COVID-19 Measures at the Vienna International Centre

 

UNIS/VIC/237
29 June 2020

Message from the main Vienna-based United Nations organizations

VIENNA, 29 June (UN Information Service) - This is a message from the four main Vienna-based United Nations organizations.

The Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service has been informed by the Austrian authorities today that there is a suspected COVID-19 case linked to one of the groups at the VIC kindergarten. That group will not attend kindergarten from the end of today, 29 June, until at least when the individual's test result is known.

The test result on the suspected case reported on 25 June was negative. The kindergarten said the group that had been affected by this would be able to return to kindergarten tomorrow, 30 June.

The four main Vienna-based organizations are the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

 


 

UNIS/VIC/234
25 June 2020

Message from the main Vienna-based United Nations organizations

VIENNA, 25 June (UN Information Service) - This is a message from the four main Vienna-based United Nations organizations.

The Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service has been informed by the Austrian authorities today that there is one suspected COVID-19 case linked to one of the groups at the VIC kindergarten. That group will not attend kindergarten from Friday 26 June, at least until the test result on the individual concerned is known.

The four main Vienna-based organizations are the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

 


 UNIS/VIC/233
13 May 2020

Message from the Executive Heads of the four main Vienna-based United Nations organizations (VBOs)

Letter to all personnel at the Vienna International Centre

VIENNA, 13 May (UN Information Service) - From Friday 15 May, we will begin our announced phased return to the Vienna International Centre (VIC), a long-awaited move that will be gradual and cautious, with the health and well-being of all at the VIC remaining the top priority.

Since Monday 16 March, the vast majority of you have worked remotely. Others have secured and maintained the VIC. Many of you have juggled your work with home-schooling for your children. Many have faced other challenges. Yet throughout not only have we maintained normal operations we have added new tasks to help people cope with the emergency.

Allow us again to express appreciation for your efforts in these difficult times. We offer condolences to those of you from our global community who have lost loved ones or suffered in other ways in this human crisis.

We know this remains an anxious, unpredictable time and understand that some of you may have concerns about returning to the VIC.

As you know, our Host Country has begun to ease restrictions on movement and the economy, while emphasizing the need for caution because, while the figures are encouraging, the pandemic is far from over.

Throughout, we have coordinated with the Austrian authorities and adhered to their regulations and guidelines. This means we too can begin a gradual return to the VIC, starting with limited numbers and building up as conditions and medical advice allow. Many of you will continue to work remotely for the time being. Stringent measures have been put in place at the VIC to keep everyone as safe as possible. The full plan we have approved will be available to you online.

Each organization has its own particular mission and operational needs, including as we return. Yet we remain united by the determination to work together to support each other, help Member States overcome this crisis and build back better, using the Sustainable Development Goals as our blueprint for action across the world.

We salute you for your commitment and flexibility during these challenging times. We look to all of you, wherever you will be working, to continue in that same collegial, innovative and productive spirit as we embark on a new way of operating in familiar surroundings. Thank you.

With gratitude,

Ghada Waly, Designated Official for Austria, Director-General/Executive Director, United Nations Office at Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime

Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency

LI Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization

Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

 


UNIS/VIC/232
24 April 2020

The heads of the four main organizations at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) issued the following statement to all VIC personnel today:

Joint statement by the Executive Heads of the main Vienna-based organizations

VIENNA, 24 April (UN Information Service) - Almost all of you - 5,000 personnel based at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) - have been working remotely for nearly six weeks now and those at the VIC have kept the building safe and operational. We are grateful for and proud of your patient efforts, which have contributed to our Host Country's successful efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve. Your work from home or elsewhere has also allowed VBO operations to continue in Vienna and around the world in these unprecedented conditions, and indeed to expand as we support countries and people in the fight to end this pandemic.

From previous updates you will know Austria has begun to ease some measures while emphasizing the fight against the virus continues.

As you will have seen, the Austrian authorities plan further announcements on Tuesday 28 April. The plan announced today for a phased return to school is outlined in this update.

