Posted September 28, 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. 28-Oct. 2.
New this week
Campus increases testing capacity
The university, in partnership with Test Nebraska, offers a free COVID-19 testing site for faculty, staff and students. The test site is located on the ground floor of the 17th and R streets parking garage. The site has increased the number of tests available and is now offering weekend appointments. Same-day appointments are available weekdays from 3-6 p.m. and on Sundays from 1-4 p.m. Visit the COVID-19 on-campus testing webpage for details about using this resource. The University Health Center also offers testing Monday through Saturday based on a telehealth consultation. Insurance coverage is required to use Health Center services. To request an appointment, call 402-472-5000.
Mitigation testing begins this week
Chancellor Ronnie Green announced plans to begin random mitigation testing of faculty, staff and students beginning Sept. 28. Those selected will be notified by email and given instructions on how to get tested. Chancellor Green’s Sept. 18 message includes detailed information about UNL’s testing strategy.
Campus dashboard expanded
UNL’s COVID dashboard is updated daily with results of testing students, faculty, staff and affiliates. It now includes results from the previous 14 days, in addition to the cumulative results since the dashboard launched in August. Information is provided by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and includes results from Test Nebraska, the Health Center and other testing sources.
Prevention remains the best strategy: Faculty, staff and students are reminded to follow a layered approach to preventing the virus’ spread: wear a face mask, wash hands frequently and maintain 6 feet of distance. Employees are encouraged to continue working from home whenever feasible to decrease density in campus buildings.
Resources for leaders, supervisors: Guides areavailable 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.
Operating plans for research and creative spaces: Through October, 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.
Responsibilities of researchers hosting 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.