UW Research

July 8, 2021

How to Revise your Return to In-person Research Plans

The University has released new guidance related to COVID-19, which will allow relaxing of many current COVID-19 restrictions for research.

All PIs and Laboratory heads must revise their Return to Research Plans and have the revised plans approved by the process your unit has used in the past (Department Chair, Dean’s Office, etc.).

New regulations:

  • Daily symptom attestation is no longer required, however individuals should self-monitor and should not come in to work if they are ill.
  • Physical distancing is no longer required, regardless of vaccination status. Employees who are not fully vaccinated are encouraged to distance if in a crowded setting or in areas that are not well ventilated.
  • Face coverings are still required indoors for non-fully vaccinated individuals. Face coverings are no longer required for fully-vaccinated individuals, with the exception of settings where face coverings are required for all people regardless of vaccination status (healthcare, childcare, K-12, shuttles).
  • COVID-specific cleaning and disinfection are modified. The new guidelines will be updated soon, to be found here.
  • Lab density restrictions for COVID are no longer in effect.
  • 30 days’ notice of any requirement to return to in-person work must be given to employees who have been working remotely due to the pandemic.

In most cases, the new Return to Research Plans will be greatly simplified compared to the existing plans. These revised plans must contain the following elements:

  1. List of all research personnel working in-person.
  2. Plan for each individual working in-person to attest to their vaccination status and for the PI to keep a log of vaccination status.
    • For those listed in Workday, they should use the Workday system; supervisors will be able to generate a report of vaccination status.
    • University personnel submit a COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Form in Workday. Personnel who do not have access to Workday will be provided an alternative method by their supervisor.
    • UW Medicine medical personnel are required be vaccinated unless declaring an authorized exemption but follow the UW Medicine vaccination policies and procedures.
    • Students submit a COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Form on the Hall Health Center website.
    • Students who are employed by the University must submit both the student and personnel COVID-19 Vaccine Attestation Forms.
    • Those not listed in Workday, including volunteers, should fill out and submit to the PI a vaccination attestation form as explained in the FAQs here.
  3. Plan for removing old COVID-19 related signs and replacing them with the updated signs available here (link content here is being updated).
  4. Plan for apprising all laboratory members working in-person of the new regulations.
  5. Existing plan for accommodating personnel at high risk for COVID-19 should remain in place. Accommodations should be requested through the University’s disabilities accommodation office.
  6. Existing plan for responding to exposure or illness should remain in place.

For those carrying out research with human subjects, be sure to follow specific guidelines posted here.

For those carrying out fieldwork, be sure to follow specific guidelines posted here (link content here is being updated and will be re-posted). Be sure to follow any site-specific guidance that might differ from the State guidance (for instance, on UNOLS ships or in a different state).

For those carrying out research involving domestic or international travel, be sure to follow specific guidelines posted here.

Remember that for many of us, it will be difficult to suddenly drop the precautions we have been observing for so many months. Those who feel more comfortable continuing to mask and observe social distancing should be supported in doing so.

Please forward as appropriate within your units. Provided here is this content in pdf form.