UNT Research Reopen Plan

Post Crisis Startup Plan

Number 1 Goal: To keep the entire UNT family safe, while increasing research activity in a phased approach as safety becomes easier to maintain.

Guiding Principles

  • Principle #1: Follow the cognizant Local, State, and National Public Health Authority directives to shelter-at-home and implement social distancing

    Observation: Public Health (PH) authority directives have thus far become more restrictive over time (recommendations, urgent recommendations, identification of essential businesses and closures, identification of allowable activities like exercise, more restrictive social distancing directives such as closing of parks and beaches, recommendation/requirements of face coverings, etc.). We can expect that “loosening” will look similar in reverse.

  • Principle #2: Protect the health and safety, emotional as well as physical, of the UNT research workforce and of our human research subjects

    Observation: No UNT researcher should feel they are being compelled to work on campus or in the field during periods of shelter-at-home directives. Safety within laboratories includes an adequate access to protective supplies (e.g. gloves, face mask) and other safety-related supplies. Labs will be authorized for access as laboratory authorities and managers ensure adequate safety supplies are identified as available for lab staff.

    Observation: Limiting access is likely to persist for some time, as a vaccine is at least nine months away and likely longer. We are striving for individuals to have immunity (serological tests) or be free of the virus (SARS-Cov-2) that causes COVID-19 disease. Knowing such requires much more widespread testing, plus contact tracing! Meanwhile we will assemble the best possible approaches to maximizing safety as we return to research work.

    Observation: It may be challenging to ramp-up projects that are distributed over multiple sites or depend on international collaborations.

    Observation: Lifting of travel restrictions, such as international travel and limitations to essential travel only, is necessary before field research can continue, unless approved by the VPRI. This includes human-subject-related field research that must be conducted in person. UNT researchers need to stay abreast of the latest university-wide guidance regarding travel of all kinds.

    Observation: A number of UNT research projects have successfully and safely transitioned to being fully remote, requiring infrequent or no access to university spaces. Just because research can be conducted at home, we recognize that this may not be as productive or efficient for some researchers, due to the inevitable distractions.

    Observation: UNT Research administration is particularly aware of and concerned over caretaker obligations of faculty researchers during this time of remote research and when care-needing individuals are also restricted to homes.

    Observation: Undergraduate student researchers, including those part of departmental units, Honors College and TAMS programs, participate in research at UNT. The reengagement of these researchers to campus will be consistent with the re-opening of on-campus classes and under the guidance of the respective academic units.

     

  • Principle #3: Protect the careers of early stage UNT researchers

    Observation: Careers of early stage researchers could be impacted dramatically.

  • Principle #4: Protect the careers of our UNT graduate students

    Observation: Work on research degrees is essential for completion and graduation. All possible solutions need to be explored to help graduate students accomplish their degree work. Graduate researchers will be allowed to join researchers during Stage 2 of research under full social distancing requirements.

  • Principle #5: Face masks/coverings, gloves, and disinfectant materials

    Observation: Conducting research using social distancing measures and implementing CDC social distancing guidelines will require purchase of items such as face masks, gloves, and disinfectant supplies. UNT will either purchase or reimburse these materials so that research can be conducted using social distancing measures and keep the work-space clean and sanitized. Follow the COVID-19 Expense Tracking guidelines provided by the finance division.

    UNT Risk Management has acquired large amounts of durable face masks/coverings, gloves, and disinfectant materials and should be used as a primary source of these materials. Departmental units can request materials such as face masks, disinfectant for their unit by emailing AskRMS@unt.edu

    When protective materials are needed beyond what is available from Risk Management then:

    • If research is under a sponsored program funding, then that sponsored project should be billed for all protective materials acquired for the work

    • If the research is under institutional funding, then the supervising unit (i.e. academic department) must approve and cover 20% of the costs for protective materials.  The remaining 80% of costs will be carried by the VPRI office.

    For human subjects research, employee protections will be covered as per the above plan if approved. Participant protection must be covered by the sponsor or in the case of institutional funded projects, entirely by the supervising unit if approved.

    For all conditions: follow the COVID-19 Expense Tracking guidelines provided by the finance division. 

    Observation: There are a variety of cleaning materials and masks ranging from N95 respirator masks, surgical masks and cloth masks. All UNT researchers must be educated for the proper use of these supplies when used in the lab and in the field.

