last update: March 28, 2020

March 27, 2020


International risk areas
(RKI, March 27, 2020)

  • Austria: entire country
  • Egypt: entire country
  • France: Île-de-France and Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
  • Iran: entire country
  • Italy: entire country
  • South Korea: Daegue and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • Spain: Regions of Madrid, Navarre, La Rioja and Paìs Vasco
  • Switzerland: Cantons of Ticino, Vaud and Geneva
  • United States: States of California, Washington, New York and New Jersey

Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

  • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

March 25, 2020


International risk areas
(RKI, March 25, 2020)

  • Austria: State of Tyrol
  • Egypt: entire country
  • France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
  • Iran: entire country
  • Italy: entire country
  • South Korea: Daegue and Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • Spain: Regions of Madrid, Navarre, La Rioja and Paìs Vasco
  • Switzerland: Cantons of Ticino, Vaud and Geneva
  • United States: States of California, Washington and New York

Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

  • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

March 24, 2020


We have two confirmed cases (person A and B) of infection with the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2, which causes COVID-19) at FKF. Both individuals belong to the same department.

  • Person A felt their first symptoms in the evening on Thursday, March 12, and left campus in the morning of Friday, March 13, with symptoms. Person A was tested on March 20, received the positive test result on March 23, and informed their manager immediately.
  • Person B started having symptoms on Saturday, March 14. They were last on campus on Thursday, March 12. Person B was tested on March 17, received the positive test result on March 23, and informed their manager immediately.
  • All members of this department began working from home immediately after the positive result was known on March 23.
  • Person A attended seminars starting at 11 a.m. in room 4D2 on the following three dates: Tuesday, March 10; Wednesday, March 11; Thursday, March 12.  Except for these three seminars, Person A did not have close contact with colleagues outside their department since March 10.
  • People who attended any of these seminars on March 10, 11, or 12 must self-quarantine for 14 days from the latest contact date and inform their supervisor.
  • Person B did not have any close contact with colleagues outside their department since Thursday, March 12.
  • We contacted the local health authority (Gesundheitsamt) this morning. They confirmed that we have implemented proper measures in both cases and that we may keep the campus open.

Please stay calm and continue social distancing and hygiene measures.

March 23, 2020


Many of you are now working from home, have to look after children or relatives at risk, and hardly get to leave your own four walls. Mental health is especially important now. You can access the Employee and Manager Assistance Program, known as EMAP, which was established last year and is available free of charge at any time to support you even in these challenging days. Family members living in your household may also use EMAP.

Physical fitness also should not be neglected in the home office. The Preventive Sports Medicine and Sports Cardiology Department of TU Munich has put together ten simple tips on exercise, relaxation and behavior (in German) that can help you to stay fit despite the restrictions of the corona virus.

March 21, 2020


International risk areas
(RKI, March 21, 2020)

  • in Austria: State of Tyrol
  • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
  • Egypt: entire country
  • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
  • Iran: entire country
  • Italy: entire country
  • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • in Spain: Madrid
  • in the United States: States of California, Washington and New York

Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 6, 2020)

  • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

March 20, 2020


The communication team of the campus crisis unit decided to announce the following points:

1.   We still know of no confirmed coronavirus cases on our Stuttgart campus. However, a positive case was recently confirmed in the Tübingen site of MPI-IS. The affected person had not come onto campus at all after being exposed. Thus, the health authorities did not recommend any actions beyond notifying all contacts, which has been done. 

2.   We kindly remind you to practice social distancing and that people with symptoms similar to those of coronavirus must stay home, inform their supervisor, and call their doctor or an emergency room. Only healthy individuals may come on campus at this time.

3.   The most common symptoms in COVID-19 cases, as stated by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), are fever as the most common, followed by cough, shortness of breath, muscle and joint pain, sore throat, head ache, nausea, stuffy nose and diarrhea.

March 18, 2020


Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We would like to share the following important points with you:

1.   We kindly remind you that people with symptoms similar to those of coronavirus (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties) must stay home, inform their supervisor, and call their doctor or an emergency room. Only healthy individuals who are not experiencing any coronavirus-like symptoms may come on campus at this time.

2.   We encourage everyone to perform your work at home (“home office”) to the greatest extent possible. Each individual situation is different; please consult your supervisor for guidance on how to be productive when working at home.

3.   Some projects may not be able to be completed in the planned funding period due to the fact that the coronavirus pandemic is slowing down most research progress. The Max Planck Society’s President and Secretary General recently announced that this is to be taken into account through appropriate extension options for doctoral and postdoctoral students. Thus, Ph.D. students and postdocs should not feel contract-based pressure to make research progress at this time.

