Covid-19: Operating mode “New Normality” at FLI - Phase D

Due to the existing health threat caused by the corona virus pandemic, the Board of Directors of the Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute (FLI) decided to reduce all activities at the institute to a minimum from March 23 to April 19, 2020 (Phase A). The aim of this preventive measure was to limit the spread of the corona virus and protect our staff from possible infections by this virus.

Since April 20, the FLI gradually began return to normal operation mode (Phase B & C). In compliance with all regulations and legal obligations, some amount of experimental scientific research has made possible again at FLI.

Phase D, starting on 1 June, represents the third stage in adjusting the emergency COVID-19 measures en route towards workplace normality at the FLI (“new normality”).

The general goal of Phase D is to ensure a safe environment for all employees while resuming productive work at the FLI. The following principles, which are part of FLI’s infection protection concept, shall help to balance these objectives:

1.       Persons that experience symptoms that resemble COVID-19 symptoms must not enter the FLI.

2.       The physical distancing between individuals has to be observed strictly at all times. Wherever possible, remote work is endorsed and facilitated.

3.       Strict adherence to the workplace, personal hygiene, and protection rules.

4.       Contacts between members of the animal facility staff and other employees have to be avoided whenever possible.

5.       All measures outlined here should facilitate contact tracing in case of an infection.

6.       All measures must be communicated in a timely and transparent manner.

 

The specific measures will be frequently evaluated by the Board of Directors and the Compliance Board of FLI and adapted to new developments of the pandemic. Our first priority remains the health of our employees, to ensure the wellbeing of our laboratory animals and to prevent further spread of the corona virus as far as possible.

Phase D is characterized by three guiding principles: subsidiarity, minimization of contact, and traceability.

The Federal, as well as the State Government of Thuringia, recently modified the COVID-19 management rules in reaction to the decrease in the number of Sars-CoV-2 infections and COVID-19 cases. They defined subsidiarity as an organizing principle where decisions should be taken at a local level with the objective to locally manage workplaces responsibly while reducing the risk of Sars-CoV-2 infection. This includes support for employees through clear communication during all phases of FLI response to COVID-19.

Minimization of contact will be realized by the endorsement of work from remote, by physical distancing and by wearing of masks in cases where certain distances cannot be maintained. Traceability will be ensured by sign-up sheets for labs, as well as booking systems for common scientific and social areas.

The guidelines of Phase D at FLI closely follow all rules established by the State of Thuringia and the city of Jena. Frequent evaluations of the current situation will allow rapid adaptations to new developments. These evaluations will define the duration of Phase D.

We will inform about further developments here.

FLI employees can find all important information here on the intranet.