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Living and working with winter viruses circulating: taking care of yourself and others


home.cern,Life at CERN

In these colder winter months, we naturally spend more time indoors and in close proximity to one another. These are perfect conditions for the rapid spread of seasonal respiratory illnesses, such as the common cold, flu and COVID. Preventive measures and self-care are key at this time to ensure we stay in good health and avoid contaminating others.

In the event of a mild seasonal illness (COVID, mild flu, cold, etc.), with symptoms such as a cough or runny nose in particular, it is important to respect a few basic rules in order to preserve your own health, but also that of others. The rule of thumb is to follow the seven tips to prevent the spread of viruses shown in the poster displayed around the site and reproduced below. Out of respect for others, contact with colleagues should be avoided as much as possible and, if this is not possible, wearing a mask, keeping your distance and frequently ventilating the workspace is key. Contaminating colleagues does no one any favours, including the Organization.

CERN provides the following options in this context:

  • Three consecutive days of sick leave without a medical certificate are tolerated, up to a limit of seven days per year.
  • To the extent that it is compatible with their work, Operational Circular (OC) 7 allows members of the personnel to work from home for 40% of their working time over a period of two weeks. This may be extended with the agreement of the supervisor in specific circumstances (including being indisposed for a prolonged period when suffering from a viral infection).

Finally, nowadays, meetings can easily be held in virtual or hybrid mode.

Take good care of yourself: get plenty of rest and, if symptoms persist, it is best to consult a doctor.