4.   Remember to wash your hands before visiting our on-campus cafeteria, following the hand-washing techniques recommended by the health authorities. While in the cafeteria and everywhere else on campus, stay at least two meters away from all other individuals.

5.   Our website also links to many trusted sources of information about this situation (left), which we encourage you to consult.

We thank you for your attention and support of these important measures.

March 17, 2020


The Robert Koch Institute has today classified the risk to public health as "high". The strategy is to break chains of infection and slow down the spread of the virus. To ensure this delay, the Federal Government and the Länder are taking numerous measures.

March 16, 2020


Dear colleagues,

The Stuttgart MPI campus crisis unit met again today about the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation. We would like to share the following important points with you.

(i)   We are happy to see that many of you are working partially or fully from home. Having fewer people physically on campus greatly reduces the risk that any diseases will be transmitted from person to person. We thank all employees who are supporting this home office effort.

(ii)   We are confident that our campus remains a very safe place to work. As we previously announced:

  • Anyone who is sick with any illness must stay at home until fully recovered.
  • Anyone who has had contact with a possible coronavirus case must stay at home for 14 days from the contact.
  • Anyone who has been in a coronavirus risk region (see point vii below for an important update) must stay at home for 14 days from their return.
  • We are carefully controlling access to our buildings to keep this healthy and safe environment.

(iii)   We repeat our request that everyone practice social distancing both here on campus and everywhere else. That means staying at least 2 meters away from every other person who is not in your immediate family. Please be especially considerate of and keep your distance from older adults, who are at increased risk from this disease. Specifically, we ask you to hold meetings by telephone or video conferencing tools whenever possible, even when all parties are present on campus. Wash your hands frequently using the technique recommended by health authorities.

(iv)   The crisis unit confirmed that our campus is continuing to operate. This decision aligns perfectly with the instructions that President Stratmann and Secretary General Willems sent to all MPG Directors last Friday. It also aligns perfectly with Chancellor Merkel’s announcement from today. We plan to consider moving to emergency operations only if and when a coronavirus case is confirmed on our campus (or if the local health department, the government, or the Max Planck Society tell us we must close our campus).

(v)    We still know of no confirmed coronavirus cases on our campus. However, we recognize that we might not have all relevant information. Therefore, we ask that you tell both your supervisor AND your institution's designated contact person from the crisis unit immediately if you know of anyone (including yourself) who is suspected or confirmed of having the novel coronavirus. The designated contacts of the crisis unit are as follows:

All information that you share will be kept confidential by the crisis unit and will help us make good decisions for our campus.

(vi)    Many employees will need to work from home for the next month because Baden-Württemberg closed all schools and daycare centers starting tomorrow, Tuesday, March 17, through at least Sunday, April 19 (correction from previous announcement). It is important to realize that our administration, IT, building services, workshops, and other support services cannot work in normal mode during this school closure time. They will do their best to support the ongoing activities on our campus within the present constraints. Please be patient and adapt your work patterns to find ways to stay productive during this challenging time.

(vii)   The RKI’s recently expanded its list of coronavirus risk areas as follows:

  • Italy: entire country
  • Iran: entire country
  • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
  • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
  • in Austria: State of Tyrol
  • in Spain: Madrid
  • in the United States: States of California, Washington and New York
  • in Germany: Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

If you have returned from any of these risk areas in the past 14 days, you must work from home for 14 days from the date of your return and inform your supervisor. If you notice coronavirus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, etc.) during these 14 days, first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can be found under "Hotlines” (left).

(viii)   If you have questions or concerns, you can email our entire crisis unit at  .

(ix)   You can also always directly contact individual members of our crisis unit members. Our active members are:

We thank you for your attention and support of these important measures.

March 15, 2020


International risk areas
(RKI, March 13, 2020)

  • Italy: entire country
  • Iran: entire country
  • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
  • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
  • in Austria: State of Tyrol
  • in Spain: Madrid
  • in the United States: States of California, Washington and New York

Areas particularly affected in Germany ( RKI, March 13, 2020)

  • Heinsberg district (North Rhine-Westphalia)

March 13, 2020


Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Stuttgart MPI campus met today to discuss and make additional decisions about the ongoing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). The crisis unit decided to inform you about the points and decisions listed below:

(a)   To date, there are still zero confirmed coronavirus cases on our campus.

(b)   However, in our region and beyond, the number of people infected with this coronavirus continues to rise quickly. We are therefore taking action to help break the chains of infection and reduce the risk of uncontrolled contagion for you and your colleagues. This goal requires us to reduce the number of people on our campus as much as possible. Specifically, MPG President Martin Stratmann and MPG Secretary General Rüdiger Willems just sent the following message to all Directors: "Against this background, we call on all Max Planck Institutes to ask their staff to work from home as far possible. The concept of 'home office’ should be interpreted broadly, and, as far as possible, not be linked to the presence of IT equipment."

