Medical School COVID-19 Research Operations

Current StatusDuring the COVID-19 pandemic, the Medical School research reactivation process is conforming with the U-M Research Re-Engagement Guidelines developed by central campus, while at the same time recognizing the unique needs and circumstances of research at the Medical School.

Research has been returning to full capacity over several phases, with restrictions lifted in each subsequent phase, as informed by outcomes and public health guidelines.

Wet Lab Reactivation

Working with department leadership, the Medical School has taken into consideration the number of personnel allowed building access along with the laboratory square footage and social distancing directives, building density, supply chain, and operational logistics to determine the approved maximum occupancy per laboratory room. Reactivation decisions have been consistent with all current State of Michigan orders and U-M guidelines.

CLICK HERE to view Wet Lab Density spreadsheet that outlines, by PI, how many personnel are allowed in each lab during the current phase of the governor’s plan. PIs with labs reactivating have been required to do the following:

Faculty who need to alter their personnel access list, whether because of new additions or increased personnel for shifts, should CLICK HERE to submit a new name for access.

Questions? Contact ummsresearch@umich.edu.

Human Research Reactivation

For safety and feasibility, human research is reactivating in four Activation Tiers - Tier 0, Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3. Activation Tiers for human research studies can be determined by referring to the Human Research Activation Tier Framework and Human Research Activation Tier Flowchart.

All human research work that can be done remotely should continue in that manner.

CLICK HERE for complete information and links regarding Human Research Reactivation from the Clinical Trials Support Office, and visit the UMOR Research Re-engagement website for the latest updates on the following:

Any study that was paused during the research ramp down, including exempt research, and is seeking to initiate face-to-face interactions with participants, return to U-M facilities, or a return to contact among staff members in any setting must complete the Human Research Activation Procedures found on the UMOR Research Re-engagement website.

Studies that were permitted to continue during the research pause must also complete the Human Research Activation Procedures in a timely fashion to confirm compliance in order to continue.

Questions? Contact mm-clinical-research@umich.edu.

Safety & Compliance

Progress through the first waves of research reactivation has been successful thanks in large part to our shared commitment to the reengagement safety guidelines outlined by the governor’s office and UMOR. As a reminder, these guidelines include:

  • Complete the U-M health screening each day before entering your facility
  • Wear a mask
  • Maintain safe social distancing, with at least 6 feet between colleagues
  • Minimize shared items, and disinfect/clean those that must be shared
  • Maintain a daily lab cleaning log, and clean at the beginning and end of each shift

Please review the Environment Health and Safety COVID-19 webpage for more specifics. If you have questions or concerns regarding COVID-19 safety guidelines, speak with your supervisor or another member of your local management. Reports of noncompliance may also be made by emailing EHS-Covid-19-Reporting@umich.edu, contacting the U-M Compliance Hotline, or by calling 1-866-990-0111. Personnel who do not comply with safety guidelines will be reported to their department leadership.

Building EntryMed Sci I & 2  Access Map

BSRB entryNCRC Access MapMSRB 2 & 3 Access MapMBNI AccessKellog and Brehm entryAll personnel approved for research and all essential research personnel must enter through designated lobbies.  A daily health screen is required to enter the building (for more information regarding this process, please see below).

As of February 16, 2021, weekly COVID testing is required for all U-M students – including graduate and professional students – who live on or come to campus, regardless of their vaccination status.

Campus Facilities and Operations service providers will enter at the Dock entrances and follow their approved screening process. All other service and support vendors must enter at the screening lobby location unless they have a screening process provided by their parent company and have prior Dock access.

Periodic audits will be performed to ensure compliance.

Access Control

Entry
Authorized persons are determined by your department and school approval is required to re-engage in laboratory work. All authorized persons must have completed their required training and be validated against a list approved by the Medical School Office of Research. Anyone having questions regarding authorization for approved research should contact their Principal Investigator. All persons will be required to scan your Mcard for entry. Only authorized persons will be permitted to enter the building between the hours of 6:00am and 6:00pm. Access is available seven days a week Monday through Sunday.

Faculty who need to alter their personnel access list, whether because of new additions or increased personnel for shifts, should CLICK HERE to submit a new name for access.

