UVU College of Science - Research Guidelines during COVID-19

UVU Guidelines for Safe Conduct of Extracurricular Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activities

May 27, 2020

Committee members

These guidelines were developed by the following individuals:

  • David Connelly (Provost office)
  • Dan Fairbanks (UVU Research Officer)
  • Robin Ebmeyer (UVU Director of Emergency Management and Safety)
  • Craig Moore (UVU Chemical Hygiene and Safety)
  • Daniel Horns (COS)
  • Jordan Allen (CHHS - Communications)
  • Dustin Harding (WSB)
  • Saeed Moaveni (CET)
  • Michaela Gazdik-Stofer (COS - microbiologist)
  • Alma Laney (COS - microbiologist)
  • Eric Domyan (COS - biologist)

 

Goals of these Guidelines

These guidelines are intended to present protocols for conducting extracurricular research, scholarship, and creative pursuits in ways that minimize potential for transmission of coronavirus.  The guidelines are intended to be consistent with the UVU COVID-19 Recovery Plan (found on the UVU COVID-19 webpage) and will follow the same system of color-coded risk levels.  The guidelines include direction on the following.

  • When faculty, staff, and students may participate in on-campus research and research-related travel: Recommendations for when (i.e., under what risk levels) faculty, staff, and students are permitted to work in laboratories, clinics, workshops, studios, arts facilities, and other similar academic spaces on campus. Specify different protocols for supervision of students who are experienced with independent work from students who are less experienced.
  • Room occupancy and personnel spacing: Recommendations for maximum density of people working together under the various risk levels.
  • Hygiene and PPE: Recommendations on appropriate personal protective equipment under the various risk levels.
  • Behavior and hygiene: Recommendations on appropriate physical interaction and cleaning under the various risk levels.
  • Keeping records: Recommendations on appropriate record keeping to facilitate contact tracing in the event that a person using the aforementioned facilities becomes ill.

 

Terminology in this plan

Whenever the term “research” is used in this plan, it generally refers to all forms of extracurricular research, scholarship, and creative pursuits.  The term “lab” or “lab area” generally refers to any on-campus space used to conduct extracurricular research, scholarship, and creative pursuits.

 

Red conditions

Research conduct: Research activities are limited to faculty and staff working separately.  Faculty and staff have access to lab spaces but are encouraged to conduct research on campus only if necessary (e.g., to care for animals or other living organisms, or to maintain perishable hard-to-replace reagents or supplies that may degrade). Participation by students must be limited to work that can be done off campus and supervised remotely.

Only individuals actively involved in research, scholarship, or creative work may be in lab areas. Laboratory areas may not be used for socializing, studying, etc.

Faculty and staff must keep a record of their use of campus research labs, including room numbers and times and dates of use.

Research-related travel is restricted to individuals traveling to destinations where the participant is unlikely to come in close contact with other people.  Overnight travel is prohibited.

Protective hygiene and cleaning: When faculty and staff are on campus they must follow the personal protection actions outlined on the UVU COVID-19 webpage and the related COVID-19 recovery Plan linked to that page, including the wearing of face masks.

Work surfaces and high-touch objects should be disinfected with 10% bleach or 70% ethanol for at least 1 min before and after each use.

PPE for laboratory spaces: In addition to the general PPE, lab coats, long pants, closed-toe shoes, disposable gloves, and safety glasses should be used within laboratory spaces where chemicals are used. Lab coats and disposable gloves should not be worn outside of labs.

Research planning: Planning for research, including writing grant proposals and seeking required approval (such as from the Institutional Review Board, the Office of Sponsored Programs, or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), may proceed provided that work is consistent with the approved conditions for research conduct and protective hygiene and cleaning described for red conditions above.

 

Orange conditions

Research conduct: Faculty, staff, and experienced research students have access to lab areas, but:

  • All personnel must always maintain a minimum of 6-foot spacing.
  • Room occupancy is generally limited to no more than four at a time or the maximum number that can work in the room while maintaining 6-foot separation (whichever is fewer total people in the room). For large, open spaces (e.g., performance auditoriums, art studios) occupancy may exceed four as long as a minimum 10 foot spacing is maintained.
  • Students working in a lab must have received safety training appropriate to that lab. Students must be directly supervised by a member of the faculty or staff who is with them or is in close telephone contact. Participation by inexperienced students must be limited to work that can be done off campus and supervised remotely. 

Only individuals actively involved in research, scholarship, or creative work may be in the lab. Laboratory areas may not be used for socializing, studying, etc. 

For lab rooms that are shared by more than one research group, activities must be coordinated to ensure adherence to the occupancy limitations described above.

Faculty and staff must keep a record of their and their students’ use of campus research labs, including room numbers and times and dates of use.

Research-related travel is restricted to individuals traveling to destinations where the participant is unlikely to contact other people.  Overnight travel is prohibited.

 

Health screening

Prior to accessing laboratory or other enclosed workspace, every person planning to work in that space will be asked to complete an online health screening.  The screening will ask whether that person is (1) experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (sore throat, fever above 100.4, cough, muscle aches, loss of smell or taste) or has been exposed to anyone who was experiencing symptoms and/or tested positive for SARS CoV-2 within the previous two weeks.  Responses to the survey will be logged for potential contact tracing. The screening will be developed through Qualtrics. We are in the process of finalizing the screening questions.  For now, please have all researchers conduct a self-assessment using the criteria described above prior to entering research space.

