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FAQs about the Coronavirus

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THIS DOCUMENT WILL BE ADAPTED ACCORDING TO CURRENT DEVELOPMENTS AND UPDATED ACCORDINGLY

Last revised: 27 March 2020

The Berlin University of the Arts is aware of its responsibility for the health of its staff, teachers and students and has taken far-reaching decisions in recent days with the State of Berlin, in the circle of Berlin's universities and in the crisis committee of the UdK Berlin to slow down the spread of the corona virus. 

We continue to ask all members of the university to regularly check the information on the UdK website, where we publish the current status of the measures.

FAQs Coronavirus

(As of 11 February, the novel coronavirus that has to date temporarily been designated 2019-nCoV has been known by a new name: SARS-CoV-2. The acronym SARS stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome. The name is a reference to the closely related SARS virus that triggered an epidemic in 2002/2003)

Where can I find official information to assess the risk situation?
Germany Federal Ministry of Health
www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/coronavirus.html 
www.rki.de/SharedDocs/FAQ/NCOV2019/FAQ_Liste.html 

What measures can I take to protect myself?

  • Avoid shaking hands with and keep a distance from other people
  • Wash your hands, wash your hands, wash your hands
  • Observe etiquette for coughing and sneezing
  • Keep your distance from infected persons (2 metres)
  • In case of doubt: contact your company doctor
  • In accordance with the recommendations of the Permanent Commission at the Robert Koch Institute, vaccination against pneumococcal infections and against whooping cough is recommended for all persons over 60 years of age and for the chronically ill. These vaccines must be administered as soon as possible.

Constantly updated information can be found here:
https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/nCoV.html 
https://www.bzga.de/

When can I get tested?
Criteria for a test are met when 

  • typical symptoms exist, coughing, fever, shortness of breath
  • in the last two weeks, contact has been made with a patient who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 in the laboratory
  • Pre-existing conditions exist 
  • the respiratory disease gets worse (shortness of breath, high fever, etc.)
  • you come into contact with people at work or in voluntary work who have a high risk of severe COVID-19 progression (e.g. in hospital or in elderly care)

Even before the test result is available, one should isolate oneself, i.e. stay at home, avoid all close contact under 2 meters, maintain good hand hygiene and wear a mouth and nose protector when in contact with others (if available). Status: RKI 24.03.2020

This questionnaire from the Charité provides you with information and recommendations on coronavirus. It can help you to assess whether a corona test is necessary: https://covapp.charite.de/intro/de.html 

Where can I go if I suspect an infection?
In case of a suspected coronavirus infection, e.g. a person who has recently returned from a highrisk zone is showing symptoms, first contact the responsible health department by telephone to discuss what to do next.
For contact details of the various health authorities, please visit here

What regulations apply to childcare as a result of the closure of daycare centres and schools?
The following applies to all employees in administration and service who cannot guarantee care at short notice due to the closure of day-care centres and schools, but who are needed in the university's emergency operations

  1. A one-off release of up to three days with retention of remuneration is possible on informal application if acute care for children up to twelve years of age and children with increased care requirements / disability cannot be guaranteed.Please send your applications informally by e-mail to your superiors and the Head of Human Resources. The application will be considered approved immediately.
  2. In the event of children falling ill, the previous rules continue to apply undiminished.
  3. To ensure that children are cared for: Informal application for leave or flexitime by e-mail to your superiors, using flexitime / overtime.
  4. The possibility of minus times will be increased with immediate effect, so that including the three-day leave of absence (point 1), ten days of flexibility are immediately available.
  5. Flexible use of home office:
    Short-term informal applications are possible with your superiors. Please include your job reference, first and last name and a mobile phone number. Home office can be requested by employees who have an intra-account. Your superiors are informed about the details.

Is BAföG still paid?
Even if schools and universities are closed due to the COVID 19 pandemic, BAföG-supported students will continue to receive their training assistance.
https://www.bmbf.de/de/karliczek-keine-nachteile-beim-bafoeg-wegen-corona-11122.html 

What applies to employees from risk groups?
Employees who belong to risk groups as defined by the RKI (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogruppen.html) should also make use of the aforementioned flexible rules on flexitime (flex days, minus minutes), holidays and home office.

Employees from risk groups can also be granted a three-day leave of absence immediately upon informal application. Please submit a medical certificate to the Personnel Department either at the same time as your application or at a later date.

