Campus Covid-19 Research Announcements

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2020-03-19 - RESEARCH ACTIVITIES (from Jodi Nunnari and Tina Jones)

FIRST: There is now a shelter in place order for YOLO county, which means that you should work from home unless you are performing ESSENTIAL research or teaching activities. Essential research activities include the maintenance of animals and the completion of long-term studies, which if aborted would represent a significant loss. Essential activities DO NOT include continuing your research activities at a reduced level even if they are in compliance with safe social distancing etc. I NEED A RESPONSE EMAIL FROM ALL PIs BEFORE THE END OF TOMORROW, MARCH 20th,THAT STATES THAT YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THIS DIRECTIVE THAT AND YOUR LABORATORY IS IN COMPLIANCE WITH THIS ORDER AND ARE ONLY PERFORMING ESSENTIAL RESEARCH AND TEACHING ACTIVITIES.

SECOND: In my previous correspondence, I asked you to develop a plan for the maintenance of ESSENTIAL research activities. Thank you to the faculty who have submitted a plan (according to my records). If you are not on this list and you sent me your plan, I apologize, please resend it to me via email (jmnunnari@ucdavis.edu). If you have not sent your plan, send it IMMEDIATELY.

THIRD: The MCB staff is primarily working remotely in compliance with the shelter in place order. For now, to maintain essential research activities, staff will rotate and come into the office for a limited time every day to place and receive orders. I will be reviewing orders to make sure that they are necessary for essential research. To continue to receive such orders we ask you to do the following:

  1. Send Tina (ctjones@ucdavis.edu) the email of a designated person in your laboratory that the office will contact to pick up a package IMMEDIATELY. Phone calls will no longer be used as a contact mode.
  2. If a package is perishable, please indicate this in the comments section when you place an order.
  3. Packages will be placed in the MCB 148 Briggs conference room on the table. The room will be locked, so remember to bring your lab key, and will also be outfitted with a refrigerator for perishable packages. As such, the conference room can no longer be reserved until further notice.

FOURTH: Security: Some of you have expressed concern regarding the security of common equipment. As of today, CBS research buildings will be locked. Please make sure that rooms containing common equipment are also locked to the best of your ability. In addition, Ernie will be making rounds of the MCB labs and common equipment rooms 1X/day to help ensure that they are secure.

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The current policy is that the campus remains open for research activities. PLEASE READ THIS ENTIRE EMAIL - RESPONSE PLAN REQUIRED.

FIRST: If anyone is uncomfortable coming into work or have other factors, such as childcare or living with a high-risk individual, they should stay home. Work with them to develop a plan to maintain their productivity (literature reviews, data mining, data analysis etc.) and connectivity (Zoom meetings) to your lab.

SECOND: Plans should be put into place immediately that prevent the spread of the COVID-19 virus. Please see the CDC recommendations.

These include:

  1. If you are sick or have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 related symptoms (fever, cough) quarantine yourself for the recommended 14 days. Please conform to the campus guidelines regarding the reporting protocol. These guidelines are posted at our MCB website.
  2. If you are high risk, work remotely.
  3. Allow for the maintenance of 6 feet between people. This might require instituting work shifts in your lab.
  4. All personnel should wash their hands with soap (at least 20 sec) periodically and after touching surfaces that are commonly used (equipment, door handles).
  5. Don't touch your face.
  6. Cough and sneeze into a tissue/Kimwipe followed by washing your hands.
  7. Regularly disinfect lab surfaces that are common such as PCR instruments etc… 70% ethanol works.
  8. Do not socialize in groups of any size –importantly this includes outside of the laboratory.

THIRD: This is a very fluid situation. Please regularly check campus and our departmental websites for updates. Our departmental website is: https://www.mcb.ucdavis.edu/news/covid-19/

FOURTH: You must develop a plan for the maintenance of all essential research activities in the event of campus research closure, including cell lines, animals, etc… Please send your plan ASAP directly to Jodi Nunnari at jmnunnari@ucdavis.edu

CURRENT MCB OPERATIONS:

  • Staci - Working from home.
  • Cynthia - Working from home and in office.
  • Debbie/Christine - Working from home and in office. Purchasing/receiving are designated essential functions for the department and will continue. Also, we are working with MMG and NPB staff to ensure no disruption in receiving orders.
  • Tina- Will be in the office every morning at 8 am, longer if necessary and work from home.
  • Hemang - Will be in the office at 8 am. Hemang's priority is to assist instructors with setting up online courses for Spring. Please be patient when requesting assistance with other computing issues.

MCB COMMON RESOURCES: Liquid nitrogen is critical. We requested three additional tanks to be delivered to 70 Briggs Hall. Our regular delivery days is Wednesday. We will request a replacement as soon as one tank is empty. Please contact Christine at ctruesdale@ucdavis.edu whenever you change from an empty tank to a full tank. We are enquiring about future supply and alternative vendors.

SOME RELEVANT POLICIES:

  • Paid Leave: UCOP has revised their policy regarding paid leave and are now supporting 128 hours of paid administrative leave. The new policy can be found here: https://hr.ucdavis.edu/coronavirus
  • Minors in labs: With the school closures, questions about bringing children into work have been raised. Policy prohibits minors under age of 14 in laboratories, even if they are related to laboratory personnel. From UC Policy on Minors in Laboratories and Shops: "Minors under the age of 14 are not permitted in University of California laboratories or shops, except when participating in an approved and supervised tour. This prohibition extends to the minor children related to laboratory personnel."

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Jodi Nunnari
Distinguished Professor and Chair
Editor-In-Chief, The Journal of Cell Biology
Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology
University of California, Davis

If you have any news items you would like to add to this page, please send them to Hemang Patel