Essential Personnel performing critical research and operations activities identified during the research reactivation will continue to have 24/7 access to buildings (essential personnel identified during the research ramp-down do not automatically carry over). Access will be restricted to the designated lobby doors. Mcard access will remain intact for after-hours and weekend building access for critical and essential activities only through the screening lobby doors. Mcard data will be audited.

Limited Use of Offices for Mission-Critical Activities Only
The Medical School is strictly adhering to the governor’s executive order currently stating that work that can be done remotely, must be done remotely. With that said, it is understood that some essential work activities can only be performed using assigned offices on campus. Therefore, limited use is permitted of Medical School faculty and staff offices for mission-critical activities only, not simply as a matter of convenience.
 
In all cases, the expectation is that faculty and staff will only be on campus for the short period of time needed to perform the activity and will adhere to the public health and U-M safety guidelines. For more information about which activities are considered mission-critical, as well as training and safety protocols, visit the medical school intranet
 
Prior to office use, faculty and staff must consult the department chair, or their accountable delegate(s), for confirmation that the proposed use meets the criteria for mission-critical activity.

Exit
There is no time requirement to exit the building for personnel on the PM shift. All persons are required to exit through the designated screening entry door. Emergency exits are available for use in the event of a fire alarm or other DPSS communicated emergency alert.

Close Proximity Research
6-foot distancing is not always possible when introducing a learner to new laboratory techniques, or performing complex scientific procedures. CLICK HERE for guidance for gaining approval for the conduct of close proximity research and research training.

Parking
Please refer to the Transportation and Parking and the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority websites for the most up-to-date information.  Questions regarding Michigan Medicine commuters and parking can be directed to mmcommuter@umich.edu.

Screening Process

All approved persons entering the building will be screened using the following process:

  1. All staff entering research facilities must complete the electronic screening process on a daily basis.
  2. If your answers to the screening disallow you from being present at work (pursuant to an applicable Executive Order, University policy, or otherwise) or you are not listed among the approved personnel, you are not allowed access to the building.
  3. Any employee who has a positive intake screen will be referred for follow-up with the Occupational Health Services Hotline. (734-764-8021).  
    1. Occupational Health Services (OHS) will conduct the initial triage for employees with a positive screen
    2. OHS employees are trained to determine the need for a COVID-19 test.
    3. There is a process in place for employee testing, either with off-site testing or at University Health Service.
    4. Employees will not be allowed to work until cleared by OHS.

Visitors/Vendors

Visitors are not permitted. Vendors arriving at the building for service, repair, or maintenance of equipment should be arranged in advance. You will be expected to meet your vendor, ensure they comply with U-M’s mask and safe distancing guidelines, and exit the building when work is complete.

Personnel Protective Equipment

Requirements
CLICK HERE for a description of current requirements as outlined by U-M Environment Health & Safety.

Signage
Signage will be used to designate the approved entrance and exit doors. Signage may indicate directional flow where adequate social distancing cannot be maintained. Additional signage in common areas will indicate availability, capacity, or offer reminders of proper social distancing.

Common Areas/Conference Rooms

Common areas are restricted as indicated on signage to comply with current MDHHS guidance. Common areas and shared rooms that are designated as break areas can be used as indicated. No food or beverages are permitted in labs.  Kitchenettes should only be used for refrigeration of food and use of microwaves, with only one occupant permitted in the space at a time or as indicated on signage. It is recommended that persons using a kitchenette or break area clean and disinfect the surfaces they touch before and after each use. Custodial Services will perform daily cleaning using the standards identified in the link below along with disinfecting high touch areas in the building common areas such as elevator buttons, common area surfaces, and building door handles. Conference rooms remain closed except for limited academic and clinical related activity.

Conference rooms located within department space can be re-assigned as break areas. Please contact med.school.facilities@umich.edu to request this conversion.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Cleaning Standards
Common equipment will be cleaned before and after use. Disinfection activities must be noted on a log that is easy for personnel to record and see, and accessible to EHS staff. CLICK HERE to download a cleaning log template. CLICK HERE for general cleaning and disinfection guidance provided by Environment, Health, & Safety.

Sanitizer Stations
Hand sanitizer stations will be located in common areas as supplies are available. Departments can increase the number and manage additional locations within their space as needed.

