Header Corona Traffic Light Level 2 SP EN

14 July: Update

Dear students, dear lecturers,

Due to continuously positive epidemiological developments, the Austrian government has decided to take further opening steps.

There will be a relaxation of restrictions at events, in (night) catering and at private meetings, as well as regarding the obligation to wear masks.

Restrictions are revoked on the basis of compliance with the "3-G rule" ("getestet, geimpft, genesen”, i.e. tested, vaccinated, recovered).

This means that at our university, for persons entering one of FHWN’s campuses and carrying valid proof of a low epidemiological risk (Vaccinated/Tested/Recovered), the following rules apply:

• In publicly accessible areas (assembly halls, corridors, libraries, etc.), wearing MNS (instead of the FFP2 mask) will be sufficient;

• the minimum distance will no longer apply;

• once seated, you can remove your MNS.

Evidence of a low epidemiological risk within the meaning of the COVID Opening Regulation is:

1. proof of a negative result of a SARS-CoV-2 antigen test carried out by oneself but recorded in an official data processing system, taken no more than 24 hours previously;

2. evidence from an authorised body of a negative result of an antigen test for SARS-CoV-2, taken no more than 48 hours previously;

3. evidence from an authorised body of a negative result of a molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2, taken no more than 72 hours previously;

4. medical confirmation of a SARS-CoV-2 infection that has been overcome in the last six months and confirmed by molecular biology;

5. proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with a generally approved vaccine

(a) primary vaccination: from the 22nd day following the date of primary vaccination, provided that the date of primary vaccination was not more than three months ago; or

(b) second vaccination, in which case the first vaccination shall not have taken place more than nine months previously; or

(c) vaccination from the 22nd day after vaccination for vaccines for which only one vaccination is scheduled, provided that this vaccination was carried out no more than nine months previously; or

(d) vaccination, provided that a positive molecular test for SARS-CoV-2 or evidence of neutralising antibodies has been obtained at least 21 days prior to vaccination, but not more than nine months prior to vaccination;

6. a certificate in accordance with § 4. 18 EpiG (Epidemiegesetz, i.e. legislation concerning epidemic control in Austria) or a certificate of segregation if this was issued for a person who has provably contracted SARS-CoV-2 in the last six months prior to the planned testing,

7. proof of neutralising antibodies which must not be older than three months.

A check whether valid evidence of a low epidemiological risk is carried can take place at any time either on an area-wide or on a random basis.

• Area-wide checks of all persons (taking into account site-specific incidence) are ordered by the university management and will be carried out unannounced.

• Staff members/external lecturers may be requested by their line managers to submit proof.

• Students may be requested by all FH members and external lecturers to present the relevant evidence.

• All other persons (external companies, external service providers, etc.) may be requested by all FH members to present proof at any time.

Outlook and plans for the autumn:

Unfortunately, it is not possible at this stage to anticipate all COVID regulations that may apply in autumn. However, we assume that on-site teaching and working (without minimum distance) will be possible at our sites in compliance with the 3G rule.

All students (including beginners, as well as international guest students) and all external lecturers of the FH Wiener Neustadt, regardless of their place of residence, can get vaccinated at one of Lower Austria’s vaccination centres. (Should there be problems with registration, simply enter the address of the respective FH campus).

We therefore want to start the winter semester 21/22 on the premise:

"Where didactically appropriate and organisationally feasible, we will return to our campuses."

Based on what we hope will continue to be a positive epidemiological trend, we therefore want to enable our students to be on site as much as possible (wherever it makes sense from a didactical standpoint) from autumn onwards. If re-scheduling courses for the winter semester will become necessary, we will bear in mind that there may be an area of conflict between "didactically sensible vs. organisationally feasible" (e.g. due to plans already made, availability of external lecturers, etc.).

In view of what lies behind us, however, we are very confident that if we continue to act as Team FHWN, we will also be able to cope well with this challenge and find ourselves in a "reasonably normal" winter semester at our sites.

Dear students, dear lecturers, after months of a pandemic marathon with ups and downs, we are now entering the home stretch.

It is with great pride that we can state that together we have succeeded in achieving our goal:

"Not to be a place where the virus spreads and to enable our students to progress in their studies/graduate in the scheduled time" in a convincing manner.

And for this, we as the university management would like to express our sincere thanks once again to all those who have contributed to achieving this goal.

We wish you and your loved ones a restful summer, many hours of relaxation and recreation, and we look forward to welcoming you all back to our university in autumn, healthy and with full zest for action.

If you have any questions or concerns, we are always here for you!

The Management

14 June: Update

Dear students,

due to positive epidemiological developments, the Austrian government has decided to take further opening steps, and the new COVID opening regulation has come into force as of 10 June.

For us as a university, however, this has not resulted in any major changes, as we have already had the privilege of defining our own rules throughout the pandemic (for example, gatherings of eight people in closed rooms were possible).

Therefore, there are basically no changes to our internal safety and hygiene standards at the moment, with the exception that as of Monday 14 June, our internal Corona traffic light will be changed from the current orange back to yellow, and the previous minimum distance in public areas will be reduced from two metres to one metre. (This will not have any effect on the currently specified lecture hall capacities).

However, if the infection figures continue to remain at the current level or improve, we assume that further noticeable opening steps will also be possible at the university’s sites in July.

Until then, as mentioned above, we will stick to our current regulations and focus on the successful completion of the summer semester, while looking forward to relaxing summer days.

Please continue to keep your contact diary to enable "contact tracing" quickly and seamlessly in the event of an infection.

We are in the last metres of a marathon through another extraordinary semester. Let us together finish what we started in March last year - defying the pandemic and showing team spirit as Team FHWN across all sites, and continuing on our successful path despite adverse conditions.

If you have any questions or concerns, we and your heads of programmes are always here for you!

The management

19 May: COVID-19-Opening Regulation

Dear students,

as of 19 May, the COVID 19 Opening Regulation becomes effective, bringing us all a first step towards normality again. Many months of restrictions will then lie behind us, and opening steps in stages lie ahead.

These opening steps will be accompanied by safety measures to prevent a negative reversal of the epidemiological trend.

