Update from the corona crisis team

Update: 23 March 2020, 7:30 p.m.

Dear University Members,
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

On 22 March, the federal and state governments together decreed further measures (e.g., contact ban) restricting public life in Germany. This means – as has been expected for days and as the president already announced in her communication on the weekend – that a new situation has arrived and with it further consequences for the operation of Goethe University: We will successively switch university operations to emergency operation mode: This is comparable to the closing of the university between Christmas and New Year, with the difference that we cannot yet estimate the length of the interruption. But the Executive Board is in regular contact with the state government and the executive boards of the other Hessian universities, which are also further shutting down operations. Separate regulations apply to the University Hospital Frankfurt. We will keep you informed of further developments on the website www.uni-frankfurt.de/corona.

Buildings: Effective immediately, all buildings at the Westend, Bockenheim, Riedberg and Ginnheim locations are closed. Only authorised persons who maintain emergency operations – including research – or are active in immediate crisis management have access during existing closures. In carrying out these activities, the rules from the Robert Koch Institute for avoiding corona infections are to be observed.

Research: Similar to operations between Christmas and New Year, only tasks that are essential for security reasons can be carried out by authorised persons. These include the necessary continued operation of large equipment and other research infrastructure.

Personnel: Only very few employees who are indispensable for maintaining the fundamental infrastructure and for immediate crisis management are working on location at the university. All other employees are working remotely or are on paid leave in the interests of their own health and to minimise the infection risk. For remote work or work from home, the daily planned working time apply.  

Getting to the work: There are currently no bans on going out. Employer confirmations are therefore not necessary to travel to work. If the regulation currently in force is adjusted again, this could change. In this case, the office of the Vice President for Finances and Administration will issue employer confirmations for persons whose presence is necessary at the university locations in order to maintain the fundamental infrastructure and for crisis management. In the case of controls by law enforcement agencies, these could be presented.

Substitute regulations: In those units necessary for maintaining emergency operations, effective substitute regulations must made in coordination with supervisors. This will prevent the breakdown of important infrastructure units in the event of illness of key players .

One further request in conclusion: We are all experiencing a situation that we could not have imagined just a few weeks ago. In order for our lives to return to normal as soon as possible, we also need an effective medicine and a vaccine. Our team of virologists working with Professor Sandra Ciesek are currently researching substances that promise help for Covid-19 day and night. Please support them – with a donation of any amount – and please pass it on! Here is the link to the donation platform “Better Place”: Thank you.

With warmest regards, and please stay healthy!

Prof. Dr. Birgitta Wolff (President)
Dr. Albrecht Fester (Vice President for Finances and Administration)

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