, and recovered persons, will continue until further notice. The current regulations, including the obligation to test or provide proof for employees and student assistants in the event of at least five days' absence due to holidays, compensatory time off, etc., remain unchanged. Moreover, Chemnitz University of Technology continues to offer all employees and support staff who are present at their workplace the opportunity to voluntarily carry out free self-tests at least twice a week. These can also be used to fulfil the aforementioned testing obligation or before on-site meetings in buildings of at least two people that last longer than ten minutes. The tests and other hygiene items can be ordered on an ongoing basis.

All members of our university are asked to follow the hygiene and protection regulations despite the progress of vaccinations, to take suspicious symptoms seriously and, if necessary, not to come to Chemnitz University of Technology, as well as to observe the action guidelines for employees and students in the event of suspected cases, cases of infection, and quarantine and to inform Chemnitz University of Technology immediately (via e-mail to: kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de).

In agreement with the line manager and as far as practicable, the use of mobile work to reduce the total number of people, to equalise the number of persons on-site, and to enable staggered working and break times is expressly desired. In this context, I would like to emphasise once again the relevance of the individual office rule, which is anchored in our hygiene concept and must therefore be observed.

Finally, I would like to remind you that the regulations currently in force and not explicitly mentioned here continue to apply and can be found in the FAQ section on the corona virus.

I would like to expressly thank you for your understanding, support, and commitment at the start of the 2021/2022 winter semester! Special thanks go to our lecturers, who make a decisive contribution to shaping this once again special semester in the best possible way. I wish all students a successful start to the new academic year and our first-year students all the very best for their new chapter in life.

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Maximilian Eibl

(On behalf of the President)

+++

21st Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 30 July 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

Taking into account the current development of the pandemic, the Crisis Management Team respectively the University Management have decided to continue the limited normal operation, in particular for those who have been tested, vaccinated and recovered, from 2 August 2021 until further notice. The previously applicable regulations, which can be found in the previous Open Letters on Coronavirus or the FAQ section on Coronavirus, continue to apply. In addition, further opening steps can now be taken in the areas of the university library, the URZ training pools and the outdoor sports facilities. However, in view of the renewed increase in the number of infections worldwide and the risk posed by virus mutations, as well as in view of the current vacation and travel season, it is necessary - in implementation of the current Corona Protection Ordinance of the Free State of Saxony - to extend the testing obligation for employees and auxiliary staff at Chemnitz University of Technology.

Extension of mandatory testing for employees and assistant workers in regard to the current Saxon Corona Protection Ordinance

Employees incl. assistant workers "who have not worked for at least five working days in succession due to vacation and comparable leave from duty and work must submit a test taken at the first working day to the employer on the first working day after this interruption of work or carry out a documented supervised test in the course of the first working day" (§ 9 para. 1a SächsCoronaSchVO). If the commencement of work takes place in the home office, the testing obligation applies to the first day on which the work takes place in presence at Chemnitz University of Technology or, in the case of business trips, etc., at other work locations outside of one's own home. According to information by SMWK, the above regulation does not apply "if the absence is solely due to illness, 'child sick', home office, business trips or further education."

Employees and assistant workers are instructed to comply with this regulation and to notify the Human Resources Department of their return on the day they take up their duties. According to the SMWK's implementation proposal, employees and support staff "shall then optionally provide proof of

a) of a complete vaccination protection against SARS-CoV-2 (vaccination certificate or digital proof),

b) a recovery (corresponding PCR test result or medical certificate) or

c) a test taken at the first working day at a recognized test center

to be presented in person for inspection, or

d) perform an antigen self-test under the supervision of a trust agency official at the agency."

The notification of the return as well as the provision of the above-mentioned proof (incl. documentation with the internal form) is to be made to the supervisors or the persons assigned by them, or, if they are not on site or available, to the higher-level structural unit (dean's office, department, etc.) or, if this should also not be possible, to the Human Resources Department.

In analogy to the regulations already in force regarding the obligation to test, only a visual inspection may be carried out in this case and no data processing beyond merely taking note may take place (no scanning, copying, noting or similar). The certificate remains with the employees and assistant workers and should be kept by them for at least four weeks for their own documentation. Internal ordering of self-tests is also possible for this purpose.

These and other adjustments can be found shortly in the updated hygiene guidelines of Chemnitz University of Technology in the FAQ section. There you will also find further information on dealing with business trips.

Limited opening of the University Library, URZ education pools, and outdoor athletic facilities

The use of the University Library will be expanded step by step:

  • Starting 2 August 2021, all users who have booked a workstation via advance reservation at the University Library will have access to the open access holdings.
  • Beginning 16 August 2021, 50 additional individuals will be able to visit the University Library without pre-booking to select and borrow books on site. In parallel, online pre-ordering for holdings will continue. More details will soon be available in the updated hygiene guidelines for the use of the University Library as a learning space.

The URZ training pools will be released for independent use by students in compliance with the hygiene guidelines as of 2 August 2021. Pre-registration (by e-mail to support@hrz.tu-chemnitz.de) is also required for this. In addition, laptops can in future also be borrowed for a limited period outside the central examination period for the preparation of term papers, research papers and theses.

From 2 August 2021, the outdoor sports facilities will also be open from Monday to Friday from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. for individual sports by employees and students of Chemnitz University of Technology. Access will be via the entrance to the sports hall. The showers and locker rooms will remain closed.

For the use of the university library, the URZ education pools as well as the outdoor sports facilities, please note that a testing obligation applies, i.e. the need to present or credibly prove a current negative Corona rapid test (the test may not have been taken more than 24 hours ago at the time of the start of use). Vaccinated and recovered persons are exempt from the testing requirement. Furthermore, the contact information form must be filled in and handed in. The form and appropriate proof (test, vaccination or convalescent proof) must be provided prior to the start of the use or gathering.

For further information on new or adapted regulations (e.g. on the implementation of excursions), please refer to the soon to be updated FAQ section on the coronavirus.

Vaccination offer at Chemnitz University of Technology - last available dates

Employees and students of our university, but also other people interested in vaccination can still book last free dates for a Corona vaccination at Chemnitz University of Technology on 31 July and 2 August 2021. A mobile vaccination team will perform the first vaccination on 31 July and the second vaccination 21 days later with the vaccine by BioNTech/Pfizer.

Appointments are allocated via the OPAL learning platform. People interested in vaccination who are not affiliated with the university can also book an appointment by sending an e-mail to impfung-corona@tu-chemnitz.de or by calling 0371 531-36077. For detailed information, please refer to the FAQ section on coronavirus.

I cordially ask all employees and students who have not yet been vaccinated to make use of the existing vaccination offers. After all, the continuation of the initiated relaxations and the long-term return to normality depend crucially on as many people as possible being vaccinated.

I thank you very much for your understanding and support and wish you all a nice lecture-free time!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

20th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 30 June 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

For well over a year now, we have been living under the conditions of the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated restrictions. Each and every one of you has accomplished an enormous amount under extremely difficult conditions in order to maintain our university life as well as possible. Therefore, I find it very important to thank you most sincerely – not least because Federal Minister Anja Karliczek claimed last week in the German Bundestag that "nothing is happening in universities at the moment" – which was rightly met with bewilderment and incomprehension by many members of our university.

What is decisive, however, is that it is now possible to do what for some time every single one of us has been longing for: to take a big step towards normality. This is justifiable because, on the one hand, the infection figures in Germany, in the Free State of Saxony, and in the city of Chemnitz have been declining sharply in recent weeks and the seven-day incidence at all levels is now below 10. In addition, there is fortunately currently not a single case of infection or quarantine at Chemnitz University of Technology. On the other hand, the vaccination programme is making significant progress – among others, employees and student assistants of our university, who were already given the opportunity to be vaccinated as members of prioritisation group 3 before the abandonment of vaccination prioritisation with effect from 7 June 2021.

Against this background, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided to transfer Chemnitz University of Technology from selective and limited presence operation to limited normal operation particularly for those tested, vaccinated, and recovered as of 5 July 2021 and until 31 July 2021 for now, as well as to implement various innovations and adjustments (the currently valid regulations for selective and limited presence operation will continue to apply until 5 July 2021).

Limited Normal Operation Particularly for Tested, Vaccinated, and Recovered Persons

The limited normal operation particularly for tested, vaccinated, and recovered persons includes the following key points:

  • Lifting of the quota principle as well as the requirement to access Chemnitz University of Technology only for urgent work and work that can only be carried out on site, and allowing work on site, provided that the hygiene and protection regulations (individual office regulation or square meter criterion for laboratories, workshops, etc.) can be complied with. If necessary, compliance with hygiene and protection regulations must be ensured by shift work, mobile work, etc. Employees who do not yet have full vaccination protection and do not wish to perform activities in the presence of others until they have obtained full vaccination protection should find appropriate individual solutions in consultation with their line manager. For reasons of advance planning of on-site activity, including compliance with room occupancy and possible contact tracking, it is necessary to maintain occupancy and, if necessary, shift schedules and to send them regularly (via e-mail to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de), even after the quota principle has been discontinued.
     
  • Opening of the buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology for all employees as well as – in justified cases – also for external persons (service providers etc.) during the known opening hours as well as lifting of the assembly point principle. For students, it is – with a few exceptions – still not possible to stay indoors apart from participation in on-site courses and examinations.
     
  • Restriction of participation in meetings in buildings to tested, vaccinated and recovered persons: Meetings in buildings of at least two persons that last longer than ten minutes (e.g. meetings, etc., job interviews, committee meetings, studies and survey with participants, doctoral defences, presentations in the context of the meeting of appointment committees) are restricted to tested, vaccinated, and convalescents. This means that compulsory testing applies to such meetings, from which vaccinated and recovered persons are exempt. Appropriate proof (proof of testing, vaccination, or recovery) must be provided in writing or digitally prior to the start of the relevant meeting, in combination with an official identification document or TUC card if applicable. Tests carried out by medically trained staff or under supervision at the TU Chemnitz are accepted. In line with the current state of regulations, the requirement for rapid tests to be up-to-date on a daily basis will be satisfied by tests not being taken more than 24 hours ago at the start of the meeting. The participants are instructed to comply with the regulation described here.
     
  • Allowance of job interviews, committee meetings, studies and surveys with participants, doctoral defences, introductory lectures in the context of sessions of appointment committees, meetings, etc. up to a maximum of 20 persons (incl. vaccinated and recovered persons) in (partial) presence, without a separate application to the Crisis Management Team or University Management, and in compliance with the applicable hygiene and protection regulations in indoor or outdoor areas. Events (conferences, meetings, etc.) with more than 20 persons require the approval of the Crisis Management Team or University Management. Prior to the start of the respective events, a visual inspection of the test, vaccination, or proofs of recovery must be carried out. The respective meeting hosts, chairpersons, etc. are responsible for this.
     
  • Necessity of strict compliance with the hygiene and protection regulations that continue to apply (contact reduction, distance requirement, mask requirement, hand hygiene, regular ventilation, etc.) – also for members of Chemnitz University of Technology who are recovered or have full vaccination protection, as they – despite vaccination – can be carriers and spreaders of the virus, and at present it is also not yet known exactly how long the vaccination protection will last.
  • Continued possibility to make use of mobile work and shift arrangements without separate application – if practicable, in coordination with the line manager. The use of mobile work and shift arrangements is expressly encouraged, as far as practicable, in order to reduce the overall number of employees, to balance out the proportion of employees on site, and to enable staggered working hours and breaks.
  • Continued possibility to hold all events (committee meetings, etc.) in digital or hybrid form without a separate application. The use of digital or hybrid formats is expressly encouraged, as far as practicable, in order to reduce the total number of persons on site and to balance attendance rates.
  • Need to be able to switch to selective and limited presence operation within 48 hours. If the situation requires it, any relaxation and opening steps that may have been introduced must be reversed and Chemnitz University of Technology may have to be switched back to selective and limited presence operation or standby operation again within a very short period of time.
     

Changes Regarding the Obligation to Wear Masks

The obligation to wear a medical or FFP2 mask will no longer apply...

  • in open areas of the university – as long as the minimum distance of 1.5 meters from others can be maintained at all times.
     
  • in courses, examinations, committee meetings, etc. for the person to whom the right to speak is granted – provided that the minimum distance of 1.5 meters from others can be maintained at all times.

Changes Regarding Business Trips

The existing regulations on business travel, which continue to apply, are supplemented by the possibility of traveling abroad – provided that these are not risk areas.

Joint journeys in a vehicle as well as passenger transports are again made possible, provided that all vehicle occupants can present a daily negative test result or are vaccinated or recovered. It should be noted that only the driver of the vehicle is exempt from the mask requirement.

Limited Opening of the University Library and Other Service Offerings

As a first step, the University Library will be opened on a limited basis as a "learning space" for those who have been tested, vaccinated and recovered. Starting 5 July 2021, students and employees will be able to reserve a space in advance. Proof of completion of a thesis or similar is not required. The number of places that can be booked will be increased to a total of 92, and the use of selected research workstations and multifunctional devices will be made possible. The concrete new regulations as well as the hygiene concept to be observed for the use of the university library as a learning space can be found in the FAQ section.

The Student Service Point, the Central Course Guidance Service, the Central Examination Office, the International Office and the Patent Information Centre can provide individual consultations for those who have been tested, vaccinated, or are recovered, subject to prior appointment and compliance with hygiene and protection regulations.

Vaccination Offer for Employees and Students at Chemnitz University of Technology

Fortunately, we have succeeded in making our employees and students an offer for a corona vaccination at Chemnitz University of Technology. For this purpose, the deployment of a mobile vaccination team could be organised in coordination with the DRK Kreisverband Döbeln-Hainichen e. V., which – starting on 12 July 2021 – will offer initial and periodic vaccinations at intervals of 21 days for more than 1,600 people interested in vaccination at Chemnitz University of Technology.