We have therefore decided to also adapt our internal university rules in line with the 19 May ones, and to keep them, as before, as clear and simple as possible:

Our internal Corona traffic light will be changed from the current red back to orange.

Our previous safety and hygiene standards continue to apply (in particular, maintaining a distance of 2 metres from other persons and wearing an FFP 2 mask in all areas accessible to the public, unless there is also a mechanical protective device such as a plexiglass screen).

This applies regardless of whether someone is vaccinated, tested or recovered.

Please continue to keep your contact diary so that "contact tracing" can be carried out quickly and without gaps in the event of an infection.

The following applies when more than 10 people gather in one room (e.g. courses, exams, meetings, etc.):

in addition to complying with our safety and hygiene standards, all persons (students, staff, external lecturers, etc.) must carry valid proof of a low epidemiological risk and show it on request.

Evidence of a low epidemiological risk within the meaning of the COVID Opening Regulation is:

1. proof of a negative result of a SARS-CoV-2 antigen test carried out by oneself but recorded in an official data processing system, taken no more than 24 hours previously;

2. evidence from an authorised body of a negative result of an antigen test for SARS-CoV-2, taken no more than 48 hours previously;

3. evidence from an authorised body of a negative result of a molecular biological test for SARS-CoV-2, taken no more than 72 hours previously;

4. a medical confirmation of an infection with SARS-CoV-2 that has been overcome in the last six months and confirmed by molecular biology;

5. proof of vaccination against COVID-19 with a generally approved vaccine:

(a) primary vaccination: from the 22nd day following the date of primary vaccination, provided that the date of primary vaccination was not more than three months ago; or

(b) second vaccination, in which case the first vaccination shall not have taken place more than nine months previously; or

(c) vaccination from the 22nd day after vaccination for vaccines for which only one vaccination is scheduled, provided that this vaccination was carried out no more than nine months previously; or

(d) vaccination, provided that a positive molecular test for SARS-CoV-2 or evidence of neutralising antibodies has been obtained at least 21 days prior to vaccination, but not more than nine months prior to vaccination;

6. a certificate in accordance with § 4. 18 EpiG (Epidemiegesetz, i.e. legislation concerning epidemic control in Austria) or a certificate of segregation if this was issued for a person who has provably contracted SARS-CoV-2 in the last six months prior to the planned testing,

7. proof of neutralising antibodies which must not be older than three months.

Persons who "lead" a meeting of more than 10 persons are obliged to inform those present at the beginning of the meeting that they need to provide proof of a low epidemiological risk, and to exclude persons who do not have such a document with them from the meeting.

The document check can either include all participants’ certificates or a sample selected on a random basis. This procedure has been agreed with the student representatives and takes the most recent survey conducted by the ÖH among students into account.

The student representatives have asked us to point out that no "entrance test" is required for the current ÖH elections.

The heads of programmes will continue to supply you with relevant information as necessary about further teaching and examination activities during the remainder of the summer semester.

Library:

The head of the library will send out separate information regarding library use.

Cafeteria on C1:

The cafeteria at C1 will be open from 19 May onwards, Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

Dear colleagues, we have managed to get through this pandemic unscathed so far, THANKS to your cooperation. Let us continue this successful course together, let us bring the semester to a successful end, and let us continue taking care of our health so that we can enjoy the upcoming summer and use it to really relax and recover.

If you have any questions or concerns, we are always here for you!

The management

5 May: Update

Dear students,

For more than a year, the pandemic has determined our lives. Nevertheless, we have managed to cope well this year by working together. Looking back today, we can say that the effort we put in allowed us to achieve our goal: to get you through your studies well and within the allocated time, and at the same time avoiding Covid-clusters at FHWN.

We would like to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for contributions in achieving this goal through your flexibility, discipline and dedication. In cooperation with your student representatives, we will continue to strive to be "as close as possible to your problems and challenges" and to find good solutions.

As you will have gathered from the media, the government is planning the first opening steps in mid-May. Consequently, we have been thinking intensively over the last few days about how we want to organise the remaining summer semester. In order to provide you with reliable scheduling, we have decided to take the pragmatic approach of ending the semester largely as we began it: where it makes sense and is possible without a loss of quality, we will continue to teach online; only where on-site teaching brings a clear, added value in this phase will we enable it.

Naturally, this is very much dependent on which study programme you are enrolled in and which semester you are in. Therefore, the decision about on-site vs. online will be made at programme level by your head of programme - and will also be communicated to you in the coming days.

Across FHWN, we would like to give students in their first and final years in particular the opportunity to meet on-site in selected formats on their campus (naturally in compliance with our tried-and-tested safety and hygiene concepts).

If the epidemiological development allows it, we would also be very pleased to hold joint graduation ceremonies in person.

We wish you a good semester and success in your exams!

Stay healthy and let's stick together!

Your Management

9 March: Update

As announced yesterday, we are now in a position to inform you about the measures planned by the City of Wiener Neustadt and the resulting changes for us.

Last Friday, the Minister for Health published a decree for districts with a 7-day incidence of over 400. Based on this decree, exit tests are planned in the district of Wiener Neustadt Stadt from Wednesday 10 March onwards. In order to carry out the required exit tests, the daily test capacity will have to be increased from 2,000 to 15,000. To achieve this, additional test centres must be installed to have a total of 40 instead of the current 16. Hence, a third test location (to be announced) will be set up in addition to Arena Nova and the Kasematten. In terms of personnel, the city will submit a request for assistance (300 people) to the Austrian Armed Forces, and it has also been in contact with the Red Cross as well as FHWN so that sufficient qualified test personnel are available.

Essentially, the new regulation states that anyone who want to leave the district of Wiener Neustadt Stadt have to show a negative test result (apart from exceptions, see below) upon leaving the city (= crossing the city limits) when requested to do so by emergency services ("entry" is still possible without restrictions).

As these measures, despite massive efforts, cannot be implemented by Wednesday, people who cannot present a negative test result upon leaving will only be sanctioned (presumably) as of Saturday, 13 March when the necessary testing capacities will be fully implemented. The amount of the penalty has not yet been determined.

