Witten/Herdecke University

    Information on the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2)

    Witten/Herdecke University is planning a hybrid semester with as many face-to-face events on campus as possible for the 2020/21 winter semester. An appropriate hygiene concept in line with the current safety and hygiene regulations of the federal state of NRW has now been approved. These measures have been designed to ensure your studies run smoothly despite the restrictions that apply. We are looking forward to meeting you in person and to reviving our typical Witten spirit, at least to some extent. We will keep you updated of any changes on this page.

    The following information is particularly relevant for prospective students and first semester students:

    How does the application process currently take place?
    When will the winter semester 2020/2021 start and will it be held online?
    What do I need to know concerning travels to Germany?
    Further Questions?

    External guests may enter the main building of the university under these conditions:

    • They must wear a face mask during their stay.
    • They observe the hygiene measures recommended by the Robert Koch Institute.
    • They keep a distance of at least 1.5 meters from other people.
    • After entering the building, they disinfect their hands - a disinfectant dispenser can be found behind the revolving door.

    In accordance with the decree issued by the NRW federal state government, not more than two people can meet inside the campus buildings. Meeting in larger groups is prohibited.

    The following rules apply to the main UW/H locations:

    Campus at Alfred-Herrhausen-Str. 50

    Information and mail room

    The University mail room is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm.
    Access is permitted one at a time.
    If you want to post internal mail after 4:00 pm or external mail, please use the letterbox at the main entrance. It will be emptied each morning on working days.
    Letters and documents can currently be stored up to three to four days on request.

    Access to study and conference rooms

    As classroom teaching has been suspended, any study and conference rooms are generally closed until further notice. If you have been admitted to reserve a room, please email the University mail room (info@uni-wh.de) to arrange when to hand over the keys.

    Access to the library

    Detailed information on library operations and services

    Stockumer Strasse

    Stockumer Str. 10 & 12

    The entry for parcel services is open from Monday to Friday, from 8:00 am until noon. In general, access to the building is only possible with the SmartCard or key.



    Doors are closed. Access to the building is still possible with a key.

    FEZ (Research and Development Centre) / ZBZ (Centre of Dental Research)

    Access to the outpatient centres is still possible.

    Rules applying to the main campus building also apply to the office workplaces at the outpatient centres: Appointments with guests and visitors should not take place inside the building.

    As a university, employer and event organiser, we are responsible for doing the best we can to break chains of infection. We have therefore established the guidelines listed below.

    The following services are available to answer any questions you may have regarding restricted University operations:

    • Email address corona@uni-wh.de: From now on, we will answer your questions on restrictions applying to the University’s operations and keep you informed from this email account. For data protection reasons, please continue to inform us by sending emails to praevention@uni-wh.de in the possible event of an infection.
    • From 18 March 2020, we will set up a hotline exclusively for UW/H members. The hotline team will note down your questions from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm at +49 (0)2302 / 926 – 38050. They will either answer your questions immediately or forward them to the head of the relevant working group/expert team. We will inform you as soon as the hotline has been activated.
    General preventive measures
    Meetings and events
    Human ressources & work organisation
    Outpatient centres
    University library
    Teaching & exams – general information
    Teaching and exams - Medicine
    Teaching & exams – Dentistry
    Teaching & exams – Psychology
    Teaching & exams – Nursing Science
    Teaching & exams – Management and Economics
    Teaching & exams – Humanities and Arts / Studium fundamentale

    The media daily report on the latest developments of the current outbreak of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and its global distribution. Part of this information is neither scientifically proven nor scientifically relevant. This is why the UW/H task force, led by Prof. Stefan Zimmer, provides information that has been verified and considered important for our University. The group will keep you updated on this website on a regular basis.

    Above all, Witten/Herdecke University has a strong interest in taking preventive measures and adheres to official instructions and regulations from the authorities. Moreover, we also follow the recommendations of the Robert Koch Institute (RKI), a governmental institution and one of the most important bodies for the safeguarding of public health in Germany, and thus of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO).

    Current risk assessment for Germany

    The Robert Koch Institute currently assesses the risk to the health of the German population overall as high, but as very high for risk groups. The probability of serious disease progression increases with advancing age and underlying health conditions (as at 26 March 2020). Due to the global spread of the virus, WHO declared the coronavirus (COVID-19 disease) to be pandemic on 11 March 2020. The strategy of the German health authorities currently aims, among other things, at detecting cases of infections in Germany as early as possible and thus to avoid further spreading of the virus for as long as possible. This helps to minimise the number of infections and allows time for further preparations, such as taking protective measures for particularly vulnerable groups, increasing treatment capacity in hospitals, preventing health care system overloads and developing antiviral medication and potential vaccines. It also serves to prevent simultaneous occurrence with the currently prevalent flu (influenza). Both influenza and COVID-19 infections can have very similar symptoms.