    The CDC has provided a recommendation for disinfectants to be used within the home and work setting against the virus that causes COVID-19 disease. https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/community/disinfecting-building-facility.html and on the use of face masks https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/cloth-face-cover-guidance.html#face-shields

    The effectiveness of limiting droplet-spread and the availability of these masks varies. The most protective masks (e.g. N95 respirator masks) are needed in hospital settings.

    In a non-hospital setting, surgical masks and cloth masks help to prevent the spreading of the virus, and serves as a reminder to not touch one’s face, and sends a social-distancing signal to others. Thus, these masks provide some level of protection. While wearing a face mask laboratory safety needs need to be considered (e.g. stay a safe distance from Bunsen Burner flames). At all times safety, must be a primary consideration.

Research Stage 1 - Monday May 4, 2020

Pre-operational Support Activities (PSA)

Trigger –Texas Government Re-Open Proclamation

Data on peak Texas deaths – https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/texas

Included Spaces

  • VPRI specifically approved spaces
  • Specific University Core Research Service Laboratories
  • Specific University Laboratory Stockrooms
  • Specific University Greenhouses
  • Specific Specialized Equipment Labs

Activities

  • We will devote a brief time period to pre-start all primary-support-function labs– that is, labs that heavily service other programs, including laboratories that function as core facilities in service of other major research efforts. These include fundamental laboratory stockrooms where inventory management and store preparation may facilitate the partial opening of normal research operations. The pre-startup is intended for all core service laboratories at the University, college and departmental level. This pre-lab support will allow those core facilities to start up laboratory equipment and prep it for a near-term restart of research operations.
  • Facility recommendation is to run water from sinks and discard old ice in ice makers so that it is fresh from chlorine residue.
  • The purchasing of research supplies can begin on May 4th.
  • Departmental units can request materials such as face masks, and disinfectant for their units by emailing AskRMS@unt.edu.

Required Conditions

  • Wear a face mask at all times while in shared labs/facilities. However, employees should be cautioned that wearing masks for extended periods can make breathing difficult for some users. Consider taking breaks and rotations within work areas.
  • Keep a minimum 6 feet (1.8m) distance between you and ANY colleague unless doing so creates a personal safety hazard.
  • And Keep a maximum of two (2) people per bench.
  • All research personnel must agree to monitor their temperature at their residence prior to coming to work; DO NOT come to campus with a temperature of 100.4°F (38°C) or above (no meds in past 24 hours) – Report illnesses to your supervisor. Temperature checks are the personal responsibility of the individual, should be done at residence prior to work, and not the responsibility of the supervisor/lab manager or the institution. Students can go to the student health center for access to temperature checks. COVID-19 CAREKit
  • Health information is confidential, and supervisors may not disclose any health information of direct reports to others.
  • UNT HR can provide supervisors guidelines and best practices in the event that a direct report is potentially or currently ill.
  • All principal investigators must formally assign a daily in-lab sanitation role which includes daily decontamination of lab-space procedures including the cleaning of all work benches, door handles & lock keypads, keyboards/mice/desks for shared equipment computers, telephones, printer, cameras, microscopes, control panels, etc.
  • Implement and maintain enhanced standard-laboratory-safety measures to assure safe operations in a reduced-staff environment. Principal Investigators must discuss enhanced safety with research staff at every lab meeting.
  • Implement a staff rotation that maintains restricted use of the facility to a limited number of persons at any given time.
  • Prohibit all external personnel (public) from entering the facility, except for delivery. No other UNT laboratory facilities or resources will be utilized. Movement within the building, outside of the designated laboratory space, is limited to ingress, egress, and restrooms.

Research Stage 4 - Date Undetermined

Research under Access to Vaccine

Trigger 1 – UNT implements an all-campus access to vaccinations for employees and students.

Included Spaces

  • All University Research Spaces, including all human subjects research.

Activities

  • This is intended for all research activities among tested individuals.

Required Social Distancing Conditions for all research spaces

  • None – we enter full normal research.

Special Topics

  • Special Topic #1: Long-term protective needs

    Protective equipment such as gloves and face masks are required for the normal safety, and typical operations of the laboratory shall always be a requirement of employment and safe operations. It is the responsibility of all laboratory authorities and laboratory managers to ensure proper equipment is always used. At all times during this crisis materials including face masks at a minimum, are a part of required personal equipment and must always be carried and worn as a part of normal dress for employment when interacting with other employees in laboratory or public places. Normal laboratory safety procedures that require specialized personal protection equipment will not be affected by the current crisis.