This means that if you want/have to come to FHWN, you can "enter" Wiener Neustadt without restrictions, but when you "leave" the district of Wiener Neustadt Stadt, you will have to show a negative test result if asked to do so, unless you fall under one of the exceptions listed below. Checks will be carried out at all places where an exit is possible (exit roads, railway station, etc.).

The following are accepted as negative test results: an antigen quick test (not older than 48h) or a PCR test (not older than 72 h).

Exit without a negative test result is possible:

• for people who have had the COVID disease - with medical certificate or isolation notice

• for children up to 10 years old

• to avert immediate danger to life, limb or property

• for public safety service personnel, rescue organisations and the fire brigade, freight traffic and transit passengers (e.g. train passengers who do not leave the train)

• to attend official or judicial appointments

• for pupils who can show a school-standard antigen test ("nose-picker test")

• for people working in public organisations (e.g. hospital) where compliance with the test intervals is ensured (and confirmed)

• for people exclusively visiting a PCR testing station or a COVID-19 vaccination centre (incl. the person accompanying them)

• for people exclusively using health services (e.g. doctor's visit) in the city area (incl. the person accompanying them)

• for people who live outside Wiener Neustadt and have tested positive in Wiener Neustadt. (They have to go directly into quarantine at their place of residence.)

The announced "headwind on the last leg of the marathon" is now becoming noticeable. But due to the stamina we have shown so far and the team spirit we experience every day, we are absolutely confident that we will also manage the coming weeks well together and achieve our common goal of

taking the best possible care of our health while at the same time enabling you/our students to progress in your/their studies/graduate.

In case of questions, we are always there for you!

The Management

25 January: Update

The "COVID marathon" announced almost a year ago has indeed become one, and a certain fatigue is making itself felt on all sides. The good news is that according to the government and many experts' opinions, we are on the last leg of this “marathon”, even though we have to face additional headwinds due to the novel viral mutations.

As of January 25, the 3rd COVID-19 Emergency Measures go into effect, which result in some changes.

It should be mentioned in advance that while universities continue to be exempt from the scope of the COVID regulation, there is agreement among the university managements to adopt respective university-internal security measures and regulations.

Based on excellent cooperation and the possibility of open discussion with the student union and considering the results of the online survey conducted by ÖHFWN, we have hopefully succeeded in agreeing on regulations and measures that will ensure the achievement of our goal, namely to enable the completion of your studies in time.

As of Monday 25 January, the following rules apply at all FHWN locations:

Our internal traffic lights remain set to RED.

When entering the university buildings, as well as in all generally accessible areas (corridors, sanitary facilities, tea kitchens, etc.), it is mandatory to wear an FFP2 mask.

FFP2 masks are now available at every “Servicepoint” on our campuses for emergencies (e.g. if you forget or lose your own mask).

A distance of at least 2 metres must be maintained at all times from persons who do not live in the same household. Reducing this distance is allowed only if an FFP2 mask is worn or a mechanical protective device (e.g. Plexiglas screen) is available.

The FFP2 mask may be removed if the 2-metre distance can be maintained throughout (e.g. assigned seat in the lecture hall).

Teaching and research (until Easter):

From today’s perspective, we will remain in "distance mode" until at least the end of the Easter holidays.

However, non-substitutable courses and examinations can still take place on campus in strict compliance with our safety and hygiene regulations.

A strict standard will be applied when assessing the question of when attendance is absolutely necessary to enable progress in your studies and cannot be substituted. All on-site events are checked in this regard and approved by the responsible head of study programme. It has also proven advantageous to discuss planned on-site events in advance with the year group representatives, course leaders and the responsible heads of programme.

Once the demand for written examinations has been assessed, we will try to make large premises (e.g. exhibition halls) available for examination days.

Similar to the first and second lockdown, oral examinations can take place in specified rooms with mechanical protection devices.

At all face-to-face sessions, an FFP2 mask must be worn by all participants if the minimum distance of 2 metres cannot be maintained throughout.

Please take care to ensure regular ventilation during face-to-face sessions!

An FFP2 mask must be worn without exception if the distance falls below 2 metres just for a short time (e.g. examination invigilation, handing out examination information).

In order to enable your successful progress in your studies, we want to make sure you not only receive online teaching of high quality and face-to-face events when absolutely necessary, but also a sufficient number of examination dates (also additional ones if necessary).

Separate information will be provided regarding the use of the library.

Research can be carried out as before under the above-mentioned regulations (2 metre distance or FFP2 mask).

General:

• Compulsory testing is currently not planned, neither for students nor for staff. If it makes sense to carry out rapid antigen tests in advance for individual on site events, the responsible course leader will clarify this with our experts from the Faculty of Health. In principle, rapid test lanes should also be set up in all districts of Austria in the next few days, which can be used free of charge.

Dear students and dear lecturers,

We’ve managed to come this far due to your tremendous support and solidarity. Let’s pull together so we can get through the coming weeks as well.

Spring is just around the corner and summer is approaching! And with it, hopefully, a time that will bring us back to normality step by step.

We are always here to address your questions and concerns.

With best regards

The management

7 January: Update

We hope that you were able to spend a few peaceful days with your loved ones and could spend time relaxing! For 2021, we wish you a great deal of strength and confidence, but above all health and contentment!

Unfortunately, the pandemic will continue to keep us busy for the next weeks and months. Despite the ongoing discussions and the remaining uncertainties, we have nevertheless decided to anticipate certain framework conditions and make arrangements that should provide planning security for the coming weeks.

Our internal corona traffic light will remain RED.

For the remainder of the winter semester we will continue with “distance operations”, wherever sensible and feasible. However, courses and examinations which cannot be replaced by online formats may continue to take place on site, under strict adherence to safety and hygiene regulations. The relevant head of programme will decide whether a course or examination may take place on site.

Research operations can be carried out as before.

Restrictions for on-site classes will apply for the City Campus. From Friday, 15 January, up to and including Sunday, 17 January, mass tests for the city of Wiener Neustadt will again take place in the large Reading Room.

This means that the main entrance via Schlögelgasse, as well as the complete Service Point area and the Reading Room will be blocked for these tests. All other rooms and facilities of the City Campus can be used without restrictions, save for the one that entrance is only possible via the doors next to the “Wissensturm”.

