Updates from the Research COVID-19 Task Force: Sept. 14-18

News for Researchers

Posted September 14, 2020 by Dan Moser

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 Sept. 14-18.


Operating plans for research and creative spaces: Through September, investigators should continue following the reopening guidelines and complete the reopening plan and checklist if they have not already done so. Investigators can modify existing reopening plans by clicking on the link embedded within the original approval e-mail.

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 is available for Android and iOS devices.

Campus COVID dashboard: Visit covid19.unl.edu for UNL health notifications, as well as a COVID dashboard that is updated daily at 5 p.m. with results of testing students, faculty, staff and affiliates. Information is provided by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department.

Positive case reporting and contact tracing: Faculty, staff and students should be 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 LLCHD with support from the UNL Public Health Advocacy Team. The two work together to notify contacts who may have been exposed.

Resources for leaders and supervisors: Guidance is available for unit leaders and supervisors, including a screening guide; a response guide for having conversations with faculty, staff and students who notify them about COVID-19 symptoms, exposure and/or a confirmed case; and a supervisor FAQ guide that answers important questions about how to appropriately communicate with employees about COVID-19.

Understanding quarantine vsisolation: The Centers for Disease Control has a helpful video that explains the difference between quarantine and isolation, and when each approach is appropriate.

Dual approval needed for domestic travel: The university’s travel policy allows for blanket travel authorization only for in-state travel. Domestic travel outside Nebraska is discouraged, but when deemed absolutely necessary, two levels of authorization are required prior to departure. University-sponsored international travel remains prohibited until further notice.

Campus visitors: Research teams may have reason to allow visitors, such as vendors or collaborators, in their spaces. Although UNL does not prohibit visitors during this time, faculty hosts are responsible for making sure guests are aware of and follow UNL’s COVID-19 policies and guidelines while on campus. Researchers also must inform their supervisor of any planned visits to ensure they approve of hosting visitors.

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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