Information on COVID-19 (coronavirus)

Update (2020-03-06, 14:30):

You will also have the possibility to join the scientific workshops by web meeting with reduced functionality (e.g., no camera, limited support)

Update (2020-03-06, 12:30):

We just got informed by the BTU crisis management team that they will no longer insist on the submission of the medical questionnaire. This is due to legitimate doubts about privacy rights.

What does this mean to you:

  • If you have already submitted your questionnaire (Thank you! We really appreciate your support in this complex situation!) we guarantee that your files and the analysis results will be deleted and your answers are no longer analyzed.
  • If you have not filled in the questionnaire please still do so and think for a moment, whether you can justify your participation with regard to your current condition and contacts with risk groups in the near past. Do not submit the questionnaire! It should only help you in checking your risk on your own.
  • We will not check any medical health status. This is in your own responsibility and we ask you to stay at home if you feel ill with signs of coronavirus disease. We will not deny access to the conference unless obvious signs of serious illness are noticeable to lay people.
  • At the conference venue please adhere strictly to the general prevention measures (no shaking hands, regular hand washing, sneezing and coughing hygiene, sufficient distance to other people, cleaning hands before eating, etc.)
  • Feel free to make use of our virtual conference option (see previous email), as an attendee as well as a presenter

Sorry for any inconvenience you encountered! This situation is not easy for anyone of us.

Update (2020-03-06,10:00):

We will provide the option to virtually join GeMiC2020 (session and scientific workshops) via web conference as an attendee as well as a presenter. Details are posted on the "Program" page.

Update (2020-03-06, 09:30):

The crisis unit of the Brandenburg University of Technology has decided that every participant of the GeMiC2020 has to fill in an obligatory risk assessment form, which must be COMPLETED and RETURNED URGENTLY BEFORE ARRIVAL AND ENTRY TO THE CONFERENCE VENUE by all conference participants and guests of GeMiC2020. You should have received the form by email but you may also download it here.

The evaluation can be done by anyone and the trip can be carried out / cancelled according to the result. The organizers of GeMiC2020 have to carry out the evaluation based on the question combinations in parallel and keep the documents including decisions.

It is irrelevant for the participation whether it is a case of justified suspicion or a case of differentiated clarification. Since it is concerning the participation to a 3-days conference, it is self-evident that in both cases of a justified suspicion and a differentiated clarification that one stays at home, or such a differentiated clarification has to be carried out by the local doctor and not in the city of Cottbus.

If you belong to the risk group after one of the two answer combinations, you should therefore not travel first. Every journey represents a potential danger for the fellow human beings. We cannot accept admission to the campus for such persons and we are advised not to grant access to the Conference Venue.

The same applies if no questionnaire has been completed.

We ask for your cooperation and understanding. These measures are intended to reduce the risk for all participants.

Please send this form – if possible today to vde-conferences(at)vde.com, in order to allow us to have enough time to check all the evaluation forms before the conference starts on Monday, March 9.

IMPORTANT: Please do a self-evaluation following the instructions on page 2. You will not be informed by the organizes!

Update (2020-03-05, 13:00):

The organizers have made the final decision for the implementation of GeMiC2020 and decided on additional precautionary measures.
The conference will take place as planned. However, the increased risk of infection must be taken into account.

There is a risk potential in Germany and because of this risk the participants are obliged to critically examine the participation themselves (e.g. also when using public transport through Germany). Participants should observe the basics of personal conduct (greeting without handshake or hugging, regular washing of hands, keeping distance where possible, etc.) 

Two important measures will be implemented:

  • At the moment we are working on a questionnaire to the conference attendees and guests, which we will send you as soon as possible. Each conference participant and guest will receive the questionnaire with characteristics on corona risk potential before arrival and send it back for evaluation before arrival. If no questionnaire has been handed in or if it is determined on the basis of the questionnaire that the participant bears a personal risk, he or she will be refused participation and access to the conference must be denied.

  • We will set up a webmeeting access to the conference based on the Adobe Connect platform. This will allow anyone who does not want or is not allowed to travel to follow the conference virtually and give their presentation. Details about this possibility will also be sent out by email in due course. If you wish to make use of this possibility, please send an email to gemic2020(at)b-tu.de so that we can get an overview of the number of logins. However, we will not be able to guaranty for the quality of this option.

We ask for your understanding for these measures and hope to keep the risk of infection for everyone as low as possible. Updates on the questionnair and the webmeeting option will follow per email, soon.

Update (2020-03-04, 20:00):

The final decision about the conference will be made with all organizers at the latest this Friday and published here.

2020-03-03, 11:30:

You all know about the worldwide situation arising from the coronavirus. Also the organizers of the GeMiC2020 have discussed the potential impact and carefully analyzed the recommendations of the German Robert Koch Institute, which is responsible for any health related assessment. Even though the guidelines are meant for big events with 1000+ attendees, we decided to apply these recommendations to our event with less than 200 registrations. After rating any aspect for the GeMiC2020 as proposed by the authorities, we would like to inform you that GeMiC2020 is planned to take place as scheduled.
 
We monitor the updates and recommendations by the Robert Koch Institute (RKI). So far, a big threat has been identified for events with unregistered people, which is not the case for the GeMiC. We scanned all registrations and no registrant comes from the risk regions listed at the RKI website with having only very few international attendees. Furthermore, we will follow the proposed preventive measures (e.g., disinfectants will be available at the restrooms, no handshakes, well-ventilated rooms, etc.).
 
One comment to the social event location for this year: As you might have heard, one infected person had visited Tropical Islands a week ago. As of now, 90 staff members were tested and verified not to be infected. And the risk of residual coronavirus inside the facility is extremely low. You may find the statement of Tropical Island here: www.tropical-islands.de/en/visitor-information/news/detail/information-about-the-coronavirus/.
 
But as always, safety comes first.
 
Therefore, we urge you to take the following recommendations seriously and take them into consideration, not only during GeMiC but also at home and during the travel. 
Daily updates on the virus and risk areas can be found on the website of the Robert Koch Institute www.rki.de/DE/Home/homepage_node.html
 
Please also make urgent use of the possibilities for hand disinfection that we offer in the restroom areas in all buildings at our locations. We would like to emphasize the following general hygiene instructions once
again:

  • Avoid physical contact, including shaking hands
  • Wash your hands regularly and thoroughly
  • Sneezing into a disposable handkerchief/bow 

Recommended behavior in case of suspicion:
If you are a returnee from one of the endangered areas or have contact with people from endangered areas and notice symptoms of illness at or closely after GeMiC2020, please contact the respective health authorities in Cottbus, Tel. (0355) 6123210. They will advise you on the next steps and, if necessary, initiate the emergency chain. The recommendation of the health authorities is not to go to public medical practices or hospitals with symptoms.
 
Taking into account all the facts and precautions listed above, GeMiC2020 should be as safe as any other spot in our universities or public, today. We hope that you will feel comfortable in joining your colleagues at GeMiC2020 and will be happy to welcome you in Cottbus.

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