For the most up to date UCI coronavirus resources, please go here: https://uci.edu/coronavirus/

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.

Guiding principles

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 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

Submission guidelines

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.

Positive COVID-19 diagnosis protocol 

In the event of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis by any School of Physical Sciences faculty, staff or student, the following protocol should be followed:

Role of the employee (faculty, researcher, staff, student):

  1. Do not return to work.
  2. Notify your supervisor.
  3. Seek medical care - by contacting your personal health provider.  Contact your health provider for further direction about your own personal health care:  Testing is as directed by a Primary Care physician.  If obtaining testing is a challenge or issue, consult with HR for further direction. The Employee Experience Center is the appropriate resource - and can be reached at eec.hr.uci.edu or at the UCI Coronavirus Response Center (949) 824-9918  COVID19@uci.edu

Role of the Supervisor/PI:

  1. Report the illness to HR:https://new.hr.uci.edu/form-report-new-coronavirus-cases/*  This will trigger further instructions that will vary depending on each case.
  2. Contact your health provider for further direction about your own personal health care:  Testing is as directed by a Primary Care physician.  If obtaining testing is a challenge or issue, consult with HR for further direction. The Employee Experience Center is the appropriate resource - and can be reached at eec.hr.uci.edu or at the UCI Coronavirus Response Center (949) 824-9918  COVID19@uci.edu
  3. Notify your Department personnel analyst and School (Ms. Kerry Kick - kskick@uci.edu).  Do not share the individual’s name with anyone in your department other than HR. The employee’s illness is a confidential medical record in compliance with federal and state regulations.
  4. Consult with the Department/School/Campus regarding further action:  Each situation is unique.  Campus offices will be contacted via the reporting form in #1.  EH&S coordinates cleaning, if needed, and will be contacted directly via the reporting form.  The PI can send people home to telecommute until further instructions are available.

*Do not attempt to carry out contact tracing.  Contact tracing will be coordinated by HR.

Resources

The campus will be 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 will be a central distribution through PS Stores for Physical Sciences beginning 6/8/20 and continuing until further notice. Please schedule a time for pick-up and enter the information for your group at:  https://geissbuhler.youcanbook.me/.  To ensure everyone gets 3 face coverings, please enter only the number of those returning to work now (not for later this summer) and do not include staff that already have them.  Only one person should pick up the face coverings and cleaning supplies for the group and please practice physical distancing. To reduce the number of people in PS Stores, the pick-ups will be per lab and by appointment only.  

The Department has an initial supply of disposable face masks, gloves, and isopropanol alcohol that was distributed to labs in advance of resuming research on campus. We also have a limited supply of thermometers for any students that do not have one, please email cadennis@uci.edu for any of these supplies.

Floor plans can be accessed here.

Please refer to the UCI webpage: Returning to Campus: What's Next

Chemistry shared facility Coronavirus mitigation plans:

UCI Office of Research Guidelines on Research Ramp-up 

Orange County Department of Health Order and Strong Recommendations dated 5/23/20 

EH&S resources:

Please send any questions or suggestions about the content of this page to cadennis@uci.edu.