Covid-19 Information

Covid-related Changes to Everyday Operations

“Back to research” plan for Iowa Institute for Biomedical Imaging (IIBI) in PBDB (updated 7/9/2020)

The IIBI research ramp-up plan is based on guidelines established by the College of Medicine Research Office, Office of the Vice President for Research, and the University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics Program of Epidemiology. Here are the current (updated 7/9/2020) draft guidelines and expectations. These guidelines and expectations are subject to change.

The three key features of IIBI operation are:

  1. Limit physical presence in IIBI. If you are able to work remotely, please do so.
  2. No one should come to work with any of the symptoms of COVID-19, flu, or any other infectious disease.
  3. Protect yourself and others with proper PPE, hand washing, and by cleaning contact areas.

Prior to coming to IIBI-PBDB, you need to do the following – read details below:

  1. successfully complete ICON course on the rules for hygiene and social distancing for research spaces
  2. familiarize yourself with use of PPE
  3. familiarize yourself with IIBI-PBDB access rules and occupation limits
  4. read what to do if you get sick https://coronavirus.uiowa.edu/sites/coronavirus.uiowa.edu/files/2020-04/COVID19_Self_Reporting_Diagnosis_20200402.pdf
  5. read this document in full, including FAQ’s at the back
  6. be aware of the current reopening phase state – information about which Reopening Phase currently applies can be found at: https://covidresponse.research.uiowa.edu/news

IIBI-specific guidelines

What tasks need to be done before returning to IIBI:

  1. ICON course: All occupants of CCOM research buildings will be required to take an orientation class on ICON. This will brief researchers on use of PPE, use of surface cleaning and hand hygiene. It will cover the density of labs and how to clean shared instrumentation. It will also include videos produced for University of Iowa Hospital & Clinics on social distancing and face shield care and use.
  2. Know where to obtain PPE: PPE is required in all common areas, and in shared lab and office space. You should already have received PPE or information on where and how to obtain PPE from your department. If you do not have access to PPE, please let Kim Glynn (4-1024, 563-886-4200 or Kimberly-a-glynn@uiowa.edu) know so appropriate arrangements can be made.

Coordinating Work and Office Schedules

  1. Density will be kept low by using non-overlapping hours to allow researchers access to spaces when others are not present. In general, its 1 office-1-person, 1 lab bay- 1 person. CCOM has made specific occupancy recommendations based on room size.
  2. Shared spaces: Maintain the stated maximum occupancy limitations. If your presence would exceed the allowed limit, please leave immediately and contact Kim Glynn with a request to properly schedule access for all users of the given space.
  3. Shifts per seats: If needed, work shifts would correspond to seats available. Users may select to work during specific shifts in consultation with Kim Glynn. In that case, periodic audits of door access will be done to ensure that users are adhering to the shift schedule.
  4. Working from home as much as possible: Personnel should balance the time in the laboratory when their duties physically require their presence. Data analysis, reading, and writing should be done from home whenever possible. Unfortunately, the laboratory or office at work is no longer a place to hang out.
  5. People only doing office work need to do that from home as much as possible. People, including principle investigators, should be in IIBI-PBDB areas primarily to conduct research activities that must be performed on premises.
  6. Keep office doors closed. Please keep office doors closed while occupied.

Cleaning work areas

  1. Desk Workspaces (Desks) – Personal workspaces and computers at those workspaces should be wiped down at the end of work session. Do not use someone else's workspace (desk or lab bench).
  2. Stationary Equipment/instruments – Commonly touched surfaces on equipment in use should be wiped down before and after each use. This includes valves, touch-screens, buttons, handles, etc.
  3. Shared Computer Equipment – If possible, refrain from using shared computers. Shared computer equipment should be wiped down after each use.

Access Requests

  1. Access to IIBI: Access will be restricted to those who have physical office space and/or active protocols in IIBI. IIBI badge access of all others will be removed.
  2. New access requests: Those requiring access to IIBI must submit an Access Request Form found as a UI workflow. IIBI administrative and PI/supervisor approval will be required on all requests. IIBI access reports will be routinely audited to ensure only those with current space and protocol needs have access to IIBI.