The allocation of the appointments will take place from 5 July 2021 via the learning platform OPAL. There you will find all dates and times as well as important information about booking and vaccination. In addition, you will be given the opportunity to register on a waiting list if no more appointments should be available.

In addition, the State Centre for the Care of the Blind and Visually Impaired in Chemnitz (Flemmingstraße) also offers all interested persons another approx. 140 vaccination appointments on 24 July 2021 (first vaccination) and 14 August 2021 (second vaccination) in their rooms.

The vaccine used at both vaccination sites will be BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine. A digital vaccination certificate will be provided upon receipt of the second vaccination.

For detailed information on the new or adapted regulations, please refer to the soon-updated hygiene concepts and the entries in the FAQ section on the corona virus. There you will also find more details about the vaccination offers. The option of ordering masks, self-tests, and other hygiene articles internally remains available.

Continuation of the Regulations for Courses and Exams in the 2021 Summer Semester / Outlook to the 2021/2022 Winter Semester

The arrangements made for courses and exams in the 2021 summer semester, including compulsory testing, remain unaffected.

In the coming winter semester, if the situation continues to develop positively, it will once again be possible to increase the number of on-site courses. As things stand, however, it can be assumed that the AHA+L rules will continue to apply and that room capacities will be limited accordingly. Furthermore, many international students with visa requirements will not yet have the opportunity to be on site. We are therefore preparing for a large proportion of courses to be held in partial attendance (in addition to attendance-only and digital events). More details will be communicated soon by the Vice President for Academic and International Affairs.

We very much hope to be able to create a great deal of normality with the above-mentioned regulations for employees already in the current summer semester and for our students in the coming winter semester. We thank you very much for your support in the outlined opening steps!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

19th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 28 May 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

Due to the development of the incidence of infection, new regulations at federal and state level, and the vaccination situation, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have made a series of strategic decisions:

Implementation of the second stage of selective and limited presence operation from 1 June 2021 until 30 June 2021

Fortunately, the incidence of infection is now declining nationwide and statewide, and the seven-day incidence in the City of Chemnitz is now below 35 again. This development is also noticeable at our university with a clear decline in the recent incidence of infection and quarantine cases. Therefore, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided to return to the second stage of selective and limited presence operation from 1 June 2021 until 30 June 2021, with the following concrete regulations:

  • The currently valid limit („25Plus“) for urgent work and work that can only be carried out on site will generally be raised to a maximum of 40 percent of the regular employees in an organisational unit (professorships, etc.). A separate application for a quota increase is not necessary – however, it is necessary to keep and regularly send shift and occupation schedules to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de.
  • Job interviews, committee meetings, discussions, etc. can be conducted on site or partially on site up to a maximum of ten persons – if they cannot be conducted online due to valid reasons, such as the required infrastructure on site or the scope of the topic. This strict upper limit of ten participants is also binding in the case of studies and surveys conducted (partially) on site (if an audited hygiene concept is available), doctoral defences, as well as introductory lectures (including the interview with the appointment committee) within the framework of the meeting of appointment committees. If there are more than five participants on site, testing is compulsory for all those present. The procedure is to be applied analogously to the procedure described below for on-site courses and exams. Approval by the Crisis Management Team or University Management is not required in the above-mentioned cases; the events can be planned and carried out independently – in compliance with hygiene and protection regulations. If on-site events are to be held outside of these regulations, it is possible for the Crisis Management Team or University Management to approve exceptions in justified cases. Detailed information on this can be found in the FAQ section on the corona virus.

Changes with regard to compulsory testing and self-testing in the context of approved on-site courses and exams

The current regulations, including compulsory testing, will continue to apply to teaching and examination operation after 1 June 2021. However, in view of the new regulations at federal and state level, self-reports regarding the performance of self-tests may no longer be recognised. In future, lecturers and students will therefore be required to provide evidence that a test has been carried out by medically trained staff in a test centre, etc., or alternatively to carry out a self-test under the supervision of the lecturer before or at the beginning of an approved on-site course or exam. In these cases, students receive self-tests from teachers or examiners, who can also continue to order them internally. If students require proof of the completion or result of a self-test taken under supervision, e.g. for participation in a second on-site course on the same day, the form published in the FAQ section can still be used, which in this case should be signed by the supervising lecturer.

If a participant's test result is positive at the beginning of a course or exam, the course or exam must be ended immediately and the university must be notified in order to coordinate the next steps (via e-mail to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de). You can find more information on the changed procedure as well as the adapted hygiene concepts for the implementation of on-site courses, on-site examinations, and meetings in the FAQ section.

Developing a long-term strategy for dealing with fully vaccinated people

According to the RKI, 15.7 percent of the population in Germany are currently fully vaccinated. Nevertheless, it is important to set the course for the future and develop a long-term strategy for dealing with those who have been fully vaccinated, not least in view of the fact that all persons working at universities now belong to the so-called Prioritisation Group 3 and can obtain a corresponding employer's certificate to prove their entitlement to vaccination. For this reason, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided to develop a corresponding model in the coming weeks on the basis of legal and medical information obtained or still to be obtained and in consultation with the faculties, the central institutions, and the ZUV, among others.

We all very much hope that we are now, as already emphasised by Federal President Steinmeier in his last Christmas address, "getting closer step by step to exiting the crisis". Of course, this continues to require your support, your patience, and your perseverance. For this I thank you very much!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

18th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 24 April 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

The Fourth Law for the Prevention and Control of Infectious Diseases in Humans (Infection Protection Act – IfSG) has now come into force. With regard to the seven-day incidence, it defines two threshold values that are relevant for higher education institutions. These are regulations which – as the HRK, among others, quite rightly pointed out in the run-up to the passing of the law – are inadequate, undifferentiated and detached from the facts. It is therefore all the more important to interpret the law in the areas relevant to higher education institutions and to implement it responsibly on this basis.

The first threshold defined in § 28b para. 3 sentence 2 IfSG is a seven-day incidence of 100: "If the seven-day incidence exceeds the threshold of 100 on three consecutive days in a county or an independent city, the implementation of on-site teaching from the day after the next is only permissible for general and vocational schools, higher education institutions, extracurricular adult education institutions, and similar institutions in the form of alternating teaching". The Rectorate of Chemnitz University of Technology expects that the mode of teaching practised so far at Chemnitz University of Technology in the 2021 summer semester is in line with the model of “alternating teaching” – which quite obviously originates from the school sector and has been transferred across the board to the higher education sector.

The second threshold defined in § 28b para. 3 sentence 3 IfSG is a seven-day incidence of 165: "If the seven-day incidence exceeds the threshold of 165 for three consecutive days in a county or independent city, general and vocational schools, higher education institutions, extracurricular adult education institutions, and similar institutions are prohibited from conducting on-site teaching from the day after the next". In a protocol declaration in the context of the decision making on the IfSG in the German Bundesrat, the Free State of Saxony has noted the following, among other things, under point 4: "The Free State of Saxony assumes that laboratory activities, internships, practical and artistic training periods, as well as examinations at higher education institutions in particular, in interpretation of the law, will continue to be possible on site even if the threshold of 165 is exceeded." This is supported by the explanatory memorandum to the draft of the IfSG, which contains, among others, the following comments on § 28b para. 3 IfSG: "Examinations, in particular final examinations, are not teaching within the meaning of the provision and therefore remain unaffected. The same applies to research activities, activities in laboratories, and similar facilities." Against this background, the science ministers of the federal states interpreted § 28b para. 3 IfSG on 23 April 2021 in a letter to the Federal Minister of Health and the Federal Minister of Science in such a way "that this also includes, as before, all practical training sections, e.g. in connection with patients in the clinics, internships, practical, and artistic training components, as these on-site events of higher education institutions are not comparable with on-site teaching of the schools". On the basis of the above legal interpretation and taking into account the strategic decisions already taken at Chemnitz University of Technology, University Management of Chemnitz University of Technology has decided that the teaching practised to date in the 2021 summer semester with generally low and well-defined on-site activity can largely be maintained even with a seven-day incidence of more than 165 – as it is currently in the City of Chemnitz. In concrete terms, this means that lecturers whose courses have been approved as on-site courses can continue to offer them – but are not obliged to do so if they do not consider this to be (any longer) justifiable with regard to the protection from infection due to the special form of implementation of their course. Exceptions are all practical sports courses, which unfortunately have to be discontinued with immediate effect, as they do not come under the above-mentioned regulations beyond doubt and the law has already come in force. We will conduct a detailed timely review, if at least some of these courses can be reapproved soon.

We hope we have made a responsible and appropriate decision and thank you very much for your understanding and support!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

17th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 22 April 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

In view of the persistently high infection figures and the regrettably unbroken dynamic development of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided to continue the selective and limited presence operation "25Plus" at Chemnitz University of Technology until 31 May 2021, which has been in place since 11 January 2021. The current regulations will therefore continue to apply. Please find detailed information on this (as before) in our FAQ section. There you will also find updated information on how to deal with already approved quota increases from 25 to up to 40 percent, extensions, new applications, etc.

Extension of Mandatory Testing for Approved On-Site Courses and Exams in the Lecture Period of the 2021 Summer Semester

Due to the possibilities and capacities that are now available, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided to extend the test obligation of the current on-site teaching and examination operation and to extend it to all on-site courses approved by the Crisis Management Team and University Management in the lecture period of the 2021 summer semester without exception as of 26 April 2021. This means that students and lecturers must provide a daily negative rapid test or self-test result as a prerequisite for conducting or participating in these on-site courses. The proof must either be provided by a certificate from a test centre or, in the case of a self-test, be made credible by means of a truthfully completed form. Teachers are required to check this access requirement before each on-site course, taking into account data protection concerns (visual inspection of the certificate or the completed form; the proof itself remains with the student). If the test result is positive or invalid, access to and participation in the course is prohibited.

Chemnitz University of Technology continuously procures self-tests on its own, which can be made available to lecturers for distribution to students. Any requirements can be communicated by lecturers of approved on-site courses and exams via e-mail (kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de) with immediate effect. Detailed information on the procedure can be found in our FAQ section.

However, in order to realise the test obligation, the option of free citizen testing can and should also be used. An overview of providers of rapid tests in Chemnitz and further information can be found in our FAQ section.

In addition, starting next week, a mobile testing team will also be offering free citizen testing three times a week (Tuesdays and Fridays from 6:30 to 12:30 and Thursdays from 6:30 to 15:30) on the square in front of the lecture hall building on the Reichenhainer Straße campus. Detailed information on this will also be available shortly in our FAQ section.

Please note that the existing hygiene and protection guidelines – even with the now extended compulsory testing – must continue to be observed at all times in the interests of health protection for all employees and students of Chemnitz University of Technology. In addition, it is explicitly pointed out that compulsory testing relates exclusively to approved on-site courses and exams and that this does not justify any claim to conducting additional courses.

Updating of Hygiene Guidelines and Action Guidelines

In connection with the extension of compulsory testing outlined above, the existing hygiene guidelines were adapted, in particular the hygiene guidelines for conducting courses on site and for exams held in attendance.

Furthermore, in view of the new definition of close contacts by the Robert Koch Institute, the existing guidelines for employees and students in the event of suspected cases, cases of infection, and quarantine have been updated. All members of our university are still required to inform Chemnitz University of Technology in the event of (their own) positive test results, quarantine orders, etc. and to follow the guidelines for action.

Please refer to the FAQ section for the new versions of the documents and other important information.

Fourth Act for the Protection of the Population in the Event of an Epidemic Situation of National Significance

With regard to the measures announced in the Fourth Law for the Protection of the Population in the Event of an Epidemic Situation of National Significance to contain the occurrence of infections, we will inform you as soon as possible after the passing of the law and final clarification of the specific requirements applicable to us.

Thank you very much, as always – for your understanding, your commitment, and your great support!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

16th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 31 March 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Due to the once again concerningly high increase in the number of infections, the still very dynamic development of the Covid-19 pandemic and the unstable situation with regard to the further spread of novel virus mutations, as well as against the background of the steps decided on at federal and state level to contain the incidence of infection, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided the following:

Continuation of the Selective and Limited Presence Operation "25Plus”

The selective and limited presence operation "25Plus", which has been in effect since 11 January 2021, will be continued until 1 May 2021. The currently valid regulations communicated in the previous Open Letters will continue to apply. As before, please refer to the entries in our FAQ section for information on how to deal with quota increases from 25 to a maximum of 40 percent that have already been approved, extensions, new applications, etc., as well as further information on the continuation of the operation.

Courses in the 2021 Summer Semester

Teaching in the 2021 summer semester will begin on 6 April and, as already described in the last Open Letters regarding the corona virus, will be conducted digitally for the most part. In view of the current situation outlined above, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have agreed that only courses that cannot be held digitally (e.g. due to required laboratory or technical equipment) and all practical sports courses that have already been approved can be held (partially) on site. This means that all courses for first-year students that do not fall into this category can unfortunately not be held (partially) on site. We very much regret this decision, which is once again necessary, and are of course aware of the disappointment that it entails. However, the health protection of our students and employees weighs more heavily and, in view of the current situation, does not permit any courses that do not necessarily require presence on site or can be held in another way.

The criteria issued for conducting courses (e.g. max. 30 students on site, compliance with specific hygiene guidelines if applicable) will of course remain in place. The course catalogue will be adjusted accordingly over the next few days. Students are asked to inform themselves about which courses will be offered (partially) on site and which will be offered digitally from 6 April 2021.

With the start of teaching in the 2021 summer semester, the assembly point principle will once again apply with regard to access for students to all buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology. This and further information can be found in the updated hygiene guidelines for conducting courses on site. Teachers are also instructed to use the forms for the documentation of students' contact details when holding courses on site and can order required hygiene articles. Details can be found in the FAQ section.

