Reopening of Research at OUHSC

The Phase Two Return to Research Plan has allowed for the successful, gradual, and phased reopening of bench laboratory research. One key component of Phase Two was the population density limit of one researcher for every 250 sq ft of laboratory space. This conservative population density was established to minimize COVID-19 risk in the research environment while the Vice President for Research (VPR) office evaluated the effectiveness of the reopening plan.

Based upon that review and the current COVID-19 guidance and data, the VPR office, in consultation with the Specific Pathogens Preparedness Operations/Emergency Operations Exec team, has determined that effective Tuesday, June 1, bench laboratory research areas may increase capacity to the extent that allows a 3-foot social between all personnel.  In accordance with campus COVID-19 policies, masks must be worn at all times in indoor facilities, including labs.  If you are uncertain whether your lab can accommodate your personnel numbers observing the required 3-foot social distancing requirement, please contact Chris Tucker in Operations to request your space be measured for this new COVID capacity.

Also in accordance with campus policy, labs remain closed to K-12 students but open to undergraduates, graduates, and post-docs from any institution, provided the following are observed:

  • non-HSC individuals will complete the online visitor screening tool prior to their first day on campus
  • all individuals will complete the HSC online COVID-19 training module in OnPoint, using their HSC credentials
  • all individuals will be required to show proof of a negative COVID test (within past 48 hours) or documentation of COVID vaccination, if required based on screening results
  • all individuals will strongly encouraged to be vaccinated against COVID-19
  • all individuals will be informed that they must comply with the HSC COVID-19 Response Plan

With these changes, we are retiring the Return to Research Plan and will refer to the OUHSC COVID Response Plan for COVID protocols.  If you identify any gaps that this leaves, please email vpr@ouhsc.edu.  It is expected that all personnel will adhere to the requirements in the OUHSC COVID-19 Response Plan