Zoom meetings

  1. Zoom vs. in-person meetings: Zoom meetings should replace in-person meetings. In-person meetings should not be held in IIBI offices. The CCOM guidelines are 1-office/1-person.

IIBI Conference Rooms

  1. Available for Zoom meetings only: Due to social distancing requirements and room size constraints, IIBI conference rooms will not be available for in-person meetings until further notice. L438-PBDB may be reserved for single person participation in Zoom meetings. Please contact Kim Glynn (Kimberly-a-glynn@uiowa.edu) to reserve.

Shared Break Room

  1. Shared Break Room: The shared break room should be used only to store your food and/or heat up your own food. Please do not share food. If you choose to share food, it should be pre-packaged.
  2. IIBI microwave: IIBI personnel will be assigned one microwave (located on the back counter) for their use. Please disinfect handle and surfaces after use.
  3. IIBI refrigerator: Please keep refrigerator clean. Please disinfect handle after use.
  4. Dishes: Please wash your own dishes. Do not leave your dirty dishes in the sink.
  5. Disposable tableware: The use of disposable tableware is preferred.

General Guidelines

Space Density:

In order to maintain appropriate social distance, please keep density low and use non-overlapping hours to allow researchers access to spaces when others are not present. All efforts should be made to minimize physical presence in IIBI. If you are able to work remotely, please do so. CCOM has given us specific recommendations based on room size for how many people will be allowed for simultaneous occupancy. In general, it's 1 office = 1-person, 1 lab bay = 1 person.

Please follow this link for a map of PBDB lower level. PBDB (see pg. 7 of the linked document, note that each room-specific circle corresponds to one person allowed to occupy the space)

Infection Prevention Guidance:

This guidance is focused on work in research laboratories in all College of Medicine research buildings including labs and office spaces. It also pertains to infection prevention in break rooms, restrooms, and common spaces in these buildings, including Java House in Pappajohn Biomedical Discovery Building.

  1. Prevent Presenteeism: It is unacceptable for anyone to come to work or to remain at work if they have new or worsening symptoms of an infectious disease. In particular, during this outbreak, all personnel must monitor themselves for symptoms of COVID-19, which may include:
    • Fever (temperature >=37.8 degrees C (100.0 degrees F)
    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
    • Sore throat
    • Loss of taste or smell

    Or at least two of these symptoms:
    • Headache
    • Unexplained muscle pain or body aches
    • Chills

  2. If an individual becomes ill while on campus, they should share that information with their supervisor or mentor, leave the facility immediately, and contact their health care provider. Employees are also asked to contact the University Employee Health Clinic at 319-356-3631 and adhere to guidance: https://coronavirus.uiowa.edu/sites/coronavirus.uiowa.edu/files/2020-04/COVID19_Self_Reporting_Diagnosis_20200402.pdf
    1. Self-Isolation: All personnel should follow current rules of self-isolation as described by the Iowa Department of Public Health. As of April 28, 2020, individuals who live with someone who has symptoms of COVID-19 or who has tested positive for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home for 14 days after the last exposure* (https://idph.iowa.gov/Portals/1/userfiles/7/3_18_20%20Self%20Isolation%20Guidance%20for%20Iowans.pdf). Individuals who have COVID-19 or a positive test for COVID-19 should self-isolate at home until there has been at least 10 days since the onset of symptoms, at least 72 hours with no fever without the use of fever-reducing medicines, and at least 72 hours after symptoms substantially improve.
    2. Prepare for increased rates of absenteeism: Personnel need to stay at home if they have symptoms potentially related to COVID-19 or if a family member or housemate is have symptoms potentially related to COVID-19; their period of absence could be 14 days or longer. This will result increased rates of absent personnel, whether through illness or other needs like child care. Research projects should be planned to accommodate for unexpected prolonged absences of key individuals. For guidance on appropriate leave codes and procedures, departments should work with their departmental human resources representative.