In view of the incidence of infection, we would also already like to point out that it will be possible and perhaps even necessary to conduct exams digitally in the 2021 summer semester. Examiners can already decide on a digital format and prepare accordingly.

Self-tests for Employees and Students

Partial deliveries of self-tests from central procurement by the Free State of Saxony have now arrived at Chemnitz University of Technology. Thus, in accordance with current regulations, employees and student assistants who are present at their workplace can now be offered the opportunity at least once a week take a free self-test voluntarily. The tests should be carried out immediately before the start of the on-site activity, but not in the rooms of Chemnitz University of Technology. The tests will be distributed centrally to the faculties, central institutions, and departments in the coming days. More information will be available shortly in the FAQ section.

Please note that the result of a self-test is a snapshot that is valid at the time of the test and is not 100 percent reliable. Therefore, even a negative result does not justify deviations from the hygiene regulations in effect at Chemnitz University of Technology (e.g. distance requirement, mask requirement, hand hygiene, etc.) and should not give anyone a false sense of security. A sample form is available in the FAQ section for credible proof of the execution and the corresponding result.

The Crisis Management Team and University Management have also decided to procure self-tests on our own initiative and to hand them out to lecturers and students for the implementation of or participation in approved practical sports courses that take place indoors, e.g. in the gym. For all participants in these on-site courses, the submission of a negative test of the same day will be made mandatory. This is intended to create a balance between health protection and the continuation of teaching or studying in an area where up to now (due to the lack of digitalisation options and more difficult compliance with hygiene measures) there have been no or hardly any opportunities to hold on-site courses.

Teachers of the above-mentioned courses receive the corresponding tests for the purpose of self-testing and for distribution to students through central distribution via the dean's office or the central institution. You can find more information on this in the hygiene regulation for conducting courses on site and shortly in the FAQ section.

Unfortunately, the 2021 summer semester will be another extraordinary semester that will demand a lot of effort and patience from us. I would like to thank all employees and students – also on behalf of the Crisis Management Team and University Management – for helping to make it a best possible semester.

I wish you all – despite the existing restrictions – a good start to the semester!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

15th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 5 March 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Due to the current development of the Covid-19 pandemic (in particular the renewed slight increase in the number of infections and the unstable situation with regard to the further spread of new virus mutations) and against the background of the measures adopted at federal and state level to contain the occurrence of infection, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided the following:

Continuation of the Selective and Limited Presence Operation "25Plus"

The selective and limited presence operation “25Plus” introduced 11 January 2021 will remain in effect until 5 April 2021 (end of semester break). The currently valid regulations communicated in previous Open Letters remain in force until further notice. Information on handling already approved quota increases from 25 to 40 percent, extensions, request for renewal etc. as well as additional information regarding the continuation of this mode of operation can be found in our FAQ section.

After an evaluation of the current practice of submitting and maintaining shift and occupancy schedules, the Crisis Management Team and University Management agreed to slightly modify the current procedure for reasons of decentralisation, transparency, and optimisation of the work and communication processes:

  • In future, the shift and occupancy schedules of all organisational units are to be sent exclusively in bundled form (i.e. in one file) via the deans' offices, management of the central institutions, etc.
  • There shall be only one weekly sending of the schedules (ahead of time for planning the coming week and retrospectively for updating the attendance in the previous week if different from the plans) by the first working day of the week.
  • The submission of deficiency reports if individual organisational units are exclusively in mobile work (home office) is introduced as mandatory.
  • Private contact details should generally remain in the deans' offices, offices of the central institutions, etc. (while ensuring that they can be reached quickly if necessary), but can also continue to be transmitted centrally in parallel with the occupancy plans in order to shorten information paths.

The responsible units are (still) asked to regularly send the shift and occupancy schedules or deficiency reports to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de to inform the Crisis Management Team. You can find detailed specifications on the preparation and submission in the FAQ section.

All members of our university are still asked to inform Chemnitz University of Technology about suspected cases, cases of infection, and quarantine cases, and are asked to observe the newly published guidelines for employees and students. Due to the dynamic development of infections, especially with regard to worrying virus variants that have appeared for the first time in Great Britain, Brazil, and South Africa, we also ask for information in the reports (if known) as to whether an infection with a virus mutation has occurred or whether there has been contact with a person with a corresponding infection.

Conducting Courses in the 2021 Summer Semester

As already announced in the last Open Letter on the corona virus, the majority of teaching activities in the 2021 summer semester will be carried out digitally – with the exception of courses that cannot be carried out digitally (e.g. due to required laboratory equipment), and as many courses as possible for first-year students that take place (partially) on site.

Following a query and central approval or prioritisation by the Crisis Management Team and University Management, this involves more than 300 courses. For these, an upper limit of max. 30 students on site is binding. The results are communicated to the schedule planners of the faculties and the ZLB in the tenth calendar week for internal distribution to lecturers. From the eleventh calendar week onwards, students can find out successively in our course catalogue which courses are offered (partially) on site and which are offered digitally.

Of course, these plans are subject to the condition that the hygiene and protection regulations can be observed and that the greatly reduced room capacity, the infection situation, and other general conditions permit attendance dates. If changes become necessary, the schedule planners will be informed and, if necessary, adjustments will be made to the course catalogue.

More information on courses in the 2021 summer semester, e.g. regarding access to the building, hygiene regulations to be observed, the recording of students' contact details, or the provision of hygiene articles by lecturers, can be found in the FAQ section.

The Corona pandemic presents us all with immense challenges, even a year or so after it began. I am firmly convinced that we will continue to cope well if we stick together, do not lessen our joint efforts to combat the pandemic, and have patience. However, due to the prolonged stressful situation, I would like to take this opportunity to once again point out the existing diverse support and counselling services at Chemnitz University of Technology or in the immediate vicinity of the university, including psychosocial counselling.

I thank you very much for your perseverance, your understanding, and your support!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

14th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 4 February 2021

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Due to the improved but still tense and, above all, unstable situation, and against the background of the extensions and tightening of measures to contain infections decided at federal and state level, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided the following:

Continuation of the Selective and Limited Presence Operation "25Plus"

The selective and limited presence operation "25Plus", which has been in force since 11 January 2021, will be continued until 6 March 2021 (end of the central examination period). For information on how to deal with already approved quota increases from 25 to 40 percent, extensions, new applications, etc., please see our FAQ section.

The currently applicable regulations communicated in the previous Open Letters remain in place, with the exception of the modifications listed here. With regard to compliance with our hygiene and protection regulations as well as carrying out business trips, our employees are asked to read and follow the regulations in the FAQ section.

Obligation to Wear Medical Masks

Until further notice, it is compulsory also at Chemnitz University of Technology to wear a medical mouth-nose protection (ER mask) or an FFP2 mask as well as masks of comparable standards (e.g. KN95 or N95) in the outdoor area and in open spaces as well as in all publicly accessible rooms with regular public traffic (except at individual workplaces or at the workplace, provided that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres or the minimum area of 20 m² for each person in the room can be maintained at all times). Please refer to our updated hygiene concepts for the exact regulations. Information on centrally organised dispatching or ordering of medical masks or FFP2 masks can be found in our FAQ section.

Conducting Examinations in the 2020/2021 Winter Semester

From 8 February 2021 (the start of the central examination period), the assembly point principle will be reintroduced with regard to access of students to all buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology.

If students do not have the necessary hardware to take digital exams, they can borrow it from the university for a limited period of time. For more information on this and the updated hygiene concept for conducting written exams on site, please see our FAQ section.

If students do not have the necessary internet connection to take digital exams, they can book a place in our university library via a reservation form.

Outlook: Curriculum Planning for the 2021 Summer Semester

According to current plans, teaching in the 2021 summer semester will begin (as planned) on 6 April 2021 and will be conducted digitally for the most part. However, as previously, courses that cannot be carried out digitally (e.g. due to required laboratory equipment) will be held (partially) on site. In addition, as many courses as possible for first-year students should take place (partially) on site – provided this is justifiable in view of the situation, hygiene and protection regulations can be complied with, and the resulting greatly reduced room capacity is available. The Vice President for Academic and International Affairs will request information on this. Possible adjustments (tightening or easing) will be announced in good time as appropriate to the situation. Starting March 2021, students will be able to find out gradually about organisational details of their courses in our course catalogue.

However, before we start the 2021 summer semester, in which we want to move more in the direction of normality compared to the 2020/2021 winter semester, I wish our students the best of luck and much success for the upcoming examination period!

As always, I thank you all very much for your perseverance, understanding, and support!

Kind regards – and: Stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

13th Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 8 January 2021

+++

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

First of all, on behalf of the University Management, I wish you and your families success, joy, happiness and above all good health for the New Year!

As you know, the situation regarding the Corona pandemic remains dramatic. It is true that the start of vaccinations gives cause for hope, the weekly incidences are decreasing slightly, the numbers at Chemnitz University of Technology have improved. However, infection numbers remain at far too high a level, mutations of the virus raise fears of higher infection rates, intensive care capacity has become a bottleneck, and the number of deaths related to Covid-19 has risen dramatically in recent weeks. As a result, at federal and state policy levels, extensions and tightening of infection-control measures have been passed again this week.

Taking all these and other aspects into consideration, including the measures taken so far at Chemnitz University of Technology, the Crisis Management Team and University Management have decided that – as planned – selective and limited presence operation will replace the New Year’s stand-by operation from 11 January 2021. Due to the situation described above, the selective and limited presence operation "25Plus" is in effect, which is initially limited until 5 February 2021. In adaptation of the previous forms this entails the following:

  • On the one hand, to protect our employees and students as well as their relatives – as in the case of the first stage of selective and limited presence operation defined in the Eighth Open Letter from the President from 26 May 2020 – an upper limit of max. 25 percent of the regular employees in an area is to be observed within the framework of the established quota principle.
  • On the other hand, in order to preserve research capacities and safeguard jobs, and due to the special conditions in laboratories, workshops, and clean rooms etc., there is the possibility, within the framework of a special regulation, to extend the presence in these areas to a maximum of 40 percent on the basis of the quota principle, if urgent and highly relevant research work can only be carried out using the laboratories, workshops, and clean rooms etc., and at the same time the protection of the employees can be guaranteed. Criteria for the special regulation are currently being worked out by University Management, in particular the responsible Vice President for Research and Junior Researchers, in consultation with the deans of the faculties primarily equipped with these facilities. Of course, you will be informed about the result as soon as possible in our FAQ section.

All other regulations apply unchanged as stated in the previous Open Letters from the President, specifically the Twelfth Open Letter from the President from 12 December 2020 (e.g., the upper limit of five persons in (partial) attendance at committee sessions and meetings, as well as the wearing of a mouth-nose cover also in the outdoor area, in open spaces, and in all publicly accessible rooms with regular public traffic).

Furthermore, we ask you to review the possible presence at Chemnitz University of Technology within the framework of the adjusted selective and limited presence operation for absolute necessity and to agree on practicable solutions between those affected and their line managers if necessary, to enable a compatibility of family and career. Also, we ask you to keep yourself informed via our regularly updated FAQ section, to strictly adhere to the hygiene and protective measures taken, and thus to protect yourself and others in the best possible way.

Of course, we will intensively monitor the situation at Chemnitz University of Technology and beyond and, if necessary, make further adjustments. In view of the very uncertain further development, we ask you to prepare intensively for a possibly necessary short-term transition to a new stand-by operation or even to a complete lockdown issued by the authorities.

Finally, in view of the continuing urgent need of the public health departments of the administrative districts and independent cities for additional support, we would like to renew the corresponding appeal of the President's Newsletter 65/2020 from 16 December 2020. For this purpose, we ask all those who are available for a respective activity and would like to contribute to the fight against the pandemic to contact the Department of Human Resources in coordination with your line manager – indicating the preferred place of assignment (first preference and, if applicable, second preference) as well as a telephone number and/or e-mail address.

Thank you very much for your understanding and support!

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Uwe Götze
(On behalf of the President)

+++

Twelfth Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 12 December 2020

As the Covid 19 infection figures are at a dramatically high level, the Saxon state government has decided on extensive measures to contain the incidence of infection from Monday, 14 December 2020. Of course, the current situation as well as the adopted measures also result in various changes for Chemnitz University of Technology. These are relatively moderate (compared to other institutions), as we have been striving for some time now to follow a course that prioritises the protection of our employees and students and at the same time avoids sudden changes. In addition, we have already reacted to the (emerging) infection situation at an early stage. For example, as early as November, we decided to transfer all approved on-site courses and exams of the current examination period, which do not necessarily require attendance, into a digital or alternative format.

In addition, the Crisis Management Team and University Management decided on the following adjustments in its most recent meeting, partly in implementation of or in line with the new state-wide regulations:

For the coming days until 22 December 2020, the already communicated regulations for selective and limited presence operation will continue to apply. Consequently, all our employees are instructed, as before, to make use of mobile work as far as possible and to be present at Chemnitz University of Technology (within the framework of the existing quota regulation) exclusively for urgent work that can only be carried out on site. However, we request that any planned presence at Chemnitz University of Technology, which is possible within the framework of selective and limited presence, is assessed with regard to its absolute necessity.

From 24 December 2020 to 1 January 2021, Chemnitz University of Technology will – as planned – remain closed as agreed with the Staff Council. Due to the urgent request expressed in the video conference of the Federal Chancellor with the Heads of Government of the Federal States on 25 November 2020 "to examine whether the business premises can be closed either by company holidays or generous home office solutions from 23 December 2020 to 1 January 2021", in addition to the planned closure, there will be no presence operation at Chemnitz University of Technology already on 23 December 2020. This means that mobile work is to be used exclusively on this day.

