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.

Lab & Office Activity

Fully vaccinated students, faculty and staff who self-report their vaccine information to the university are no longer required to wear a mask or socially distance. This allows vaccinated research faculty and staff to work without masks in labs and research spaces. Fully vaccinated individuals must continue to wear face coverings with participants in human research and in health care areas where patients may be present. Please stay tuned to Michigan Medicine Headlines for the latest guidelines regarding masking and social distancing in clinical settings.

General Workplaces (not health care or University of Michigan-Health)

  • Continue to follow guidance in the U-M COVID-19 plan. While some requirements are no longer in effect, EHS are still obligated to provide a safe and healthy workplace and therefore, still will provide guidance to units to follow.
  • Units are no longer required to have a unit-specific plan for COVID-19 or to have a COVID-19 supervisor. Training is still recommended and available.

Questions? Contact ummsresearch@umich.edu.

Human Research Reactivation

The U-M COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan applies in its entirety to research. As public health conditions change, researchers should refer to the U-M COVID-19 Preparedness and Response plan to guide when changes to their current mitigation strategies are allowable. The policies apply to research in all settings, both on and off campus. 

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

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

Safety & Compliance

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 Entry

All doors to research facilities are now available with a valid Mcard except for the Taubman Health Sciences Library which has separate academic restrictions.  

daily health screen is required to enter buildings (for more information regarding this process, please see below).

Michigan Medicine requirements for students regarding testing and vaccination currently align with policies established by central campus. CLICK HERE for the latest U-M requirements for students.

Periodic audits will be performed to ensure compliance.

Access Control

All persons are required to scan your Mcard for building entry. All requests for access should be made by submitting the MSF Mcard Access Form to med.school.access@umich.edu

General Workplaces (not health care or University of Michigan-Health)

  • Continue to follow guidance in the U-M COVID-19 plan. While some requirements are no longer in effect, EHS are still obligated to provide a safe and healthy workplace and therefore, still will provide guidance to units to follow.
  • Units are no longer required to have a unit-specific plan for COVID-19 or to have a COVID-19 supervisor. Training is still recommended and available.

Listed below are the links to the possible training modules in order to return to campus.

  1. Wet lab research-related activities: Working Safely in U-M Research Areas
  2. Human research-related activities: Responsibilities in Conducting Human Research During COVID-19
  3. Computational or non-research related activities: Working Safely at U-M

Offices and Conference Rooms
Offices, including those used for dry research, and conference rooms in Medical School buildings are allowed to open without restriction. Unvaccinated persons must wear a face covering and maintain a minimum of 6 feet separation between other unvaccinated persons. Individuals must continue to adhere to the most current university and public health guidance, including completion of the Responsiblue questionnaire while on campus.
 
This policy allows UMMS to continue to ramp up research; however, it is not a mandate for all who work in the Medical School to immediately return to work. Many who are working remotely will continue to do so until the September 13th date originally communicated by Michigan Medicine. If you have questions about returning to work, please consult with your supervisor.

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 research facilities must pre-screen using the following process:

  1. All staff entering research facilities must complete the Responsiblue 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 or vendors must pre-screen using the Responsiblue Guest Application, and maintain social distancing while indoors. You will be expected to meet your vendor, ensure they comply with U-M’s 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, and CLICK HERE for Michigan Medicine masking requirments.

Signage
Signage will be used to offer reminders of wearing face coverings and maintaining proper social distancing.

Cleaning & Disinfecting

Cleaning Standards
Cleaning and Disinfection Custodial teams across campus have increased their cleaning frequency of high-touch surfaces in common spaces to meet current CDC guidelines. Building occupants should also perform additional cleaning of high-touch surfaces and shared equipment within their work areas not performed by custodial teams. Additional cleaning and disinfection guidance from the CDC can be found at their website. Units will be expected to procure their own cleaning materials and room occupants will be expected to clean their respective areas and shared equipment/tools/spaces.

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 NCRCB32, and 20/20 Café at Kellogg Eye Center.

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

Detailed guidance and FAQs on managing specific aspects of your animal-related projects 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) may perform periodic walkthroughs to monitor public health standards so that labs can remain open, including holding surprise inspections to ensure compliance. 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.