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

Laboratories, research spaces, offices, and conference rooms are allowed to operate at a density capacity that safely allows for at least six feet of social distancing between personnel. Existing policies related to COVID precautions, such as mandatory face coverings, remain in effect. University of Michigan guidelines regarding masking and the activities of vaccinated individuals while on campus or in facilities also remain applicable.

PIs with labs reactivating have been required to do the following:

Reactivation decisions have been consistent with all current State of Michigan orders and U-M guidelines.

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.

All personnel must take one of the MyLINC training for COVID-19 safety based on what is most applicable to their activities on campus. Listed below, are links for the training modules in order to return to work on campus. 

  1. Wet lab research-related activities: Working Safely in U-M Research Areas
  2. Computational or non-research related activities: Working Safely at U-M

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
  • Comply with current Michigan Medicine masking requirements.
  • 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 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

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. Anyone having questions regarding authorization for approved research should contact their Principal Investigator. All persons are required to scan your Mcard for building entry.

At this time, the UMMS Office of Research is no longer requiring approval for exterior building access requests. All requests should revert to submitting the MSF Mcard Access Form sent to med.school.access@umich.edu

All personnel must take one of the MyLINC trainings for COVID-19 safety based on what is most applicable to their activities on campus. 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
Starting June 1, 2021, offices, including those used for dry research, and conference rooms in Medical School buildings are allowed to open with multi-person occupancy that maintains a minimum of 6 ft separation between persons. Individuals must continue to adhere to the most current university and public health guidance, including, among other things, completing training, masking, good hand hygiene, social distancing, and 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 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. 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, 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.

Common Areas/Conference Rooms

Common areas are restricted as indicated on signage to comply with current MDHHS and MIOSHA Emergency guidance. Common areas and shared rooms that are designated as break areas can be used as indicated.

Conference rooms within Medical School buildings can be used as an extension of non-lab work areas or for respite between lab activities. Signage to indicate room occupancy along with maintaining 6’ separation from others is posted near each room. Keep in mind the following:

  • Rooms should not be scheduled for in-person meetings. Continue to use alternate methods for group interaction.
  • Rooms supporting academic/in-person classes and clinical activity will be dedicated to those missions.
  • Rooms previously converted to break/eating areas will continue to serve that purpose.
  • Rooms within department space will be managed by the department once signs are updated.
  • Supplies for in-department space will be provided by your department.
  • It is recommended that you clean your surfaces after each use.
  • Supplies for common area rooms will be replenished by Medical School Facilities.
  • Rooms will be cleaned by Custodial Services at least once per day.

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 and scroll down to the green "Cleaning" tab 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 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) 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.