COVID-19 / Information from the Rectorate 08.04.2020

08. April 2020
We hope that you could enjoy the sunny Easter break as far and as much as possible. We want to get back to you once more before Easter to share some important new information. 
In today's press conference, Federal Minister Faßmann announced the slow, controlled opening of university operations from May onwards, in compliance with security and health regulations and under the absolute premise that the number of infections will continue to decrease. His message: Teaching will continue to take place in distance mode until the end of the semester. Research operations that are absolutely necessary on site should gradually reconvene in compliance with the hygiene regulations. In addition to online exams, successive examination formats could again take place in small groups. A controlled and strictly limited opening of laboratories will have to be considered in exceptional cases.
The universities are to submit concepts to the Ministry for strictly limited forms of classroom teaching. These concepts will be clarified and checked for their feasibility after Easter with regard to the general exit restrictions (which currently only allow four reasons for leaving the house and which do not include visiting the university for study purposes). It will not be possible to open the university buildings for teaching in general before summer; If at all, there could be exceptions for individual students in connection with diplomas and master's theses.
Due to the steps we took together at an early stage, we are now very well prepared to deal with the current situation in the long run. Almost all teaching could be switched to distance mode for the rest of the semester. We continue to put the health of all members of the university first in everything we plan. The only case of a confirmed COVID infection in our ranks occurred only after the early closure of the presence mode, which prevented the spread of the virus within the university.
Until further notice, the measures and regulations already in place continue to apply. Of course we will make every effort wherever there are possibilities and there is special urgency to enable gradual openings in close consultation with the ministry and the Austrian art universities and in compliance with the safety and hygiene regulations.
We are pleased to be able to offer you a new service from April 20, 2020 that will make virtual teaching and academic work easier. On April 20, 2020 there will be a possibility to borrow books and media from our university library.
You can find the rules for using this service in the updated Leitfaden Infrastruktur im Distanzbetrieb from April 8, 2020. In order to protect your colleagues, we expect you to follow strictly the rules described. Thank you.
We are working on further solutions and processes for necessary access exceptions. These will be announced centrally at the end of April after clarification with the Ministry and will be supplemented in the guidelines. Inquiries about access options that go beyond the regulations listed in the current guidelines cannot be answered before clarification with the Ministry.
Fortunately, there is already some feedback on how the Angewandte can and should contribute to the socio-cultural aspects of the Corona crisis. In our opinion, this too must be part of an opening strategy that we want to pursue successively after Easter. Together with the consideration of the health of all our university members––this is one of the most important fields of action in these times, which are also challenging for us.
Thank you for your understanding, your continued support of the measures and your constructive and creative cooperation!
Happy Easter!
Gerald Bast, Barbara Putz-Plecko, Bernhard Kernegger, Eva Maria Stadler and Maria Zettler