We have arranged with the authorities that all lecturers and students of FHWN, irrespective of their place of residence, can participate in the tests at City Campus. In case you do not live in Wiener Neustadt, do not state your home address when registering for the test, but enter the address of the City Campus (Schlögelgasse 22-26, 2700 Wiener Neustadt) in the relevant field.

We’ll inform you immediately, should there be any changes.

Let us start with confidence into the new year and continue in our efforts as Team FHWN on last year’s course for further success in spite of challenging conditions!

Do not hesitate to contact us or the respective heads of programme if you have any questions!

7 December: FHWN remains "Red"

Our internal traffic light remains RED, although we would like to point out that RED is moving towards Orange again. The expected switch back to Orange cannot yet take place as the number of infections in the age group of 18 to 30-year olds is not decreasing at the expected rate.

This means that we will continue in “distance operation” wherever feasible and reasonable, but that courses and exams which cannot be substituted by an online format can take place on site (in strict adherence to our safety and hygiene regulations) between 7 and 24 December.

The decree with respect to quarantine measures upon leaving or entering Austria has not yet been issued. However, the Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research aims for a provision that leaving and entering Austria for study and research purposes will be viewed as “job-related” and therefore be exempted from the announced quarantine measures in the decree.

Any research operations may continue as before.

Our libraries will re-open on 7 December, except the Central Library on City Campus which will be open from Wednesday, 16 December onwards (see below). You can borrow books from the respective libraries and return them there as well; reading and studying in the library rooms (in strict adherence to the minimum distance) will also be allowed again.

There are, however, restrictions to on-site teaching on City Campus. In the period from Saturday 12 to Tuesday 15 December inclusive, a so-called “test street” will be set up in the library reading room for mass testing in Wiener Neustadt.

This means that the main entrance via Schlögelgasse, as well as the entire Service Point area and the reading room will be closed for the tests. The rest of the City Campus can be used without restriction under the above-mentioned conditions, with the sole provision that students, lecturers and staff may enter via the Wissensturm only.

For the time being, the Ministry cannot issue any concrete information regarding courses in January, as these decisions depend on the occurrence of infections during Christmas and New Year.

Once again, we universities were called upon to ask our staff and students to be particularly careful, also in your free time, in the coming days and weeks leading up to the turn of the year.

We will inform you immediately, should there be any further changes.

If you have any questions, we are always there for you!

17 November: Corona Risk Level "Red"

After yesterday's press conference of the Federal Government and the ensuing meeting at the BMWFW, we are now able to provide you with current information concerning our university of applied sciences.

The legal framework is as follows: As an institution of higher education, we are still exempt from the COVID regulations starting from Tuesday. This means that we are acting autonomously when it comes to the internal operation of the university and have to "prescribe" the relevant regulations ourselves. We do have to consider rules concerning the general public (e.g. current lockdown regulations).

Our internal traffic light will change to RED at all locations from Tuesday 17 November to 06 December 2020.

It has been pointed out again that the ensuing weeks will be crucial for our intensive care units in hospitals. It is our responsibility to contribute to measures taken to combat the pandemic – be it at work or in our free time. Again, we have been asked by the government to change our teaching, research and assessment activities to online where possible. The journey to and from work or the educational institution (university of applied sciences) is considered a legitimate reason to leave your home.

Teaching:

Activities can be held on site in special circumstances only, if they cannot be substituted online and provided that all necessary protective measures are taken and documented – the Head of study programme has to decide if an activity (e.g. laboratory) can be offered on site.

Lecturers are kindly requested to explain to their students that these exceptions, which are supposed to help ensure a steady progress in studies, have to be conducted under strict safety measures and require a high degree of personal responsibility. They are a privilege which can be withdrawn from universities at any time.

Infrastructure required for research remains accessible.

Events:

No events until 6 December.

Concrete measures and regulations stay overall the same:

• You are still obliged to wear MNP in all buildings of the FH. This can be taken off in closed rooms if you are sitting on a seat and the minimum distance of 2 metres can be maintained throughout. It is not obligatory to wear MNP if sufficient protection is provided by a mechanical protective device (e.g. stationary Plexiglas panel).

If in exceptional cases a 1 metre distance cannot be maintained continuously (e.g. in special laboratory situations), all persons involved are obliged to wear an FFP 2 mask.

• From 7 November onwards, (chin) shields and visors may no longer be worn as replacements for mouth-nose protection.

• Continually keeping a minimum distance of one metre has been obligatory since Sunday 25 October 00:00 for people not living in the same household which also applies to public places outside (e.g. Campus premises).

• All cases of suspected infection, test results or other "Covid measures" (isolation notice etc.) imposed by the authorities must be reported to Study Services. All data will be used exclusively for legally binding measures (Epidemics Act).

Anyone suspected of being infected must stay away from the FH until their status has been clarified or a test result is available.

Libraries are generally closed, however staff and students can collect pre-ordered media on site. Collection times and locations will be announced separately by e-mail and via the homepage.

Should there be any further changes, we will inform you immediately.

We will do everything in our power to help you progress in your studies!

If you have any questions, we are always there for you!

2 November: Corona Risk Level “Orange”

Dear students and lecturers,

After the press conference of the Federal Government and the ensuing meeting at the BMWFW, we are now able to provide you with current information concerning our university of applied sciences.

The legal framework is as follows: As an institution of higher education, we are still exempt from the COVID regulations starting from November 2nd. This means that we are acting autonomously when it comes to the internal operation of the university and have to "prescribe" the relevant regulations ourselves. We do have to consider rules concerning the general public (e.g. regulations regarding curfew after 20:00).

Our internal traffic light will change to ORANGE at all locations as of Monday, 02 November 2020.

It has been pointed out several times that November will be important for the further development of the pandemic in Austria. The nationwide goal is to stop the exponential rise in infection numbers with a second shutdown, and if this is successful, to gradually reduce the restrictive measures again in December.

The mission for institutions like ours is to continue our teaching, examinations and research as best we can.