(c)   Today the government of Baden-Württemberg decided to close all schools and day-care centers starting on Tuesday, March 17. This closure will continue at least through Monday, April 19, which is the last day of the Easter holidays.

  • We recognize that some employees will need to stay home to take care of their children during this period.
  • We encourage employees affected by this school closure to tell your supervisor and request permission to work at home.
  • We encourage all supervisors to approve such working from home if possible.
  • On this point, President Stratmann and Secretary General Willems stated that "Employees with children who cannot otherwise ensure their care and who, at the same time, are unable to work from home (e.g. workshop employees, technical assistants, etc.) can be released from work on full pay until further notice after consultation with their superiors."

(d)   As we announced in point 5 of our email yesterday, each Director and Research Group Leader must make his or her own decision whether to allow any or all of his or her team members to work from home, based on the individual employee's situation, the team's composition, the research and projects being pursued, and all other relevant factors. Team members with concerns should talk with their supervisor, members of the crisis unit, or the relevant Work's Council for support.

(e)   Our Max Planck campus remains operational. The crisis unit deliberately decided not to enter into emergency operation at this time. We are constantly monitoring the situation and will react quickly to any changes that occur.

(f)   To minimize the chance for disease transmission, we ask everyone to practice social distancing and good health hygiene whether you are at work or anywhere else. All non-critical in-person seminars, in-person meetings, and visits by guests should be postponed or cancelled. For instance, the crisis unit today decided to cancel our on-campus language classes and sports courses until further notice. As written by President Stratmann and Secretary General Willems, "please keep social contacts to a minimum." Do your best to stay at least two meters away from other people. Wash your hands frequently, following the instructions posted in our bathrooms, and minimize touching your face. Carry tissues, use part of your clothing, or use other parts of your body to avoid touching your fingers to door handles and other surfaces that may be dirty.

(g)   To further reduce the risk, our campus cafeteria will serve portable lunch packages rather than standard plated meals starting on Monday, March 16, until further notice. You will still need to wash your hands before coming to the cafeteria to pick out and pay for your lunch package, but you can easily eat it anywhere. During lunch, as at all other times, we encourage you to keep appropriate distance from other people.

(h)   Because the situation may change rapidly, we ask you to check your email and/or our coronavirus website before coming to campus. All announced regulations, hygiene suggestions, travel restrictions, and the like can be seen here at any time.

We continue monitoring the situation daily and may further extend these regulations in the coming days or weeks. Thank you for helping our campus manage this difficult time together.
 

March 12, 2020


Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Stuttgart MPI campus met today to discuss and make decisions about the ongoing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). We decided to inform you about the points and decisions listed below.

1.   The RKI recently expanded its list of coronavirus risk areas (in German, March 11, 2020) to include a region of France. The full list of risk regions is now as follows:

  • Italy: entire country
  • Iran: entire country
  • in China: Hubei Province (includes Wuhan City)
  • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • in France: Grand Est Region (includes Alsace, Lorraine, and Champagne-Ardenne)

2.   If you have returned from any of these risk areas in the past 14 days, you must work from home for 14 days from the date of your return and inform your supervisor. If you notice coronavirus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, etc.) during these 14 days, first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can be found under "Hotlines" (on the left).

3.   All individuals who have had contact with any confirmed or suspected coronavirus patient must work from home for 14 days from the time of that contact and inform their supervisor. We follow the RKI’s definition of contact (in German). In short, contact persons include people who have been in the same room with a confirmed case of COVID-19 from two days before the appearance of initial symptoms. Our rules apply to all contact persons, regardless of the category (I, II, or III). As above, call your doctor or an emergency room if you notice coronavirus-like symptoms during these 14 days.

4.   Anyone who has symptoms similar to those of coronavirus (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties) must stay home, inform their supervisor, and call their doctor or an emergency room.

5.   Directors and research group leaders may decide to encourage, ask, or require their team members to work from home due to coronavirus. Directors and group leaders must make this decision individually, based on their team's composition, research topics, and other relevant factors. Team members with concerns should talk with their supervisor, members of the crisis unit, or the relevant Work's Council for support.

6.   New employees arriving on campus during this time will first be treated as visitors and will need to complete the questionnaire about their health and travels. Hosts should share this form with new employees in advance; you can always download here the current version from .

7.   To date, there have been zero confirmed coronavirus cases on our campus. If and when any case is confirmed, the crisis unit will meet immediately to decide whether our campus will enter into emergency operation. To limit the spread of the virus, access to campus buildings will be extremely limited during emergency operation. External card readers will not function, and only individuals listed on our emergency access lists will be able to enter the buildings, which will be possible only by registering at Heisenbergstrasse 1.

