Department COVID-19 Updates:
COVID-19 Research Planning UNL IRB COVID-19 response

Updates from the Research COVID-19 Task Force: Aug. 24-28

News for Researchers

August 24, 2020

During the fall semester, the Research Task Force will continue sending updates about campus operations that affect research and creative activities during the pandemic. This message addresses topics for the week of Aug. 24-28.

Positive case reporting and contact tracing

Faculty, staff and students are urged to become familiar with university procedures on positive case reporting and contact tracing. Anyone who has a confirmed case of COVID-19 should promptly notify the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team at covid19@unl.edu or via text message at 402-266-6865. They also should promptly notify their direct supervisor and/or instructors. Supervisors may contact the Public Health Advocacy Team about a positive case but should NOT notify anyone else. Contact tracing is conducted by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department with support from the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team; the two work together to notify contacts who may have been exposed. More information is available in the Aug. 21 edition of Nebraska Today.

Undergraduates, volunteers in lab settings

Beginning Aug. 24, access to laboratories is no longer limited to paid student workers. Labs are now open to any undergraduate or approved volunteer; however, lab managers should continue to limit the number of people in the space at one time to ensure six feet of space between individuals is maintained.

Clarification on using face shields
Centers for Disease Control guidelines indicate that a plastic face shield alone does not sufficiently prevent the spread of airborne particles. UNL’s face covering policy has been updated to state that face shields are no longer acceptable alternatives to cloth face coverings. Faculty, staff and students may choose to wear the face shields in conjunction with cloth face coverings for an added layer of protection. The university is providing two free cloth masks to researchers, instructors, employees and students.

Download self-monitoring app

Members of the campus community are encouraged to use the 1-Check COVID-19 screening app to self-monitor their symptoms. The app, available for Android and iOS devices, was created by the University of Nebraska Medical Center in collaboration with engineering students.

Free testing available

The university, in partnership with Test Nebraska, offers a free COVID-19 testing site for faculty, staff and students. The test site is located at the 17th and R streets parking garage. Same-day appointments are available weekdays from 3-6 p.m. The site is closed on the weekends. Visit the COVID-19 on-campus testing webpage for details about using this resource or the University Health Center.

This communication is distributed to principal investigators with approved research and creative activity re-opening plans as well as the associate deans for research. Please share this guidance with members of your research team as appropriate.


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