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

Updates from the Research Task Force: Nov. 2-6

News for Researchers

November 3, 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 Nov. 2-6.

New this week

Operating plans for research and creative spaces
Through November, 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.

Reminders

Campus data posted on COVID-19 dashboard

The campus COVID-19 dashboard contains up-to-date information on daily positive cases and total number of tests; results from the past 14 days, as well as total tests given during that time period; and the current positivity rate and how it compares to the previous week. Cumulative data also is available. Information is provided by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and includes results from Test Nebraska, University Health Center and other testing sources.

Flu shots for employees available at UHC

UNL employees and students are encouraged to get their annual flu shot. Although the vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it reduces the likelihood of getting another potentially serious illness. The Health Center offers flu shots for university employees during regular business hours. Schedule an appointment in advance by calling 402-472-5000. The cost of a flu shot may be submitted through insurance, and employees who have completed the Health Risk Assessment may have no out-of-pocket costs. Read more in Nebraska Today.

Risk dial remains at ‘elevated orange’

As of Friday, Oct. 30, the City of Lincoln/Lancaster County COVID-19 risk dial measured at the “elevated orange” level for the fourth consecutive week, meaning there is high risk of community spread. An adjusted statewide directed health measure is in effect through Nov. 30 to reduce the size of gatherings and shore up hospital capacity. Lincoln residents are reminded to follow the three C’s: avoid crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.

Prevention remains the best strategy to preventing the virus’ spread. While on campus, faculty, staff and students are reminded to follow a layered approach: 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.

On-campus testing resources

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 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.

Guidelines for positive case reporting, 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, supervisors
Guides are 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.

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.

Ashley WashburnMon 11/2/2020 7:56 PMTo:

There isn’t much new information this week. We’ll continue requiring reopening plans through November. Heidi, with everything else happening this week, I would not feel compelled to write new social content for this. 
awFrom: UNL Research <unlresearch@unl.edu>
Sent: Monday, November 2, 2020 7:41 PM
Subject: Updates from the Research Task Force: Nov. 2-6 

Updates from the Research Task Force: Nov. 2-6

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 Nov. 2-6.

New this week

Operating plans for research and creative spaces
Through November, 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.

Reminders

Campus data posted on COVID-19 dashboard

The campus COVID-19 dashboard contains up-to-date information on daily positive cases and total number of tests; results from the past 14 days, as well as total tests given during that time period; and the current positivity rate and how it compares to the previous week. Cumulative data also is available. Information is provided by the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department and includes results from Test Nebraska, University Health Center and other testing sources.

Flu shots for employees available at UHC

UNL employees and students are encouraged to get their annual flu shot. Although the vaccine does not protect against COVID-19, it reduces the likelihood of getting another potentially serious illness. The Health Center offers flu shots for university employees during regular business hours. Schedule an appointment in advance by calling 402-472-5000. The cost of a flu shot may be submitted through insurance, and employees who have completed the Health Risk Assessment may have no out-of-pocket costs. Read more in Nebraska Today.

Risk dial remains at ‘elevated orange’

As of Friday, Oct. 30, the City of Lincoln/Lancaster County COVID-19 risk dial measured at the “elevated orange” level for the fourth consecutive week, meaning there is high risk of community spread. An adjusted statewide directed health measure is in effect through Nov. 30 to reduce the size of gatherings and shore up hospital capacity. Lincoln residents are reminded to follow the three C’s: avoid crowded places, close contact and confined spaces.

Prevention remains the best strategy to preventing the virus’ spread. While on campus, faculty, staff and students are reminded to follow a layered approach: 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.

On-campus testing resources

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 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.

Guidelines for positive case reporting, 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, supervisors
Guides are 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.

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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