Protective hygiene and cleaning: When faculty, staff, and students are on campus they must follow the personal protection actions outlined on the UVU COVID-19 webpage and the related COVID-19 recovery Plan linked to that page, including the wearing of face masks.

Work surfaces and high-touch objects should be disinfected with 10% bleach or 70% ethanol for at least 1 min before and after each use.

PPE for laboratory spaces: In addition to the general PPE, lab coats, long pants, closed-toe shoes, disposable gloves, and safety glasses should be used within laboratory spaces. Lab coats and disposable gloves should not be worn outside of labs.

Research planning: Planning for research, including writing grant proposals and seeking required approval (such as from the Institutional Review Board, the Office of Sponsored Programs, or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), may proceed provided that work is consistent with the approved conditions for research conduct and protective hygiene and cleaning described for orange conditions above.

 

Yellow conditions

Research conduct: Faculty, staff, and students have access to lab areas, but:

  • All personnel must always maintain a minimum of 6-foot spacing.
  • Room occupancy is limited to no more than eight at a time or the maximum number that can work in the room while maintaining 6-foot separation (whichever is fewer total people in the room). For large, open spaces (e.g., performance auditoriums, art studios) occupancy may exceed eight as long as a minimum 10 foot spacing is maintained.
  • Students working in a lab must have received safety training appropriate to that lab. Students must be directly supervised by a member of the faculty or staff who is with them or is in close phone contact.

Only individuals actively involved in research, scholarship, or creative work may be in the lab. Laboratory areas may not be used for socializing, studying, etc.

For lab rooms that are shared by more than one research group, activities must be coordinated to ensure adherence to the occupancy limitations described above.

Faculty and staff must keep a record of their and their students’ use of campus research labs, including room numbers and times and dates of use.

No overnight research-related travel. Limit of one person per car during local research travel, and travel may not include anyone who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms or who has been exposed to someone with symptoms within the past two weeks.

 

Health screening

Prior to accessing laboratory or other enclosed workspace, every person planning to work in that space will be asked to complete an online health screening.  The screening will ask whether that person is (1) experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (sore throat, fever above 100.4, cough, muscle aches, loss of smell or taste) or has been exposed to anyone who was experiencing symptoms and/or tested positive for SARS CoV-2 within the previous two weeks.  Responses to the survey will be logged for potential contact tracing. The screening will be developed through Qualtrics. We are in the process of finalizing the screening questions.  For now, please have all researchers conduct a self-assessment using the criteria described above prior to entering research space.

Protective hygiene and cleaning: When faculty, staff, and students are on campus they must follow the personal protection actions outlined on the UVU COVID-19 webpage and the related COVID-19 recovery Plan linked to that page, including the wearing of face masks.

Work surfaces and high-touch objects should be disinfected with 10% bleach or 70% ethanol for at least 1 min before and after each use.

PPE for laboratory spaces: In addition to the general PPE, lab coats, long pants, closed-toe shoes, disposable gloves, and safety glasses should be used within laboratory spaces. Lab coats and disposable gloves should not be worn outside of labs.

Research planning: Planning for research, including writing grant proposals and seeking required approval (such as from the Institutional Review Board, the Office of Sponsored Programs, or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), may proceed provided that work is consistent with the approved conditions for research conduct and protective hygiene and cleaning described for yellow conditions above.

 

Green conditions

Research conduct: Faculty, staff, and students have access to lab areas but must always maintain a minimum of 6-foot spacing.  Experienced students may work without direct supervision by a member of the faculty or staff. Students working in a lab must have received safety training appropriate to that lab. 

Only individuals actively involved in conducting an experiment may be in the lab. Laboratory spaces may not be used for socializing, studying, etc.

Faculty and staff must keep a record of their and their students’ use of campus research labs, including room numbers and times and dates of use.

Overnight research-related travel is permitted but may not include anyone who has experienced COVID-19 symptoms or who has been exposed to someone with symptoms within the past two weeks.

 

Health screening

Prior to accessing laboratory or other enclosed workspace, every person planning to work in that space will be asked to complete an online health screening.  The screening will ask whether that person is (1) experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms (sore throat, fever above 100.4, cough, muscle aches, loss of smell or taste) or has been exposed to anyone who was experiencing symptoms and/or tested positive for SARS CoV-2 within the previous two weeks.  Responses to the survey will be logged for potential contact tracing. The screening will be developed through Qualtrics. We are in the process of finalizing the screening questions.  For now, please have all researchers conduct a self-assessment using the criteria described above prior to entering research space.

Protective hygiene and cleaning: When faculty, staff, and students are on campus they must follow the personal protection actions outlined on the UVU COVID-19 webpage and the related COVID-19 recovery Plan linked to that page, including the wearing of face masks.

Work surfaces and high-touch objects should be disinfected with 10% bleach or 70% ethanol for at least 1 min before and after each use.

PPE for laboratory spaces: In addition to the general PPE, lab coats, long pants, closed-toe shoes, disposable gloves, and safety glasses should be used within laboratory spaces. Lab coats and disposable gloves should not be worn outside of labs.

Research planning: Planning for research, including writing grant proposals and seeking required approval (such as from the Institutional Review Board, the Office of Sponsored Programs, or the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee), may proceed provided that work is consistent with the approved conditions for research conduct and protective hygiene and cleaning described for green conditions above.