    Personal face masks can be either required as a condition of employment and therefore must be produced by the individual or provided by the research laboratory authority or manager as a part of employment. Under these conditions, in the FSDR of stage two, researchers will be required to have special VPRI permission for human subject research. Special planning will be required for those researchers involved in face-to-face research with human subjects. Under these conditions, researchers will be required to have on hand enough disposable gloves, masks and other needed materials to allow for a change of these materials after each subject. See guiding principle #5 above for reimbursement details.

  • Special Topic #2: Field research guidelines under social distancing

    UNT has many research activities involving field research. Much of the field research occurs within the state of Texas and is often within the surrounding areas. Thus, driving to locations is involved.

    There are sponsored projects that involve research that occurs within other states and/or international field site stations. In all cases, the travel guides/bans need to be followed including limitations on allowed travel based upon CDC Level of Concern.

    This guide is for faculty and researchers who conduct research on locations away from UNT campus. The faculty PI will use this guide to develop a research travel plan which will be reviewed by the office of the VPRI. Under Stage 2 and Stage 3 Research Re-open, every research trip will have a Research Travel Plan written and approved. Use the attached Field Research Request Form to communicate your plans. For additional information related to COVID-19, researchers can call the COVID Hotline number at 844-366-5892 or you may email COVID@unt.edu.

    Description of Research Units

    Pod (Longer term site visits) –

    A pod is a small group of 2-4 field researchers who travel, live, and work together in cases where social distancing cannot be maintained. No PPE is necessary when members of a pod are together. Contact with people outside the pod should be minimized and care taken to maintain social distance or wear PPE when engaged in essential activities such as shopping or travel. A Pod Communicator must be identified and correspond regularly with the principal investigator on health-related issues. Pods are only relevant to groups of researchers who are traveling, working, and living together. The pod concept is not relevant for groups of researchers who work together during work hours and then go home to separate locations with family members or house/roommates.

    Field team (Shorter term site visits) –

    A field team is a group that contains more than one pod and/or field researchers who commute to field sites while continuing to live with others outside the team. Members of a field team must maintain social distancing and use appropriate PPE.

    Procedures

    Travel:

    UNT travel policy will govern whether travel for research is possible. All international travel must be registered with UNT Risk Management.  All other travel must be documented in the plan and follow these guidelines.  Under Stage 2, all research-related travel requires prior approval from the office of the VPRI. Under Stage 3, all research-related travel requires prior approval from the department chair or unit leader.

    The proposed research travel must be deemed essential prior to incurring costs associated with the travel arrangement. Geographic location, changes in the open/closed policy of the destination, and changes in the intensity of the outbreak may require travel plans to be modified. Pre-approved plans for self-health monitoring, one week pre- and post-travel, will be required for overnight or out-of-state travel. The travel research plans should include self-health monitoring prior to the trip and potentially self-quarantine time at the end of the trip dependent upon the destination, mode of travel, and nature of the work. Note that medical records should not be made or shared.

    All international travel should be registered with UNT Risk Management.

    No person should be compelled to travel, and all travelers will be asked by supervisors to confirm that they are willing to travel and will adhere to all guidelines in accepted plans. If a person feels that they are being compelled and cannot address that with their supervisor, they should contact their chair or dean.

    Appropriate social distancing measures should be implemented at all sites in accordance with UNT research reopening guidelines.

    Vehicles:

    If possible, vehicular occupancy should be limited to one person. However, it is recognized that this is not always logistically or economically possible. Two persons maximum per vehicle may be allowed if both individuals wear facial covers. This policy applies to travel using a University vehicle or a personal vehicle. The only exceptions to this rule are researcher pods or researchers who live or have self-quarantined, together. These groups may travel together in a shared vehicle without facial covers.

    If traveling long distances, stops should only be made for food, fuel, or restroom use. Sanitize hands after these activities. High touch areas (i.e., keys, door handles and steering wheel) must be disinfected before and after the field day.

    Under Stage 2 Research Re-Open, any researcher traveling by airline will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks upon their return.

    Lodging: Any overnight lodging must be one person per room or doubled up in the case of couples or roommates.

    Food: Dining practices should observe current guidelines for maintaining social distancing. Food should not be shared and researchers at field sites should bring their own meals to the fieldwork site already prepared and labeled.