Due to the feared steep rise in the number of infections after the Christmas holidays and New Year's Eve, Chemnitz University of Technology will be put into a New Year's stand-by operation in the first week of January, from 2 to 10 January 2021. Mobile work, digital courses, and digital examinations are of course completely unaffected by this (on-site courses will not take place). More detailed information on the implementation of the New Year’s stand-by operation will be available shortly in the FAQ section.

The New Year's stand-by operation is planned to be replaced by the currently effective selective and limited presence operation as of 11 January 2021.

Since, according to the current Corona Protection Regulation of the Free State of Saxony, schools, after-school care centres and kindergartens will remain closed from 14 December 2020 to 10 January 2021, we ask that, if necessary, practicable solutions within the framework of selective and limited presence operation are agreed upon between those affected and their line managers so that family and career remain compatible.

From Wednesday, 16 December 2020, until further notice, committee sessions, meetings, etc. can only be held (partially) on site up to a strict limit of five participants, provided that they cannot be held online due to valid reasons, such as the required infrastructure on site or the scope of the topic, and the hygiene and protection regulations can be fully complied with.

A mouth-nose cover (mouth-nose mask) is to be worn from Monday, 14 December 2020, until further notice, also in the outdoor area and in open spaces as well as in all publicly accessible rooms with regular public traffic of Chemnitz University of Technology (mask obligation). Consequently, in all on-site courses and exams as well as all other on-site events (meetings, etc.), with the exception of the person giving the lecture and in addition to maintaining the minimum distance of 1.5 metres, a mouth-nose cover is mandatory. This does not apply to individual workplaces or at the workplace, provided that the minimum distance of 1.5 metres can be maintained.

In addition, all areas of our university are urged to prepare for a – if necessary (for example after the turn of the year) – rapid transition to an officially imposed lockdown.

As in the previous Open Letters, I ask you all to continuously inform yourselves using our regularly updated FAQ section, to strictly adhere to the hygiene and protection measures taken, and to protect yourselves and others in the best possible way.

Of course, we will intensively monitor the situation (especially after the turn of the year) and, if necessary, make further adjustments.

Thank you very much for your understanding and assistance!

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Eleventh Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 2 November 2020

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Unfortunately, the situation with regard to the spread of the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) has, as you all know, considerably worsened. On 31 October 2020, the Robert Koch Institute reported 19,059 new infections in Germany within one day, a new – extremely alarming – peak value. In Saxony and the City of Chemnitz the number of new infections has increased significantly as well. The number of laboratory-confirmed new infections of the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants in Saxony is 103 (as of the Tenth Open Letter Regarding the Corona Virus of 1 October 2020: 8.7) and in the City of Chemnitz 135 (as of the Tenth Open Letter Regarding the Corona Virus of 1 October 2020: 13). In the City of Chemnitz, which is therefore above the Saxon average and is considered an area with an increased incidence of infection, 334 new infections occurred in the last week.

Against the background of the developments described above, the Federal Chancellor agreed with the heads of government of the federal states in a video conference on 28 October 2020 on additional measures to prevent the further uncontrollable spread of the corona virus. These measures are in force from today and are limited initially until the end of November. They include – in addition to further restrictions on contacts and closures in the leisure sector – an appeal to citizens to "reduce their contacts to an absolutely necessary minimum" and an appeal to companies "to allow homework or mobile working at home wherever this is feasible". At the same time, it was announced that "the controls for compliance with the measures will be strengthened countrywide". After two weeks, a new assessment of the situation and any necessary adjustments will be made.

Due to the development described above and against the background of the measures decided at federal and state level, the Crisis Management Team and the University Management of Chemnitz University of Technology at the end of last week also felt compelled to decide the following additional measures against the spread of the corona virus:

On-Site Courses

All on-site courses that have been approved (subject to the proviso that the further infection situation allows for on-site events) will be converted into a digital format as far as possible until further notice. This means that only courses that cannot be held digitally (e.g. due to required laboratory or technical equipment) can be taught (partially) on site – and unfortunately all courses for first-semester students that do not fall into this category can no longer be held (partially) on site.

Dear first-semester students, we are deeply sorry to have to take this measure. We know how important it is for you to get to know the university, academic life, and of course your fellow students. However, your protection as well as the protection of other students and staff weighs more heavily and, in view of current developments, no longer allows for on-site events that cannot be conducted elsewhere.

In order to give both the affected students and the affected lecturers, who have already been prepared for the (emerging) situation by two letters from the Vice President for Academic and International Affairs, the new regulation takes effect on 9 November 2020. Lecturers are requested to inform the students of the specific details and to report the corresponding changes to Central Course Management via the respective course planner to update the central course catalogue.

Strict Upper Limit of Ten Persons for All Other Events

Committee meetings, discussions, etc. can continue to be held (partially) on site up to a maximum of ten participants if they cannot be held online for compelling reasons, such as the required local infrastructure or the scope of the topic, and if hygiene and safety regulations can be fully complied with. Events with more than ten participants are principally no longer possible until further notice.

Business Trips

The approval of business trips is still possible, provided that the business matters are urgent and absolutely necessary and cannot be carried out in any other way (e.g. by telephone or video conference) – with immediate effect, however, only within Germany and for trips to areas that do not show an increased incidence of infection (moving weekly incidence below 50 the day before the start of the business trip).

Adjustments Based on the New Corona Protection Regulation of the Free State of Saxony and the General Ruling of the City of Chemnitz

Due to the Corona Protection Regulation of the Free State of Saxony of 30 October 2020 and the general ruling of the City of Chemnitz of 23 October 2020, it was necessary to make selective adjustments to our hygiene and protection regulations and the forms for contact data collection. This includes, among other things, that personal data for contact tracing must be collected and kept for one month. In addition, hygiene concepts must designate a responsible contact person on site "for compliance with and implementation of the hygiene concept, the applicable contact restrictions and distance regulations, as well as for wearing a mouth-nose cover".

In addition, adjustments are necessary with regard to the obligation to wear masks: As before, masks are mandatory in the buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology in case of possible personal contact, i.e. except in rooms used alone. This now also applies to open spaces at Chemnitz University of Technology if the distance of 1.5 meters cannot be maintained. I would therefore ask you to adapt the hygiene concepts that you have created on your own responsibility in the respective areas and to send them to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de for a renewed examination.

In addition, the Corona Protection Regulation of the Free State of Saxony of 30 October 2020 stipulates that, among other things, "facilities and equipment for recreational and amateur sports activity" must be closed for the month of November. The gymnasium on Thüringer Weg and the premises of the Center for Sports and Health Promotion (ZfSG) will therefore not be available for recreational sports for the time being.

In addition, company and association celebrations are not permitted under the new regulations in either the private or public sector.

Further Provisions for Selective and Limited Presence Operation

The other regulations for selective and limited presence operation communicated in the previous Open Letters Regarding the Corona Virus will be maintained for the time being. This concerns, among other things, the regulations on oral exams, alternative forms of examination, exam deadlines, doctoral defences, studies and surveys, presentations at the meetings of appointment committees, application interviews, committee meetings, discussions, etc. In the case of events held (partially) on site, however, the strict upper limit of 10 participants that is now in effect must be observed.

The rules of occupancy and the quota principle communicated in the Ninth Open Letter Regarding the Corona Virus from 6 July 2020 will also be maintained until further notice. This is possible because the number of people on site will be significantly thinned out with the transfer of a large proportion of on-site courses to the digital space, because there was no relaxation or increase in the quota in late summer (in view of a probable worsening of the situation), because the quota is not fully utilised in many areas, and because the existing regulations have proven to be very effective. Nevertheless, at this point it should again be pointed out very clearly that...

  • all employees of Chemnitz University of Technology are instructed to make use of mobile work as far as possible (without separate application – after consultation with the respective line manager), and to limit personal contacts to an absolutely necessary minimum,
  • the presence of staff of Chemnitz University of Technology at our university is only possible for urgent work that can only be carried out in presence,
  • the upper limit of max. 40 percent of the regular staff (but at least 2 employees) must be complied with at all times.

At the same time, all areas of our university are required to prepare for a rapid transition to full stand-by operation in case the situation worsens further and more far-reaching measures need to be taken, and to have appropriate concepts in place that allow for a rapid shutdown to the absolutely necessary minimum operation and define a core team necessary for this operation.

Compliance with the adopted regulations at Chemnitz University of Technology

It does not need to be mentioned that all regulations (including the hygiene and protection regulations) – which serve the protection of members of Chemnitz University of Technology and their guests and are intended to prevent a further spread of the corona virus – must be strictly adhered to, and actions must be taken against violations accordingly, as explained in the Tenth Open Letter Regarding the Corona Virus of 1 October 2020. Unfortunately, we have indications that in some areas the applicable rules are not sufficiently observed, and I have already been forced to issue warnings due to violations that have occurred. Fortunately, however, these are only few individual cases in which repeated violations are not to be expected. Nevertheless – analogous to the procedure decided on the federal and state level – the compliance with all measures taken will be increasingly controlled. I would ask you not to see this as blanket mistrust, but solely as a measure to protect our students, staff, and guests in this tense situation as best as possible and to avoid further restrictions up to a new lockdown if possible.

I ask you all for your understanding for the measures taken. However, they should not require too much change and adjustment, as we have been trying to avoid short-term, abrupt changes of direction since the beginning of the corona crisis and, against the background of the relatively high probability of a second wave of infection, we deliberately maintained a rather defensive strategy already in late summer.

Of course, we will continue to closely monitor further developments and, if necessary, make adjustments – in order to best meet our goal of providing the best possible protection for our members and their families and at the same time maintaining our university life as far as possible and responsible.

Finally, as always, I would like to ask you to pay attention to any notifications already made and to keep up to date with our regularly updated FAQ section.

The time ahead of us will definitely not be easy. However, together – as a TUC family – we will succeed in overcoming the challenges involved.

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Tenth Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 1 October 2020

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Today the 2020/2021 winter semester begins. Behind us lies a summer semester which, due to the Covid 19 pandemic, was in many ways a highly exceptional semester. Together, however, we have successfully overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic: On the one hand, we have managed to protect our members of the University Community and their families in the best possible way and, on the other hand, we have – as good as possible and as responsible – been able to maintain our university life. I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank all those who have contributed to shaping this extraordinary semester and in doing so have helped to overcome the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Curriculum in the 2020/2021 Winter Semester

Teaching in the 2020/2021 winter semester will begin on 12 October 2020 and, as already outlined in the Ninth Open Letter on the corona virus, will largely be conducted digitally. However, it is important to note that the 2020/2021 winter semester – like the 2020 summer semester – will not be a purely digital semester. Thus, as already announced, courses that cannot be conducted digitally (e.g. due to the need for laboratory equipment) and as many courses as possible for first-semester students will be held (partially) on site – provided that the situation allows, the hygiene and safety regulations can be complied with, and given the necessary distance rules, the reduced room capacity allows.

After a query, central approval, and prioritisation by the Crisis Management Team and University Management, this involves around 500 courses. In our course catalogue, students can find out which courses are offered on site and which in digital form. In addition, a majority of the events during the orientation week will be held on site as well. These plans are, of course, subject to the condition that the infection situation allows for on-site meetings.

The prerequisite for the implementation of on-site teaching is the mandatory observance and compliance with the hygiene concept for the implementation of on-site courses. It regulates access to buildings during the lecture period, gives instructions on correct behaviour, and refers to the form for the collection of contact data of students participating in on-site courses and its handling (storage in the respective dean's office, office of the central institution, etc.). Should mouth-nose masks, disinfectants, etc. be required on site in the faculties, central institutions, or the central university administration in order to implement the hygiene concept for on-site courses, etc., please contact kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de.

Second Stage of Selective and Limited Presence Operation

The principles defined in the Eighth Open Letter regarding the corona virus and modified in the Ninth Open Letter regarding the corona virus for the selective and limited presence operation continue to apply until further notice – as do the regulations communicated in the Ninth Open Letter regarding the corona virus for the defence of doctoral theses, studies involving participants, surveys, introduction lectures, and the holding of committee sessions, meetings, etc. From now on, however, lecturers are no longer to be counted towards the quota of an organisational unit during courses, practicals, etc. This is intended to relieve the quotas and to avoid having to make use of them for the increased number of lecturers on campus at the expense of research activity. The requirement to make use of occupancy and shift plans continues to apply during the 2020/2021 winter semester as well. However, in order to implement the above-mentioned regulation it is now necessary that lecturers are labelled accordingly.

After the end of the central examination period of the 2020 summer semester, a few events were made possible (partially) on site after a specific hygiene concept had been drawn up and approved by the Crisis Management Team and University Management. In the current winter semester, however, this is only possible to a very limited extent due to limited room capacities and an increased number of people attending prioritised on-site courses. The Crisis Management Team and University Management will decide on justified exceptional cases.

Further openings and relaxations are not possible for the time being. This is partly due to the start of the semester, which must not be jeopardised under any circumstances and (especially in the first few weeks) brings with it certain challenges. After all, around 1,500 students are expected to be present at Chemnitz University of Technology, which will lead to a significant increase in the number of students at our university. On the other hand, the rising number of infections is worrying. For example, the number of laboratory-confirmed new infections in the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants in Saxony is 8.7 (as of the Eighth Open Letter regarding the corona virus of 26 May 2020: 3) and in the city of Chemnitz 13 (as of the Eighth Open Letter regarding the corona virus of 26 May 2020: 0.3). Additionally, 37 new infections occurred in the city of Chemnitz in the last week and by the end of last week there were more cases of infection, quarantine, and suspected cases than ever before at Chemnitz University of Technology (cases of infection: 4; cases of quarantine: 9; suspected cases: 3). Against this background, we must do everything possible to protect our students and staff as best as we can – and thereby avoid a lockdown in winter. After a successful start of teaching in the 2020/2021 winter semester and the establishment of the necessary routines, as well as after a close examination of the further development of the Covid-19 pandemic, a decision on the next steps will be taken in close internal coordination.

