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Return to Research Process Polices


 Does the definition of Personnel include UTD students? 

It does. We do not recommend that undergraduate personnel return to campus at this time. 

 Are time slots allocated to the PI or to a specific room? 

Time slots are allocated to a specific PI. PIs will have a PI-only slot that does not count against the capacity calculations. 

 In labs/centers that have several rooms, how do we associate students and time buffers per room? 
The goal of the capacity restrictions is to allow appropriate space for stringent social distancing measures. These should be applied while in all spaces. When scheduling time on campus using Lab Resources Scheduler, a 30-minute time buffer is automatically applied before and after a reservation. Time cannot be reserved over a time buffer. Further information about specific space size restrictions is found on our Wiki page
 Does the reservation system allow for coordinating between faculty sharing the same research space? 

Yes - it can be configured that way. Please reach out to research@utdallas.edu after both PIs have completed their elections and personnel have received training to have permissions configured for both groups. 

 If there are multiple groups sharing the same room/lab space, will we still be required to keep the number of researchers in the lab to 2 per PI? 

It will be up to the PI(s) to coordinate on shared spaces – if needed, we can configure the scheduler to help with this on a case-by-case basis. Please note that 25% is not room capacity, but percentage of personnel per PI that can be on campus at once, and that social distancing measures apply to all spaces regardless of sizeFurther information about specific space size restrictions is found on our Wiki page. 

 What about use of restrooms or other shared areas of the buildings? Also, will the common areas outside the labs i.e. conference room, break rooms, etc. be restricted?

The common areas will be restricted (with the exception of restrooms) until we have rolled out the broader return to campus plans. We need to limit occupancy until we have the resources necessary to ensure those areas are safe - e.g. cleaning supplies and custodial services.  

 How will these arrangements be applied to off-campus research facilities, e.g. CBH and CVL? 

As the capacity restrictions are general and per-PI, the same tools and resources can be used.  

 I have a small lab that only a single student ever uses. Is using that space still subject to the 25% of all my students working at any one time? 

The calculation for a group will be 25% rounded down, or 1, whichever is greater. In this instance, they would have 1 slot per the 1 personnel.  

 What precautions or restrictions will apply in the laboratory environment?

All standard safety precautions will apply, in addition to stringent social distancing and sanitization practices. Training is available to all that submit for this access. Further questions can be directed to safety@utdallas.edu  

 When will the Returning to Research e-learning safety training for research personnel begin/become available? 

It will be available when the intake form is made live. Broad campus availability for the intake form will be available on May 26, 2020. 

 Can you please elaborate on testing?  


Research personnel will be required to complete daily health surveys as part of compliance with on-campus activities. This information will be used to identify any potential health risks. These mandatory surveys will be received via email and compliance will be monitored by university officials. 

 When the university reopens, is it required for computational researchers to return onsite? 

No. No return to on-campus activity is required.

 If research could be performed remotely, would he/she be able to continue to do so?

Yes. It is strongly encouraged in all instances to continue remote work where possible.

 Are art studios considered labs and will they be part of the phase 2 plan?

If research activity that cannot be conducted remotely is involved, then yes. Otherwise they will be part of a subsequent phase.

 Is there a way for researchers to know a time when less people will be on campus in order to accommodate human subjects research with vulnerable populations? 

We are working on this. 

 Regarding contact tracing:

Every individual must maintain and regularly update a list of substantive and known face-to-face contacts that they have had during the preceding two weeks (i.e., lab members they interact with on a daily basis, human subjects they came in contact with during study procedures, etc.). In the case of a coronavirus infection, this list should be made available to university personnel or community health officials. 

As more robust contact tracing solutions become available, additional information will be provided to the UT Dallas community. Utilizing these resources will be strongly encouraged as they will be a key strategy for preventing further spread of COVID-19. 


Health & Safety


 Will UTD be able to supply people with hand sanitizers, wipes, disinfectant, masks, gloves? 

We are trying to acquire PPE supplies centrally and allow returning personnel to request masks and other supplies from a central supply, however, a lot of these supplies are on backorder. 