    Infection in the Field

    Before traveling to the field site, the PI or host institution must have an approved plan for individual isolation should a member of the research team exhibit symptoms associated with COVID-19 as determined by CDC. Plans will include acknowledgment to consult with their physician to seek medical advice. Based on medical advice, options can be to seek immediate medical attention or to return home.  

    If any member of a field team begins experiencing symptoms they must (1) call the COVID Hotline number at 844-366-5892, (2) seek medical advice from their physician or an appropriate health care provider, (3) notify their supervisor; note that supervisors must maintain confidentiality of employee health information, and (4) self-isolate in a designated living space separate from researchers until decision made, in consultation with physician/health care providers, to either seek immediate medical attention, self-isolate.   

    Research Procedures

    Researchers will develop a plan for implementing social distancing and appropriate PPE while conducting research procedures in the field similar to plans developed for in laboratory research. These may vary depending on the nature of the procedures and the travel destination but should be consistent with CDC recommendations. Any social distancing and PPE procedures involving human subjects must be approved by the IRB.

    Updated: June 21, 2020

  • Special Topic #3: Issues around restart of major equipment

    Various equipment within individual labs or part of a core facility are shut down. In many cases, this equipment is typically not shut down for an extended period of time. Thus, the researchers will need access to facilities and equipment to test if any maintenance or supplies are needed for the equipment to be function for researchers. Cost of service fees and maintenance supplies will need to be determined.

  • Special Topic #4: Sponsored projects- At cost vs no-cost extensions

    So, here's the situation; 35% of our faculty have various sponsored projects in their portfolios. We have encouraged strongly all researchers with sponsored projects to identify carefully work that can be accomplished on the sponsor project while in a remote setting –i.e. under a "Stay-at-home" mandate. Most, if not all, researchers have been able to accomplish this and to date most activities under sponsored research are continuing. The problem becomes that of researchers’ running out of reasonable activities that can be accomplished via a remote setting. Under this scenario, the University of North Texas has put into place a Research Policy that allows the charging of salaries during non-work time, so long as the researchers and work adhere to the COVID-19 emergency personnel policy maintained by the UNT system. However, all sponsored research expenditures are bound by the individual rules of the sponsor.

    Consequently, if a sponsor rejects our policy during this crisis, the sponsor may require salary expenditures to apply only to actual work on the contract. The obligations of the contract are not voided; therefore, work needing to be done on the contracts must be accomplished. Accomplishing this work may be achieved by requesting a no-cost extension where current budgeting of the contract is adequate to accomplish the work, including the salary used during the crisis for nonwork time.

    At the University of North Texas, many researchers are taking advantage of the option to request a no-cost extension. In all cases, no cost extensions must be approved by the sponsor, and will require documented reasons for the no-cost request. Although such protocols may improve the efficiency and effectiveness of all time spent on the project, we may encounter situations where salary dollars spent for non-work could lead to a budget shortfall or the similarly caused but opposite impact of inadequate resources to accomplish the contracted work. In this case, the Division of Research and Innovation, by way of its offices of grants and contracts administration and research commercial agreements, will work with individual principal investigators and their sponsors to seek a remedy. Remedies may include an agreed-upon adjustment to scope of work, and agreed-upon no cost extension, or other types of solutions.

  • Special Topic #5: Planning for a second flare up (pre vaccine)

    Current estimates are that we will experience a second flare up of COVID-19. When that occurs, we can expect to see a renewed action on the part of public-health authorities to further restrict social interactions. If we experience a second flare up with public health restrictions, the University research programs will consider moving in reverse to a more enhanced restriction on social interaction and, if necessary, full cessation of on-campus research activities.

     

  • Special Topic #6: Primary caregiver impacts to remote researchers

    The independent school districts, preschool programs, summer childcare/activity programs, and childcare facilities have closed. Elder-care facilities may be closed. This puts an extra workload on caregivers. There is discussion at the national level within scientific societies and supporting organizations that this challenge may disproportionately impact researchers who carry these obligations, no matter their gender or marital status. Within the U.S., there are five times as many single mothers as there are single fathers. Furthermore, studies have shown that mothers take on more of the childcare and educational responsibilities in comparison to fathers; some studies indicate they do ten times as much work within this area.

