As the University expands its capacity for people to resume working in buildings, the FPC will be allowing external clients and its NIC partners to resume operations as close to normal as possible. There are some exceptions, and the FPC staff will approve each visitor/client to ensure compliance with evolving policies. We encourage our staff and faculty to re-engage in their service and research activity as we follow UNL recommendations.
• Each NIC partner will receive a copy of this document and share it with their teams.
• NIC Partners will need to coordinate their presence with the appropriate FPC contact (Russell Parde for all pilot plant activity, Julie Reiling for all product development, sensory or other first floor labs, and the lab PI for her/his lab). These FPC contacts may offer alternative dates/times to minimize congestion of people and ensure spatial guidelines may be followed.
• Non-partner clients will be allowed to visit during testing as approved by the FPC faculty/staff liaison for the project.
• All partners and clients are asked to keep their traveling party as small as possible, and we can accommodate remote participation using video and/or live-stream meetings and other tools to communicate during testing
Key Summary of the guidelines:
• Well-check: Do Not come to the FIC if you are not feeling well or if you have any Covid19 symptoms. Partners/Clients should contact their FPC liaison immediately if they develop any symptoms during or after being on-site.
• Face: wear a face covering in all common areas and in rooms occupied by more than one person.
• Space: keep 6 feet of space between yourself and colleagues. If close quarters are needed for a task, minimize the time (less than 15 minutes) you are in close proximity and take frequent breaks.
• Hand-washing: wash hands more frequently than normal and use hand sanitizer if in contact with shared used equipment and tools.
• Courtesy: all of these changes add stress, frustration, and occasional annoyance to our routines, so remember to treat each person kindly and generously.
Guidelines for Opening UNL Research and Creative Activity Spaces on June 1, 2020
Guiding Principles for Reopening UNL Research and Creative Activity Spaces:
• Building access: Starting June 1, access to research and creative activity buildings will no longer be limited to designated individuals, and a letter authorizing campus access will no longer be required. However, we will continue to encourage employees to work remotely if possible.
• Expectations: All research and creative activity spaces (including those spaces that were open during the period of reduced operations) are expected to meet the requirements outlined in this plan. o Faculty are responsible for implementing the on-site work requirements for research and creative spaces described below.
• Health and safety: Protection of the emotional and physical health and safety of the faculty, students and staff is a priority as research and creative activities resume. Protection of the health and safety of human research subjects when those activities resume also is paramount.
• PPE: Under no circumstances should safety be sacrificed due to the lack of adequate supplies, such as the type and quantity of personal protective equipment. Plan in advance for PPE supply chain issues when reopening research and creative activity spaces.
• Work remotely: Faculty, staff, and students are encouraged to work remotely as much as possible. Computer-based work such as data analysis and manuscript and grant writing should be conducted remotely to minimize the number of people in research and creative activity buildings at any one time.
• Groups: Faculty, staff and students must adhere to the local guidelines. Local public health guidance in Lincoln continues to limit any gathering to groups of 10 or fewer. This is enforceable. Other university sites in Nebraska must follow local health guidelines for maximum group sizes.
• Visitors to campus: Outside visitors/collaborators/contractors/vendors should continue to be limited to essential activity and these individuals must follow the on-site work requirements listed below (including daily self-screening for symptoms, universal masking, and physical distancing). The host is responsible for ensuring that on-site work requirements are followed.
• Travel: Travel restrictions remain in place, including no international or out-of-state domestic travel for research. Faculty, staff, and students returning from personal travel may be required to self-quarantine for 14 days before coming to campus.
• Updates: For current information, visit research.unl.edu/covid-19 .
On-Site Work Requirements for Research and Creative Spaces:
• Approval: Re-initiation of on-site research and creative activities requires approval by your department head/chair or director, dean/associate dean, and the vice chancellor for research and economic development. Use the template in Appendix A to obtain approval.
