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Nachricht der Hochschulleitung an die Beschäftigten der LUH

Message from university management to LUH employees

Corona pandemic – resolution by the federal and state governments

Dear colleagues,

In light of the constantly high number of infections and additional concerns regarding a mutated form of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, the federal and state governments have reached an agreement issued on 5 January 2021, which states that measures to contain the corona pandemic must be tightened. In particular, this applies to limitations on contact as well as a possible limitation of the range of movement in regions with an incidence rate exceeding 200. The state of Lower Saxony will implement the resolution by the federal and state governments by preparing state-specific regulations in a timely manner.

Even though these measures explicitly apply to private contexts - and not to professional ones - Leibniz University Hannover strives to handle this situation responsibly while keeping in mind the interests, requirements and concerns of students and members of staff as much as possible. Therefore, we permanently assess risks and possibilities. Ensuring the well-being of all those involved is our highest priority. In addition, our obligation as a university must be to fulfil our educational duties towards society, in order to enable our students to continue and complete their studies. Once again, I would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for taking on the challenge to provide valuable online learning opportunities in these difficult times.

Moreover, it is of the utmost importance to support social efforts instead of impeding them through counter-productive actions. With generous options for working from home as well as childcare arrangements, the timely transfer to online learning activities, general hygiene measures and specific concepts for examinations and assessments, Leibniz University Hannover is still well positioned - in the interest of all university members.

In the following, I would like to list some of these regulations again, in order to clarify matters. Please also refer to the information provided on our corona website.

Limitations on contact

The limitations on contact established by the federal and state governments only apply to the private domain. However, I urge you to reduce face-to-face meetings in professional contexts as much as possible. Instead, please use online formats. This includes internal meetings, job interviews, appointment committees and other meetings. Please check in each instance, if face-to-face meetings in professional contexts are strictly necessary or if it is possible to use digital options instead. Please also refer to FAQ section 4.2.

Limitation of the range of movement

In districts with more than 200 new cases of coronavirus per 100,000 inhabitants over the past seven days, the state will establish additional measures to contain the pandemic, in particular by limiting the range of movement to 15 km from the place of residence, unless valid reason can be given. However, travel to and from the workplace is considered a valid reason and therefore an exception to this rule.

Currently, incidence rates over 7 days in Lower Saxony are well below that number. Further details will be established in the updated regulations to prevent the infection and spread of the coronavirus issued by the State of Lower Saxony, which is still under way.

Working from home

In order to ensure the welfare of LUH employees, duties shall only be performed on university premises if this is strictly necessary. The respective supervisors shall decide whether duties at LUH must be carried out on-site or may be performed while working from home. See FAQ section 4.1.

Childcare

Once again, the closure of schools and day-care facilities presents an enormous challenge and a burden for all parents. For advice on options available to you, please contact the Equal Opportunities Office. Please also note the information provided on the website of the Equal Opportunities Office at https://www.chancenvielfalt.uni-hannover.de/de/familienservice/ as well as FAQ section 3.1.4.

The state government has decided that child sickness benefits in 2021 will be paid for an additional 10 days per parent (20 additional days for single parents). This also applies if parents are required to care for children at home due to the closure of schools or day-care facilities in the context of the pandemic, if mandatory attendance in schools is suspended, or if child-care services are only available to a limited extent. Legal provisions provided by the federal government are still under way.

Examinations

We have already introduced special hygiene measures for conducting examinations, which have been approved by the local health authority. Since we have great confidence in the quality of our processes and their implementation by the faculties, those regulations remain unchanged for now. Nevertheless, the Presidential Board urges the faculties to continue to make use of the option to modify examination regulations for the benefit of students affected by the coronavirus pandemic, which is still permissible until 31 March 2021.

For further details, please refer to the email sent to all students as well as FAQ section 6.


Finally, I would like to address an important matter: Please demonstrate solidarity and support the measures to contain the pandemic by acting responsibly. In this context, I would also like to remind you that a face mask or covering must be worn at all LUH locations as well as in all buildings of LUH. I am confident that we will be able to overcome any challenges that may arise in the coming months.

Kind regards,
Prof. Dr. Volker Epping
President