Research Facilities Access and Protocols

The nature of research and scholarly activity varies greatly across disciplines as well as projects within disciplines.  If productivity can be maintained, the School of Pharmacy encourages researchers, students and staff to work remotely.  If your work requires physical access to the facilities, all PIs must complete a School of Pharmacy Critical on-Campus Research Continuity Request form and the following guidelines must be followed. Forms can be found below.

 

Covid-19 Guidelines and Resources

Employees who feel ill should remain home.  If you believe that you have been exposed to or contracted the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), you should contact your doctor and Employee Health by phone (915-6550) immediately.

Face Coverings

To limit the spread of coronavirus, the CDC and the Mississippi State Department of Health (MSDH) recommend wearing face coverings in public settings. Effective Saturday April 24, the City of Oxford will require all employees and customers to wear face coverings as a preventive measure.

The university will adopt the city mandate as part of its operational practices as long as the mandate remains in effect. Any mission-critical personnel who are reporting to campus to work are expected to wear their face covering in any indoor setting when in the presence of other people, or outdoors when it is not possible to maintain at least six feet between yourself and others.

Face coverings are required for School of Pharmacy employees who work in shared spaces, and those performing work in which they encounter the general public. The face coverings must also be worn in common areas indoors, such as hallways and stairwells. You are not required to wear a face covering when you are the sole occupant of a room, such as your office. If you have a medical or disability-related reason why it is not appropriate for you to wear a face covering, contact your PI to document your situation and to request an exemption from the requirement.

Keep in mind that a face covering is not a replacement for vigilant physical distancing. Continue to maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others. Wearing a cloth face covering is meant to protect others, not the wearer of the covering. Recent studies have suggested that it’s possible to transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering decreases the chances of unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

Environmental Health & Safety

All safety standards must be followed, including: all hazard assessments must be completed; required use authorizations are received (e.g., use of radioactive or biohazardous materials, lasers, controlled substances, toxic gases, human, and animal); standard operating procedures are written, signed and followed; appropriate training is completed, and personal protective equipment is donned.

Please contact UM Laboratory Services at (662)915-5480 with any questions related to safety and regulatory requirements or if you need assistance with any issues above.

University Research Resources

Questions related to specific research operations can be found at https://keepdiscovering.olemiss.edu/

General questions related to COVID-19 can be found at  https://coronavirus.olemiss.edu/

COVID-19 Research Operations & Continuity Planning

If you have submitted a Critical on-Campus Research Continuity Request to allow the continuation of ongoing research, please be sure to review these FAQs belowIf you need to update the essential staff permitted in your lab, please complete another request.  Please note that the University of Mississippi requires that all on-campus essential personnel wear a face covering and practice social distancing while on campus.

Facilities Access and Protocols

Upon submission and approval of the Research Continuity Request Form. 

Face coverings are required for those who work in shared spaces, and those performing work in which they encounter the general public. The face coverings must also be worn in common areas indoors, such as hallways and stairwells. You are not required to wear a face covering when you are the sole occupant of a room, such as your office.

Keep in mind that a face covering is not a replacement for vigilant physical distancing. Continue to maintain at least six feet of distance between you and others. Wearing a cloth face covering is meant to protect others, not the wearer of the covering. Recent studies have suggested that it’s possible to transmit the virus to others before showing symptoms. Wearing a cloth face covering decreases the chances of unknowingly transmitting the virus to others.

Your department chair will review your request and provide approval.  The names of your essential personnel will be provided to the Resource Management Group to ensure that they have building access to perform the duties outlined in your request. If you need to update your essential personnel, please submit an updated Critical On-Campus Research Continuity Request form.

If any of your essential personnel feel ill - particularly if they have a cough - they must remain at home.  This is important not just for your group, but also others who share your floor/building. If you need to add a new essential person to your list, submit an updated Critical On-Campus Research Continuity Request.

While an exception is being granted during this time of pandemic response, all safety and regulatory requirements associated with your research must be maintained

To reduce the potential transmission of the coronavirus in the coming weeks, those campus labs and research facilities that have been permitted to continue research activities must follow the safety protocol that was approved with your request. In addition, please review the following guidelines:

Protect your colleagues and campus support personnel: Require that all research group personnel approved to perform on-campus work wear face coverings. Require that all research group personnel who feel ill to any degree but especially if they have a cough remain at home to avoid risk of spreading COVID-19 to other lab members, or to support staff. Other occupants of research spaces and laboratories are to practice social distancing and good hygiene measures. Occupancy should be dramatically reduced (though never below thresholds dictated by proper safety practices) and separation of at least 6 feet should be maintained.

Work remotely: The campus has transitioned to a dominant mode of work that is performed remotely, where feasible. Except for essential personnel described in the PI proposal, all other research group personnel should be operating remotely.

Social Distancing: For those whose on-campus presence is required to sustain research, we direct PIs to implement social distancing and density reduction measures. In addition to those proposed in your proposal, please consider:

  • Increasing social distancing between individuals (>6 feet between individuals at all times: at workstations, in seminar and break rooms, and in similar shared spaces).
  • Scheduling personnel to work in shifts. Be sure that shared equipment, surfaces and spaces are cleaned between shifts. Shared calendars are a good way to manage on-campus schedules. Consider having 2 people on site for safety if personnel are in a building for an extended period. 
  • If personnel are joining research group conference calls, join remotely from workstations, or sit at least six feet apart in seminar/conference rooms.
  • Increase cleaning of shared equipment and spaces. Research groups should initiate their own regular wiping down of shared chairs, keyboards, tools, lab benches, equipment and instrumentation, and communal-use items such as white board markers/erasers, coffee pots, etc.

All safety standards must be followed, including: all hazard assessments must be completed; required use authorizations are received (e.g., use of radioactive or biohazardous materials, lasers, controlled substances, toxic gases, human, and animal); standard operating procedures are written, signed and followed; appropriate training is completed, and personal protective equipment is donned.

Please contact UM Laboratory Services at (662)915-5480 with any questions related to safety and regulatory requirements or if you need assistance with any issues above.

Please move all of your meetings and consultations online.  Vendors will be allowed in the building to service and maintain equipment but will need to be accompanied by a School of Pharmacy employee and adhere to the face covering and social distancing protocols while in the building.