What should I do if a coronavirus outbreak is suspected at the university?
Please report this suspicion immediately at the gate or to the caretaker in the corresponding service building. The university management will then be informed immediately. 

Can I stay home from work on the grounds of a greater probability of being infected, e.g. due to travel to/from work, or contact with others at the workplace?
No, you are still under an obligation to work, even if there are concerns about possible infection.

Where can I go if there is a suspicion of infection?
If you suspect a corona virus infection, stay at home, report sick to your superior and contact the Berlin Senate hotline (90282828), 116117 (KV emergency service) or your family doctor or our company doctor by telephone (betriebsaerztin@udk-berlin.de). 

Will I still be paid if I am quarantined as a person suspected of being infected?
If you are ill and are required to stay at home, you will continue to receive your pay as normal. The same rules apply as for continued payment of remuneration in case of sickness.
However, if you are not sick, but are subject to a quarantine order by the health authorities, you will be entitled to compensation in accordance with the German Infection Protection Act [Infektionsschutzgesetz]. Compensation will be equal to the amount of the sick pay that the statutory health insurance company would pay, which is 70 percent of gross salary. The compensation will be paid by the employer for a maximum of six weeks. The employer has the right to claim reimbursement from the authority that has imposed the quarantine.

What happens to my claim for compensation if the university is closed due to the spread of the virus?
In the event of a coronavirus outbreak, if the employer is unable to employ workers due to an infection control order issued by the authorities, employees will be exempted from the obligation to work. In this case, employees are considered to be unable to work. In principle, the employer remains obliged to pay remuneration if the employees are capable of working and ready to work, but the employer is unable to employ them for reasons for which the employer is responsible (e.g. an official order for closure). It is not necessary to work extra hours to make up for the time missed on these grounds.

Public transport is being shut down and I cannot get to work.
The employee bears the “risk of transit”, i.e. he/she is responsible for arriving to work on time. It is recommended to book car-pooling well in advance as a precaution. If this is not possible and you have no way of reaching your workplace, please contact your manager and discuss the possibility of taking short-term leave and/or time-off in lieu. We will try to work with you to reach an uncomplicated solution.

Am I under an obligation to go away on business trips?
In agreement with the State of Berlin, all business trips are currently and until further notice prohibited.

Is there a pandemic plan?
The pandemic plan is the control instrument of the university management and the crisis management team, which defines the necessary steps for different stages of a crisis. The plan is constantly kept up to date. It is available to university members on the intranet (Attention: Please log in in advance): https://intern.udk-berlin.de/hochschule/. University members are continuously informed about current measures.

Where can I find help in personal emergency and crisis situations? 
Here you will find a selection of contacts who offer you individual help and advice even in times of coronavirus. 

  • The Berlin Crisis Service: www.berliner-krisendienst.de
  • Victim telephone: 116 006 (free of charge, explicitly also in cases of violence against men)
  • Help telephone "Violence against women": 08000 116 016 (free of charge)
  • Pregnant women in need" help line: 0800 40 40 020 (free of charge)
  • Children's and young people's telephone "Number against number": 116 111 (free of charge)
  • Parents' telephone: 0800 111 0 550 (for parents in situations of stress, free of charge)
  • Sexual abuse help line: 0800 22 55 530
  • Protestant/Catholic telephone counselling: 0800 111 0 111, 0800 111 0 222, 116 123 (free of charge)
  • Muslim pastoral care telephone: 030 44 35 09 821 (only connection costs)
  • Confidential telephone "Jewish Hotline": 0211 4698520, 0211 4698521(only connection costs, Jewish Community Düsseldorf)

Contact

If you have any questions, please contact the internal medical officer at UdK Berlin:

Dr. med. Marianne Engelhardt-Schagen
Occupational/Environmental Medical Specialist
E-mail: betriebsaerztin_ @udk-berlin.de
External office: Tel.: (030) 8137853
Contact on at the UdK Berlin on Thursdays by telephone: (030) 3185 2925

Contact university management:
Office of the President / Office of the Chancellor
Phone: (030) 3185 2445 / 2447
kanzlerin_ @udk-berlin.de 
vp1_ @intra.udk-berlin.de 


Contact Building Management and Occupational Safety Department

Central (030) 3185-0 (Mon-Fri from 10 to 15 o'clock)
Hardenbergstr. control centre (24h): (030) 3185 2222

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