OSC Research Run Rules During COVID-19 Response

For research activities, each faculty member overseeing a laboratory research group must write up a brief set of bulleted operating procedures (< 1 page email) for their research groups that – AT A MINIMUM – addresses and/or is mindful of the following points:

  • The baseline approach for the majority of situations will require faculty and supervisors to identify productive ways to support research goals from off-site wherever possible for all students that work in their group – graduate, post-doc, undergrads.  In the near term they will continue to be compensated from their existing support, and any deviations from this will be communicated at a later date.
  • Group meetings should be held virtually to support off-site, remote participation.
  • Under no circumstances should any faculty or staff pressure any students or other staff who are following university recommendations to work from off-site to instead come in to the lab – the university is trying to minimize on-site personnel.
  • Any students and staff who are serving in critical laboratory research roles, and personally desire to come into the lab despite guidance, must be provided as safe an environment as possible.  This will include not sharing any space closely with other students or staff, being alerted to avoiding exposure to COVID-19 from surfaces, being provided with disinfectant wipes, etc., where warranted.
  • This will generally preclude more than one individual using any research laboratory at a given time.
  • Any plan incorporating such continued operations involving students and staff in research roles on-site will require approval from the dean’s office.
  • No plan contemplating continued operations should require face-to-face interactions with personnel who are at heightened risk to Coronavirus as defined by CDC.
  • Exemplary “critical” roles could include cases where major research resources or capabilities are put at risk if they are not attended to; other unusual circumstances could potentially include atypical research operations where researchers function effectively and safely in controlled situations that are demonstrably in isolation from other students, faculty, and staff.  As noted above, any such examples involving students and staff will require review by the dean’s office.
  • Any plan for such isolated laboratory activities must not be in conflict with established safety protocols.
  • A faculty or facilities plan that anticipates any continued operations could include rotations, etc., where required, to realize these required features provided surfaces are disinfected between users.
  • Any ITAR-controlled work cannot be conducted remotely in violation of a TCP
  • The faculty plan should contemplate operations mindful of the fact that the COVID-19 response at UA is now anticipated to persist through the end of the semester.