Research Resumption

Since UF Research began implementing a multi-stage research resumption plan on May 18, thousands of faculty, staff and graduate students have been cleared to return to research facilities on campus and around the state, and more are being added daily.

The UF Research Resumption Plan employs a phased reentry strategy that balances the need to resume research activities, the type of research environment and the density of research personnel, while keeping the health and safety of faculty, staff and students paramount. The goal from the beginning has been to secure a fully reconstituted research enterprise, akin to that which existed prior to the onset of the pandemic, while minimizing the risks of coronavirus transmission in the workplace.

UF Research is working closely with the colleges, centers and institutes, and Environmental Health & Safety to ensure that researchers have all the guidance and materials they need to conduct their activities in the safest possible environment.


Safety Guidelines and Protocol

The following practices must be adhered to at all times when conducting research.

Safety in Research
  • Before leaving for work, all employees must do a self-check for symptoms. Anyone who is experiencing any symptom(s) must not come to campus. Instead, that individual should contact their health provider and act on their instructions.
  • Any individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, who has been referred for testing or who is awaiting test results should notify their supervisor that their doctor has advised them not to report to work.
  • Any individual working in an on-campus research laboratory should wear a university-approved and provided mask or cloth face covering when in the presence of others. Individuals occupying an office alone do not need to wear a face mask or cloth face covering when not with others.
  • Face masks and cloth face coverings will be provided weekly to each individual working in an on-campus laboratory. If work duties require more frequent disposal and replacement of masks, those needs will be accommodated. Masks will also be replaced if they become damaged or visibly soiled.
  • Please do not launder disposable face masks. Individuals using such masks must not touch their face and must wash their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water after removing the mask.
  • Individuals should maintain at least 6 feet of physical distancing when on campus.
  • Hand hygiene is critical, especially after contact with public surfaces, after coughing or sneezing, or after using the restroom. Sanitizing and handwashing stations will be available throughout all buildings, particularly near high-contact areas like restrooms and elevators.
  • The university is increasing cleaning frequency in laboratory environments where there is frequent use of shared equipment. That being said, it is important that all personnel share responsibility for cleaning and sanitizing high-touch surfaces to maintain a safe and healthy workspace. Shared equipment should be wiped down and cleaned before and after each use.
  • High-touch surfaces should be wiped down and cleaned at the beginning and end of each workday with the cleaning and disinfecting supplies that will be provided.
  • Facilities will be monitored periodically to ensure these measures are being practiced. Anyone found not complying will be counseled on the need for these required guidelines, and further non-compliance may result in disciplinary measures in accordance with applicable university policies.
  • Use virtual settings whenever possible to limit face-to-face interactions. Encourage employees to communicate with colleagues by phone, email or other electronic formats, even when on-site.

 


Frequently Asked Questions

If my question isn't answered here, whom can I contact?

Please email reopen@ufl.edu for additional questions not answered here.

What accommodations will be made for employees who have an underlying health concern?

HR and the Office of Accessibility and Gender Equity have developed a process to evaluate appropriate accommodations for faculty with disabilities. More information can be found on the Office of Accessibility and Gender Equity's website.

What behavior is expected on campus to prevent community spread?

Campus health guidelines are available at: https://coronavirus.ufl.edu/resources/health-guidance/. Enforcement of behavioral expectations to abide by University regulations and policy, state and local law and the instructions of officials can be carried out by any designee of the Vice President of Student Affairs or other appropriate University Official. For more details, please visit the UF policy page for behavioral expectations.

Will UF resume full, normal operations for the Summer B and Fall semesters?

Yes. Pending any unexpected developments, activities will accelerate in areas previously impeded by the pandemic. In-person classes will be at pre-pandemic capacities, employees will travel more on university business, students will resume study abroad experiences, laboratories and libraries will operate at full throttle, purchasing of supplies will increase, performances and other cultural experiences will blossom, etc.  In short, we will resume UF’s rich academic, cultural, and athletic lifestyles. Physical distancing will be relaxed, although mask wearing may still be required.