We are therefore implementing the following updates to our measures:

Teaching and research:

Is basically still possible as planned. Special attention must be paid to our FHWN internal guidelines (distance/hygiene rules, max. number of people in lecture rooms, etc.).

Wherever possible (especially with regard to didactics and questions pertaining to study law) and reasonable in terms of (re-)planning effort, courses are to be offered in hybrid or online form.

All activities that cannot be substituted online in a meaningful way can continue to be held on site while observing all protective measures. Wherever it is reasonably possible, however, we are encouraged to switch to online/hybrid operation.

Any lectures taking place on site are to be planned in such a way that the arrival/departure of participating persons is not within the announced curfew regulations from 20:00 to 06:00.

For all rescheduling, consultation with Study Services is required to ensure that all changes are recorded in the system. Distance learning has to be organised so that there is no clash of classes taking place online and on site.

Events:

Are still possible, as long as they are part of our core university tasks.

Graduation ceremonies (and this decision has been extremely difficult) will no longer be held at any of our sites. Heads of study of all programmes affected by this decision will pass this on to the relevant people. We will be pleased to invite any graduates affected by this to a ceremony next year (when the situation will hopefully have eased again).

Concrete measures and regulations:

• You are still obliged to wear MNP in all buildings of the FH. You can take it off once you have sat down (lecture hall, office, etc.) and the minimum distance of one metre can be maintained throughout. It is not obligatory to wear MNP if sufficient protection is provided by a mechanical protective device (e.g. stationary Plexiglas panel).

If in exceptional cases the distance cannot be maintained continuously (e.g. in special laboratory situations), all persons involved are obliged to wear an FFP 2 mask.

• From 7 November onwards, (chin) shields and visors may no longer be worn as replacements for mouth-nose protection.

• Continually keeping a minimum distance of one metre has been obligatory since Sunday 25 October 00:00 o'clock for people not living in the same household which also applies to public places outside (e.g. Campus premises).

• All cases of suspected infection, test results or other "Covid measures" (isolation notice etc.) imposed by the authorities must be reported to Study Services. All data will be used exclusively for legally binding measures (Epidemics Act).

• Anyone suspected of being infected must stay away from the FH until their status has been clarified or a test result is available.

• Should a positive case occur within a study programme (or a clearly defined group) and the respective person has attended on-site classes during the infectious period, all teaching activities will be immediately switched to distance for ten days and all students of this group will be asked to stay away from the university for this period. This measure will be communicated to the students by the responsible Head of Programme (after prior consultation with the university management).

• All our sites will remain open for external visitors (e.g. library users) upon strict adherence to our regulations.

In order to give you the best possible planning security, we will adhere to these measures until the end of December 2020.

The measures and plans we have already taken will enable us to continue to fulfill our basic mission in the best possible way!

Should there be any further changes, we will inform you immediately.

Let us all stick together, support each other and please also take care of yourself and your environment in these challenging times.

7 October: 10 Point Programme for Universities

The current situation triggered by the Corona virus is still a challenge, with far-reaching effects on almost all areas of society. It is a common task of all to prevent or reduce the spread of the infection to a minimum. In this context, universities are naturally also called upon to contribute. At the same time, the education and higher education systems must remain functional in teaching and research even under "corona conditions" and thus fulfil their social responsibility.

With these two challenges in mind, Austrian universities are entering the academic year 2020/21 well prepared. In recent months they have developed extensive regulations and concepts in line with their autonomy, their specific situation, size and professional orientation, and taking the "COVID-19 Guidelines for Secure University Operation" (available in German only) into account. The following ten points summarise the most important provisions.

1. Those who are ill should stay at home

The Sars-CoV-2 virus is unpredictable and infectious. Accordingly, contact situations with a person suffering from Covid-19 pose a very high risk of infection for people in the immediate environment. Only healthy people should therefore participate in teaching and examining, in research and administration. Anyone who is ill should stay away from the university.

2. Responsibility begins with personal responsibility

If you look after yourself, you also look after your university and your fellow students and colleagues. We can only fight the corona pandemic together. This requires personal responsibility! Maintaining the respective minimum distance stated at your university or observing the general hygiene or health rules (hand hygiene, regular airing etc.) does not end the moment you leave the lecture or seminar. Personal responsibility also applies in particular to activities in the private environment, outside the university. At parties, private meetings and celebrations, the risk of infection is known to be particularly high.

3. Those who wear masks, show responsibility

Masks provide the best protection against further spread of the Sars-CoV-2 infection. Therefore, you should wear mouth-nose protection for the entire time at the university when minimum distance cannot be maintained. This also applies to lecture halls or laboratories. It is the personal responsibility of university members to contribute to general safety by wearing a mask at all times.

4. Digital, on site, hybrid: flexibility in teaching is in demand

The winter semester 2020/21 is planned as a hybrid semester. The choice of how courses can be held ranges from purely digital (distance learning) and purely on-site, to various hybrid forms. For all these, universities have developed security concepts in recent months, taking the "Guidelines for Secure University Operation" into account. These concepts combine existing conditions (space/personnel/content) as well as the current infection and risk situation.

5. Examinations and meetings on site are possible - with few participants and keeping the minimum distance

The corona pandemic does not prevent universities from conducting examinations and meetings on site. Security and protection concepts have been developed to make this possible, while at the same time ensuring an adequate level of protection. The relevant minimum distance must be maintained. This applies in particular to artistic training, practical exercises and laboratory activities, for which additional measures may also apply.

6. Courses (and written examinations), and major events with special security measures

In addition to wearing a mask, keeping your distance is the most effective means of preventing a further spread of the corona pandemic. For this reason, courses and written examinations with a larger number of participants should always be held in premises designed to accommodate at least twice the number of people. It is also advisable to mark or number the individual seats. Each university will determine the measures to take for ensuring contact tracing. Entrance and exit routes for courses and examinations must be managed adequately.

Universities must take special security precautions for major events - as a recommended guideline, events with 250 or more participants are considered as such. These precautions may include the allocation of fixed seats. Professional entry and exit management should ensure that no mass gatherings can occur before the start and after the end of the event.

