March 18, 2021
It has been one year since our on-site research activities had to be ramped down due to the COVID-19 pandemic. I take this opportunity to thank you all for maintaining a healthy and safe environment while continuing your research efforts despite the challenging constraints. As a result of your efforts to follow public health guidance and personal and professional sacrifices, there has been no reported spread of the virus in any of our research facilities.
Considering the current infection trends in Yolo and Sacramento counties, we are planning to move on to Phase 3 of the On-campus Research Ramp-up Plan starting March 25, 2021. Implementations of the ramp-up in Phase 3 are summarized as follows.
- The research facilities and laboratories can have increased capacity up to 66% of their full capacity.
- While on-campus, all research personnel must continue to adhere to the campus guidance regarding face masks, physical distancing, daily symptom survey, weekly testing, and other practices related to public health.
- If physical separation of 6 feet and 66% density is not physically possible through re-arrangement of work areas or alternative schedules, make those modifications which are possible to maximize distancing as best you are able to.
- For now, vaccination status cannot be used as a criterion for research facility access, staffing levels, or to change masking and physical distancing requirements. Do not ask members of your lab whether they are vaccinated or intend to be vaccinated.
- Research involving human subjects can be ramped up based on the capacity allowance.
- Core research and fabrication facilities can expand their operations.
- Field research can be resumed adhering to the relevant requirements and local guidelines.
- Research travel should prioritize six feet physical distancing whenever practicable and include a risk assessment that mitigates risk of viral transmission. When distancing is not always possible, include rationale and documentation for mitigations that are possible.
No approvals are needed from the Office of Research for ramping up to Phase 3. Unit chairs/deans/directors may mandate additional restrictions and approval requirements at their discretion. As always, public health officials may require us to change the status of the ramp up/down process with very short notice.
Let us continue to follow our best practices to recover from the pandemic and adjust to the new normalcy in our research enterprise.
Vice Chancellor for Research