  3. Those of us most at risk:
    1. High risk personnel: Personnel who are older than 65-years-old or who have underlying medical conditions that put them at high risk for developing severe disease from COVID-19 should discuss their laboratory duties with their supervisor or mentor. Whenever possible, adjustments to their duties should be made to further decrease risk of transmission of SARS-CoV-2.This includes people with: moderate to severe asthma, chronic lung disease, diabetes, severe heart disease, chronic kidney disease that is treated with dialysis, severe obesity, chronic liver disease, or people who are immunocompromised.
    2. Contact your supervisor, HR, or the Office of Research about making accommodations if you or someone you live with are a high-risk person.

  4. Building entry and exit:
    1. Cleaning stations will be available at entrances to sanitize hands and face shields. They are also there for people to don their face shield before further entry into the building.
    2. All doors will be available for exit. Entrances will be equipped with cleaning stations for face shields and hands. Some doors can be opened without touching the door handle. Entries will be locked as is the current status. It is important that nobody enters while piggy-backing others. Every individual should badge into the building.
    3. We will set up a scanning system to track entry and exits through these doors. This will help keep track of people if issues of safety come up.

  5. Social distancing / behavior modifications:
    Measures must be taken to ensure adequate social distancing in all areas.
    1. Labs must be sparse with a minimum of 6 feet separation between workstations. People should not be facing one another unless wearing PPE or observing a distance greater than 10 feet.
    2. Distancing: Organize lab workstations / bench areas so that there is at least 6 feet between individual work areas. Avoid having individual work areas in areas of high traffic or frequently used shared equipment. Each PI will receive guidance as to the maximum number of people allowed in a workplace at any one time under this first phase.
    3. Shared equipment / shared work areas such as chemical storage, media preparation, etc.: Brief interactions such as passing within 6 feet of another person while walking to or from shared areas or stopping briefly within another’s space to obtain supplies do not create a high-risk opportunity for transmission of COVID-19. Wearing face shields while working in the laboratory will help decrease this risk. If a person must work within 6 feet of another person’s workstation for 5 minutes or longer, those personnel should coordinate their efforts to maintain the 6-foot social distance.
    4. Establish a communication/coordination system within each laboratory to allow personnel to coordinate schedules, schedule times for use of shared spaces and equipment, etc. to minimize laboratory crowding / overlapping needs for shared spaces and equipment. Lab personnel must stagger the timing of their work to minimize laboratory crowding.

  6. PPE:
    1. Face shields: All personnel must wear face shields in common space (e.g. corridors, restrooms) and whenever possible when working in the laboratory. The exception is in large open sparsely populated areas while having food. Face shields are available at the Biomedical Research Store (EMRB). Your ID badge will be scanned when you pick up your face shield.
    2. Cloth masks: The CDC recommends “wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.” Most research laboratories have some areas in which social distancing will be difficult to maintain. Personnel should know that face shields are as good or better at prevention of SARS-CoV-2 transmission. While there is ongoing transmission in our community, lab personnel may choose to wear a cloth face covering (mask) under their face shield unless their duties require them to use a medical-grade mask as PPE. If they choose to wear a surgical type mask, one will be provided to them and will be made available where face shields are distributed. People may opt for this extra protection.
    3. If particular laboratory duties would have required use of PPE before the outbreak (such as a mask to weigh chemicals, gloves for protection from corrosive solutions), PPE must still be used. If an item of PPE is required for the task at hand, use the most protective form of PPE that is appropriate (e.g. face shield when normally safety glasses would have sufficed). A cloth mask is not adequate PPE for laboratory safety when normally a medical grade disposable isolation mask is required.
    4. Breakrooms and other areas used for eating and drinking that require personnel to remove their face shield must have limitations on the number of people in the room at once. There MUST be at least six feet of space between individuals who are eating/drinking in common spaces.