7. Digital teaching can hardly replace on-site presence in practical exercises

The winter semester 2020/21 is characterized by flexibility, since the current infection situation can change rapidly. There will be individual practical exercises and other course formats such as excursions, language trips and the like, for which digital replacements will not work so effectively. Universities are making efforts to find suitable compensation formats, but will not always succeed.

8. Using libraries and reading rooms under strict regulations

For the winter semester 2020/21, library operations are planned to be mostly regular. Borrowing and returning books, journals and other media is possible as usual during opening hours. However, entrance and exit routes must be regulated so that no crowds of people can gather.

Reading and study rooms can be used under the strict safety and hygiene regulations established. They include registration systems and fixed seating arrangements. In any case, everybody is required to maintain the minimum distance and adhere to hygiene and health measures as set out by the university.

9. Doing research with the minimum distance or in your home office

For doing research, organisational adaptations have to be made, especially for larger research teams or where keeping the minimum distance is not feasible due to room situations or work requirements. Universities have developed concepts for the use of space which comply with their security concepts. These concepts also include home office as an option. For epidemiological reasons, it must be ensured that the same groups of people always work together. All researchers must observe the applicable distance rule as well as the hygiene and health regulations.

10. Student halls are not party zones

Undoubtedly, dormitories are important places for living and studying together. In the past, they have also doubtless been places to host legendary parties and events. However, recent findings about the COVID-19 pandemic have shown that parties and events are the “optimal places” to transmit the virus and infect each other. Numerous clusters, which include young people in particular, can be traced to private events.

Acting responsibly in this current situation entails that you do not host such an event. Several organisations which run student halls of residence have already issued a ban on organising parties, which must be respected, and had the relevant rooms locked.

26 August: Semester Start - Corona Risk Level “Yellow”

Dear students and lecturers, In the following we would like to share some information with you, regarding on-site courses at the Fachhochschule Wiener Neustadt in the upcoming winter semester 2020.

We must maintain a minimum distance of one metre - in all classrooms as well - which means that courses are planned in a hybrid form, i.e. on-site as far as the reduced capacities allow, and beyond that as distance learning. Detailed information or, if applicable, diverging information for individual study programmes will be sent out by the relevant Heads of Programme.

Security measures have been adapted to their respective risk level with the help of a traffic light labelling system. This will be provided each day by the university management and posted at all entrances of FHWN sites. Should the risk level change, we will additionally inform you immediately via e-mail. We will also notify you if further measures or regulations become necessary. We therefore ask you to check your e-mails regularly.

The traffic light labelling system - how it works:

  • Green: Compliance with our general safety and hygiene rules (see below); in particular one metre safety distance, and where the distance is less than one metre, wearing mouth and nose protection (MNP) is obligatory (not necessary if a mechanical protective barrier such as a Plexiglas pane is available).
  • Yellow: The same as green, but additionally, wearing MNP is mandatory when entering the university and in all publicly accessible areas (hallway, aula, elevator, library, common and sanitary areas, etc.). Once in the lecture hall, seminar room, reading room or laboratory, as well as in the office and meeting room, you can remove MNP if the minimum distance of one metre can be maintained throughout.
  • Orange: Like yellow - additionally all activities (teaching, office work, etc.) are to be shifted to online/distance operation, if feasible without a major loss of quality or rescheduling effort.
  • Red: Lockdown - only those activities that cannot be replaced by other measures and which, if not carried out, would lead to a considerable disadvantage/damage for employees, students, or the FH as a whole, may continue.

The decision has been taken to start on all sites at risk level “YELLOW”. This is a precautionary decision, due to many holiday returnees and first semester students from abroad, and in the hope of soon being able to switch to "green".

General safety and hygiene regulations for students and external lecturers

  • If you suspect you are infected with COVID-19, you must inform Study Services immediately and stay away from the university until you have a negative test result.
  • Please check your contact data in the intranet and perform an update if anything has changed (visible immediately after accessing the intranet; your private e-mail address must be entered as "alternate" e-mail; telephone numbers can be checked from the beginning of September onwards). It is important that we can inform you quickly in case of a suspected infection!
  • It is your personal responsibility to monitor your own health status.
  • Keep a diary of personal contacts (so that in case of suspected illness, people you have been in contact with can be informed and tested very quickly to prevent a complete shutdown).
  • Make sure to always have mouth and nose protection with you - wearing MNP (or a face shield) may become obligatory depending on the risk level according to the traffic light labelling system, or if the one metre minimum distance cannot be maintained! Should you not have MNP with you, we have an emergency contingent available at the Service Point.
  • After entering the building, carry out hygienic hand disinfection (disinfectant dispensers are provided in the entrance areas). Wash your hands regularly with warm water and soap.
  • Please pay attention to respiratory hygiene: cover your mouth and nose either with your bent elbow or a tissue when coughing or sneezing.
  • Teaching rooms are cleaned between courses if there is a change of groups. Disinfectant wipes are available if necessary.
  • Attendance lists, on which the lecturer notes the students present, must be kept for all courses (tick after calling the roll; no passing around of the list for reasons of hygiene!) Attendance lists must be deposited by lecturers after each session either in the lecturer’s pigeonhole (external lecturers) or the programme/institute/faculty’s pigeonhole (internal lecturers) (Lecturers’ Room). The attendance lists must remain at the FH at all times! The responsibility for submitting the lists lies with the respective lecturer as indicated in the database / timetable.
  • Please adhere to the seating plan: people present in teaching rooms must maintain the one metre distance throughout.
  • You are responsible for ensuring that the rooms are aired regularly, at least every hour. In rooms without windows or rooms with windows that cannot be opened, mechanical ventilation ensures an exchange of air.
  • While on campus before, between and after courses, a distance of one metre must always be maintained.

For additional information and any queries you might have, please contact the responsible Head of Programme!

Our goal for the upcoming winter semester remains to protect our health as best as possible and to enable our students’ successful progress in their studies.

5 May: First exams with students physically present at Arena Nova

Over the last few weeks, students across the country have slowly but surely become used to taking exams online. Due to the high degree of flexibility and adequate technical facilities, the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt has been able to ensure that students can continue to progress in their studies despite the restrictions on public life. Thanks to the excellent cooperation between the University of Applied Sciences and Arena Nova, the first exams with students physically present can now be held again.