The VIC Crisis Management Team (CMT) is closely monitoring developments, along with the VIC Medical Service. Additionally, the Host Country briefed us today.

In consultation with the Austrian authorities, we have decided to begin a gradual, flexible and cautious return to VIC premises from Friday 15 May 2020.

The CMT and other VIC colleagues are working on the details of this gradual return. The CMT will update you on the details soon. Our overriding priority for any return is the safety and welfare of all those at the VIC. Social distancing and hygiene measures will be paramount.

Personnel with children or elderly parents or those with chronic health conditions will be able to continue telecommuting. We will continue to follow Austrian guidelines.

Please continue to comply fully with all Austrian measures to tackle COVID-19.

Sincerely and with gratitude,
Ghada Waly, Designated Official for Austria, Director-General/Executive Director, United Nations Office at Vienna/United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime
Rafael Mariano Grossi, Director General, International Atomic Energy Agency
LI Yong, Director General, United Nations Industrial Development Organization
Lassina Zerbo, Executive Secretary, Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization

* *** *

The four main Vienna-based organizations are the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

 


UNIS/VIC/231
31 March 2020

Message from the main Vienna-based United Nations organizations (VBOs)

VIENNA, 31 March (UN Information Service) - This is an important message from the Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service regarding COVID-19:

There is one more case of COVID-19 involving VIC personnel.

On Tuesday, 31 March, the Austrian authorities confirmed that a person working at the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) was COVID-19 positive. The person was tested on 27 March and had been out of the workplace since 6 March 2020. Contact tracing is being conducted. There was no risk to any colleagues at the workplace.

This brings the cumulative total of COVID-19 among VIC personnel to 10 cases.

 


UNIS/VIC/230
30 March 2020

Message from the main Vienna-based United Nations organizations (VBOs)

VIENNA, 30 March (UN Information Service) - This is an important message from the Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service regarding COVID-19:

There are three more confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving VIC personnel. These are the details:

There are two additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving staff members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA).

On March 27th, the Austrian authorities confirmed that two more persons had tested positive for COVID-19, who had not been in the building since 13 March. They are both under self-quarantine and recovering from home. In one case, contact tracing by the Austrian authorities and the VIC Medical Service has identified individuals who were in close contact with the person and have been contacted by the authorities with instructions to self-quarantine for 14 days. Personnel not contacted by the Austrian authorities are not considered to be at risk. In the second case, the person was under self - quarantine since March 20th. A risk assessment conducted by local authorities and the VIC Medical Service has determined that there is no additional risk of exposure to other personnel.

On Monday, 30 March, the authorities confirmed that a United Nations Office at Vienna (UNOV) staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. He is doing well at home with mild symptoms. The person had been working from home for seven days. Close contact tracing was conducted by Austrian health authorities and identified one contact person for observation. A risk assessment conducted by Austrian authorities and VIC Medical Service has determined that due to working from home, there is no risk of exposure to other personnel.

These latest three cases bring the cumulative total of COVID-19 among VIC personnel to nine cases.

 


UNIS/VIC/229
25 March 2020

Message from the main Vienna-based United Nations organizations (VBOs)

VIENNA, 25 March (UN Information Service) - This is an important message from the Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service regarding COVID-19:

There are now six confirmed COVID-19 cases in the VIC community.

In addition to the two previously reported cases, there are now three additional confirmed cases of COVID-19 involving staff members of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), one at the VIC and two at Seibersdorf. Furthermore, there is a confirmed case involving a staff member at the UN Office at Vienna (UNOV).

Here are the details:

On Tuesday, 24 March, the Austrian authorities confirmed that a person had tested positive for COVID-19, working in the VIC. The person had been working from home for three days prior to the onset of symptoms, and a risk assessment conducted by Austrian authorities and VIC Medical Service has determined that because of the remote working, there is no additional risk of exposure to other personnel. He is under observation in the hospital with mild to moderate symptoms.

