Research Recovery

Beginning on June 22, 2020, Stanford Research will enter Stage 2. This Research Recovery Handbook focuses on guidance for Stages 0 – 2. It currently covers laboratories, libraries, and field research, and will be expanded for other areas of scholarship and updated as conditions develop.

Recent Updates (Highlighted below)

  • Travel Policy
  • Stage 2 for Laboratory Research
    • Official start date of June 22
    • Allowable Research Activities
    • Outdoor Small-Group Meeting Guideline and Protocol for Research Restart
  • Stage 2 for Libraries
  • New Section: Field Research
      • Principles and Procedures for Restart
      • COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices
        • Buddy System
      • Field Research Approval Process

Introduction

This document explains Stanford’s staged plan to resume research activity. Our goal is to re-activate our research enterprise while minimizing the risk that anyone transmits the coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) to anyone else within our laboratory environment.

The text box labeled How to Protect Yourself & Others summarizes relevant guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the world’s premier public health organization, and the Santa Clara County Department of Public Health (SCCDPH), the body that is legally designated to protect and promote the health of our local community. In brief, CDC guidance requires us to wash our hands often, practice social distancing (also called physical distancing), wear a mask when we are near others, avoid gathering in groups, and clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. The SCCDPH Order includes more details and at this time, also requires us to complete COVID-19 symptom screening before beginning work. If we follow these universal instructions, the probability is low that we will infect others or become infected ourselves. This Stanford guidance represents our effort to implement the CDC’s and SCCDPH’s instructions in the context of laboratory research.

The health of our community is our highest priority. Before we fully reactivate Stanford’s research endeavors, we must render our research environments and research practices as safe as humanly possible.

Beginning with the Shelter-in-place order on 03/17/2020, we entered Stage 0, in which the university asked us to eliminate our on-campus research presence, except to conduct Essential Research Functions: that is, to complete our shutdown procedures, carry out critical maintenance activities, conduct certain kinds of clinical research, or conduct COVID-19 research that could mitigate the spread of the pandemic. Beginning on May 11, 2020, we also approved Minimum Basic Research Operations, including work that either a) maintains the value of research inventory and samples or b) enables researchers to work from remote locations to the fullest extent possible. Stage 1, which focused on preparing labs for a return to research, was implemented on June 1, 2020, and Stage 2 will begin on June 22, 2020.

We will update this guidance frequently to reflect rapid changes in our understanding and in our external and internal environments. The website now offers the following content:

  • Definitions, prerequisites, characteristic activities, and best practices for each stage,
  • A checklist of researcher responsibilities for all laboratory researchers to review to assure the safety of the community,
  • Checklists for laboratories to help them operate safely, and
  • Guidance to library patrons.

As we focus on our mission of creating new knowledge, we affirm our shared commitment to the health and safety of our extended research community, including faculty, students, research staff members, support staff members, vendors, contractors, and delivery personnel.

How to Protect Yourself and OthersThe best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus. The virus is thought to spread mainly from person to person, between people who are in close contact with each other (within about 6 feet), through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or talks. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs. Everyone should

  1. Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing. If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
  2. Avoid close contact with people who are sick. Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home. Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus. Stay at least 6 feet from other people. Do not gather in groups. Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings. Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting sick.
  3. Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others. You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick. Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
  4. Cover coughs and sneezes. If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or use the inside of your elbow. Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.
  5. Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection. Then use a household disinfectant.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html

Staged Approach

Parts of the University are currently operating as an essential business under restricted-access protocols. In addition, some labs are conducting Essential Functions and Minimum Basic Operations, as allowed by Santa Clara County orders and University guidance. As Santa Clara County orders are loosened, operations on campus will follow suit, though not necessarily at the same pace.

Stanford plans to reactivate our research activities via a staged approach. University administration will decide to move forward into a more advanced stage (or backward into a less advanced stage) on the basis of local, county, state, and federal public health directives; the current state of the health care system; and policy directives and decisions by Stanford’s COVID-19 Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

During all stages, departments and laboratory groups should

  • minimize the occupancy density of campus rooms and buildings,
  • limit person-to-person contact within our facilities,
  • open on-campus research space only to activities that cannot operate remotely, and
  • undertake those activities only in the limited areas of campus buildings necessary to complete the work.

During all stages, anyone working on campus must use Health Check so that Stanford can screen all personnel for temperature anomalies and other COVID-19 symptoms prior to the beginning of each shift. Employers of vendors, contractors, and other workers will also be expected to screen their employees on a daily basis before they enter a Stanford facility.

Many research projects have successfully transitioned to remote or partially remote operation; i.e., they now require no access or infrequent access to university spaces. These projects should continue to operate remotely throughout Stage 2 at least.