• Training: All faculty, trainees and staff should complete the training on COVID-19 Awareness – Campus Procedures and Self-Care
• Social Distancing: A 6-foot distance between individuals in all public spaces such as corridors, laboratories, break rooms/lunch rooms, common spaces, elevators, stairwells, etc. must be maintained. o Pay attention to occupancy to maintain a low density of people in all spaces at all times.
o Configure furnishings to enforce a 6-foot distance between individuals.
o Use an alternate work schedule or stagger work shifts to minimize the number of people on-site at one time while allowing maximum research activity.
o Laboratory coats are required for benchwork or work with animals.
o If specialized PPE is required by the nature of the research being conducted, it is the responsibility of the unit or laboratory director to provide the required equipment.
• Hygiene: Wash hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds to avoid spreading the virus to others. o If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains 60%-95% alcohol.
o Take care to avoid irritating or breaking down the skin. Avoid overuse of hand sanitizers when soap and water are available.
o Use barrier protection such as disposable gloves and/or paper towels to handle common touchpoints that may be sources of contamination to avoid the need to wash hands, particularly when soap and water are not available.
o Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. Wash your hands with soap and water immediately after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose.
• Cleaning/Disinfecting: All frequently touched objects and surfaces such as common equipment, benchtops, workstations, keyboards, telephones, faucet handles at laboratory sinks, light switches, and doorknobs should be disinfected at the end of each shift/workday.
• Meetings: In-person meetings are discouraged. Employees are encouraged to continue to use Zoom or other online platforms for meetings. If a meeting must be in person, it must be in a room that permits attendees to be at least 6-feet apart.
• Visitors: Children, family members, and or pets are NOT permitted in any research or creative activity building.
If you’ve been exposed to the Novel Coronavirus:
o If you believe you have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, contact the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department. A hotline has been established for self-reporting, guidance, and next steps.
o Call 402-441-8006 or visit the Health Department website.
If you feel sick:
o Contact your health provider or the Lincoln-Lancaster County Health Department Coronavirus Hotline: 402-441-8006. Some providers may be able to offer telemedicine; UNL faculty and staff may have access to Teladoc, for example. The University Health Center is now available to faculty and staff members as an acute care option.
o CHI Health has put a simple two-question diagnostic tool online; the State of Nebraska has initiated TestNebraska, a coronavirus testing program, for which you can register. You can also learn about COVID-19 and its symptoms from the Centers for Disease Control.
o During this period, members of the UNL community should be more cautious than usual. You should stay home if you have symptoms (coughing, fever, shortness of breath, chills, repeated shaking with chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell) or if you are otherwise feeling ill.
Common Areas and Shared Equipment (Break Rooms, Conference Rooms, Hallways, Lobbies, etc.)
• Meetings: In-person meetings are discouraged. Employees are encouraged to continue to use Zoom or other online platforms for meetings. If a meeting must be in person, it must be in a room that permits attendees to be at least 6 feet apart.
• Social distancing: A 6-foot distance between individuals in all public spaces such as corridors, laboratories, break rooms/lunch rooms, common spaces, elevators, stairwells, etc. must be maintained. o If corridors are too narrow to maintain a 6-foot distance between people, consider establishing one-way traffic patterns through the building and mark the floor with appropriate arrows or guidelines.
o Limit the number of people in an elevator at the same time to maintain a 6-foot distance between individuals.
• Cleaning/Disinfecting: Custodial Services will clean high-touch surfaces in common areas on a daily basis. o Faculty, trainees, and staff using these areas should bolster the efforts of the custodial team by cleaning surfaces and frequently touched objects (refrigerator door handles, microwaves, coffee makers, faucet handles, light switches, tabletops, countertops, etc.) in these areas after each use.
• Shared equipment: Unit leaders will be expected to follow CDC guidelines for shared use of equipment and facility resources. Specific cleaning guidelines and expectations should be placed in areas of shared instrumentation by the facility supervisor. This will be critically important when handling sensitive pieces of equipment where cleaning materials might cause damage.