Strict Compliance with Hygiene and Protection Regulations

In view of the above-mentioned development of infection rates, and in the absence of a vaccine, it is absolutely essential that hygiene and protection rules are fully and strictly observed. This applies above all to the obligation to wear masks (in the buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology in case of possible personal contact, i.e. on all stairs, corridors and in jointly used rooms etc.). I urge you to observe the corresponding regulations. They serve to protect you and your fellow human beings – and at the same time to avoid a lockdown and to be able to maintain our university life in its current form.

Violations of the hygiene concept are not tolerable regarding the protection of our employees, students, and guests and must be punished with the means available. In appropriate cases, this includes notification to the City of Chemnitz to initiate fine proceedings in accordance with § 8 paragraph 2 of the Sächsische Corona-Schutz-Verordnung (Saxon Corona Protection Ordinance), disciplinary measures in accordance with § 17 paragraph 2 of the house rules of Chemnitz University of Technology (admonition, expulsion from the buildings and open spaces, house ban) and, with regard to employees, disciplinary measures (admonitions, formal warnings and – in particularly serious individual cases – extraordinary dismissals).

Employees and students who return to Chemnitz and to Chemnitz University of Technology after holiday trips or return from their home countries are also requested to observe the currently valid regulations on quarantine, notification, and testing obligations for travel returnees and to keep themselves informed on an ongoing basis. An overview of relevant information according to the current status can be found in the FAQ section of Chemnitz University of Technology. There employees will also find the applicable regulations for business trips, which must be observed.

Employees and students are of course still required to report quarantines, infections, and suspected cases without delay. Employees should contact the Human Resources Department (CC: kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de), students should contact the Student Service Point (CC: kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de). This also applies if you are not (yet) in Chemnitz or at Chemnitz University of Technology. In addition, the respective heads of the organisational units are still required to ensure, via occupancy or shift schedules including contact details (form for collecting contact details in the FAQ section), that contact chains can be tracked quickly and completely in the event of quarantines, infections, suspected cases or other incidents. Furthermore, I would ask you all to take note of the notifications already made and to consult the constantly updated FAQ section regularly.

I think we all long for a return to normality. Unfortunately, this normality will not be achieved in the 2020/2021 winter semester either. However, I am firmly convinced that, together, we will be able to successfully master this semester and its challenges! Thank you very much for your vital assistance and understanding.

I wish you all a good semester start – despite the existing restrictions – and would like to also take this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to our first-semester students at Chemnitz University of Technology.

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Hygiene Concept of Chemnitz University of Technology for Written Exams Regarding the Corona Virus (SARS-CoV-2) – Foundation for the Start of the Central Examination Period beginning 20 July 2020

On July 20, 2020, the central examination period will begin at Chemnitz University of Technology. The foundation for this is the strict adherence to the hygiene concept for written exams (version 1.2, as of 15 July 2020) of our university. It can be found in the FAQ section and must be observed by students, examiners, and exam supervisors. The currently published version of the concept includes the following changes among others: cancellation of the assembly point principle for selected buildings in the central examination period (20 July to 15 August 2020) as well as cancellation of the regulation on wearing mouth-nose covers for the duration of the examination, provided that the minimum distance to other persons can be maintained. In addition, a new form for the collection of contact details of students participating in examinations on site was published in the FAQ section. This form is also decisive for the central examination period and is to be deposited in the respective dean's office.

+++

Ninth Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 6 July 2020

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Fortunately, the situation regarding the spread of the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) and the resulting infectious disease ("Corona virus induced disease", COVID-19) has further improved and to some extent stabilised: The number of laboratory-confirmed new infections of the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants is 0.4 in Saxony and 0 in the city of Chemnitz; for more than a week there has been no new infection in the city of Chemnitz; for several weeks now, neither an infection nor a suspected case has been reported at our university. Against this background, the crisis management team and the University Management of Chemnitz University of Technology have decided to transfer Chemnitz University of Technology to the second stage of selective and limited presence operation from 13 July 2020, i.e. the last week of lectures, until further notice, provided that there is no significant deterioration in the infection situation in the Free State of Saxony, the city of Chemnitz, and Chemnitz University of Technology.

Second Stage of Selective and Limited Presence Operation

The principles defined in the Eighth Open Letter on the corona virus for selective and limited presence operation – the strict adherence to hygiene and protection regulations (update: 7 July 2020), the strict observance of a quota principle, the enabling of shift plans within the regulations on flexitime applicable at Chemnitz University of Technology, the guarantee of sufficient flexibility, and the decentralisation of implementation – continue to apply in principle, but are modified in the following points:

  • Quota principle: For urgent work that can only be carried out on-site, employees in the individual organisational sections (professorships, etc.) may work on-site up to a maximum of 40 percent (but at least 2 employees) of the regular number of staff (subject to the general rounding rules). In the Central University Administration, the Chancellor (or his representative) determines the quotas that are absolutely necessary in the departments to cover the demand in the second stage of selective and limited presence operation.
  • Hygiene and protection regulations (update: 7 July 2020):In order to respond to the improved situation on the one hand and the higher number of people in the second stage of selective and limited presence operation on the other hand, mouth-nose covers must still be worn in the buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology (but not outside) in case of possible contact with persons, i.e. on all stairs, corridors, and shared rooms, etc.
  • Flexibility: In the second stage of selective and limited presence operation, it must be possible, if the situation deteriorates, to switch to the first stage of selective and limited presence operation, to extended, or even to complete stand-by operation within a very short time-frame (24 hours) – depending on the extent of the deterioration – for which appropriate concepts must be provided in the individual sections.

In addition, the following regulations – some of which have been made in the meantime and communicated in the FAQ section – apply in the second stage of selective and limited presence operation:

  • Doctoral defences: To the extent that it is necessary and the hygiene and protection regulations can be fully observed, it is possible to conduct doctoral defences in (partial) attendance. The doctoral candidate, the members of the doctoral committee and the person taking the minutes can be present (if necessary, an additional person can be called in to provide technical support), while online transmission is offered for the (university) public.
  • Studies and surveys involving participants: Studies and surveys involving participants can be carried out on-site, as far as this is necessary and the hygiene and protection regulations can be fully observed. For this purpose, additional, special hygiene concepts or hygiene and protection regulations are required, which must be cleared with the company medical service via Ms Diana Schreiterer (e-mail: kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de, phone: 0371 531-35267). Participants are not considered in the calculation of the reference value for the upper percentage limit – analogous to the regulation for student assistants – but are counted as part of the maximum number of persons permitted to be present in the respective section at a certain time.
     
  • Appointment lectures: As already stated in the Eighth Open Letter on the corona virus, it is possible to hold introduction lectures (including the discussion with the appointment committee) in (partial) attendance at the meetings of appointment committees, as far as this is necessary and the hygiene and protection regulations can be fully observed. The members of the appointment committee, the person taking the minutes, and the candidate may be present (if necessary, an additional person may be called in to provide technical support), while an online transmission is offered for the lecture part intended for the university public.
     
  • Holding of committee sessions, meetings etc.: In principle, committee sessions, meetings, etc. can be held in (partial) attendance up to a maximum of 10 participants, if they cannot be held online for good reasons, such as the infrastructure required on site or the scope of the topic, and if the hygiene and safety regulations can be fully observed.
     

Further information and details on the four points mentioned can be found in our FAQ section. Approval by the crisis management team or the university management is not required in the above-mentioned cases.

Plans for the 2020/2021 winter semester

Further developments with regard to the spread of the corona virus and the infectious disease it causes are difficult to foresee for the period of the 2020/2021 winter semester. It must, however, be assumed with a very high degree of probability that the risk of infection with the virus will continue to exist, that no vaccine is available, and that as a result, restrictions will (and have to) continue to exist. Against this background, we have decided to carry out teaching largely digitally in the 2020/2021 winter semester. This means that the courses to be offered in the 2020/2021 winter semester will generally be offered as digital courses. Exceptions to this rule are – after central approval or prioritisation – courses that cannot be held digitally, and as many courses as possible for first-semester students, provided that the situation permits and the hygiene and safety regulations can be observed. With regard to the holding of classroom courses in the 2020/2021 winter semester, a query from the Vice-President for Academic and International Affairs will follow.

Since we have considerably more lead time and preparation time for the 2020/2021 winter semester compared to the situation in the 2020 summer semester, we assume that all courses in the 2020/2021 winter semester will be offered either as classroom courses or in a digital format. For the implementation of digital courses, tutorials will continue to be offered and the technical infrastructure will be provided centrally.

According to the current state of planning, lectures in the 2020/2021 winter semester at Chemnitz University of Technology will begin on 12 October, 2020. From the end of August, students can consult the course catalogue to find out which courses will be offered as digital courses and which as classroom courses in the 2020/2021 winter semester.

With the second stage of selective and limited presence operation, which was defined on the basis of a general assessment of the situation, feedback from individual sections of our university, and coordination between all members of the crisis management team and the University Management, we continue to pursue the goal of providing the best possible protection for our members and their families, while at the same time maintaining our university life as far as possible and responsible.

Even if, as mentioned at the beginning, the situation with regard to the spread of the corona virus and the resulting infectious disease has further improved and to a certain extent stabilised, the corona crisis – as individual corona outbreaks and dramatic developments worldwide show – is far from over. Against this background, I would ask you to continue to take the situation very seriously and to comply fully with the existing hygiene and protection regulations. This includes, above all, that suspected cases of infection as well as cases of quarantine and infection of employees are reported immediately to the Human Resources Department (copy to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de) and of students to the Student Service Point (copy to kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de) and that in the case of infection or suspicion, the chains of contact can be traced quickly and completely, which must be ensured by the respective heads of the organisational sections via occupancy or shift schedules including contact details. Please continue to observe the previously communicated measures, information, recommendations, as well as notes and inform yourself regularly in the constantly updated FAQ section.

For future inquiries and the submission of any kind of information on the corona crisis, please use the e-mail address kontakt-corona@tu-chemnitz.de.

Thank you very much for your understanding, your outstanding support and your perseverance! I wish our students much success in the upcoming exams!

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Eighth Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 26 May 2020

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

as already announced in the Seventh Open Letter regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 4 May 2020, by now additional classroom courses have been approved – after additional requested information and individual clarification – as part of a second stage of extended stand-by operation and further work in laboratories, clean rooms, workshops etc. has been made possible to a limited extent (with an occupancy rate of max. 10 percent of the regularly worked hours) and under the defined and communicated conditions.

Now that the number of new lab-confirmed infections of the past seven days per 100,000 inhabitants is 3 in Saxony and 0.3 in the city of Chemnitz, hardly any new infections have occurred in the city of Chemnitz for several weeks, and neither infections nor suspected infections have been reported at Chemnitz University of Technology for a considerable period of time, the crisis management team and the university management of Chemnitz University of Technology have decided to transfer Chemnitz University of Technology from extended stand-by operation to selective and limited presence operation as of June 1, 2020. This step is being taken both in consideration of the urgency and necessity of on-site work at Chemnitz University of Technology and in compliance with strict hygiene and protection regulations until further notice, i. e. under the provision that no significant deterioration of the infection situation in the Free State of Saxony, the city of Chemnitz, and Chemnitz University of Technology occurs.

Selective and limited presence operation – which does not correspond to regular operation, not even limited regular operation – is based on the following principles:

  • the strict observance of hygiene and protection regulations (update: 3 June 2020). Further loosening (as indicated by the following remarks) is only possible if the existing hygiene and protection regulations can be fully complied with. Any special hygiene concepts or hygiene and protection regulations that may be necessary must be cleared with the works medical service via Ms Diana Schreiterer (e-mail diana.schreiterer@..., phone +49 371 531-35267). Since, according to the hygiene concept of Chemnitz University of Technology, every person at Chemnitz University of Technology is obliged to wear a mouth-and-nose cover for possible contact with people under 1.5 m, and since a higher number of people are to be expected in the context of the selective and limited presence operation at Chemnitz University of Technology, mouth-and-nose covers must be worn on the campus grounds (squares, walkways, corridors, etc.).
  • the strict observance of a quota principle. According to this principle, employees in individual organisational units (professorships, etc.) may work – for urgent work that can only be carried out on-site – up to a maximum limit of 25 percent of the regular staff employed there (student assistants are not taken into account when calculating the reference value for the upper limit, but are counted as part of the maximum permissible number of persons who may be present in the respective area at a certain time). It should be noted that the upper limit includes all employees working in the unit – including those previously working at Chemnitz University of Technology (core teams etc.) – and must be complied with at all times.
  • the enabling of shift schedules within the regulations on flexible working time at Chemnitz University of Technology. The fixed upper limit of max. 25 percent does not mean that a maximum of 25 percent of the employees of a unit may be tasked with urgent work that can only be carried out on-site, but that a maximum of 25 percent of the employees of a unit may be employed at Chemnitz University of Technology at the same time for the corresponding work. This means that, provided that the shift schedule is consistent and in accordance with the hygiene and protection regulations, overall more employees than 25 percent of the employees of an area may in principle – but not at the same time – work at Chemnitz University of Technology to carry out the above-mentioned tasks. Shift schedules should ensure that fixed teams are formed wherever possible, i. e. that always the same employees are present at the same time.
  • ensuring sufficient flexibility. Since the development of the next few weeks (number of confirmed and suspected infections, etc.) cannot be predicted and rapid intervention may be necessary if the situation deteriorates, it must be possible to switch back to extended or full stand-by operation within a very short time (24 hours). The individual units are required to have appropriate concepts in place to enable a rapid transition.
  • the decentralisation of implementation. The heads of the faculties, central institutions, and departments are requested to establish and ensure the transition from extended stand-by operation to selective and limited presence operation, if necessary in coordination with the responsible vice-presidents, as well as the implementation of this operational mode under the defined conditions on their own responsibility. However, the occupancy and shift schedules are to be forwarded to the crisis management team or university management for their information, so that it is clear who is in which area of the TU at what time. Furthermore, the plans in the individual units, including the contact data (address, e-mail address, telephone number) of the respective employees, are to be kept available and stored in such a way that they can be immediately forwarded to the university management for forwarding to the health authorities upon request.

