Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology

Updates to Return to In-Person Research Plans

Posted: 5/17/2020 (CSDE Research and Demography News)

On Monday, Governor Jay Inslee released updated guidance for educational activities for Phase 1, along with new requirements from the L&I Board. In addition, King County issued new guidance on face coverings. All of these mandated updates will necessitate some changes to research plans and policies. Listed below are the changes. 

  1. Face coverings. On 5/11/20 King County released new guidelines regarding face coverings. The UW has released guidance for the university, be sure to include this in your plans.
  2. Designate a COVID-19 Supervisor for all spaces. Each PI should be designated as the COVID-19 Supervisor for their research group in their Return to In-Person Research plan, or the PI may delegate these responsibilities to a senior research group member (lab manager, senior research staff, etc.) who will be regularly present in the research facility. In some cases a Department or other unit could take over that responsibility for multiple research groups, check with your local unit for policies. The COVID-19 Supervisor responsibilities are to ensure compliance with COVID-19 related requirements as stated in their approved Return to In-Person Research plan and to be available to receive concerns and answer questions.  The COVID-19 Supervisor should check in with the research group regularly regarding compliance. The COVID-19 Supervisor is not required to come to the research facility themselves on a daily basis, but must be available by phone or email.
  3. Provide trainings regarding the Return to In-Person Research plan to all onsite research personnel and document those trainings.  Each Return to In-Person Research plan must have a statement about how the training will be carried out and documented.  For instance, a Zoom meeting could be held with all research personnel to go over the plan, providing an opportunity to ask questions.  This meeting, its attendees, and the date would then be documented by the PI. This new required training should be treated like any training requirement for their research group, and the documentation should be kept with other required training documentation. If such a training has already taken place, it does not need to be redone, but it must be documented.
  4. Visitors must be tracked by date. This requirement is in place to facilitate contact tracing. As of now, a visitor is defined as anyone who does not normally work in this space, including both UW- and non-UW personnel. Each unit will need to develop a tracking and symptom attestation system for visitors (some of you may have one in place already), and identify the person responsible. For Instance, this could be an email system or online calendar with a reporting process.