The first line of defense against virus transmission is distance. If that is not possible, then appropriate PPE should be worn. Please consult with safety@utdallas.edu

 Will we have clear masks available for participants and personnel with hearing loss? 

We are looking into this and intend on supplying these for those who need them.

 Will everyone be required to wear masks?

Cloth face coverings will be required. See our main instructions for further details.

 Can we have temperature sensors to be used at the lab level? 

This will be up to the lab. 

 Will each person’s temperature be measured when coming to campus?

No. Personnel elected to return to campus will be required to monitor their own temperature and certify via daily health check.


IRB


 Will that IRB application be available as early as lab re-opening? 

IRB applications can be modified beforehand. Please reach out to IRB@utdallas.edu for questions. 

 If studies are being moved online, will there will be guidelines on how to revise IRB protocols? 

Yes, please visit our Wiki for further information. Additionally, REDCap templates have been configured to track human subject health as related to COVID-19.


Research in-person with Participants

 How many COVID-19 tests are available per lab?

At this time, only three (3) COVID-19 tests are made available to each lab.

 How often does a HSR personnel have to be tested?

HSR personnel must be tested once a week for every week they intend to meet with participants in person. 

 Can three (3) HSR Personnel plus a PI meet participants?

No, a PI is considered an HSR Personnel. If a PI needs to meet with participants, then only two (2) other HSR Personnel may also meet with participants that week.

 Do labs have to pay for the COVID-19 tests?

No, the Office of Research is covering the cost for 3 COVID-19 tests.

 Where are the COVID-19 testing locations?

BrainHealth Imaging Center (BPI 1.2C1) and Main Campus (AD 2.216)

 What days and time of the week can I go get a COVID-19 test?

BrainHealth Imaging Center (BPI 1.2C1) Monday 8:30AM-11:00AM and 2:00PM-3:30PM.

Main Campus (AD 2.216) Wednesday 8:00AM-11:00AM and 2:00PM-3:00PM.

 Who's eligible to take the COVID-19 test?

Only the personnel elected by a PI for in-person contact with participants may take the COVID-19 test offered by the Office of Research. The tests are not offered to research participants.

 Can I meet with participants the same day that I took a COVID-19 test?

No, HSR personnel must wait to receive a negative result via email before meeting with participants. A negative test result is valid for 1 week following the test day. Therefore, if an HSR Personnel was tested on Monday and received their negative result on Tuesday at 2:00 pm, they could start running participant Tuesday starting at 2:01 pm through Sunday.  A new test would be needed on the following Monday with a negative test result to continue running participants.

 How soon are test results available?

Results will typically be available within 12 – 24 hours of testing.

 What happens if a HSR Personnel tests positive for COVID-19?

HSR Personnel who test positive should NOT meet with participants or come to campus. The COVID-19 Coordinator (Karlynda Poage) will call the HSR Personnel who tested positive and work with them to develop next-steps. Please refer to the Positive Results section for more information on the Returning to Campus Research Activities page.

 Do I still have to complete the DHC if I'm getting tested?

Yes.

 If a HSR Personnel is not meeting participants for the given week, but they still need to go to campus, do they still have to take a COVID-19 test?

No, however, they must still follow Return to Research Process guidelines and schedule campus time.

 Do researchers who handle human samples for processing also need to take a COVID-19 test?

No. The COVID-19 testing program is specific to those investigators who will have in-person contact with research participants.  For information on appropriate safety protocols when handling biospecimens please contact ibcc@utdallas.edu  

 Do HSR Personnel who conduct field research need to take a COVID-19 test?

Yes. Any UTD investigator who will conduct in-person interactions with research participants will need to participate in the COVID-19 testing program.

 Do research participants have to be tested?

No. At this time, testing for research participants is not available.

 Will the Office of Research provide PPE to labs?

Until a lab is able to re-establish a PPE supply line, the Office of Research has a limited supply of PPE it can offer. To inquire about availability, please contact: Tyler.Tornblom@utdallas.edu

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