  7. Cleaning:
    1. Frequent and thorough handwashing is strongly encouraged: All personnel should have access to handwashing sinks and alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Because of shortages of commercially available hand sanitizer, it is acceptable to use locally prepared hand sanitizer. Personnel should be aware that frequent hand-washing and hand-sanitizing can cause skin dryness, irritation, and cracking. Application of hand lotion can help keep skin healthy and safe. If personnel choose to bring hand lotion to work, it should not be shared with others.
    2. Hand sanitizer will be available throughout the buildings. We encourage all personnel to have their own bottle. Sanitizing stations will be located at select entrances/exits of the building. A hand-sanitizer refilling station will be outside the biochemistry stores (4th floor BSB) to refill containers. We have limited containers available for use in public spaces. Researchers may bring in <8oz plastic containers (e.g. empty, washed shampoo bottles) to fill to have on hand for personal use.
    3. Public spaces have been configured for use while maintaining social distancing. Supplies to clean tables before and after use are provided.
    4. High touch surfaces: Increase frequency of cleaning and disinfecting high touch surfaces, including restrooms, sink faucet handles, doorknobs, light switches, community spaces and breakrooms.
    5. Shared equipment: High touch surfaces on laboratory equipment such as refrigerator handles, on/off switches, touch screens, etc., should be cleaned frequently by laboratory personnel. For scientific equipment, check manufacturer’s recommendations to be sure that the cleaners being used are compatible with the equipment surfaces. Wash your hands after using shared equipment. Some instruments used frequently by many researchers such as those in core facilities or common equipment rooms should be cleaned before and after use or used with fresh gloves. A face shield is recommended as a reminder to not touch you face after touching surfaces/instruments within these spaces.
    6. Disinfectants: Whenever possible, surfaces and equipment should be cleaned with an agent that is a disinfectant active against emerging viral pathogens (https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2). Biochemistry Stores has 95% ethanol available for about $11.00/gal. We advise diluting that to 90%.

  8. Core facility operations:
    Core facilities will need to review expected usage as research is re-started. Facilities will need to follow these guidelines and thus may need to adjust workstation locations, limit the number of people in the facility, change cleaning schedules, etc.
    1. Do not overburden the cores. Core facilities will be adhering to the rules for social distancing and surface cleaning as well. This means they too will be operating at reduced capacity. The status of each core and their services will be posted online as that information becomes available.
    2. Cores will have procedures to receive samples while minimizing contact with users. Refer to information posted here on how to submit samples and to ensure they are clean before submission
    3. Entry into core facilities is discouraged unless previously arranged and scheduled. Researchers should practice hand hygiene before entering any core facility. Hand sanitizer will be available at the entrance to the facility. Gloves must be used with shared instruments in cores.
    4. For those with animal research, the OAR will be ramping up slowly. There will be a bolus of demand nationally for new animals to rebuild colonies. There will also be a variety of issues in OAR that may limit when particular experiments can be done. Check their website for the latest information on animal wait times and how to schedule your new animal experiments.

  9. Custodial, purchasing, and delivery services:
    1. As we ramp-up, package delivery services to individual research spaces may be overburdened. Please consider ordering through Biochem Stores (BSB) or the Biomedical Research Store (EMRB). We are able to secure better discounts with bulk orders, shipping is less expensive and the packages can be easily and safely picked up when you are here and ready.
    2. Do not be overambitious about ordering. It is unlikely that ordering more can make up for lost time. Please order only what you need. The purchasing department and delivery system may overwhelmed.

  10. Public spaces (break rooms, eating, drinking, and the Java House):
    1. Face shields must be worn at all times in public spaces, hallways, and areas of congregation of where people are encountered.
    2. Crowding: Breakrooms and other areas used for eating and drinking that require personnel to remove their face shield will have limitations on the number of people in the room at once. There MUST be at least six feet of space between individuals who are eating/drinking in common spaces. Furniture has been removed from many public spaces to facilitate social distancing. Please do not move chairs or tables closer.
    3. Guides: Community areas where people tend to congregate in lines, such as the Java House, Biochemistry Stores, Biomedical Stores, will have guides in place on the floor or walls at 6-foot intervals to help personnel establish adequate social distance.
    4. Food Sharing: There are potential health risks with communal food sharing, and it is strongly discouraged at this time. Staff may bring in food to share only if it is individually pre-packaged. Food should not be consumed in areas other than designated break rooms. Utensils should not be shared. Do not attempt to drink coffee while wearing a face shield.