On Wednesday, 25 March, the Austrian authorities confirmed that two people had tested positive for COVID-19, working in Seibersdorf Laboratories. They had been in separate self-quarantine since returning from the same risk area, and a risk assessment conducted by the Austrian authorities and VIC Medical Service has determined that there is no additional risk of exposure to other personnel.

On Tuesday, 24 March, the authorities confirmed that a UNOV staff member has tested positive for COVID-19. He is doing well at home with mild symptoms. The person had been working from home for nine days. Close contact tracing was conducted by Austrian health authorities and identified two contact persons for observation. A risk assessment conducted by Austrian authorities and VIC Medical Service has determined that due to working from home, there is no risk of exposure to other personnel.

 


UNIS/VIC/228
20 March 2020

Message from the Vienna-based United Nations organizations

VIENNA, 20 March (UN Information Service) - The following message was sent to all personnel at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) today after Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz announced the measures that began on Monday 16 March to tackle COVID-19 were being extended until Monday 13 April 2020.

- All personnel based at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) or elsewhere in Austria are required to adhere to the Austrian Government's extended measures until Monday 13 April 2020. This will be reviewed as necessary.

- Stay home unless you are approved to come to the VIC to carry out critical tasks.

Second positive case at VIC

This is an important message from the VIC Medical Service regarding COVID-19:

There is a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving a staff member of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) at the VIC.

On Friday 20 March, the authorities confirmed that the person had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The person works on the 16th floor of the A building and was last in the VIC on 13 March. He is recovering at home and is under quarantine.

Close contact tracing has been initiated by authorities, and individuals among VIC personnel are being contacted by authorities with instructions to self-quarantine for 14 days. Close contact is defined as 15 minutes or more face-to-face interaction at a distance of 2 metre or less or direct contact (like a handshake).

Personnel not contacted by the Austrian authorities are not considered to be at risk.

We are in contact with the Host Country and we will provide an update to this case if needed.

World Health Organization and VIC Medical Services advise to continue to adhere to the general respiratory illness prevention measures, notably washing hands and social distancing.

The first confirmed case, announced on 17 March, involved a cleaner who was already recovering when the case was reported.

 


UNIS/VIC/227
18 March 2020

More than 95 per cent of UN Vienna International Centre's personnel working remotely or at home

VIENNA, 18 March (UN Information Service) - The UN Security and Safety Service in Vienna reported today that fewer than five per cent of 5,000 personnel are now working at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) to carry out critical tasks. That means more than 95 per cent of colleagues are working remotely or otherwise at home.

Management at the four main Vienna-based UN organizations is taking measures to reduce still further the presence of personnel in the VIC to the lowest achievable number possible and, in so doing, to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

Vienna-based UN organizations continue to carry out their important work while dramatically reducing the VIC's footprint. This is contributing to Austria's efforts to flatten the transmission curve of COVID-19.

 


UNIS/VIC/226
17 March 2020

Vienna International Centre Crisis Management Team COVID-19 update - 17 March 2020

Influenza case at Vienna International Centre now tested positive as COVID-19

This is an important message from the Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service regarding COVID-19:

There is a confirmed case of COVID-19 involving a female member of the cleaning staff at the VIC.

The cleaner, who is employed by an outside contractor, fell ill at the VIC on 2 March 2020 after office hours and was assisted by three members of the UN Security and Safety team. The cleaner worked on 13 rooms on the 10 th floor of the VIC's B building, which is part of the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). The relevant staff have been informed. The cleaner has not been in the building since 2 March.

Austrian health authorities initially diagnosed influenza. Late evening on Monday 16 March, the authorities informed the VIC Medical Service that the person had tested positive for the COVID-19 coronavirus. The person has been evaluated at a hospital and is recovering.

The VIC Medical Service assesses the risk to the first responders, who were wearing protective clothing, as zero. None of them has developed any symptoms over the last 14 days. There is no residual risk to personnel at the VIC.