Irrespective of this, it should be pointed out that even in selective and limited presence operation, no public access and no on-site events are possible until further notice. An exception to this is the holding of introductory presentations as part of the meetings of appointment commissions, provided that the existing hygiene and protection regulations can be fully complied with.

With regard to courses, as part of the implementation of selective and limited presence operation, there will be a last query by the Vice President for Academic and International Affairs for the 2020 summer semester, after which a few additional courses can be approved as classroom courses following central prioritisation, provided that sufficient justification is available with regard to the defined key questions (cf. the Seventh Open Letter regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) of 4 May 2020).

Regarding exams, the following applies...

  • Oral exams (including defences and colloquia of theses) may only be held as face-to-face sessions if they cannot be held online and if the hygiene and protection regulations can be observed.
  • Exams should, as far as possible, be offered as online exams. Appropriate procedures will be developed and communicated in June 2020.

Students can consult the constantly updated course catalogue to find out which other digital courses and classroom courses will be offered in the 2020 summer semester. Students are still required to enter the buildings and facilities of Chemnitz University of Technology only to attend the approved (on-site) courses. Students who belong to the risk group themselves or who do not want to attend classroom courses due to family members living in the same household who belong to the risk group are still recommended to use only online courses. The regulations already established and communicated in the previous Open Letters on the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) regarding the withdrawal from exams and the extension of deadlines for the submission of term papers and theses remain unchanged until further notice.

For employees of Chemnitz University of Technology, the introduction of the selective and limited presence operation means that from June 1, 2020 (as before) ...

  • all employees of Chemnitz University of Technology are required to make use of mobile work as far as possible. All lecturers who can offer courses completely digitally are asked to do so accordingly.
  • employees who cannot or cannot fully continue to use mobile work are only to return to their workplace – after consultation with their line manager – if they are absolutely necessary for selective and limited presence operation and if infection protection is fully guaranteed (cf. the Sixth Open Letter regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) of 17 April 2020 and the hygiene and protection regulations (update: 3 June 2020)).
  • employees who belong to the risk group (definition according to the RKI) can be enabled, after consultation with the respective line manager, to remain at home even if they cannot make use of mobile work. They do not have to apply for leave, overtime compensation, or unpaid leave and in this case, they generally retain the right to remuneration. However, unless they have taken leave etc. or are on sick leave, they must be reachable via telephone and/or e-mail. The same applies to employees who do not wish to return to work for valid reasons related to the current corona crisis, such as family members belonging to the risk group and living in the same household.

With selective and limited presence operation, we want – as with the previous steps – to provide the best possible protection for our members and their families, as appropriate to the situation, while at the same time maintaining our university life as far as possible and responsible. Of course, the protection of the health of our employees and students is our highest priority. At the same time, however, this is also the best way to avoid having to undo various steps we have taken in recent months, or even to fall into a complete lockdown for a longer period of time.

The recent "corona outbreaks" in Germany and warnings of a second wave of infection show how fragile the current situation is. It is therefore necessary to ensure that the overall number of people at Chemnitz University of Technology is kept low, that the existing hygiene and protection regulations are and can be fully complied with, and that the chains of infection can be traced quickly and completely in the event of infection or suspected cases. For this reason, the crisis management team and the rectorate have agreed to selective and limited presence operation from 1 June 2020.

I would ask you all very sincerely to support the introduction and implementation of selective and limited presence operation. In addition, I would ask you to continue as usual to observe the measures, information, recommendations, and advice already provided and to regularly consult the constantly updated FAQ section.

The crisis management team and the university management will closely monitor further developments and decide on further steps as appropriate to the situation.

I thank you all very much – both for your understanding and for your outstanding and unwavering support. The corona crisis is a great test for our university, but also for each and every one of us individually. I am firmly convinced that we will master it if we show perseverance, respond appropriately and responsibly to the situation, and stand together as TUC family.

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Seventh Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 4 May 2020

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

As announced in my Sixth Open Letter, starting today, stand-by operation at our university will be gradually relaxed and, taking into account urgency as well as the compliance with strict hygiene and protection regulations (update: 3 June 2020), switched to extended stand-by operation until further notice.

Both, the crisis management team and the university management are well aware that many of you would like to see more comprehensive, more far-reaching, and faster relaxation, and that some of you are waiting impatiently to be able to return to their workplaces at the TU as soon as possible. This shows that for many of us, working at Chemnitz University of Technology is much more than just a means of earning a living. Of course, we also know that working in (extended) stand-by operation is not possible for many of us, or only possible to a very limited extent, or even only under very great strain and effort. It is, of course, frustrating to be torn out of the university life and to be downright banned from the university campus; it is certainly depressing not to be able to continue an ongoing research project as planned, on which a lot depends and which perhaps also involves a lot of blood, sweat, and tears; undoubtedly, it is stressful to offer digital courses in one's own living room, not far from one's own children, who also need to be looked after.

We are well aware of all this in the crisis management team and the university management. We are also well aware that we all bear responsibility for research and teaching – a responsibility that must be taken very seriously, but which in the current situation is overshadowed by a responsibility that undoubtedly weighs more heavily: responsibility for people's health and lives – about which, as we know, many employees and students are currently very concerned. We all know, after all, that many people around the world have fallen seriously ill or even died from Covid-19 – and that it is by no means the case that young people would not fall ill and die from Covid-19, that long-term effects of infection could be ruled out, and that a vaccine is soon to be expected. I am firmly convinced that when this crisis is overcome, we can forgive ourselves for the lack of a proper semester, for not being able to advance research projects, and for losing valuable time to achieve our ambitious goals in research and teaching. However, we would definitely not forgive ourselves if, by loosening up too much, too far-reaching, and too quickly, we had put employees and students at great risk, and members of our university had fallen seriously ill or even died through our fault. Anyone who thinks of the terrible pictures from Italy and also from other countries, and considers the number of people who have died of Covid-19, knows that these words are definitely not exaggerated.

In the last few weeks, we have received numerous requests to resume various activities in research and teaching at Chemnitz University of Technology. These wishes are understandable without any doubt. However, their fulfilment would not correspond to extended stand-by operation, but rather to (limited) normal operation and would result in a considerable increase in the number of people at our university, in the dormitories, and in the city. To avoid this, we were forced to make clear specifications regarding extended stand-by operation and to apply very restrictive standards.

With regard to courses, we have asked for the wishes regarding classroom teaching and then prioritised these in the crisis management team – in this, the protection of the health of our employees and students had the highest priority and the following guiding questions were decisive:

  • Is there a clear need for a classroom-based course or is there the possibility for an online version?
  • Does the cancellation of the event lead to a significant delay (more than one semester) in the course of study?
  • Are the hygiene recommendations, especially observing minimum distances, realistically achievable?

Against this background, a certain proportion of classroom courses were approved and published in the course catalogue (German only). For all other registered and not approved classroom courses, we ask you to urgently check whether they can be held online instead. Should this definitely not be the case, we will – assuming a positive development – possibly be able to approve some of these courses in a second stage in May, taking into account the additional information we requested.

With regard to exams, we have decided that...

  • exams can be planned for June at the earliest and the respective exam dates can only be announced with reservations. A final decision on whether they can take place will be made in the penultimate week of May.
  • oral exams may only be held face-to-face if they cannot be rescheduled or conducted online and the hygiene and protection regulations can be observed.

With regard to the opening of laboratories, clean rooms, workshops, etc., a similar procedure to that used for the approval of classroom teaching was chosen, in that the wishes regarding the opening were requested and then prioritised in the crisis management team – whereby again the protection of the health of our employees and students was given the highest priority and the following criteria spoke in favour of a possible use:

  • Explicit information on maximum presence in the TU buildings
  • Presence of preferably only one person in the room (indication of precautions in case of several persons: very large laboratory with workplaces far away from each other, shift schedule etc.)
  • Explicit indications of urgency
  • PhD theses (e.g. carrying out measurement only), with the latest date for the graduation, if possible
  • Creation of instructional videos of laboratory experiments etc.; support of online teaching
  • Explicit justification for activities or partial activities that cannot be performed working at home

Against this background, limited access has been made possible and the relevant faculties have been informed. For all other requests that did not receive approval, we ask you to urgently check whether it is possible to carry out the work with a smaller number of persons present (with access authorisation) and a lower number of hours to be spent at the university. Additional openings of already registered areas may be possible – assuming a positive development – in a second stage in May, taking into account additional information we requested.

I ask the management of the faculties, central institutions, and departments to ensure the extended stand-by operation on their own responsibility, and if necessary in coordination with the responsible Vice Presidents, taking into account the above-mentioned decisions and the defined conditions. In addition, as already expressed in the previous Open Letters, I ask all of you to continue to observe the measures, information, recommendations, and advice already provided, and to consult the constantly updated FAQ section regularly.

On behalf of the members of the crisis management team and the university management, I would like to thank you all once again for your great and tireless commitment and your understanding of the decisions taken – which were anything but easy for us to make.

The corona crisis is without doubt the greatest challenge facing our university in recent university history. Together, and this is my firm belief, we will succeed in overcoming this challenge as well. To do so, we need not only strength, but above all patience. Thank you very much for this!

Kind regards – and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Hygiene concept of Chemnitz University of Technology regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) – basis for extended stand-by operation starting May 4, 2020

As announced in the President's Sixth Open Letter regarding the corona virus, Chemnitz University of Technology will enter into extended stand-by operation starting May 4, 2020. The basis for this is the strict adherence to the hygiene concept of our university. It can be found in the FAQ section and is displayed at or in all TU buildings.

+++

Sixth Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 17 April 2020

Dear Professors, Staff, and Students,
Dear Members of the University Community,

To protect the members of our university and their families in the best possible way and to counteract the spread of the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2), Chemnitz University of Technology was put into full stand-by operation on 23 March 2020, 5:00 p.m., and the start of classroom teaching was postponed to 4 May 2020 at the earliest.

Now that the rate of infection has decreased throughout Germany, the Chancellor and the heads of the state governments agreed on 15 April 2020 "to work in small steps to restart public life, to allow citizens greater freedom of movement, and to restore the disrupted value chains" - under the guiding principle of "protecting all people in Germany as best as possible from infection". To this end, guidelines were agreed upon and, for example, companies were asked to implement a hygiene concept as well as special hygiene and protection measures, and also to "enable work at home possible wherever possible". With a view to university teaching, it was agreed that "in addition to the acceptance of examinations, practical courses which require special laboratory or work rooms at universities can also be resumed under special hygiene and protective measures". At the same time, however, it was also made clear that prior to such openings, a period of preparation would be necessary.

Within the scope of this procedure, which has been coordinated between the federal states, and in accordance with the above-mentioned guiding principle, the current stand-by operation at Chemnitz University of Technology - with fortunately no corona virus-infected persons or suspected cases at present - will be gradually scaled down from 4 May 2020 onwards and, taking into account both the urgency of the situation and compliance with strict hygiene and protection regulations, will be transferred to an extended stand-by operation for the time being, which will allow for a moderate expansion of the presence at our university and which, of course, does not reflect regular operations.

Within the bounds of this extended stand-by operation, it will be possible from 4 May 2020 in compliance with in part special hygiene concepts or hygiene and protection regulations ...

  • to use the University Library exclusively for the purpose of (interlibrary) loan.
  • to use laboratories, clean rooms, workshops, etc. exclusively for urgent and non-postponable work in teaching (especially theses) and research.
  • to teach a small number of selected courses, as long as they cannot be taught digitally and are approved after central prioritisation.
  • to conduct examinations, defences, or colloquia of theses, if not postponable or otherwise feasible, as face-to-face meetings.

Please refer to our FAQ section (corresponding information will be available shortly) for information on specific procedures and requirements (e.g. maximum occupancy of laboratory rooms, courses approved for classroom teaching after central prioritisation) as well as specific hygiene and safety measures. Still not possible until further notice are face-to-face events of any kind (including committee meetings) and any kind of public access (e.g. in the Centre for Sports and Health Promotion, in the computer pools (training pools) managed by the University Computer Centre, in the Student Service Point, in the Central Examination Office, in the Central Course Guidance Service, in the International Office, in the Patent Information Centre, and in the Creative Centre).

I ask the management of the faculties, central institutions, and departments to ensure the transition from stand-by to extended stand-by operation, where necessary in coordination with the responsible vice presidents, as well as to ensure the implementation of extended stand-by operation under the defined conditions on their own responsibility, and to use the remaining time until 4 May 2020 as lead time.

For the employees of TU Chemnitz this means that from 4 May 2020 ...

  • all employees of TU Chemnitz are instructed to continue to make use of mobile work as far as possible. This also means that all lecturers who offer courses digitally and who can continue to offer them digitally or offer them completely in digital form are required to do so. At the same time, all lecturers are once again asked to offer courses digitally in the summer semester 2020, wherever possible and not yet done so.
  • those employees who cannot, or cannot fully, continue to make use of mobile work, only return to their workplace - after consultation with their line manager - when they are absolutely necessary for the extended stand-by operation and infection protection is fully guaranteed. This includes the presence of disinfectant dispensers at the entrances to buildings, the availability of (everyday) masks or mouth-nose covers (the wearing of which is explicitly recommended by the state government of the Free State of Saxony) and, if necessary, other protective clothing (protective gloves etc.). Employees are also required to strictly follow the recommended hygiene measures (update: 3 June 2020), to work in separate rooms (individual workplaces), to reduce contact with other employees to a necessary minimum (preferably communicate by telephone or e-mail) and otherwise to maintain minimum distances.
  • employees who belong to the risk group (definition according to RKI) can be allowed to stay home after consultation with their respective line manager, even if they cannot make use of mobile work. They do not have to apply for leave, overtime compensation, or unpaid leave and in this case they generally retain the right to remuneration. However, unless they have taken leave etc. or are on sick leave, they must be reachable by telephone and/or e-mail. The same applies to employees who do not wish to return to work for compelling reasons related to the current corona crisis, such as family members belonging to the risk group and living in the same household.