Supplies
Departments will be responsible for procurement of cleaning supplies. See Procurement information at the following link: https://procurement.umich.edu/buying/covid-19-supplies

Services Provided by Medical School Facilities

The services required to support research will be maintained and ramped up in alignment with research activity needs. Updates to services are available on the Medical School Facilities FAQ page. This information will be updated if service levels change.  

  1. Research Services - 734-763-0773
    1. Glass wash
    2. Autoclave
    3. Biohazard waste pickup
    4. Dock services
    5. Courier services
    6. Mail
    7. Laundry services
    8. Biomedical Stores pickup/delivery
    9. Dry ice
    10. Laboratory gases
    11. M-ship
    12. Property Disposition

Foodservice is not currently available except at Market 24/7 in MSRB3 and B32, and 20/20 Café at Kellogg.

Services Provided by Facilities & Operations (Campus & Hospital)

Click on the following link for a full update of campus provided services. https://fo.umich.edu/pdf/COVID_Service_Notice_5-19-2020.pdf

  1. Facility Maintenance – Call 734-647-2059 to report building maintenance issues
  2. Facility Maintenance in Brehm and Rogel Cancer Center – Call 734-936-5054 to report building issues. 
  3. Custodial Services - Call 734-647-2059 to report cleaning issues
    1. Custodial services will follow the cleaning standards linked below.
    2. It is important to only use approved areas in the building where cleaning and disinfection will be focused.
  4. Hazardous waste pickup - Call HMM at 734-763-4568 or complete the online Waste and Supply Request form.
  5. Logistics, Transportation, and Parking
    1. Parking enforcement resumed on June 22, 2020
    2. Current services including Transportation/Bus Service can be found at the following link.  https://ltp.umich.edu/2020/03/17/covid-19-update/

ULAM/Vivarium

Vivarium re-engagement is dependent on the availability of all of the following:

  • Appropriate ULAM staffing levels
  • Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) required for entry to the facility, as well as any additional protocol-specific PPE (i.e., for handling hazardous agents)
  • Disinfectants required for use on surfaces within the facilities

Detailed guidance and specific FAQs on managing specific aspects of your animal-related projects during the research re-activation process can be found on the Animal Care & Use Program website.
 
Questions pertaining to facilities and/or day-to-day operations should be directed to the ULAM Husbandry Management Team at ulam-h-managers@umich.edu. Questions about billing, animal ordering, or procurement should be sent to the ULAM Business Office at ulam-questions@umich.edu.

Biomedical Research Core Facilities (BRCF)

Cores located within approved buildings are participating in research reactivation and are subject to the same density and social distancing restrictions as all other laboratories.

  • Advanced Genomics Core (drop-off locations within MSRB and NCRC open, consulting remotely)
  • Bioinformatics (open & consulting remotely)
  • Biomedical Research Store (BSRB, LSI, NCRC & MSRBII are open, the Brehm Store location is closed at this time)
  • Epigenomics Core (open)
  • Flow Cytometry Core (open, all locations)
  • Metabolomics Core (open)
  • Microscopy Core (open, all locations)
  • Proteomics & Peptide Synthesis Core (open)
  • Transgenic Animal Model Core (open)
  • Vector Core (open)

CLICK HERE for more details about how these Cores are operating during research reactivation, including sample drop-off instructions, training, and scheduling consultations, plus regular updates regarding the BRCF. Questions can be directed to ​brcf-umms@umich.edu.

Compliance

Environment Health & Safety (EHS) will perform walkthroughs to help maintain public health standards so that labs can remain open, including holding surprise inspections to ensure everyone is 6 ft apart and wearing masks.  Please keep in mind that they can still write you up for any other infractions as well (i.e safety glasses, etc). Report lab safety issues, including personnel who are ill or not following safety protocols, via the U-M compliance hotline website. Report lab safety issues, including personnel who are ill or not following safety protocols, via the U-M compliance hotline website. You can also report concerns by calling 866-990-0111 or contacting EHS at 734-647-1143 or emailing EHS. OVPR and Occupational Health Services will track aggregate data on COVID-19 illness in labs with weekly reports.

FAQs for Research Reactivation During COVID-19

Medical School Office of Research
U-M Office of Research
Medical School Facilities
Animal Research
Occupational Health & Safety
Environment Health & Safety
Medical School Research Economic Recovery


Questions? Contact ummsresearch@umich.edu.