    We know that, as our population has aged, more elderly persons need care; in many situations, younger family members are taking on that care-giving role. COVID-19 closures are potentially impacting caregivers differently. https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2020/04/21/early-journal-submission-data-suggest-covid-19-tanking-womens-research-productivity

    Additionally, experimental researchers and lab researchers may also be impacted because much of their work is conducted within a setting that children cannot enter. Solutions at UNT can include stop-the-clock procedures for assistant professors, extensions for graduate students, and additional assistance with cost and no-cost extensions on sponsored projects for researchers facing these circumstances. UNT staff members may also be facing these challenges.

    Solutions include allowing flexible work hours and the continuation of remote work as discussed with supervisor. Research supervisors are encouraged to open dialogue with all direct reports to explore where employees are being affected and how flexibility in terms of work hours, schedule of work and assignment of duties can help relieve the burden during this crisis.

     

  • Special Topic #7: Research under contact tracing

    For UNT to operate under contact tracing, we will need to have an ability to train workers for employment as contact tracing specialists for campus. This presumes that individuals have access to testing and tracing procedures are implemented to determine contact. Contact the UNT COVID hotline for information on COVID-19 infection, exposure, or contact tracing (844-366-5892, COVID@unt.edu).

    This will be assisted by technologies that may be developed; however, this will still require the university to have a significant capability in terms of staffing for the purposes of identifying (tracing) the contacts from a positive detection. This could be done by having a workforce of student assistants or employees; both of which would require proper training - https://www.npr.org/2020/04/13/833045473/contact-tracing-could-be-key-to-easing-social-distancing-rules.

  • Special Topic #8: Research facility operations & protective equipment

    Every research facility has an appointed authority over the facility space, Facility Authority (FA), who may or may not designate others to function as facility managers with authority over operations of the facility. Often this is the faculty member (PI from the funding agency perspective) that is provided research space by the university. For several research groups a Facility Manager (FM) (e.g. lab manager) is granted day-to-day decision making on behalf of the FA for the research group.

    Both the Facility Authority (FA) and the Facility Manager (FM) have responsibility to ensure the safety of all researchers in the facility including, proper health protection during this crisis.We encourage researchers to contact Risk Management to conduct a risk assessment for their unit (940) 565-2109.

    As researchers (faculty, staff, postdoctoral fellows, graduate students) reengage with research activities, here are guidelines for FA/FM:

    • Ensure that all members of the research team understand the importance of hand washing with soap. This must be underscored and encouraged to be done, minimally, upon every exit and every entry to the primary laboratory. This is not usual nor typical but represents an effective and important step in reducing spread of the virus.

    • No research member should be compelled to work in the research lab setting by their supervisor/mentor if they feel their safety is at risk. Thus, the researcher must be comfortable with the guidelines below to work within the lab.

    • The FA/FM must be aware of the risk-group considerations (see below) and have open discussions with their researchers inviting individuals to have private conversation with the lab manager about concerns. Any health information disclosed to the FA/FM needs to be dealt with as fully confidential.

    • Individual concerns must be accommodated in discussion under a needs-to-know basis with the responsible program leader, typically a Department Chair in an academic department.

    • The FA/FM must develop a rotation of personnel within the research space so that there is minimal contact with others (> 6 feet distance) and 2 individuals per lab bench. For smaller research lab rooms (e.g. small equipment rooms) occupancy must be minimized at a given time.

    • Computer work (e.g. data analysis, library access, writing) should be done at a remote location instead of in shared offices on campus; if more than one research staff shares an office then only one person should occupy at a time (develop a schedule if access is needed to office equipment on campus).

    • All researchers must use protective gear including face masks when on campus and gloves when in labs. The FA/FM can purchase masks and gloves for their research staff.

    • Develop a cleaning protocol for the lab that includes disinfecting shared equipment including computer keyboards, disinfecting shared spaces (lab benches etc.).

    • See guiding principle #5 above for reimbursement details.

  • Special Topic #9: Risk groups for COVID-19

    There are members of our society who are at a greater risk for complications and severe illness associated with COVID-19 infection - https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/groups-at-higher-risk.html The risk factors for mortality, and illness are still being studied. However, the CDC has provided a list of risk factors associated with severe illness due to COVID-19. Below are considerations for research workforce reengagement based upon CDC guidance:

    1. Age of the individual is a risk factor; studies show that individuals older than 65 are at a higher risk.

    2. Individuals of any age group that have one of the following health conditions: a. chronic lung disease or moderate to severe asthma b. serious heart conditions c. Immunocompromised due to many reasons including but not limited to cancer, smoking, HIV, immune deficiencies, prolonged use of medications that impact immune weakening medications d. severe obesity (BMI >40) e. diabetes (type I or 2) f. chronic kidney disease (undergoing dialysis) g. liver disease Individuals should consult with their physician to discuss their risk.