  11. Resolving workflow questions and disputes:
    We understand that there may be several issues and discrepancies that will be encountered as we move forward. This may relate to specific tasks assigned to lab personnel, scheduling difficulty, apprehension about coming to work or working around others. There may also be problems that we have not anticipated. We encourage principal investigators to be active in addressing these concerns. We also encourage all personnel to contact the Office of Research if these issues are not easily addressed (ccom-rampup@healthcare.uiowa.edu).

  12. Making your own research operation plan:
    1. We conduct research in office space, wet lab space, and/or clinical space. Each of those spaces may have different configurations and functions that have their own specific requirements to adhere to the overall guidelines of hygiene and social distancing. Each research group needs to develop their own plan for adhering to the guidelines provided here.
    2. There needs to be a gradual return of research activities. Given the many unprecedented issues we are facing during the SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, it is impossible to anticipate all situations related to ramping up research activities. Furthermore, while virus is still circulating in the community, a key step in infection prevention is to minimize crowding. Therefore, each research group is asked to prioritize research projects so that research activities are re-started gradually. We recommend that each lab start up approximately 1/3rd of their normal activity at this time. Research projects should be planned to accommodate for unexpected prolonged absences of key individuals.
    3. Keep density low and use non-overlapping hours to allow researchers access to spaces when others are not present. In general, its 1 office-1-person, 1 lab bay- 1 person. We will make specific recommendations to each lab for how many people they should target for simultaneous occupancy. These recommendations are based on bench arrangements and room size.
    4. Establish a communication/coordination system within your group to allow personnel to coordinate schedules, schedule times for use of shared spaces and equipment, etc. to minimize laboratory crowding / overlapping needs for shared spaces and equipment. For open-format labs in which multiple labs share laboratory space and equipment, there must be a communication system that spans all the laboratories in the shared area. In these situations, a floor manager may be designated to help coordinate and schedule activities. A group text, electronic sign-up sheet on google docs, or a slack channel are potential ways to do this. Be sure to include the other groups if their people are near yours. Consider a 7 day/week schedule. For safety, please aim for work time between the hours of 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.
    5. There is the distinct possibility of future limitations on research: If significant person to person transmission occurs in the research facilities or if there are other unanticipated changes related to the COVID-19 outbreak, research may be limited again in the future and may be limited suddenly. Experiments and work assignments should be made with this in mind.
    6. Working from home as much as possible: Personnel should balance the time in the laboratory when their duties physically require their presence. Data analysis, reading, and writing should be done from home whenever possible. Unfortunately, the laboratory or office at work is no longer a place to hang out.
    7. People only doing office work need to do that from home as much as possible. People, including principle investigators, should be here primarily to conduct research activities that must be performed on premises.
    8. Avoid shared use of computers, phones, desks, etc. When shared use is unavoidable, personnel should disinfect the item prior to use. Have a plan to routinely disinfect high-touch areas as well as instruments with multiple users. Refrain from using phones in the laboratory or calling on others to answer those phones.
    9. Working alone exposes potential safety issues. Lab personnel are encouraged to notify others when they are performing a potentially dangerous task (e.g. working with corrosive chemicals). Use email, text, or other modes to notify others when you begin and end these tasks. When working very early in the morning or late at night, notify others when you begin work and when you have left the building safely. Researchers might opt for a ‘lab buddy’ system to mutually look out for each other’s safety. We have now established an automated self check-in system into the buildings that will send updates to a designated person and keep track of when you have logged out of the building safely. This system is activated by scanning a QR code posted at entrances.
    10. Benchtops – All benchtops should be cleaned and wiped down with an appropriate disinfectant immediately after each use. Keep benches clear so that this can be done efficiently.
    11. Desk Workspaces (Desks) – Personal workspaces and computers at those workspaces should be wiped down at the end of work session. Do not use someone else's workspace (desk or lab bench).
    12. Stationary Equipment/instruments – Commonly touched surfaces on equipment in use should be wiped down before and after each use. This includes valves, touch-screens, buttons, handles, etc.
    13. Shared Computer Equipment – If possible. refrain from using shared computers. Shared computer equipment should be wiped down after each use.
    14. Dishes – Clean your dishes. No dishes should be left for someone else to clean.
    15. Undergraduate students and visitors should not be used to help ramp-up research activities, except in extraordinary circumstances that will require prior approval.
    16. Balance work priorities with constraints or personnel.
    17. Consider the well-being of young trainees and staff who live alone in small apartments and might benefit greatly from the ability to come to work.
    18. Consider the urgency of the work: students or postdocs should be given high priority if they need to complete experiments to meet a thesis deadline, a paper submission, or a grant submission.
    19. Eating on campus will be challenging because of diminished availability of public spaces and places to buy food. The hospital cafeteria is open. Sparse tables in public spaces are available. Do not eat in the lab.

