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What type of face mask do I need to wear in the laboratory as PHPE to protect against COVID-19?

The University-supplied face mask for PHPE to protect against COVID-19 can be worn in the laboratory. Please see the Face Masks & PPE Guidance for Laboratory Personnel for more information.

Last update: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 3:44pm
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What on-campus research activities are approved for Phase 2 of research ramp up?

Phase 2 research ramp up is limited to minimal on-campus operations. Please see the below list of approved activities per type of research.

Basic Research: The focus will be on a gradual increase of on-campus research activities, performing experiments in the labs. This phase will help us to better understand the new workflow in wet labs to ensure the health and safety of faculty and staff, while also allowing us to ramp down on-campus research activities as needed if conditions change. Additional guidance is currently being developed for projects involving human samples/tissues.

Human Subjects Research: The focus will continue to be on preparing to resume face-to-face studies in a safe, effective manner once guidance is received from the Federal government. Continued use of remote work is encouraged where possible.

Humanities, Social Science, and Policy Research & Scholarship: The focus will continue to be on researchers working with their School and Center leadership to understand who needs to be on-campus and what scheduling might look like. Continued use of remote work is encouraged where possible.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 4:14pm
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Can I substitute face masks with respirators as PPE for research experiments?

No, face masks cannot be substituted for respirators and N95 masks as they do not provide the required respiratory protection. As a reminder, respirators and N95 masks should only be used as required by the research experiment or personal health needs; they should not be used as PHPE to protect against COVID-19.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 1:47pm
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How can I conserve my lab’s PPE inventory for research experiments?

While disposable PPE should not be reused, labs should evaluate whether activities can be planned so that the number of entries into a lab is reduced, thereby reducing the amount of disposable PPE that is needed. 
 
Additionally, use reusable respirators. Disposable respirators, such as N95 respirator masks, may be in short supply. Before your supply runs out, consider purchasing PAPRs, which are battery-powered, reusable respirators. 
 
Finally, secure your stocks of PPE. Make sure the PPE is in a locked cabinet or room that is accessible only to personnel who need it.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 12:08pm
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Are there procedures I need to follow on a daily basis when coming on-campus?

Yes, prior to arriving on campus each workday, faculty and staff, including postdoctoral scholars and doctoral students, must complete a Daily Health Screening Survey to attest that they are not experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 or have recently come into contact with someone who is confirmed to have COVID-19. Upon completing the survey, individuals will immediately receive an email confirming whether they can come to campus. Those approved to come to campus may be required to show the email to a school administrator, supervisor or building security guard upon arrival. The survey can be accessed via:

Last update: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 3:50pm
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Is there anything that I need to do before initiating on-campus research activities?

Yes, before initiating on-campus research activities, faculty and staff, including postdoctoral scholars and doctoral students, must:

Last update: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 3:47pm
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When did Phase 2 of research ramp up begin?

Phase 2 of research ramp up began on June 8, 2020.

Last update: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 3:43pm
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How do I know if I was approved for Phase 2 of research ramp up?

Each School and Center submitted a research ramp up plan to the Integrative Safety Committee for review and approval based on individual lab and department plans submitted by investigators. Please connect with your Research Dean as to whether you are approved to initiate on-campus research activities in Phase 2 of research ramp up.

Last update: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 3:42pm
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I am interested in meeting with a member of OVPR staff. Is this possible?

OVPR staff will continue to meet with faculty, staff, students and postdocs either via WebEx or Zoom. Please feel free to reach out to schedule a virtual meeting.

Last update: Wednesday, Jun 24, 2020 - 2:12pm
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I am planning to travel for research or for a program in the future.  Should I book my travel and accommodations?

If you are traveling domestically or internationally, you should discuss this plan with your supervisor in advance to understand whether you will need to work from home and self-quarantine prior to returning to work. It is difficult to predict how the spread of COVID-19 will evolve in the future, and what measures will be taken by local and national authorities (both in the US and in other countries). If you book your travel, try to find airlines, hotels or rentals that are offering flexible cancellation and refund policies.  You are highly encouraged to book through the university’s preferred travel provider, Travel Collaborative.

Last update: Friday, Jun 26, 2020 - 5:54pm
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Will the IRB provide “blanket approvals” for modifications to study procedures to allow for remote/virtual participation?

No, the IRB cannot provide blanket approvals for modifications to approved protocols, as each study is different and the changes in study procedures must be assessed based on a given study. You are welcome to come up with standard language to use in your modifications if you need to submit changes for multiple studies, but a modification will need to be submitted for each active protocol.

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 4:14pm
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I need to suspend my human subjects research activities. Do I need to notify the sponsor of the study?

Please discuss the particulars of your project with your research administrator. If a notification to the sponsor is needed, they will work with the OVPR Pre-Award team who will submit the formal notification. 

Last update: Thursday, Jun 25, 2020 - 1:50pm
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These FAQs are subject to change. Please check back here for the latest guidance. If you do not  find the information you are looking for, please send an email to COVID19@tufts.edu.