An unusual sight will await the students on the Nursing Programme this Tuesday when they take their exam in "Anatomy & Physiology". It will be one of the first exams with students physically present since the lockdown of public life was decreed in Austria. A total of 90 students are expected to take the exams, spread out over several of Arena Nova’s halls, with each examinee being allocated a space of about 30 square metres. Thus, the distance between students is 2-3 times the minimum distance required in shops and public institutions. In the coming days and weeks, further examinations from all other faculties of the University of Applied Sciences will follow.

High level of safety precautions
In order to protect students and supervisors in the best possible way, the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt is taking a high level of safety precautions. All persons in Arena Nova are obliged to wear a mouth and nose protector - if someone does not have such a mask, they will be provided with one by the University of Applied Sciences once and free of charge. Before entering the building, hand disinfection is mandatory for everybody. Controlled access to the building is ensured by a special access system for entrance and exit areas. Students are sent the respective building and seating plans electronically before the examinations. Accordingly, each person is given precise access data with the exact seating position.

Event organising expertise for holding exams
"All of these measures are intended to achieve one thing above all else – the resumption of examinations with students being present while at the same time ensuring the highest possible level of safety and hygiene for all concerned. We hope that in this way we will achieve our goal of enabling students to progress without delay to their studies while at the same time doing our utmost to ensure everybody stays healthy," says Peter Erlacher, COO of the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt. When developing the concept for the upcoming examinations, the expertise of Arena Nova’s specialists was increasingly relied upon – valuable experience in event organisation gained over many years provided an excellent basis for assisting with the planning process. In cooperation with the University’s Heads of Faculty, a detailed examination concept has been developed that takes all potential risks and challenges into account. The valuable expertise of the public health department of the city of Wiener Neustadt was also drawn upon during the planning process.

28 April: Central Library - Open for lending again

Good news for students of the University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt and everyone whose preferred way of passing time during the lockdown is reading: the borrowing of pre-ordered media from the Central Library at the University of Applied Sciences' City Campus will be possible again from 4 May.

At present, books and other media are a sought-after commodity not only for students writing seminar papers or final theses but also for people who want to spend their free time reading new books or consuming other media. In recent weeks, it has been impossible to borrow media because all libraries were closed - but in line with a number of new regulations decreed by the Austrian Federal Government aimed at easing the existing restrictions, the Central Library at City Campus will open its doors again on 4 May.

Media can be pre-ordered now either online (https://wn.on.worldcat.org) or by telephone (Monday to Friday between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. via the ordering hotline 02622/89084/134). Pre-ordered media will be ready for collection from Monday to Friday, between 10:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. Users can borrow these media via the self-checkout at the service point of the Central Library on the City Campus.

Increased protective measures continue
Since protecting people’s health still takes top priority, mouth and nose protection in the form of masks brought along by the user is obligatory when entering the library. In addition, access is only possible for one person at a time and in compliance with the recommended minimum distance of at least 1.5 metres. Detailed information on safety precautions is posted at the entrance to the library.

Borrowed media can be returned in the designated return boxes in front of the entrance - this ensures that there is no physical contact when returning media. Since all these are quarantined for one week before being passed on, confirmation of returned media will appear on the respective library account slightly later than normal.

Important information for those who wish to come to the Central Library in the coming days: until further notice, access to the Central Library is only possible via the entrance on Schlögelgasse.

15 March: Closure of all FH locations and libraries

Due to current developments, we have decided to reduce FH internal operations to the absolute minimum. The University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt will be closed at all locations from Monday 16.03.2020 onwards, but online and telephone services will of course remain in place. The library will be closed completely. Taking out books is no longer possible until further notice.

We offer an extensive online library and strongly recommend our students and colleagues to use the available e-media.

All e-media are accessible from home and can be researched here.

Our tip: Use the free digital offer of NOE-Books. As a supplement to the scientific media of the FH library, you will find fiction, thrillers, novels, cookbooks, audio books and many other media for relaxing and entertainment. If you do not have a NOE-Book account yet, just send an e-mail to bibliothek@fhwn.ac.at, and we will activate it for you.
Support for how to use e-media is available from Monday to Friday between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. by phone at 02622/89084/134 or via e-mail at bibliothek@fhwn.ac.at.
Current information can be found at www.bibliothekimzentrum.at.

For news concerning teaching activities, students are kept up to date by their head of programmes. Students, prospective students and library users are also asked to regularly check the official FH channels (website and social media channels) for news.

These measures apply until further notice (from today's point of view at least until after Easter).

Let us try to show solidarity in this challenging time and support the measures of the Federal Government as well as the authorities. By following their directives, each of us can contribute significantly to the containment of the exponential spreading rate.

We wish you strength and confidence for the upcoming days,

Your University Management

14 March: Cancellation of all attendance appointments for admission procedures

Due to the current developments and decisions of the Federal Government, we have decided to suspend on campus appointments for admission procedures in the coming weeks until after Easter. Where possible, we would like to invite you to conduct your admission interview via Skype. With this measure we would like to fulfil our social responsibility and contribute to reducing social contacts. It will of course be possible to come to your admission interview at a later date on site - your application remains valid.

As soon as the situation changes and we can set new dates, we will inform all affected prospective students by e-mail in good time. We will continue to do everything in our power to provide everyone with the best possible service as far as circumstances allow. If you have any further questions, please contact the person responsible for admission in Study Services.

13 March: Courses requiring students to be physically present suspended as of today

Current information from FH Wiener Neustadt Management for students:

Due to current developments, we have decided to temporarily suspend all courses requiring students to be physically present as of 13 March.

There is still no confirmed case of the coronavirus disease at any of our sites. However, we want to give the authorities the best possible support in their efforts to contain the virus, and therefore ask you to stay at home from now on and keep your social contacts to an absolute minimum. Your head of programme will supply you with detailed instructions/recommendations on the further course of your studies in the next few days. We are concentrating all our efforts to ensure that you can achieve your academic goals in the time envisaged!