  13. Research with human subjects:
    Human subjects research must continue to follow the principle of preserving the safety of the subject. As UI Hospitals & Clinics and other health care systems begin to resume non-essential health care activities, human subjects research may be allowed to resume. For studies at off campus facilities, the study teams must adhere to the policies and other guidelines in place at those facilities and remain compliant with all public health directives.

Guiding principles for human subjects research

  1. Health and safety of research participants and study teams remains the priority
  2. Research study visits should continue to occur remotely whenever possible
  3. All UI, UIHC and state/local public health guidelines must be followed
  4. PPE must be available for a study before work begins
  5. COVID-19 research will continue to be prioritized, but care must be taken not to overburden subjects.
  6. Health care systems, schools, and other off-campus agencies/facilities will be ramping up as well and must not be overburdened with research requests. The study teams must work closely with these entities to ensure that the research teams abide by all policies in place at each facility.
  7. Virtual consenting and monitoring processes should be followed whenever possible. The Institute for Clinical and Translational Science is developing systems to escalate remote monitoring. More information is forthcoming.

Most guidance for Guidance for research related visits issued March 15 remains in effect. See OVPR COVID-19 Information for Researchers webpage for complete information.

  1. Participant research visits must be performed remotely (e.g., by phone, Zoom, or other means) whenever possible.
  2. Research visits that cannot be performed remotely and are not essential to a participant’s health and/or well-being will be postponed until further notice.
  3. Research visits that cannot be performed remotely and are essential to a participant’s health and/or well-being may be performed in person, following all relevant guidance.

However, restart of some clinical research is now allowed under Phase I.

  1. As UI Hospitals & Clinics and other health care systems resume some non-essential health care activities, study visits coincident with clinical care may be allowed to resume.
    • Study teams must work with the health care system or clinic on appropriate scheduling. Patience will be required to not overburden clinics and other units.
    • Study subjects may be uncomfortable returning to the health care setting. Study team members must be respectful of their concerns and may need to modify study visit activities with input from the subject, sponsor and IRB.
    • Patients may be uncomfortable returning to the health care setting. If that occurs, study team members must be respectful and should be prepared to modify study visit activities with input from the subject, sponsor, and Institutional Review Board.

  2. Most participant research visits will continue to be performed remotely (e.g., by phone, Zoom, or other means)

    No face to face research visits will occur outside of regular standard of care medical visits. If patients are already in hospitals and clinics for routine medical care, they can participate in clinical research studies. They can go to a separate room within UIHC or other clinical spaces (IRL) to complete activities. Under phase I, however, extra visits by research subjects that are happening outside of routine standard of care visits are restricted. https://research.uiowa.edu/impact/news/limited-clinical-human-subjects-research-may-resume-may-11

Phase II:

Phase II includes the following:

  1. Non-essential research visits may resume, following UI and UI Hospitals & Clinics guidance.
  2. On campus research visits resume outside of clinical settings. All UI safety policies and safety guidance must be followed.
  3. Research occurring in schools, long term care facilities, and other off-campus locations may resume.
  4. Study teams must work with each participating agency to develop a study plan that incorporates updated safety and operational requirements. For previously approved studies, the teams may be required to update operational plans.

