UW Research

Guidance for Returning to In-Person Research

Background

[Update 8.17.2020] On March 23, 2020 Governor Inslee issued a “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” proclamation strengthening mandates already in place to encourage social distancing, a crucial measure for slowing the spread of COVID-19. The Stay Home, Stay Healthy directive took effect on March 25. The University of Washington’s COVID-19 Safe Start Status is now Phase 2 of its COVID-19 recovery, in accordance with Washington’s Safe Start plan. Non-critical personnel may return to worksites if work can be performed safely and is absolutely necessary to maintain unit operations, or if they are unable to perform their work effectively at home. Lab and practicum courses with physical distancing and safety protocols may be offered in-person.

In-person social events and gatherings: If necessary and with no more than 5 people. Hold remote when possible.

Travel: Essential travel and limited non-essential travel to engage in Phase 1-2 activities is permitted.

Most types of in-person* research will be allowed in Phase 2, subject to a set of requirements outlined below. We expect a very gradual and thoughtful increase in the number of UW personnel carrying out in-person research during Phase 2. In addition, restrictions on research subject to human subjects restrictions, (see also Resuming Some Human Subjects Researchlink added 8.17.2020), on fieldwork (see: UW Fieldwork Health and Safety Plan (COVID Return: Phases 1-2) and Returning to In-Person Research Involving Fieldwork: Decision Tree), and on research requiring travel will also be in place. Be sure to consult the UW’s Novel coronavirus & COVID-19: facts and resources webpage as it contains important information for everyone in the UW community. Remember, it is still the case that no one can be pressured to carry out on-site research if they are concerned about their safety, the safety of others, or if they have home-care obligations. Your HR representative can help you with any difficult situations in that regard.

*in-person refers to an in-person, face-to-face, and/or facility-based activity

This webpage contains guidance and resources to prepare for and implement a safe return to in-person research.

Planning and Implementation Toolkit

The tools included below are provided to assist in developing and implementing a plan for a gradual return to research.

Requirements and Responsibilities for Returning to In-Person Research:
Phase 2

This matrix delineates both requirements and responsibilities for individual researchers, research supervisors/lab heads, unit heads, and dean/equivalent offices. All researchers should understand requirements and responsibilities and must follow these to carry out in-person research. Only individuals designated critical personnel will be allowed to carry out in-person research.

Requirements and Responsibilities for Returning to In-Person Research

(Note: To open this resource on a mobile device the appropriate software (Word or Excel) must be installed on the device.)

Types of Research and Considerations for Each

This matrix is intended as a tool for units to use when considering the different types of research in their units and the requirements and responsibilities associated with each.

Returning to In-Person Research: Decision Tree

(Note: To open this resource on a mobile device the appropriate software (Word or Excel) must be installed on the device.)

Checklist for Returning to In-Person Research: Phase 2

Heads of research labs: use this checklist as you prepare for returning to in-person research work.

Checklist for Developing a Return to In-person Research Plan

Example of Guidelines for Laboratory Research (School of Medicine)

School of Medicine Guidelines for COVID-19 prevention while working in the laboratory

Guides for Returning to In-Person Research by Topic

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve and new information becomes available, we have carefully considered optimal strategies and requirements to protect the safety of our researchers, anticipating short and long-term needs. This topical list of guides provides guidance and requirements. Please print, share, and post these prominently in your research facilities.

Guides for Returning to In-Person Research

Plan for On-site Facilities and Social and Physical Distancing

Ensure the health and safety of your personnel

Download the guide

PPE / Facemask / Face Covering Use

EH&S Face Covering Requirements

Visit the EH&S page

Cleaning and Disinfecting your Workplace

Strategies to allow for a safe return

Download the guide

Personal Hygiene and Hand-washing

Stay Healthy Huskies

Download the guide

Reporting of Infection and Exposure

Symptom monitoring

Visit the EH&S page

Returning to In-Person Research Involving Fieldwork

UW Fieldwork Health and Safety Plan

Download UW Fieldwork Health and Safety Plan

Returning to In-Person Research Involving Fieldwork

Download Returning to In-Person Research Involving Fieldwork: Decision Tree

Download Fieldwork Decision Tree