Department members can report anonymous concerns about safety (including mask wearing, unsafe working conditions, etc.) here.
The recent COVID-19 global pandemic is calling on researchers everywhere to rethink how research is conducted. As UCI moves into the next phase of its response the Department of Chemistry will be reviewing plans to safety restart laboratory research. The campus is currently moving into stage two of reopening, during this stage the focus is on transitioning those who are unable to conduct research away from campus back to campus in a controlled manner. If researchers are able to continue to work remotely, they must continue to do so for the time being in order to minimize traffic in the buildings.
UCI and the Department of Chemistry are committed to continuing research while maintaining a safe environment for faculty, staff and students to work. Extensive planning has taken place to ensure measures are taken for a safe return to campus. Returning to work on campus is voluntary. Those that do not feel comfortable returning to campus at this time may seek alternate work accommodations from their faculty mentor and/or the department. Every effort will be made to find alternate accommodations so research progress can continue to be made. For those who wish to resume research on campus, commitment to safety protocols is required. Detailed safety plans are to be submitted by each research group and include an individual commitment from every person returning to campus.
Components of Phase 2 return to research plan
- Total number of researchers in lab and plans for how work will be staggered to allow for approximately 30% of personnel on campus at any given time
- Diagram of research space with spatial dimensions, with clear markers for spatial separation
- SOP for sanitizing and rules for wearing proper personal protective equipment (PPE)
- Agreement to abide by the School of Physical Sciences safety protocol
Please fill out form: PI Phase 2 COVID-19 Research Plan
Review process, standards, and accountability
Plans will be reviewed in the order received. Labs need to wait for final approval before moving forward with any restarting plans. We understand that time is of the essence and will turn requests around as quickly as possible.
It is incumbent upon all department members to maintain the highest safety standards and follow all the protocols as approved. Anyone feeling unwell should stay home and report their symptoms to their supervisor. Hand washing, mask wearing, and physical distancing must be adhered to at all times on campus. Permission to conduct research during this time is a privilege that can be revoked by the school or campus. As a community we must be vigilant in upholding these standards so we may continue to conduct research during this time.
Process for reporting suspected and confirmed COVID cases
The UCI campus has a COVID-19 infection protocol described here (https://hr.uci.edu/disaster-relief/report-known-cases.php). This protocol does not provide guidance relating to the operation of shared spaces of laboratories and offices occupied by research personnel. The following is the approved procedure to be followed in such instances:
Days 0 and 1:
- Symptomatic coworker (SC) reports symptoms to supervisor/principle investigator.
- SC goes home, monitors symptoms, seeks medical attention if appropriate.
- Everyone else working in the same lab goes home; laboratory is closed.*
- SC reports symptoms to Human Resources using the online form (https://uci.edu/coronavirus/).
- SC seeks and receives a COVID-19 test which is available at Student Health, Gottschalk Medical Plaza, or another medical provider.
(Assuming test results are made available to Supervisor/PI)**
If this test is Negative:
- Day 2: Lab Reopens.*
- SC stays home until authorized by UCI Occupational and Environmental Health (COEH).
If this test is Positive:
- All laboratory personnel are officially in quarantine. Quarantine is maintained 14 days, until Day 15.
- Days 3 - 14, EH&S sanitizes laboratory spaces, & shared equipment.
- Day 15: Lab Reopens.*
*Plans for each lab's shutdown are detailed in the Phase 2 Reopening
Plans filed by each individual laboratory and approved by SoPS.
**Coworkers are not obligated to share the outcome of tests with supervisor and PI's.
The campus is providing washable cloth face coverings and cleaning supplies for your lab (sanitizer, disinfectant, paper towels) for all employees/labs approved to return to work on campus. There is a central distribution through PS Stores (FRH B003) for Physical Sciences, please contact Jay Aranton (firstname.lastname@example.org or x5889) to arrange pick-up.
The Chemistry Department has a limited supply of disposable masks, IPA, and nitrile gloves. Please complete this Supplies Request Form to request deliveries as needed. Contactless deliveries will be made to labs as soon as possible.
Floor plans can be accessed here.
Please refer to the UCI webpage: Returning to Campus: What's Next
Chemistry shared facility Coronavirus mitigation plans:
- Laser Facility User Guidelines
- Mass Spectrometry Facility User Guidelines
- NMR Facility User Guidelines
- X-Ray Crystallography User Guidelines
School of Physical Sciences COVID-19 resources: https://ps.uci.edu/covid19-resources-policies-news
UCI Office of Research Guidelines on Research Ramp-up
Orange County Department of Health Order and Strong Recommendations dated 5/23/20
- Face Covering Guidelines (revised 6/24/20)
- Learning Resources and Posters
- Checklist for Phase Two Research Activities
- Working Alone Safely Reference Guide
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