In-house contact tracing
In-house contact tracing is still under way to quickly locate contacts and thus minimise the risk of infection in courses & examinations. As is known by now, any person who has been in the same room as a confirmed case for more than 15 minutes at a distance of less than 2 metres is considered a contact person. Persons who follow the protective measures (such as wearing FFP2 masks on both sides) or who are 3* vaccinated are not considered contact persons. Please note that contact tracing cannot make an assessment of the vaccination status and in the event of an increased risk of infection, the competent health authorities must still be informed in order to clarify the contact person status.
If a COVID-19 case occurs in a course/examination, WU is obliged to provide information to the health authorities (§ 5 para 3 Epidemic Act 1950). Therefore, documentation of attendance and seating is still crucial.
To optimise contact tracing in the event of a COVID-19 infection in teaching, the WU Check-in for courses and examinations was developed. All members of WU are supposed to enter the necessary data for contract tracing themselves in this web application; deletion takes place automatically in accordance with the data protection declaration. All information and FAQs on WU Check-in can be found on this website.
Please remind your students to check-in at the beginning of the course/examination, for an easier check-in you can show theon your slides. You can check the status of the students directly in the web application (in the dashboard).
What happens in case of a COVID case in your course/exam?
As teacher, you will be contacted by the Vice Rectorate for Academic Programs & Student Affairs as soon as a student in one of your courses/examinations reports a positive case to WU or the responsible health authority reports the case to WU. In any case, we kindly ask for your understanding that we will not communicate the name of the student(s) for reasons of data protection.
If the required data is available via WU Check-in, you will only be contacted for detailed questions (e.g. group work, confirmation that the setting has not been changed, other persons present).
If the WU Check-in was apparently not used or only used by a very small number of students, we assume that you used a different method of documentation. For courses that take place externally, you as the course instructor are nonetheless responsible for the documentation of attendance and seating. In such cases, you will be asked by e-mail to submit the attendance list including seat documentation for the course unit(s)/examination within 24 hours.
We ask you not to pass on any information to students at this point or to undertake any measures of your own.
Based on the data (attendance & seating) as well as your feedback on the detailed questions, we will diferentiate between category I (high risk) and category II (low risk) contacts according to the official contact tracing and in coordination with the responsible health authorities and inform all contact persons. In the event of a positive case, you will receive information on all important steps as well as an e-mail template for your students, which you can also supplement with specific information for your courses.
As we are obliged to provide information to the health authorities (§ 5 para 3 Epidemic Act 1950), it is also possible for the health authorities to contact you themselves and take further measures accordingly.
To ensure successful contact tracing, group work in courses requires special documentation. If a COVID case occurs in your course, the contact tracing team will ask you, among other things, whether any group work took place in the respective course unit. Please consider the following points when working in groups:
Students should check in at the beginning of each course with their seat number in the main (shared) classroom (WU Check-in). As lecturer, you can monitor the check-in data directly in the dashboard. In case of group work that goes beyond working with the direct seat neighbours, we need additional manual records (date of group work and names of all group members). A change of members also needs to be documented accordingly. Thus, we recommend that you work with stable groups.
If additional rooms are used, make sure that all students check in at the main classroom and to document groups manually as described above.
Please also document (group) presentations manually, as these result in a new arrangement of students in the classroom. If students move to the front for a presentation, for example, they should be registered accordingly, as additional contacts are made here.
Dealing with contact persons in classroom units/examinations
- For students who, according to WU's internal contact tracing, were exposed to a high risk of infection and/or were classified by the authorities as a category I contact person, and hence, cannot attend (a) course unit(s), this is considered an important reason for absence according to the examination regulations and guidelines for distance learning and online examinations.
These students are required to contact you regarding course units/examinations during their quarantine.
- Students who have been exposed to a low risk of infection and/or have been classified by the authorities as a category II contact person are not required to be in quarantine. Thus, unless travel restriction by the authorities apply, any attendance obligations at courses/examinations must be fulfilled.
For all contact persons of category II as well as for all persons who have been informed by WU that they were exposed to a low risk of infection in the context of a course/examination, for 10 days from the contact with the COVID-infected person the following additional measures apply:
- obligation to wear an FFP2 mask during the entire course/examination and in all buildings on Campus WU.
- urgent plea to take a PCR test as soon as possible and at least once every 2 days. This applies regardless of the vaccination status and especially if COVID-19 symptoms occur.
If you had a COVID-19 case in your course, you can switch to distance learning for 10 days after the last contact; you will receive a corresponding e-mail template to inform your students on contact tracing. However, the course can also continue to take place in presence with the other students (K2 or no contact persons).