Newsportal - Ruhr-Universität Bochum
RUB is prepared
Update from 18 March 2020
As the events of the past few days have taken their toll, we have not been able to maintain this article as usual. The latest information for all RUB members can be found in German here and in English here.
Update from 13 March 2020
At the moment, events are tumbling over, which is why the crisis team is meeting. As soon as we have the results, we will inform you on a new page. We will publish the link to this new page here.
Update from 12 March 2020
The first events at the RUB were cancelled, including the Open Day on 27 March and the Girls’ and Boys’ Day on 26 March.
Update from 10 March 2020
According to the Robert Koch Institute, not only South Tyrol but all of Italy is now considered an international risk area. For returnees from Italy, the rules and recommendations of conduct listed below apply.
Update from 6 March 2020, 2.30 p.m.
The Robert Koch Institute declares South Tyrol (Province of Bolzano) in the Trentino region a risk area. In the still running ski season this is a particularly popular travel and holiday destination. For returnees from South Tyrol, the rules and recommendations of conduct listed below apply.
Update from 6 March 2020, 8.30 a.m., on the first corona case in Bochum
What would happen if the first corona case occurred at the university? RUB's crisis committee would reassess the situation on a daily basis. The investigation of the contact persons of an infected person would be initiated by the public health department. All contact persons stay at home for 14 days. Contact persons of contact persons are considered harmless.
The municipal information telephone for Bochum can be reached daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on 0234 910 5555. All questions regarding precautionary measures and rules of conduct are answered there.
Update from 3 March 2020 on the organization of examinations and courses
In accordance with the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute, the above-mentioned types of events do not, as things stand today, fall into the category of “mass events”, nor do they affect a target group of more particularly contaminated persons. Therefore, these events can be held as planned at the present time. Otherwise, please stick to the information in the update from 28. February.
An overview of the general principles of risk assessment and recommended actions for major events can be found here (German).
Update from 28 February 2020
What should be taken into account for events at the RUB?
As there are numerous enquiries about events at the RUB, we are now making recommendations:
Before the event, one should print out and post post notices about personal hygiene measures, including shaking hands. In addition, one should ensure that the sanitary rooms are adequately equipped with liquid soap and paper towels and, if necessary, organise replenishment during the event.
At the beginning of the event, please point out that due to frequent respiratory tract infections, but also due to the current coronavirus situation, shaking hands should be avoided and the posted hygiene recommendations should be followed.
In addition, consideration could be given to asking people with respiratory diseases to leave the event.
At the end of this article you will find German-English templates for the notices.
On 26 February 2020, Federal Health Minister Jens Spahn spoke for the first time of a possible corona epidemic in Germany. More or less at the same time, the first cases were detected in North Rhine-Westphalia. The university management has responded to the changed circumstances by preparing itself for the eventuality.
The measures at RUB outlined below are based on the current recommendations issued by the health authorities and are regularly updated in the news portal.
Which measures does RUB implement?
RUB is prepared and able to act. It has set up a crisis team to monitor the situation closely and decide on a daily basis what measures need to be taken; these could include changes in communication channels (e.g. no more personal consultation hours), cancellations of university events or even the closure of parts or even the entire university.
The team recommends that departments or service units with extensive advisory activities should clarify whether and to what extent personal contacts can be avoided and replaced by telephone or electronic communication. Employees in these departments should comply with good personal hygiene practices. This applies in the first place to people with chronic pre-existing conditions and a weakened immune system.
Who can I contact, how does the reporting chain at RUB work?
Anyone who becomes aware of a RUB employee or student having contracted the novel coronavirus should contact the Occupational Medicine and Social Counselling Service Department (by phone: 0234 32 24400, or by email).
People who have individual questions, for example due to pre-existing chronic illnesses, can also contact the Occupational Medicine and Social Counselling Department.
How can I protect myself?
Compliance with personal hygiene measures is critical. This means:
- If possible, keep a distance of one to one and a half metres to other people.
- Avoid shaking hands.
- Wash hands regularly and thoroughly with (liquid) soap, especially before eating, before taking medication or applying cosmetics, after coming home, after contact with patients, after blowing the nose, coughing and sneezing, and after using the toilet.
- Avoid touching your own face (mouth, nose, eyes) with unwashed hands.
- Adhere to common coughing and sneezing etiquette, i.e. keep your distance from other people, turn away and sneeze or cough into the crook of your arm or a disposable handkerchief. Then dispose of the handkerchief and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Hands should only be disinfected when strictly necessary. For example when working in the healthcare sector, in laboratories or in contact with patients.
What must I consider when travelling abroad?
Until further notice, RUB will not approve any business trips to China, Northern Italy, South Korea and Iran. It is recommended to cancel any scheduled business trips to those countries.
In general, attention should be paid to the regional spread of the novel coronavirus at the destination. Travel to risk areas is strongly discouraged. Non-essential travel to neighbouring regions of risk areas should also be avoided.
Risk areas for the novel coronavirus are regions where continued human-to-human transmission is conceivable. The current risk areas are listed as particularly affected countries at the bottom of the COVID-19 leaflet issued by the Federal Foreign Office.
What must I consider after returning from a trip?
Persons at risk for transmission of the novel coronavirus are persons who have stayed in one of the above-mentioned risk areas and/or persons who have had contact with patients suffering from the novel coronavirus within the last 14 days.
These persons at risk should contact the responsible health office in their place of residence by telephone immediately after their return. The employees of the public health department then coordinate all necessary medical measures. In any case, persons at risk must stay away from RUB for 14 days after their return or contact with a patient suffering from the novel coronavirus. They should, moreover, avoid contact with other people during this period. The Ruhr-Universität’s employees to whom this applies should contact their superiors by telephone or e-mail in order to agree whether and how they can work – for example in the home office. Students to whom this applies should get in touch with the dean’s office at their faculty.
Travellers returning from China, Northern Italy, South Korea or Iran should keep their professional and private interactions with others to a minimum for 14 days and strictly observe personal hygiene measures. If symptoms such as fever, cough and breathing difficulties occur within 14 days, they should contact a doctor by telephone from home, inform him of the trip and discuss further measures. If the doctor does not offer help, the local health authority should be contacted by telephone. Under no circumstances should they go to a doctor’s practice or hospital without prior appointment by phone, as they could potentially infect other people. Until an infection with the coronavirus is verified, the patients must stay at home and avoid all unnecessary contact with others.
In the event of serious symptoms, the emergency services must be called on the emergency telephone number 112. Patients must inform them that they had contact with the novel coronavirus and list their current symptoms.
27 February 2020
Jens Wylkop (jwy)