Skip to main content

COVID-19 Compliance and Response Framework

A. Process for addressing concerns that individuals are pressured to be on campus in research laboratories

General procedures

When a report is received through any of the channels identified below:

  1. The report is assessed by the recipient and referred to the department chair (or research dean if report indicates the individual is the department chair) when the department can be identified. Appropriate steps are taken to protect the identity of the reporter.
  2. As needed, the Pandemic Research Plan is reviewed to determine the approved number of individuals for the laboratory and the process for determining which lab members are present at a given time.
  3. The department chair communicates with the Principal Investigator (PI) and/or other supervisor to explain the concern and reiterate expectations. As applicable, the PI communicates with laboratory personnel to ensure that appropriate processes are understood and followed.
  4. The Office for Research (OR) solicits a summary of reports and their disposition weekly via email.
  5. Reports are reviewed, collated and summarized for the Vice President for Research (VPR) to distribute to University leadership.

As needed, the initial report recipient confers with OR to assess whether a direct message from the VPR or some other coordinated response is required and/or whether additional measures should be considered due to a pattern of noncompliance or an egregious incident.

Communication with the reported individual and available sanctions

First incident:

  • The department chair/research dean discusses matter with relevant PI/supervisor to reiterate

University policy with respect to:

  • Limits on the number of individuals permitted in the lab at any given time.
  • OR policy that PIs and managers not pressure students, postdocs or other staff members to be on site if they are have reasonable concerns or are ill.

Escalation for subsequent incidents:

  • Drop-in assessment by Research Safety to determine number of individuals in the lab
  • Message from dean’s office and/or VPR, copying the department chair, PI/staff as appropriate
  • Corrective action plan developed by the PI and overseen by dean’s office
  • Referral of the individual to HR (if staff) and to the Provost (if faculty)
  • Reversion of laboratory to “essential-only” personnel
  • Shut down of laboratory operations

Reporting lines

 

B. Process for addressing social distancing, masking and related concerns for research laboratories and personnel. Note: reports involving non-University contractors are referred by the VPR to Facilities Management.

General procedures

When a report is received through any of the channels identified below:

  1. The report is assessed by the recipient and referred to the department chair (or research dean if report indicates the individual is the department chair) when the department can be identified.
  2. The department chair communicates with the individual and/or Principal Investigator (PI) to explain the concern and reiterate expectations for compliance. As applicable, the PI communicates with laboratory personnel to ensure that appropriate processes are understood and followed.
  3. The Office for Research (OR) solicits a summary of reports and their disposition weekly via email.
  4. Reports are reviewed, collated and summarized for the Vice President for Research (VPR) to distribute as necessary to University leadership. As needed, the initial recipient of the report confers with OR to assess whether a direct message from the VPR is required and/or whether additional measures should be considered due to a pattern of noncompliance or an egregious incident.

Communication with the reported individual and available sanctions

First incident:

  • Reiteration of policy from department chair/research dean to relevant faculty member/PI; PI reminds laboratory personnel, forwarding documentation of communication to department chair

Escalation for subsequent incidents:

  • Referral to Research Safety for in-person consult and/or retraining
  • Message from dean’s office and/or VPR, copying the department chair, PI/staff as appropriate
  • Corrective action plan developed by the PI and overseen by dean’s office
  • Requiring written “read and understood” documentation of the lab’s plan
  • Suspension of laboratory privileges for the individual exhibiting a pattern of noncompliance; individual expected to be productive from off-site location
  • Referral of the individual to HR (if staff) and to the Provost (if faculty)
  • Reversion of laboratory to “essential-only” personnel
  • Shut down of laboratory operations

Reporting lines