8.   For the common good of our society, we urge everyone to stay calm, observe these restrictions, support one another, and do your part to prepare for what may come. As the New York Times reported Chancellor Merkel saying on March 11,"the most important thing...is to slow down the spread of this coronavirus to win time for people to develop immunity, and to prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed."

We continue monitoring the situation daily and may further extend these regulations in the coming days or weeks.
 

March 11, 2020


International risk areas
( RKI, March 11, 2020)

  • Italy: entire country
  • Iran: entire country
  • in China: Hubei Province (including Wuhan City)
  • in South Korea: Gyeongsangbuk-do Province (North Gyeongsang)
  • in France: Grand Est region (this region includes Alsace, Lorraine and Champagne-Ardenne)
     
March 10, 2020


The entire country of Italy and the entire country of Iran have become risk regions, as announced by the Robert Koch Institute this morning. 

If you have returned from Italy, Iran, or another risk area in the past 14 days, please stay at home for 14 days from the date of your return and inform your supervisor
 

March 9, 2020


Dear colleagues,

The crisis unit of the Stuttgart MPI campus is meeting on a regular basis to discuss and make decisions about the ongoing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19). All regulations announced earlier are still valid.

In addition, the crisis unit has decided to adopt the new precautionary measures listed below until further notice:

  • Starting at 8:00 am on Tuesday, March 10, our campus will be closed to external people who have no business purpose here. This temporary measure includes all areas including our cafeteria and will last until further notice.
  • Starting on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, all visitors who have a business purpose on campus must fill in a questionnaire about their health and travels ( download pdf) before entering our buildings. The questionnaire will be available at both main entrances in both German and English.
  • Starting on Tuesday, March 10, 2020, all employees can enter our buildings only through the main Heisenbergstrasse 1 and Heisenbergstrasse 3 entrances or through external doors with an electronic card reader. All other doors will be locked. Please show your Institute badge or a valid ID at the entrance in order to enter.
  • Starting on Tuesday, March 10, the smoking area at the kitchen delivery will be closed. Smoking is instead allowed near the entrance of Heisenbergstrasse 1. Please use the ashtrays that have been installed there.
  • The blocking of external doors (e.g., with wooden wedges) is not allowed and can result in legal consequences for personnel and others. Do not hold any institute doors open.

We are monitoring the situation daily and may further extend these regulations in the coming days or weeks.
 

February 28, 2020


Dear colleagues,

The institute managements of both Max Planck Institues (MPI for Solid State Research and MPI for Intelligent Systems) take the rapid spread of the coronavirus very seriously and has decided to adjust precautionary measures to continue to protect all employees. We are monitoring the situation daily and reserve the right to extend the regulations below in the coming days or weeks.

Currently, the provision of prophylactic hand disinfectants in public areas on our campus is not indicated according to the current recommendation of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). Note that RKI is the German government’s central scientific institution in the field of biomedicine, which is in charge of safeguarding public health in Germany.

Employees with chronic or serious illnesses or who are pregnant may work from home after consultation with their supervisor.

The following measures apply to all "risk areas", as defined by the website of the RKI. (https://www.rki.de/DE/Content/InfAZ/N/Neuartiges_Coronavirus/Risikogebiete.html - in German):

  • With immediate effect, no business trips to risk areas will be approved.
  • If you are currently in a risk area and wish to visit our institute, postpone your trip until further notice. If you have any questions, please contact your host at the institute.
  • We currently do not accept visitors from risk areas in our guest house.
  • If you have returned from a risk area, you should stay at home for 14 days from the date of your return and work from home. If you notice virus-like symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, etc.) during these 14 days, first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can also be found under "Hotlines".  
  • If you have had contact with people who have been in a risk area and suffer from virus symptoms (cough, fever, sore throat, breathing difficulties, colds, etc.), first call your doctor or an emergency room. The telephone numbers and contact persons valid for our region can also be found under "Hotlines".

If you want to organize or hold any event on campus, the following guidelines apply:

  • Consult your supervisor to determine whether this event is really necessary, or if it could be postponed.
  • Until further notice, internal events with only local campus attendees should not involve more than 50 total participants.
  • Until further notice, campus events should involve no more than ten external participants.
  • The responsible director or group leader makes the final decision about whether to hold an event.

If you develop the symptoms described above during your presence at the institutes and belong to the risk group, go home immediately observing the hygienic measures (see website) and consult your doctor or the offices set up for this purpose (see above). To avoid spreading the virus here on campus, do not visit our company doctor.

We hope that we can protect our valuable and healthy employees with these measures.

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