Students will soon be able to find classroom courses that will be offered from 4 May 2020 in the constantly updated course catalogue. They are required to enter the buildings and facilities of Chemnitz University of Technology only to attend the courses offered during the extended stand-by operation. Students who themselves belong to the risk group or who do not wish to attend classroom teaching due to family members living in the same household are recommended to use only online offerings. The regulations for students already made and communicated in the previous Open Letters regarding the withdrawal from examinations as well as the extension of deadlines for the submission of term papers and theses continue to apply unchanged in the extended stand-by mode.

The University Management has agreed, following a vote in the State Rectors' Conference, not to count the summer semester 2020 towards the standard period of study for all students in accordance with § 20 para. 5 SächsHSFG. Further measures regarding the winter semester 2020/2021 will be decided upon in due time.

The crisis management team will continue to monitor developments closely and, if necessary, adapt or modify the measures taken without delay. As I did in my last Open Letter, I ask you to continue to observe the measures, information, recommendations, and advice already communicated, especially with regard to suspected or confirmed diagnoses of infection with the corona virus and the return from high-risk areas, and to consult the constantly updated FAQ section regularly. In addition, it is explicitly pointed out that the above-mentioned protection against infection must be fully guaranteed even in the lead time for the establishment of the extended stand-by operation and that the recommended hygiene measures must be strictly followed. A large order of (everyday) masks was placed with a regional supplier. Distribution to the appropriate sites will take place as soon as possible after arrival of the masks. Until then, the core team currently working at the TU with personal contact is also instructed to stay at home and to make use of mobile work if possible. The management of the faculties, central facilities, and departments will be informed immediately about the arrival and distribution of the masks.

Taking into account the latest developments and decisions, the extended stand-by operation is intended on the one hand to continue to provide the best possible protection for the members of our university and their families, and on the other hand to maintain our university life as far as possible and reasonable at the present time. I would like to thank you all, also on behalf of the members of the crisis management team and the University Management, very much for your understanding with regard to the measures taken and your great and untiring support in overcoming the challenges for our university resulting from the corona crisis!

Kind regards - and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Information on the press release of the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs of 3 April 2020

On 3 April 2020, the Conference of Ministers of Education and Cultural Affairs (KMK) issued a press release (in German) which was partly misrepresented in the media. It was reported that the 2020 summer semester will begin on 20 April 2020 throughout Germany. This is not correct. The key points on which the KMK has agreed regarding the 2020 summer semester are in line with the procedures that were previously agreed upon in the State Rectors' Conference of Saxony:

  • conducting a successful 2020 summer semester in a reasonable manner
  • Start of the 2020 summer semester on 1 April
  • Start of classroom teaching on 4 May at the earliest
  • Offering alternative teaching formats (digital courses) as early as possible

+++

Fifth Open Letter from the President regarding the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) from 1 April 2020 concerning the start of the 2020 summer semester

Dear Professors, Staff and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Without doubt, it is unusual to start a semester in this way - with an open letter, but without publicly accessible facilities of our university. On the one hand, this clearly demonstrates the state of emergency in which we currently find ourselves. On the other hand, however, it also makes it unmistakably clear that despite the current situation and the extremely difficult general conditions associated with it, we are striving to make the best of the situation and to maintain our university life as far as it is possible and responsible. This is reflected in the start of numerous digital courses as well as the introduction of video conferences for our committees. In addition, we are committed to take appropriate measures to counteract the negative consequences of the restrictions and the stand-by operation of Chemnitz University of Technology. For example, we are currently setting up a psychological consulting hotline for the corona crisis at Chemnitz University of Technology in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Stephan Mühlig and the Psychotherapeutic University Clinic (PHA-TUC GmbH). I would like to inform you about these and some other points below.

            ***

Start of Digital Courses

Although the preventive measures taken against the spread of the carona virus (SARS-CoV-2) mean that, as already announced, it is not possible to start the semester with a simultaneous start of classroom courses, it was and is our clear goal to offer as many alternative teaching and learning formats as possible already at the start of the semester - i.e. to transform the traditional courses into digital courses as far as possible and reasonable.

Thanks to the unbelievably great commitment of countless employees of our university, courses in the 2020 summer semester at Chemnitz University of Technology can begin on April 6th at all eight faculties as well as the Centre for Teacher Education with currently well over 700 digital courses. Please note that the list of digital courses will be updated continuously and supplemented with additional courses.

In order to enable direct contact between teachers and students - similar to face-to-face courses - the University Computer Center has been working hard in recent weeks to set up a server cluster for the BigBlueButton video conferencing system. A first stage of this video conference system is already usable and will be successively expanded to provide sufficient capacity. It is now possible to create individual virtual conference rooms with password protection in order to realise courses, oral exams, working group meetings etc. via video conferencing without complications. For the use of the video conference system BigBlueButton virtual training courses are offered this and next week.

In order to provide optimal support for lecturers in didactic, conceptual, or technical questions, a number of offers have been established, which are summarised on the university websites in the teaching section. In addition, the FAQ pages of Chemnitz University of Technology contain a separate FAQ area for teachers and a FAQ area for students with further information on digital teaching and the organisation of studies at Chemnitz University of Technology.

Of course, the counselling services for students will be available by telephone. Especially for international students, the IUZ, in cooperation with the Chair of German as a Foreign and Second Language, organizes virtual language cafés where students can speak German in an informal atmosphere and improve or develop their knowledge of the German language.

I would like to express my sincere thanks to all lecturers for making a virtual start to teaching in the summer semester 2020 possible in a very short time and despite extremely difficult circumstances. I would also like to thank everyone who supported this in the background - especially the University Computer Centre, the Central Examination Office, the Student Service Point as well as the staff of TU4U, Lehrpraxis im Transferplus and Digital Higher Education.

Availability of Video Conferences for TU Committees

Due to the missing possibility of holding committee meetings and reaching decisions in the conventional way during stand-by operation, we and the State Rectors' Conference (LRK) have approached the State Ministry of Science, Culture, and Tourism of Saxony (SMWK) in order to examine legally secured possibilities of holding and passing resolutions of university committees during the current stand-by operation, especially the option of video conferences.

The SMWK noted in this regard that it does not necessarily follow from the wording of § 54 (1) sentence 1 SächsHSFG ("organs are competent to pass resolutions if the meeting has been duly convened and more than half of the members entitled to vote are present.") "that the members must be physically present". Against this background, the Ministry considers that, if the existing legal options (which are sufficiently known and practised in normal operation) are not appropriate in view of the current situation, the implementation of video conferences by means of secure and data protection-compliant transmission is legally justifiable, "as long as, on the basis of the Protection against Infection Act, leaving home accommodation and events as well as other gatherings are prohibited".

The SMWK explicitly points out that...

  • video conference meetings should be limited "only to the absolutely important points" and to those cases "in which circulating procedures or reduced numbers of members and reconvening do not lead to success".
  • in the case of video conference sessions, a situation "similar to a personal session" is to be created wherever possible. This means that all participants can see each other and ensure and assure that no unauthorised participants are present. In addition, the minutes of the meeting should be carefully recorded.
  • a possible requirement of public accessibility is also taken into account for video conferences (since according to § 56 SächsHSFG the Senate and the Extended Senate meet publicly at the university level and the faculty councils meet publicly at the faculty level). Either the respective public access could be established with technical support or the public could be excluded pursuant to § 56 para. 1 sentence 2 SächsHSFG - for which a balancing of interests is necessary: "between the weighted interest to leave the formation of opinion transparent and open" and "the weighted interests that speak for an exclusion", in which case reasons of health protection can be taken into account.

Of course, the legal requirements must be observed in video conferences as well, e.g. majority requirements for resolutions in matters of the organisation of studies (cf. § 88 paragraph 5 SächsHSFG).

The above-mentioned video conferencing system provided by the University Computer Centre can be used for committee meetings of Chemnitz University of Technology as well. It meets the above-mentioned requirements and allows the organization of video conferences for a specific public or part of the public by assigning passwords.

Detailed information on video conferencing by committees of Chemnitz University of Technology will soon be available in the FAQ section.

Establishment of a Psychological Counselling Hotline at Chemnitz University of Technology to Help Dealing with the Corona Crisis

The Rectorate supports the establishment of a psychological counselling hotline at Chemnitz University of Technology concerning the corona crisis in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Stephan Mühlig and PHA-TUC. This all-day hotline is staffed by highly qualified psychotherapists for people who need help or advice in dealing with the corona crisis.

Through the hotline, affected persons can be advised on the telephone and persons in need of treatment can be identified, admitted as patients of the PHA-TUC, and receive psychotherapeutic care. As there is a current special permit for psychotherapeutic consultation, this can be carried out in the form of video chat therapy via dedicated secure lines. As a result, patients currently have the choice of coming in person or taking advantage of online therapy.

As soon as the counselling hotline is operational, you will be informed separately by Uni aktuell and through our FAQ pages regarding the corona virus.

            ***

Finally, I would like to point out that disinfectants are now available at Chemnitz University of Technology - partly also from "in-house production" of our Institute of Chemistry, for which we have obtained permission from the State Ministry of Social Affairs and Social Cohesion of Saxony. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our Institute of Chemistry and especially those involved. The disinfectants and the disinfectant dispensers are now being placed step by step in the different buildings (mainly at the building entrances) and thus made available for the core team which continues to be active in the rooms of Chemnitz University of Technology.

I would also like to inform you that, as already announced, there is one student at Chemnitz Technical University who tested positive for the corona virus and currently 32 suspected cases known to us. Fortunately, the number of infected students has not increased, and the number of suspected cases has even decreased slightly.

I ask you to continue observing the measures, information, and recommendations outlined in the previous Open Letters regarding the corona virus and to regularly consult the continuously updated FAQ section.

Of course, the measures listed above are no substitute for a "normal" start to the semester, but they do enable the best possible start of the semester under the given circumstances - thanks to the great commitment of the TUC family.

I am firmly convinced that with these and other measures we will master the challenges associated with the corona crisis together in the best possible way. With this in mind, I wish you a good "virtual start" to the 2020 summer semester.

Kind regards - and stay healthy!

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Fourth Open letter from the President regarding the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of 20 March 2020

Dear Professors, Staff and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

I regret to inform you that by now a student of Chemnitz University of Technology from the Faculty of Behavioural and Social Sciences has been tested positive for the corona virus. The infected person belonged to a travel group of 32 students and employees who returned to Chemnitz after an excursion abroad and whose members are now in domestic isolation. As a result, there are currently 35 known suspected cases among the members of Chemnitz University of Technology.

Now that the faculties, central institutions, and the central university administration have defined their requirements for the absolutely necessary minimum level of operation and have passed them on to the crisis management team, the team has agreed together with the Rectorate to put Chemnitz University of Technology into full stand-by mode from Monday, 23 March 2020, 5 pm, until further notice.

This means that...

  • all buildings and facilities of Chemnitz University of Technology will be closed from that time on and no more public traffic, committee meetings, or examinations can take place on site.
  • Chemnitz University of Technology is switched to an absolutely necessary minimum state of operation, which includes only the absolutely necessary technical and administrative basic services.
  • only a core team, which is necessary to maintain the stand-by operation on site, will be working at Chemnitz University of Technology. The respective employees are specifically named and informed by the Rectorate as well as the management of the faculties, central institutions, and departments in coordination with the respective supervisors - taking into account social aspects. They are required to strictly follow the recommended hygiene requirements (update: 3 June 2020), to work in separate rooms (individual workplaces), to reduce contact with other employees to a necessary minimum (preferably communicate by telephone or e-mail) and otherwise to maintain minimum distances.
  • all other employees who are not necessary to maintain standby operation are instructed to no longer appear at their workplace or to enter the buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology. They do not have to apply for leave of absence, overtime compensation, or unpaid leave and generally retain the right to remuneration in this case. However, unless they have taken leave etc. or are on sick leave, they are required to be reachable by telephone and/or e-mail, to make use of mobile work if this is possible and reasonable, and in principle to remain available for work on site. The assignment of tasks is still the responsibility of the respective line managers, subject to the restrictions described above.

I ask the heads of the faculties, central institutions and departments to establish and ensure the above-mentioned stand-by operation mode on their own responsibility and to maintain communication with both the university management and the local staff and, if possible or necessary, with the staff at home.

Information on the basic administrative services provided by the ZUV - both for employees and students - as well as on all other current questions is provided in the constantly updated FAQ.

We will, of course, continue to make every effort to create the right conditions for studying successfully in the coming summer semester. As announced in the last open letter, deadlines for withdrawing from exams have been lifted or extended for the submission of assignments and theses. In addition, the chairmen of the examination committees have been asked to consider alternative types of exams favourably. Furthermore, the Rectorate has opened up the possibility for them to allow oral examinations and defences or colloquia of theses via video conference. Further information on this as well as on the switch to digitalised teaching with instructions, recommendations, and also training courses can be found in the FAQ. Soon you will also find a list of courses that will be offered online in April.

I kindly ask all employees and students to regularly check the website of Chemnitz University of Technology as well as your TU e-mail address even during full stand-by. Furthermore, I ask that the information given in the previous open letters regarding the suspicion or confirmed diagnosis of an infection with the corona virus and the return of travel from risk areas has to be strictly adhered to.

