Notes on the corona virus (COVID-19) concerning the work at the KIS

Contact persons at KIS for questions concerning the corona virus (COVID-19) are Andreas Hentschel (phone +49 761 3198-168) and Markus Knobloch (phone +49 761 3198-328).

Instructions and information on the coronavirus (preventive measures)

Preventive Measures

Since the beginning of December 2019, there have been increased cases of respiratory diseases caused by a novel corona virus (SARS-CoV-2). The virus was first detected in Wuhan, the capital of the central Chinese province of Hubei. The pathogen is contagious among humans. The pathogen has now been detected in several regions of the world, including Germany and other European countries.

Symptoms

As with other respiratory diseases, infection with the corona virus can lead to symptoms such as cough, rhinitis, tickly throat and fever, and some affected persons also suffer from diarrhea. According to the Robert Koch Institute, four out of five cases reported so far, mainly from China, were mild. In some patients, the illness can progress to more severe forms with breathing problems and pneumonia. Deaths have so far occurred mainly in older patients and/or in patients with underlying chronic diseases.

Precautions

In general, it is recommended that the following rules be observed to prevent the spreading of diseases via the respiratory tract:

  • Clean your hands with soap regularly and thoroughly
  • Do not touch your face
  • Abstain from shaking hands in greeting
  • Observe coughing and sneezing etiquette (coughing away from other people, sneezing into a disposable handkerchief or into the crook of your arm, not into the palm of your hand)
  • Maintain a distance to sick people (approx. 1 to 2 metres)
  • Maintain the general hygiene of everyday objects and regularly ventilate the premises)
  • Strengthen your the immune system
  • If not already done, obtain a vaccination against influenza (family doctor), because given the similarity of symptoms of corona virus and influenza infection, patients with "ordinary" influenza could be mistakenly placed in an isolated hospital ward.

Risk areas: (official) travel

All travellers (including students and guests) who come directly from risk areas (see current information on RKI_Risk areas) or who have been to these areas in the past 14 days are requested to stay at home for two weeks in order to prevent the spread of any infection.
KIS employees are ordered to work from home for two weeks in these cases. Please inform your superior and the head of administration Mr. Hentschel (-168).
In general, persons who are currently developing symptoms of the disease should stay at home and cure the disease regardless of previous travel activities.
Persons who have had close contact with a person in whom the corona virus has been detected, or who have been in a risk area, should avoid contact with other people and contact the responsible health authority immediately. If you need medical assistance, call a doctor to make an appointment and tell him/her about your trip. Also inform your supervisor.

The Leibniz Institute for Solar Physics (KIS) Freiburg advises all members of the institute to contact the Federal Centre for Health Education (BzgA), the Robert Koch Institute and the Federal Foreign Office for information on current developments.
We also refer to the MWK's information letter which is enclosed with these instructions. Please observe the measures mentioned therein and implemented them in the different organizational units.
Further information and advice can also be obtained from our in-house medical service (Dr. Pietsch) at pietscharbeitsmedizin@gmx.de or phone no.: +49 1729982773.

In addition, the following rules take effect immediately and shall apply to all KIS employees:

  1. Before planning a trip to risk areas, employee must contact the board of KIS to jointly decide whether or not the trip may be approved, considering institutional interests and the prevailing risk.
  2. If an employee wishes to invite a guest to KIS, he or she must first ask the person whether he or she has previously been to any risk area. If the person has been to a risk area, he or she may be invited only prior consultation with the KIS board.
  3. Employees must inform themselves regularly about the current situation in the affected regions, using the information pages of the Federal Foreign Office and WHO. Furthermore, information on risk areas can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute:
  4. Employees are requested to pay increased attention to usual hygiene measures (see precautions mentioned above), especially during business trips.
  5. The Spanish island of Tenerife is currently not among the risk areas. Travel to Tenerife can therefore be undertaken without restrictions. In this context, please consult the IAC website.
  6. The Ministry of Social Affairs and Integration has recommended that commuters travelling from the French Haut-Rhin department to school or work in Baden-Württemberg stay at home.
  7. Please also consult the website of the University of Freiburg for further details on the corona virus. Some passages from the website have been incorporated into this instruction. All  employees of the University of Freiburg are also subject to the measures described there.

The group leaders or, in their absence, the deputy group leaders shall decide independently within their group whether employees must first do telework if they have previously been to risk areas or have been exposed to a real risk of infection. In such cases, employee must document the telework to be performed and must submit such documentation to the supervisor. In any case, the head of administration must be informed of these cases.

We will keep you regularly informed about any news concerning the corona virus, in particular about preventive measures.