FAQ:

Q: What can I do if I need to work closely with someone learning a new instrument or doing a procedure together that brings me within 6 ft of them for an extended period of time.
A: Both of you should wear your faceshields and clean your hands before and after that session. You may also opt for additional protection with a 3-ply surgical facemask.

Q: Can staff gather in break rooms and other places to eat and relax?
A: Break rooms and conference rooms are small, and only a limited number of people should be there. Err on the cautious side and stay >>6ft apart. Clean surfaces before and after use. Do not use these spaces for group meetings.

Q: I left my faceshield in my office or lab, can I wear a facemask while I walk directly to that area to put it on.
A: Yes, facemasks are available at Biomed stores (EMRB). Carry one with you for just such occasions.

Q: Are "public spaces" that require the wearing of face shields referring to indoor public spaces, and not to outdoor, open-air spaces on the medical campus?
A: You don't have to wear your face shield outside unless you are very close to other people.

Q: I am afraid of touching anything. Doors, sink handles, all of that. Should we be cleaning these all the time? How do I get out of the bathroom?
A: Everyone's individual research space should have its surfaces cleaned regularly. High touch areas should have special attention, but everything cannot be cleaned all the time. People that have symptoms of COVID-19 are not to be here. If you touch a surface you think is questionable, the key thing is not to touch your face. Wearing your faceshield and washing your hands or using hand sanitizer when you reach your destination is the recommendation.

Q: Can undergraduate workers return to the labs?
A: As of June 1st, undergraduate biweekly employees are permitted to return to CCOM labs with restrictions. An undergraduate employee:

  • Must be identified in your research ramp up plan and go towards your final count of researchers in your group.
  • Should be an essential part of your research efforts.
  • Should contribute a specific skill set to your research effort, preferably based on previous experience with your lab.
  • Must not be primarily engaged in training and educational experiences.
  • Must adhere to all the guidelines put forth by our office, including taking the ICON course and wearing face shields in public spaces always or in research spaces where social distancing may be momentarily compromised.

Cursory laboratory experiences for undergraduates or high school students will NOT be approved.

Q: Is it ok to invite a visitor to campus?
A: Visitors, including minors, are not allowed at this time. This does not include faculty recruits, service technicians or contractors.

Q: What about animal research?
A: The Office of Animal Resources has Phase I guidelines available online.

Q: Where do I find cleaning and sanitizing supplies for the lab/office? Can I buy those with my pcard?
A: No. Due to national shortages, the University has established a supply chain for low-stock items and prohibited purchases on pcards, eBuy or PReq. See below for where to find commonly needed supplies.

  • Face shields and face masks: Biomedical Research Store in 238 EMRB (For non-patient care staff)
  • N95, N95 NOISH, KN95, surgical or isolation masks: Must be ordered through the University via https://veoci.com/veoci/p/w/zfdrucs3986k?c=123041.
  • Cloth face masks: We have a limited supply in L191 MERF
  • Gloves: Biochemistry Stores on 4th Floor BSB
  • EtOH: Biochemistry Stores on 4th Floor BSB
  • Hand Sanitizer: CCOM labs and building occupants can refill existing bottles at the Biochemistry Stores in BSB at no charge. We are not able to provide bottles for labs.
  • Disinfectant/cleaning wipes: Must be ordered through the University via https://veoci.com/veoci/p/w/zfdrucs3986k?c=123041.

*Self-Isolation rules are different for health care providers. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/mitigating-staff-shortages.html

References:

Iowa COVID-19 information: https://coronavirus.iowa.gov/

CDC COVID-19 information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

OSHA Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19 https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA3990.pdf

CDC Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/reopen-guidance.html

EPA List N: Disinfectants for Use Against SARS-CoV-2: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2


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