By Julie Chen
In accordance with Chancellor Moloney’s announcement that UMass Lowell will scale back and minimize its on-campus presence for Fall 2020, the university will shift immediately to a modified Stage 3 research re-entry plan, referred to below as Stage 3B.
The original plan for Stage 4 was to move toward an almost fully open program in the fall. This shift is a recognition that maintaining low density for safety will be a longer term requirement due to ongoing COVID-19 concerns. Hence, beyond our prior focus on urgent tasks, we wish to now support continuation of regular research activities, while maintaining low floor and building densities. Where reasonable, we also seek to limit opening entire buildings and floors if alternative functional locations can be identified that help to preserve staff and energy resources.
For Stage 3B, campus access continues to be restricted, but limited access will be permitted with advance approval and in compliance with requirements issued by the research re-entry committee and university for safety and other matters. Scheduling of lab or studio access days and times for each individual will, however, be done locally rather than by the committee.
Please note Stage 3B is an updated version of the Stage 3 plan with the following modifications and/or reminders:
- Those who have received approval and are currently working on-campus will receive an automatic extension of access until at least Oct. 31, 2020.
- Applications for new access will be evaluated with less emphasis on demonstration of urgency of activities and a higher focus on appropriate scheduling plans, to ensure minimal person-to-person contact and low densities.
- PIs may request additional research team members return to campus, but they are still responsible for abiding by the maximum number of approved personnel within their labs or spaces (1 person per 200 square feet). To ensure awareness and coordination, PIs should discuss with their department chairs before submitting a proposed schedule that adheres to the lab-specific capacities. The committee will continue to monitor floor and building capacities.
- All individuals must still complete the required training prior to returning to campus.
- PIs are responsible for the management and continued supervision of personnel to ensure individuals are familiar with and complying with all policies and procedures. This includes practicing physical distancing, wearing masks on campus, not congregating in common areas, hand hygiene and regular cleaning and disinfecting of workspaces. EHS will continue to conduct inspections to assess compliance with guidelines.
- Exceptions to the plan will be considered by the committee. We encourage all PIs to submit special requests for consideration if their needs fall out of the guidelines as stated in the re-entry plan, such as an extension of hours. The committee is open to working with all researchers and offering reasonable solutions to accommodate individual plans that better support their needs and productivity.