We must continue to take action to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in our population. Maintaining research operations during this time presents unique challenges, but there must be no compromise in safety procedures or personal protection. To this end, principal investigators should ensure that all personnel working in campus facilities are following current social distancing and safety hygiene practices.
- Practice social distancing of 6 feet between adjacent people, and a reasonable density of one person for every 120 sq. ft. in all spaces. Social distancing may require establishing shifts for personnel to use offices, labs, and lab equipment.
- Ensure that everyone is wearing the proper lab and safety equipment, including lab coats and safety gloves.
- Continue to use the buddy system in labs with hazardous materials and procedures.
- Laboratory members are encouraged to work on data analysis, writing projects, literature reviews, or online learning (coding, statistics, etc.) remotely.
- In animal facilities, breeding should be reduced to the minimum possible. Labs that require specialized lab care or intensive husbandry operations are expected to continue providing this care.
- Most of our research programs and researchers are supported on externally funded sponsored programs. Federal agencies, such as NIH, NSF, DOD, and others, are beginning to issue guidance on proposal submissions, no-cost extensions, reporting deadlines, use of funds for salaries, travel, and other program support. A table that compiles up-to-date information from the federal agencies is available for quick reference.
Dan Engebretson, Ph.D., Vice President for Research & Sponsored Programs