Research Safety Reminders
Since the reactivation of research and scholarly activities several months ago, work in MSU research facilities has been conducted safely, with no known cases of on-campus COVID-19 transmission to date. This is a tremendous credit to our students, postdocs, staff, and faculty, and their generally excellent adherence to COVID safety protocols.
The new restrictions announced on November 15 by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services do not impact our continued research operations. However, with COVID positive cases increasing significantly, and the holidays fast approaching, we cannot relax any of the safety measures meant to keep each other safe and research open at MSU. As we move forward, please keep in mind:
- As has been true since May, all work that can be done remotely is to be done at home and not in the laboratory or studio.
- Face coverings and physical distancing on the MSU campus are required. A face mask may only be removed when an investigator is alone in a personal office.
- Platooning and shift work should be deployed when possible, so that minimal numbers of laboratory personnel are working together.
- Please review your Laboratory Plans for a Safe Return. Many of these documents were written back in May. Personnel changes may have been noted in plan updates, but please confirm the plans reflect any new staff, equipment, and/or practices in your lab or studio. The holidays would be a good time to re-examine and update the Laboratory Plans for a Safe Return if necessary.
- As people leave the laboratory for an extended period of time, precautions should be taken to ramp down the laboratory safely. A checklist can be found on the EHS website to help guide you through the process.
- For those continuing to work through the beginning of Spring semester, please be assured that EHS, Animal Care, OSP, MSUT, IPF and other support systems will continue to provide services.
- MSU has a COVID-19 Triage hotline: 855-958-2678. Should someone in your research space have COVID-19 health-related questions, develop symptoms, or be exposed to someone with a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19, they should immediately contact the COVID-19 Triage hotline.
- Finally, as your staff and students prepare to leave for the holidays, please encourage participation in the COVID-19 Departure Screening and Testing Program. It is open to students, faculty and all employees and runs through November 22. Note that it is necessary to register separately for the departure test, even if you are currently in the Early Detection Program (Spartan Spit). For those continuing to work over the break, the Early Detection Program will resume on November 30. Again, we encourage all personnel working in labs or studios to participate.
We appreciate your continued efforts in maintaining lab safety, which is critical for keeping research activities ongoing at MSU.
Have a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving and holiday season! It will no doubt be different for all of us, but caution now will make it possible to have time with friends and loved ones later.
Note: See safety related communications from President Stanley Keep Your Guard Up dated Nov. 12 and How New State Order Impacts MSU dated Nov. 16, 2020.