Close contact tracing has identified no further individuals among VIC personnel. Close contact is defined as 15 minutes face-to-face interaction at a distance of one metre or less.

We are in contact with the Host Country and we will provide an update to this case if needed.

World Health Organization and medical advice is to continue to adhere to the general respiratory illness prevention measures, notably washing hands.

 


UNIS/VIC/225
16 March 2020

Message from the main Vienna-based UN organizations

  • The UN Security and Safety Service in Vienna reports that 307 people out of 5,000 personnel came to work today to carry out critical tasks. That means more than 90 per cent of colleagues are working remotely or otherwise at home.
  • All personnel are helping all the Vienna-based organizations (VBOs) to continue to carry out their important work and to dramatically reduce the Vienna International Centre's footprint. This is contributing to Austria's efforts to flatten the transmission curve of COVID-19.
  • Management of the four main VBOs is taking measures to reduce still further the presence of personnel in the VIC to the lowest achievable number possible and, in so doing, to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

 


UNIS/VIC/224
15 March 2020

Joint statement by the main Vienna-based UN organizations

VIENNA, 15 March (UN Information Service) - The main Vienna-based UN organizations at the Vienna International Centre issued the following urgent COVID-19 message today to all personnel:

· All personnel based at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) or elsewhere in Austria are required to follow the Austrian Government's latest urgent appeal to stay at home and not to meet anyone from now until Sunday 22 March. This will be reviewed as developments dictate.

· Management of the four main Vienna-based organizations (VBOs) continue to take measures to reduce still further the presence of personnel in the VIC to the lowest achievable number possible and, in so doing, to reduce the risk of virus transmission.

 


UNIS/VIC/223
12 March 2020

The heads of the four main organizations at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) issued the following statement to all VIC personnel today:

Joint statement by the Executive Heads of the main Vienna-based organizations

VIENNA, 12 March (UN Information Service) - Bearing in mind the measures taken by the Austrian authorities and the advice from the Vienna International Centre (VIC) Medical Service, the Executive Heads of the four main Vienna-based Organizations (VBOs) have decided to instruct all personnel to work remotely from Monday 16th to Friday 3rd April 2020.

Each VBO will be in touch with those not in a position to work remotely.

Only essential or critical staff, as identified by each VBO, may come to work at the VIC. Non-essential staff and all other visitors will not have access to the VIC during this period.

This measure will be reviewed prior to 3rd April, taking into account the evolving situation and the recommendations of local authorities.

The instruction applies only to those based in Austria. Those VBOs with field operations will be in touch with colleagues in those locations.

The four Executive Heads further instruct all personnel to halt all non-essential duty travel with effect from Monday 16 March 2020. Essential duty travel is subject to approval by the Executive Head of the respective VBO.

These measures are taken on clear medical advice and with the welfare of staff and their families as the central priority. As part of the community of our Host Country, Austria, we can all play our part in helping to try to contain the spread of COVID-19 and reducing the risk of transmission at the VIC and elsewhere.

 


UNIS/VIC/222
11 March 2020

COVID-19: Measures at the Vienna International Centre

VIENNA, 11 March (UN Information Service) - The heads of the four main Vienna-based organizations at the Vienna International Centre (VIC) announced a number of measures today to reduce the risk of exposure to COVID-19 to those in the VIC and especially vulnerable groups, notably those over the age of 65 and those with health conditions that place them at greater risk. The health of staff, personnel and visitors in the VIC remains the top priority.

Among the measures that will affect the general public, the UN Information Service (UNIS) Visitors Service guided tours and lecture programmes are suspended. Private visitors will not have access to the VIC. In principle, meetings and events with more than 100 participants will not be held. The measures take immediate effect and are until further notice.

The four main Vienna-based organizations are the United Nations Office at Vienna/UN Office on Drugs and Crime, the International Atomic Energy Agency, the UN Industrial Development Organization and the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty Organization.

 


 

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