June 15, 2020
As we enter the third week of UC San Diego’s Orange Phase of low-density on-site research, scholarship and creative activity, I want to remind all members of our research community about our final Research Town Hall for this month, which will be on Thursday, June 18th from 12:30 – 2:00p.m. You may register for the Research Town Hall at https://ucsdcloud.sharepoint.com/sites/vcrth using your Active Directory sign-on. Please use your @ucsd.edu login.
Based on questions we’ve received during the most recent Town Halls and through other venues, I also am pleased to provide some reminders and links to additional information that may be important as you ramp up your on-site activity. All on-site activity must meet health and safety protocols as outlined in the UC San Diego Research Ramp Up Guidelines (https://blink.ucsd.edu/research/covid-19/research-ramp-up.html); if at any time you have questions about requirements for the safe conduct of research, please review those guidelines and our FAQs (https://blink.ucsd.edu/research/covid-19/faq-2.html).
All on-site activity must have been approved by academic leaders (department chairs and deans, or equivalent), EH&S (when a plan diverges from the standard requirements), and the Office of Research Affairs (ORA). If you have questions about the process of requesting approval, please consult our “ramp up procedures” (https://blink.ucsd.edu/research/covid-19/research-ramp-up.html#Ramp-up-Procedures).
RETURN TO WORK TRAINING, SYMPTOM SCREENING and TESTING
In compliance with California Division of Occupational Safety and Health (Cal/OSHA) requirements, all personnel must complete the COVID-19 Return to Work training available at the UC Learning Center.
County of San Diego Public Health orders require that all personnel screen for COVID-19 symptoms before work each day. To access the screening tool and register, visit: https://blink.ucsd.edu/go/screening. Personnel who indicate they have symptoms will be directed to contact their health care provider for consultation and testing; their supervisors will be informed that they have not been cleared for on-site work. Personnel who do not have symptoms will be cleared for on-site work.
When you register for the symptom screener, you may choose to be tested for COVID-19 even if you are not symptomatic. We are initially prioritizing asymptomatic testing for those who are either working in more densely populated locations, or whose work brings them into contact with more people as they move from location to location across campus. If you opt in for testing, UC San Diego Health will contact you to schedule the test; if you are not insured through UC San Diego Health, you will be asked for some personal information, but all information will be maintained according to regular HIPAA privacy requirements. Given available testing capacity, we anticipate that it will take a few weeks to test all those who have indicated a desire to be tested.
SAFETY SUPPLIES and VENDORS
Through a partnership of the Emergency Operations Center, UC San Diego Logistics, and Facilities Management, many of those ramping up their on-site activity have received a one-time free “welcome kit” with face masks, gloves, and disinfecting supplies. In order to meet your research group’s needs for these supplies in the future, please order through UC San Diego’s procurement Marketplace. Search “COVIDPPE” in the Marketplace search bar and order in two-week increments. You will be required to provide an index to cover the cost of supplies: face masks and PPE can be charged to grants, while other supplies must be charged to departmental or other COVID-specific accounts. Please consult your MSO or Fund Manager for guidance on identifying the appropriate account to use.
Vendors and others who come onto campus to deliver goods and maintain equipment are required to observe campus guidelines for use of face masks and social distancing. In accordance with County Public Health Orders, their employers are required to screen them daily for COVID-19 symptoms. If you prefer that deliveries not be made directly to your lab, contact IPPS through the UC San Diego Services & Support Portal at https://support.ucsd.edu/finance to arrange for the vendor to deliver to IPPS, whose personnel will make deliveries to your lab.
FACILITY SANITATION and SAFETY
Each PI, lab manager, or research leader is responsible for ensuring that the appropriate areas in their research facilities are sanitized at the beginning and end of each day, shift, or use. This includes sanitizing work spaces that have been used and commonly touched surfaces such as light switches and doorknobs. Those research groups that use shared spaces (such as a cold room or cell culture room) should coordinate both their use of the space (to maintain appropriate physical distancing) and their sanitation of the spaces.
Facilities Management (FM) is adhering to guidelines from the CDC personnel with increased cleaning frequencies and disinfecting of high-touch surfaces in all common areas, public spaces, break rooms, kitchenettes, and other areas throughout campus core-funded spaces. More information is available at https://go.ucsd.edu/2UNkLlG. FM will develop and implement operational plans to sustain enhanced cleaning, disinfecting services and frequencies for all high-use areas as the campus continues to ramp up activity.
Please note that Facilities Management in consultation with the Campus Fire Marshall may institute traffic flow, reduce maximum capacity, or use other measures in order to maintain necessary social distancing in public spaces. All personnel working on-site should observe these guidelines in order to help protect themselves, their colleagues, and their families. In addition, currently all elevators are limited to one person at a time to ensure appropriate social and physical distancing.
COVID-RELATED LEAVE POLICIES
Please be reminded that personnel impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic may qualify for paid leave through the University of California Paid Administrative Leave program, or through FFRCA programs. Information is available at https://go.ucsd.edu/3d3uM4z (for campus personnel) or at https://uchealth.service-now.com/hrportal?spa=1 for health system personnel. Please contact Human Resources for guidance about these programs.
RESEARCH-RELATED VISITORS and TRAVEL
Those visiting campus for research purposes are required to confirm that they have had no COVID-19 related symptoms for 14 days prior to the day of their visit, and have no symptoms on the day of their visit. Visitors must observe all campus policies regarding social distancing, use of face masks, and other safety measures; the presence of visitors does impact campus density, and therefore, during the Orange Phase, should be limited to exceptional circumstances.
UC San Diego continues to advise against travel unless it is essential. Guidelines are available at https://coronavirus.ucsd.edu/resources-for/travelers/index.html.
I look forward to hearing your questions at our Research Town Hall on Thursday, June 18th from 12:30 – 2:00 p.m. Personnel from EH&S, Human Resources, Facilities Management, and members of the Research Continuity Task Force and ORA staff will be available to answer questions. To register for the Research Town Hall, use your Active Directory sign-on at https://ucsdcloud.sharepoint.com/sites/vcrth. Please use your @ucsd.edu login.
Sandra A. Brown
Vice Chancellor for Research