September 7, 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 Sept. 7-11.
New this Week
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.
How to treat research, creative spaces after a confirmed COVID-19 case
University Operations developed protocol for researchers if they are notified that an individual who has a confirmed positive case has been in their research lab or creative activity space.
Within the past seven days
- Follow CDC guidance and evacuate the space. If possible, plan to evacuate for at least 24 hours prior to cleaning and disinfecting.
- Contact the UNL Facilities service desk at 402-472-1550 to arrange for cleaning and disinfecting.
- After the area has been appropriately disinfected, it can be reopened for use.
- Workers without close contact (fewer than 6 feet for more than 15 minutes) with the person who is sick can return to work immediately after the space has been disinfected.
More than seven days
- If it has been more than seven days since the person who is sick visited or used the facility, additional cleaning and disinfecting is not necessary.
- Continue routine cleaning and disinfecting following UNL’s Laboratory Cleaning and Disinfecting SOP where applicable.
Understanding quarantine vs. isolation
The Centers for Disease Control produced a helpful video that explains the difference between quarantine and isolation, and when each approach is appropriate. Watch it here.
· 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, available for Android and iOS devices, was created by the University of Nebraska Medical Center in collaboration with engineering students.
· Dual approval needed for domestic travel: The university’s travel policy has been updated to allow 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.
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.