    Studies have shown that some individuals can be infected but are asymptomatic. The challenge with this is that the asymptomatic individuals can spread COVID-19 to at-risk individuals. Thus, this underscores the importance that asymptomatic individuals wear face masks, maintain social distancing protocols, etc. Refer to CDC website and references within for more information: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/need-extra-precautions/people-at-higher-risk.html

  • Special Topic #10: Cleaning/disinfecting high-touch locations and equiment in the laboratory

    The following bulleted list of locations and equipment are examples of high-touch areas in the laboratories. These types of areas represent a higher probability of viral loading in the work area and should be disinfected on a routine basis following the proper procedure described below:

    • Benchtops

    • Equipment handles and latches

    • Equipment controls and touchpads

    • Drawer and cabinet handles

    • Bin and water incubator lids

    • Hand tools, Micropipettes

    • Faucet handles and sprayer grips

    • Chemical bottles and lids

    • Chair backs and arm rests

    • Shipping containers including cardboard boxes and envelopes

    • Pens, whiteboard markers, erasers

    1. Develop a list of high-touch locations and equipment in the laboratory. Special attention should be given to those areas that will have continued use.

    2. Clean and disinfect identified locations on a routine basis. At a minimum, it is recommended that this be when an individual enters the laboratory to begin work and then before leaving the laboratory when work is completed.

    a. Use an EPA-approved disinfectant that is effective against COVID-19. The list of EPA-approved disinfectants can be found at the following link: https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2.

    b. In order to verify a disinfectant is on the list, you can locate the EPA-ID number on the cleaning chemical label. Then do a quick search for that EPA-ID number in the list by using CTRL+F and entering the EPA-ID number.

    c. Pay attention to disinfectant contact times, also listed on the EPA-approved list. Do not assume that a disinfectant works on contact.

    d. Wear appropriate gloves and masks when using cleaning/disinfectant products. This includes safety glasses and chemical-compatible impervious gloves. Reference the Safety Data Sheet (SDS) for further information on any other hazard information. Contact Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) at any time with questions (940)-565-2109.

    3. Use care with delicate equipment to avoid damage. Cleaning sprays may not be appropriate to use or could damage certain electronic equipment. In these cases, an approved disinfectant wipe may be appropriate for more delicate tasks.

    4. Post hand washing instructions which encourage hand washing to be done, minimally, upon every exit and every entry to the primary laboratory. This is not usual nor typical but represents an effective and important step in reducing spread of the virus.

    NOTE: Campus Custodial staff will continue to clean and disinfect public and common areas such as hallways and restrooms following their disinfection protocols.

  • Special Topic #11: Research Conditions: Guidelines on Special Equipment Training

    Occasionally, research equipment specialists are required to work in close proximity with trainees who are learning the methods of operating machine. In these cases, unique interactions and closeness is sometimes required for the trainings. These conditions are sometimes a matter of increased safety or due to the learning environment.

    Equipment Training Guidelines must be implemented by the lab manager/authority.

    • Current guidance under the Research Re-Open plans will be adhered to, except for the following when implemented by the lab authority in a training scenario:
    • Maximum of 2 people at a time on the same equipment or on a single workbench: Only the trainer and the trainee will be on the same equipment room or be on the same workbench.
    • Face covering/mask and gloves are mandatory: Both the trainer and the trainee will be wearing face covering and gloves during the entire period that they are inside the equipment room on the same equipment, or on the same workbench. Refrain from touching one’s face while wearing gloves and mask.
    • They will maintain at least a 3 feet distance from the other person when possible.
    • 1-hour time limit: Trainer and Trainee will be on the equipment (or workbench) together for a strict maximum time limit of 1 hour at a time. If the training session takes longer, then there will be a 10-minute break every hour, during which time both the trainer and trainee will exit the room. Before or after the break one should disinfect the equipment and area.
    • Sanitation:  Increased awareness of sanitation must be considered. Clean area and equipment prior to and after use of equipment as outlined in UNT guidelines listed below (Research Reopen Plan, UNT System Guides).
    • Refer to guidance from UNT Research and UNT System
    • https://www.untsystem.edu/covid-response-guidelines
    • https://research.unt.edu/unt-research-reopen-plan

     

    Updated: June 21, 2020