12 March: Information re: closure of the library

The University Library as well as the “Central Library” will be closed from next Friday, 13 March until 15 April. This applies to the whole area of the Central Library (i.e. the reading room, galleries, the learning booths etc.), as well as the library at Campus 1 and the library at the Wieselburg Campus. The loan period for items borrowed will be automatically extended during the period of closure.

In order to offer both students and staff at the FHWN the best possible service in the present circumstances, we will be maintaining a lending service via the Service Point at City Campus, the Library at Campus 1 and the Front desk at the Wieselburg Campus. Books must be pre-ordered online, and you will be informed by e-mail as soon as they are available.

Books can be picked up from Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Book transport between Wiener Neustadt and Wieselburg will be temporarily suspended during the period of closure. Please take this into account when ordering online.

As the coronavirus can survive for several days on paper, the books will be put into quarantine after being returned, until they may be borrowed again. We ask for your understanding should there be any delays in the lending process.

We have an extensive online library and strongly recommend using these e-media.

All users are asked to reduce the borrowing of books to the absolute minimum.

All e-media can be accessed from home and researched here: https://wn.on.worldcat.org or here https://www.fhwn.ac.at/hochschule/infrastruktur/bibliothek/online-recherche/datenbanken.

Support for online research is available Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.:

Wiener Neustadt: either by phone (02622/89084/134) or via e-mail to library@fhwn.ac.at.

Wieselburg: either by phone (07416/53000/242) or via e-mail to elke.gosch@amu.at.

12 March: Important information regarding the entrance tests in the upcoming weeks

Admission procedure Bachelor programmes:

The entrance tests will take place as planned. Desk surfaces and keyboards will be thoroughly disinfected by FHWN staff, and with increased standards of hygiene applied as part of personal meetings and presentations i.e. minimum distance between persons, no shaking of hands. In addition, groups sizes will be significantly reduced. Applicants are requested to attend tests only if they have a clean bill of health. Alternative test dates can be offered and as such you are politely requested to refrain from attending if you are unsure about your current state of health – if this is the case, please opt out from your assigned entrance test date.

Admission procedure Master programmes:

Admission interviews will be offered via Skype. In individual cases they can also be conducted by means of personal interview.

Should you have further questions, please contact the respective contact person in Study Services via e-mail.

Applicants to degree programmes in Wieselburg are requested to send an email to office@amu.at or call 07416/ 53000.

10 March: Current information from the university management

Due to an announced decree, we can assume that from Monday, 16 March onwards, classroom teaching will be temporarily suspended at all Austrian universities.

The University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt is currently in constant coordination with the authorities and responsible bodies, and will inform about further steps and measures (e.g. online teaching, entrance examinations, rescheduling etc.) as soon as possible.

All open-air events at FH Wiener Neustadt with more than 500 guests, as well as in-door events with more than 100 guests which were supposed to take place until the beginning of April, have been cancelled.

As usual, we will keep you up to date on current developments at this place.

3 March

the Austrian Federal Ministry for Education, Science and Research (BMBWF) has issued further details regarding the procedure following stays abroad in "risk areas", these are to be implemented as follows:

Students, staff and external lecturers who return from the risk areas designated by WHO (currently: Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Singapore, China, and the Italian regions of Lombardy, Veneto, Piedmont and Emilia-Romagna) are encouraged to voluntarily reduce their social contacts significantly during the first 14 days after returning from these areas and not to attend classes during these 14 days.

For employees and external lecturers who have scheduled teaching duties during this period, this entails contacting the Study Services department and rescheduling the respective course dates.

The request not to hold any courses during this period does not affect other obligations arising from a current contract for teaching duties, provided that none of the below-mentioned symptoms of illness occur.

For courses with mandatory attendance, students who are affected are requested to inform the person responsible for the course, i.e. the lecturer. If necessary, the lecturer will prompt the Head of Programme to reschedule submission deadlines and examination dates.

For courses with continuous evaluation, please notify the person responsible for the course on these grounds. If necessary, the lecturer will prompt the Head of Programme to reschedule deadlines and examination dates.

Relevant questions for self-check:

  • Have you been in Iran, China, South Korea or any other state or region in the last two weeks for which the Austrian Foreign Ministry has issued a travel warning?
  • Have you developed symptoms or are you currently showing signs of illness?
  • If you have been in one of the aforementioned countries: when did you return to Austria? Have you been in Austria for two weeks or longer?
  • If you have not yet been in Austria for 14 days, please refrain from attending courses for the time being and pay close attention to any symptoms.
  • If you have any questions or are uncertain whether you are ill, please call the hotline 1450.
  • If you show symptoms, please do not see a doctor under any circumstances, but call 1450, where you will receive all further information on how to proceed.

3 March

The Sanitary Directorate of the Province of Lower Austria has now issued extended prevention measures:

Employees, students or part-time lecturers who have returned from risk areas within the last 14 days AND show symptoms (see Downloads: 20200303 Infosheet Land NÖ) should not participate in university activities, but stay at home and contact the telephone health advice service on 1450 for further clarification.

List of current risk areas

For affected employees: please send a corresponding sick note as usual to the superior and the personnel department, additionally with the information that a potential connection with corona virus symptoms is being checked.

For affected students and part-time lecturers: please send a short notification so that we can inform the authorities.

28 February

We are keeping in close contact with the authorities. If any additional measures are recommended, they will be published here.

The University of Applied Sciences Wiener Neustadt is maintaining close contact with the authorities that evaluate the current situation. So far, we have not been advised to follow special measures. If this should change, information will be posted here.

The current understanding is that the virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person via respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The risk of spreading person-to-person is relatively low - according to current data, the risk is only slightly higher than with the flu. Symptoms can include: fever, sore throat, cough, difficulty breathing. In severe cases, the infection can lead to pneumonia, kidney failure and can also lead to death, especially in combination with other illnesses. However, the most common course of the disease is mild and resembles a cold.

If you have any questions, please contact the Austrian health helpline on 1450 (no area code needed).

If you have fallen ill and your illness is subject to registration or you suspect it might be, please contact:

AGES Infoline Coronavirus: 0800 555 621 (7 days a week, 24 hours a day)