    What is our course of action?

    On 27 February 2020, Witten/Herdecke University set up a task force, which meets every other day and assesses the current situation. Based on this assessment, this group makes appropriate recommendations to the respective departments on which actions to take to ensure that the virus will not spread. The task force regularly reassesses these recommendations and adapts preventive measures accordingly.

    Useful links

    What are the symptoms of a COVID-19 infection?

    A person is likely to be infected if at least one of the following conditions applies:

    • Persons who show symptoms of acute respiratory infection (dry cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, or sore throat) of any severity or other nonspecific symptoms (e.g. fever) AND were in touch with a person tested positively with a coronavirus infection.
    • Persons who show symptoms of acute respiratory infection (dry cough, nasal congestion, runny nose, or sore throat) of any severity AND stayed in a high-risk area within the last two weeks before developing symptoms.

    These persons should seek medical attention.

    Current information on high-risk areas are provided by th WHO and by the ECDC.

    What shall I do if I find myself in one of the above situations?

    Call your general practitioner or the emergency medical service. Do not visit your doctor or a hospital emergency department yourself. This will protect you and help prevent spreading viruses and other infections. The practitioner you called will visit you at home and discuss all further steps required.

    Further contact to turn to for advice on suspected COVID-19 infections

    Type & size
    Download for students
    Datum: 30.03.2020
    pdf, 495 KB
    Download for staff
    Datum: 30.03.2020
    pdf, 495 KB

    How does the coronavirus spread?

    The virus is mainly transmitted from person to person through contact with respiratory droplets, for example via contaminated hands. It does NOT spread through the air. This is why staying away from sick persons is a very effective and simple measure to protect yourself.

    Which protective and preventive measures shall I take?

    The Robert Koch Institute recommends the following protective measures for preventing infectious diseases and thus preventing a coronavirus infection:

    • Wear a face mask.
    • Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with soap and water (for at least 20 seconds or while singing Happy Birthday twice).
    • Make sure you follow good respiratory hygiene when you cough or sneeze:
      • Maintain at least a distance of one metre between yourself and others when coughing or sneezing and turn away from others.
      • It is best to cover your nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. Use the tissue only once and dispose of the used tissue immediately in a lidded bin. If you use a handkerchief, wash it at 60 °C afterwards.
      • Thoroughly wash your hands after blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing!
      • If no tissue or handkerchief is available, cover your mouth and nose with your bent elbow and turn away from others.

    For any further queries and information about how to protect yourself, please follow the advice provided at the WHO website and see the Q & A on coronaviruses (COVID-19) site of WHO – in particular the section “What can I do to protect myself and prevent the spread of disease?”. Alternatively, use the Q & A on COVID-19 site of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC).

    Beyond that, the Robert Koch Institute recommends:

    • Do not shake hands or give hugs.
    • Touch your face as little as possible to prevent pathogens from entering the body via the mucous membranes of the eyes, nose or mouth.
    • Practice social distancing and stay away from people obviously suffering from a respiratory disease.
    • In general, stay at home when you experience respiratory disease symptoms. 

    There is an increased risk of infection at places such as airports and hotels, when using public transport or joining large gatherings. In addition, the Federal Foreign Office has issued a worldwide travel warning for all unnecessary tourist trips abroad. Please refrain from travelling to high-risk areas.

    News ticker


    Please note that this news ticker does not replace detailed information provided by emails and newsletters. Therefore, please continue to check your mailboxes for incoming mails and observe the information provided below. The news ticker merely aims to keep you briefly informed about any changes as they occur.

    13 August 2020
    23 June 2020
    9 June 2020
    12 May 2020
    4 May 2020
    30 April 2020
    24 April 2020
    21 April 2020
    17 April 2020
    31 March 2020
    27 March 2020
    23 March 2020
    19 March 2020
    18 March 2020
    17 March 2020
    16 March 2020
    13 March 2020
    9 March 2020
    3 March 2020
    28 February 2020
    27 February 2020

    Die Universität Witten/Herdecke ist durch das NRW-Wissenschaftsministerium unbefristet staatlich anerkannt und wird – sowohl als Institution wie auch für ihre einzelnen Studiengänge – regelmäßig akkreditiert durch: