Prior COVID-19 Communications

Prior Communications


May 11 UPDATE

Phase One Reopening of Bench Laboratory Research will occur Monday, May 11.

Faculty Researchers and laboratory members who have been absent from campus for 7 consecutive days or more must complete the COVID-19 self-screening questionnaire: https://covidreporting.ouhsc.edu/ and submit it before returning to work on campus. They will be notified via email of their screening results. This return to work email should be forwarded to the employee’s direct supervisor upon receipt.

Faculty Researchers Must Follow Steps Below to Reopen Laboratory (Faculty Researchers allowed to continue research must also follow these steps):

  1. Read and follow the Return to Research – Policy and Plan for Phase One Reopening of Bench Laboratory Research
  2. Complete and submit the Research Request Worksheet by noon, Thursday, May 7
  3. Fill out and post the Standard Operating Procedures Form by end of day, Friday, May 8
  4. Review the following with laboratory members:
    1. Standard Operating Procedures Form to be posted in laboratory
    2. Return to Research – Policy and Plan for Phase One Reopening of Bench Laboratory Research
    3. OUHSC COVID-19 Return Plan
    4. Standard Operating Procedure for Restarting OUHSC Research Activities prepared by Environmental Health & Safety Office

“Soft Opening” of laboratories that are currently not performing research will occur Wednesday, May 6 to Friday, May 8.  Faculty Researchers should utilize this time to prepare for the Phase One Reopening of their laboratory on May 11.

  1. Only the Faculty Researcher and one laboratory member will be allowed in the lab during this time.  
  2. The Faculty Researcher must prepare, print and post the Standard Operating Procedures Form.
  3. The Faculty Researcher should utilize the Environmental Health & Safety Checklist for Restarting/Continuing Research Activities to assist with reopening the laboratory.

Core Facilities will continue to operate to support current research activities; however, support will be at a reduced level.  The Division of Comparative Medicine is fully functional to support animal care and use as needed.  The Office of Research Administration, the Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, the Institutional Biosafety Committee, and the Institutional Review Board continue to provide services and oversight.

Obtaining Masks

  1. All individuals in campus facilities, including research laboratories, must wear disposable or fabric surgical-style facemask masks
  2. The University will make available to researchers a surgical-style mask.  Researchers may wear their own mask, including a fabric mask, so long as it complies with the OUHSC COVID-19 Return Plan.
  3. Instructions on how to obtain this surgical-style mask will be provided by the researcher’s college/department/building coordinator.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, the Following Requirements to Perform Research are in Effect until Further Notice

Though the Health Sciences Center remains open, the health and safety of our researchers and research participants at OUHSC is a top priority. To comply with Governor Stitt’s March 24 COVID-19 Safer-at-Home order to discontinue nonessential business functions all research at the OUHSC must adhere to the following requirements.  Although we are unable to anticipate the exact duration of these restrictions on research activities, we will be evaluating and updating the situation on an ongoing basis and will provide updates as appropriate.  Any questions related to this communication should go to VPR@ouhsc.edu.

Non-Human Subject Research

  1. Only essential research approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research should be ongoing.
  2. General laboratory maintenance does not need approval.  General laboratory maintenance would include activities such as filling liquid nitrogen dewars, maintaining expensive equipment that cannot be shut off, checking on freezers.  Examples of activities that would be considered research requiring approval would include feeding cell lines, any activity involving animals, and genotyping of animal colonies.
  3. No new experiments are allowed unless they are directly related to COVID-19 and approved by the Office of the Vice President for Research.
  4. New COVID-19 research requires approval of the Office of the Vice President for Research.  Principal Investigators requesting to initiate a new COVID-19 research project must do the following:
  5. Fill out the Revised COVID-19 Research Project Form and submit the form to VPR@ouhsc.edu.
  6. Not initiate any new COVID-19 research until the Principal Investigator has received approval from the Office of the Vice President for Research and, if necessary, from the appropriate compliance group, i.e. IACUC, IBC.

Human Subject Research

Information on Human Subject Research can be found at:  https://compliance.ouhsc.edu/HRPP/COVID-19-Information

Animal Research

Information on Animal Research can be found in the document: Information on Animal Research

First and foremost, the Health Sciences Center remains open, and the health and safety of our researchers and research participants at OUHSC is our number one priority. To comply with Governor Stitt’s March 24 COVID-19 Safer-at-Home order to discontinue nonessential business functions, effectively immediately, all OUHSC researchers should begin an orderly shutdown of all nonessential research. Until further notice, all HSC research and creative activity requiring individuals to work on campus will be suspended EXCEPT for essential research activities. Although we are unable to anticipate the exact duration of this suspension of nonessential research activities, we will be evaluating and updating the situation on an ongoing basis and will provide updates as appropriate.  Any questions related to this communication should go to VPR@ouhsc.edu.

Guidance on nonhuman subjects research can be found below at #1, 2, 3, 4

Guidance on human subjects research can be found below at #5

Guidance on graduate student research can be found below at #6

1.  Preparing Your Research Program to respond to COVID-19

2.  Research Disaster Plan for Research Laboratories

Principal Investigators must have a written Research Disaster Plan for their research laboratories in the case of a disaster that limits access to campus or impacts campus resources  The Research Disaster Plan contains guidelines on what each Principal Investigator must include within their own laboratory Research Disaster Plan.

3.  Information for Researchers with Animal Protocols to Follow in Event of Disaster

  • The Division of Comparative Medicine has a website with information for researchers with animal protocols on how to manage animal activities during a disaster; see: https://acup.ouhsc.edu/emergency-contacts.html
  • The Division of Comparative Medicine March 13, 2020, Newsletter has information for researchers on how to manage research animals in the event the University needs to limit campus access due to a COVI-19 outbreak in Oklahoma; see AnimalSource March 2020.

4.  COVID-19 and OUHSC Research

  • Click here for FAQs

5.  COVID-19 and Human Subjects Research

  • Click here for the latest updates

6.  Guidance for Graduate Students

  • Click here for the Graduate College Policies related to COVID-19
  • Click here for telecommuting ideas for graduate students.

7.  Federal Agency(ies) Responses to COVID-19

At this time, all communications indicate that sponsoring agencies are aware of the issues related to research and COVID-19 and are prepared to make special accommodations for proposals and expenditures.   For specific agency notices, please see below:

8.  Council on Governmental Relations – Institutional and Agency Responses to COVID-19 and Additional Resources  

https://www.cogr.edu/institutional-and-agency-responses-covid-19-and-additional-resources