I would like to thank you all very sincerely for your support and your understanding for the measures taken - which are intended to protect the members of our University and their families in the best possible way and to counteract the spread of the corona virus.

I wish you, also on behalf of the Rectorate and the crisis management team, from the bottom of my heart that you and your families remain healthy and that you get through this extremely difficult situation well.

With kind regards and best wishes

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Third Open letter from the President regarding the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of 17 March 2020

Dear Professors, Staff and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

Yesterday, the Saxon State Rectors' Conference, together with the Saxon State Ministry of Science, Culture and Tourism, held a conference call to discuss how to deal with the worldwide spread of the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2) and the infectious disease ("Corona virus induced disease", COVID-19) caused by it. As a result of this discussion, a joint approach and appropriate measures were agreed upon, as announced in a press release by the Saxon State Rectors' Conference.

The crisis management team, which has been set up at Chemnitz University of Technology and which includes members of the University Management, the Staff Council and the Student Council (StuRa), yesterday dealt intensively with the implementation of the measures resolved by the Saxon State Rectors' Conference and those that are additionally necessary.

The Saxon State Rectors' Conference agreed that the first step will be to work towards "carrying out a successful summer semester 2020 in a responsible manner". This will start on 1 April 2020, but the start of face-to-face classes will be postponed until 4 May 2020 at the earliest. At the same time, teaching formats in which the presence of professors/lecturers and students is not necessary should be offered as early as possible. Corresponding solutions for alternative teaching and learning offerings are currently being examined.

In addition, it was agreed that the universities should go into "stand-by mode", ensuring proper administration, the respective technical facilities and laboratories in such a way "that their efficiency is maintained and scientific results are not jeopardised as far as possible". This means that operations at Chemnitz University of Technology will be reduced to the absolutely necessary minimum and that only a core team will be active at Chemnitz University of Technology.

In accordance with the agreement of the Saxon State Rectors' Conference, the facilities for events and visitors as well as the reading rooms of the libraries will be closed until further notice. Furthermore, the entire University Library, the Centre for Sports and Health Promotion (ZfSG), the computer pools (training pools) managed by the University Computer Centre (URZ), the Student Service Point, the Central Examination Office, the Central Student Advisory Service, the International Office, the Patent Information Centre and the Creative Centre for have already been closed public access at Chemnitz University of Technology.

In order to bring Chemnitz University of Technology down to the absolutely necessary minimum level of operation in a targeted and rapid manner, specific measures are currently being defined and the necessary prerequisites created in close cooperation with the various departments of our university. Employees who are not necessary to prepare or maintain "stand-by operation" are required, after consultation with their supervisor, to stop coming to work immediately and until further notice - they do not have to apply for leave of absence, overtime compensation or unpaid leave and in this case they retain their right to remuneration. All other employees should strictly follow the recommended hygiene conditions (update: 3 June 2020), work in separate rooms (individual workstations), reduce contact with other employees and public traffic to a necessary minimum (preferably communicate by telephone or e-mail) and otherwise maintain minimum distances.

Current examinations should be postponed as far as possible. If this is not feasible, the recommended hygiene conditions (update: 3 June 2020) must be strictly observed. Examiners are asked to make accommodating arrangements in view of the situation, to inform the Central Examination Office in individual cases and to reliably inform the participants of scheduled examinations about the postponements of dates and to be available for further questions. Students may withdraw from examinations with immediate effect and without giving reasons until the resumption of normal teaching activities. Furthermore, the deadlines for handing in homework and final papers have been extended by the period from the cancellation of courses on 11 March 2020 until one week after resumption of regular teaching activities.

Further information for employees and students can be found in the continuously updated FAQ section of the Office for Security at Work and Environment Protection (BfAU) of Chemnitz University of Technology.

I would like to explicitly point out that the situation at Chemnitz University of Technology has not changed at the present time. These measures, too, are exclusively preventive, but urgently necessary steps to delay the further spread of the corona virus (SARS-CoV-2).

Of course you will be informed immediately about further developments on the website of Chemnitz University of Technology.

I hope you understand the measures taken and thank you very much for your cooperation!

The worldwide spread of the corona virus and the infectious disease it causes is confronting us with a situation that we have never experienced before in this form, that can hardly be compared with other challenges and that of course fills everyone with great concern. I am firmly convinced, however, that we will be able to deal with this situation in the best possible way if we do not face it in a panic or frivolously but adequately, if we implement the above measures consistently and do what the TUCfamily has always done in difficult times and when faced with particular challenges - stick together.

With kind regards

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Preventive measure regarding the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of 13 March 2020

Dear Professors, Staff and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

After consultation with the Chemnitz Department of Health the following areas will be closed immediately for visitors until further notice:

Again I would like to make clear that all measures being instituted are exclusively preventive.

With kind regards

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Second Open letter from the President regarding the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of 11 March 2020

Dear Professors, Staff and Students,

Dear Members of the University Community,

A meeting took place this afternoon with representatives from the Chemnitz Department of Health, and it was recommended that the entire university make use of the capability to telecommute or work from home, if it is at all possible and if it does not affect core processes of the university. This temporary measure will enable working remotely after consultation with the respective supervisor, without any other special application or approval required.

Courses will be canceled until further notice. Sessions, committee meetings, etc. should be reviewed to ensure that their taking place is absolutly necessary.

According to current assessments of the situation, class will not be in session on 6 April 2020. Further information will be announced at a later date.

Events with more than 1,000 participants will be prohibited, according to the decree made by the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs. This will come into effect as of 12 March 2020 at 8:00am and will continue indefinitely. All other events must be reviewed to ensure that they need to take place. Otherwise, the procedures as noted above will, in continued consultation with the Chemnitz Department of Health, apply until further notice.

If you have returned from trips to high-risk areas, I ask that you please avoid contact with other people, do not come into work, and contact a doctor by phone and ask for advice. In addition, I ask that you contact our human resources department by telephone (+49 371 531-12200) and only come back to work after the threat of being infected with the virus has been ruled out. If this is the case, we will see to what extent we can make it possible for you to work from home.

I would like to make it abundantly clear that the situation in the city of Chemnitz as well as at Chemnitz University of Technology has not changed at the present time. All measures being instituted are exclusively preventive.

We will certainly inform you immediately of any changes or new developments.

With kind regards

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

+++

Current updates regarding the coronavirus in Chemnitz:

(10 March 2020, 4:20 pm) There are now three confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) in Chemnitz. According to the city's public affairs office, the virus is unlikely to be passed on, as the affected people were immediately put into quarantine upon their return.

In addition, an employee from the Faculty of Economics and Business Administration is currently being tested for infection with the coronavirus. He will, in any case, be staying at home until the test results are returned (no quarantine). As a preventative measure, work in this area will be done remotely until 11 March 2020.

We will update you immediately when any new information arises. (10 March 2020, 4:20 pm)

+++

First Open letter from the President regarding the Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) of 9 March 2020

Dear professors, staff members and students,

dear members and adherents of Chemnitz University of Technology,

The novel Coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and the infection disease caused by it („Corona virus induced disease“, COVID-19) continue to spread globally. Meanwhile, there are also confirmed cases of Coronavirus-infections in Saxony.

This evokes naturally uncertainties and anxieties. In this context, it is important to take the situation seriously but also to estimate it at the same time in an appropriate way and to react in a careful manner. The Robert Koch Institute (RKI) still assesses the danger for the health of the population in Germany as moderate but also points out that this estimation may change due to new information.

In Chemnitz and Chemnitz University of Technology, no confirmed case of Coronavirus-infection emerged yet. For this reason, also the activities at Chemnitz University of Technology had not been restricted.

With regard to the implementation of events, the Health Authority of the City of Chemnitz had elaborated a checklist for assessment and decision. This checklist is provided for download on the website of the Office for Security at Work and Environment Protection (BfAU) of Chemnitz University of Technology. Internal as well as external organizers of events are asked to declare events at Chemnitz University of Technology, regardless of their size, and to send the filled checklist in due time prior to the start of the event to the Department of Facility Management and Technology (Email: vermietung@verwaltung.tu-chemnitz.de), which forwards the document to the Health Authority of the City of Chemnitz. Subsequent to respective evaluation, the Health Authority will inform the Department of Facility Management and Technology about a decision or recommendation for implementation or cancellation of the event – which then – after internal decision, if necessary and appropriate – is communicated respectively to the respective organizers of the event. Already projected lectures for the upcoming summer term are exempted from these regulations. According to the current status, they do not have to be declared by the checklist.

In case of changings regarding the current situation (risk assessment etc.) at Chemnitz resp. Chemnitz University of Technology, the university will, in coordination with the City of Chemnitz, in particular with the Health Authority of the City of Chemnitz, react without any delay as well as in an appropriate way and will inform you about that respectively.

Apart from that, I would like to ask you to continuously consult the existing information sources in order to adapt as best as possible to the current situation in your private as well as in your professional sphere and to protect yourself respectively. You get continuously actualized information regarding the Coronavirus and its way of contamination, concerning the current spreading, protection and security measures, on how to react in the case of suspicion of infection resp. disease of the Coronavirus or in the case of return from regions, in which the virus was transmitted as well as travelling indications on the websites of the Robert Koch Institute, the Federal Ministry of Health, the Federal Foreign Office, the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Societal Cohesion  (in German only), the Health Authority of the City of Chemnitz (in German only) as well as via the Federal Emergency Information and News App, abbreviated: warning app NINA (in German only).

Current information may be found as well on the website of the Office for Security at Work and Environment Protection (BfAU) of Chemnitz University of Technology established exclusively for this topic. 

In the context of protection measures, all buildings of Chemnitz University of Technology will be equipped step-by-step with disinfectant dispensers. Unfortunately, also our university is affected by the existing comprehensive shortages of availability of products of that kind. I would like to ask you cordially to pay strong attention to all protection measures recommended by the institutions mentioned above. Currently, the Robert Koch Institute recommends to pay special attention to careful hand hygiene, to comply with rules for coughing and sniffing, to keep a distance from persons affected of at minimum one to two meters as well as to renounce from shaking hands. Furthermore, all persons suffering from diseases of the respiratory tract should, according to the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute, stay at home as far as possible.

It is strongly dissuaded to travel into areas of risk. In this context, it is indicated that a business trip may only be approved under the condition that it is not opposed to current travel warnings. In this respect, please pay attention to the respective travel and safety information of the Federal Foreign Office (in German only). In case of doubt regarding the implementation of already confirmed business trips, a consideration in consultation with the supervisor resp. the responsible for the approval should be done in order to evaluate if the business trip is still absolutely necessary. In the case that it is decided in individual cases to renounce from an already confirmed business trip, travelling services which cannot be cancelled anymore may be claimed with the common calculation of business trip costs. Insofar fairs, conferences etc. are cancelled by the organizer, also costs for non-reversible travelling services in this regard may be declared within the calculation of business trip costs.

In case of symptoms similar to a flu, please stay at home and contact immediately a physician. In the case that you have travelled to an area determined as risk area for Coronavirus-diseases within the past 14 days or that you had personal contact with a person affected by the Coronavirus, please contact the Health Authority of the City of Chemnitz by telephone (phone: +49 371 488-5302, 06:00 am to 10:00 pm) without any delay, also if no disease symptoms are visible. Until then, you should stay at home and avoid unnecessary contacts with other persons. Please pay also attention to the further indications of the Health Authority in this respect  (in German only).

In cases of suspicion of infection with the Coronavirus mentioned above as well as naturally in the case of a confirmed diagnosis of a respective infection, I would like to ask to inform the University Management of Chemnitz University of Technology without any delay. Your central person of contact in this respect is Ms. Diana Schreiterer (phone: +49 371 531-35267, Email: diana.schreiterer@verwaltung.tu-chemnitz.de).

In addition, also Ms. Monique Kautz from the Office for Security at Work and Environment Protection of Chemnitz University of Technology is at your disposal (phone: +49 371 531-34254, Email: monique.kautz@verwaltung.tu-chemnitz.de).

Naturally, you will be informed about all significant changings and amendments without any delay. In case of eventually emerging further questions regarding staff regulations, a respective FAQ-area will be established on the website of the Office for Security at Work and Environment Protection (BfAU) of Chemnitz University of Technology.

I hope very much that the situation not aggravates further – and that you all stay healthy!

With kind regards

Yours Gerd Strohmeier

Mario Steinebach
23.11.2021

All "University News" articles

Press Articles

  • Alt text: Photo of a vaccine vial.

    Chemnitz University of Technology Opens Vaccination Program to All

    From July 12, 2021, Chemnitz University of Technology will offer not only its employees and students but also all others interested in vaccination the opportunity to receive the Corona vaccine – Appointments can be made now …

  • Dr. Jochen Mayerl from Chemnitz University of Technology and Dr. Felix Wolter from University of Konstanz gives information about exaggeration of vaccination coverage against Covid-19 in population surveys.

    Why surveys on vaccination coverage can be off the mark

    Experimental method study by Chemnitz University of Technology and University of Konstanz suggests overestimation of vaccination coverage against Covid-19 in population surveys – “social desirability” biases survey results …

  • International PhD students and PostDocs discussed support services with University Management and the International Office of Chemnitz University of Technology.

    Tailored offers for international researchers

    To make the start even easier: Representatives of the University Management and the International Office of Chemnitz University of Technology discussed with international researchers about support services after arrival …

  • TU students welcomes to join in program “ROCK YOUR LIFE! Chemnitz e. V” to help students for a better future.

    TU students create opportunities and more educational equity

    Between school stress, self-discovery and fears for the future - the teenage years can be exciting and overwhelming. Students at Chemnitz University of Technology support and accompany teenagers on their way to adulthood as part of the initiative "ROCK YOUR LIFE! Chemnitz e. V." on their way to adult life. …