These guidelines apply to laboratories and to other spaces within laboratory buildings. Updated guidance on the use of classrooms, teaching labs, or other instructional spaces, including the use of labs for remote teaching, will be updated when available.

Academic Policy Working Groups

The Research Continuity Policy Group, via its associated working groups, is advisory to the Academic Policy Group. They coordinate with the Emergency Operations Center, with the Long-term Recovery Planning Team, and with other planning groups such as those established by departments, institutes, and schools.

The working groups are charged with the following responsibilities:

  • Advise the Academic Policy Group on the safe restart of research and scholarship as it becomes applicable for each research area, and through the entire restart cycle;
  • Communicate and gather feedback on research recovery planning and implementation to create a shared understanding of principles, policies, priorities, and recommended practices;
  • Identify best practices in research recovery at peer institutions, as well as in industry, government, and the nonprofit sector;
  • Share lessons learned, best practices, and ideas for longer-term priorities with the research subgroup of the Long-Term Recovery Team.

Members

  • Graduate Students and Postdocs (Matrixed)
    • Sofie Kleppner, Associate Dean for Postdoctoral Affairs (Chair)
    • Elaina Jones, postdoc, Medicine
    • Latifah Hani Hamzah, grad student, Mech E
    • Katie Dickerson, grad student, Medicine
    • John Hegarty, postdoc, Psychiatry
    • Caroline Ferguson, grad student, E-IPER
    • Gina Bouchard, postdoc, Radiology
    • Yiqing Ding, grad student, Mech E
    • Kristin Wilson, grad student, MTL
    • Coralie Delhaye, postdoc, Education
  • Labs, Libraries and Shared Facilities
    • Tim Stearns, Professor, Chair of Faculty Senate, Biology (Chair)
    • Justin Du Bois, Professor, Chemistry
    • Miriam Goodman, Professor, MCP
    • Giorgio Gratta, Professor, Physics
    • Nick Ouellette, Professor, CEE
    • Susan Vleck, Assistant Director, Laboratory Chemical & Physical Safety Program, EH&S
    • Elizabeth Dahlen, Director of Finance and Operations, Chemistry
    • Mimi Calter, Deputy University Librarian, Libraries
    • Tobi Beetz, Associate Director, SNSF
    • Elaina Jones, postdoc, Medicine
    • Latifah Hani Hamzah, grad student, Mech E
  • Clinical Human Subjects
    • Ruth O’Hara, Senior Associate Dean, Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Chair)
    • Andy Hoffman, Professor, Endocrinology
    • Manisha Desai, Professor, SoM Quantitative Sciences Unit
    • Latha Palaniappan, Medicine
    • Mary Chen, Executive Director, Maternal & Child Health Research Institute, Pediatrics
    • John Hegarty, postdoc, Psychiatry
    • Alison Kerr, IT Services, Stanford Health Care
    • Katie Dickerson, grad student, C-Res, Medicine
  • Non-Clinical Human Subjects Research
    • Jeanne Tsai, Professor, Psychology (Chair)
    • Tim Stearns, Professor, Chair of Faculty Senate, Biology
    • Ruth O’Hara, Senior Associate Dean, Research and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
    • Garry Gold, Professor and Vice Chair for Research and Organization, Radiology
    • Nick Hall, Associate Director, Behavioral Lab, Graduate School of Business
    • Bruce McCandliss, Professor, Education
    • Sylvia Yanagisako, Professor, Anthropology
    • Steve Collins, Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
    • David Strick, Director of Safety and Emergency Management, SoM
    • Adam Bailey, Non-Medical IRB Manager, RCO
    • Serena Rao, Senior Associate Dean for Finance and Administration, Vice Provost Dean of Research
    • LeAnne Amoroso, Health Physicist, EH&S
    • Kemi Oyewole, grad student, Education
  • Field Research
    • Jonathan Payne, Professor, Geological Sciences (Chair)
    • Mark Denny, Professor, Director Hopkins Marine Station, Biology, H&S
    • Beatriz Magaloni-Kerpel, Professor, Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies, Political Science, H&S
    • Bruce Macintosh, Professor, Physics, H&S
    • Jenna Davis, Professor, Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute, Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Amy Balsom, Senior Associate Dean, School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
    • Julie Hardin-Stauter, Executive Director of Facilities and Capital Planning, H&S
    • Ryan Petterson, Director of Field Education, School of Earth, Energy and Environmental Sciences
    • Sarah Martin Segal, Organizational Insight Analyst, EH&S
    • Heather Perry, Health & Safety Specialist, EH&S
    • Tony Barnosky, Professor, Jasper Ridge and Biology
    • Caroline Ferguson, grad student, E-IPER
  • Computation
    • Mark Horowitz, Professor, Electrical Engineering (Chair)
    • Gina Bouchard, postdoc, co-chair SURPAS, Radiology
    • Biondo Biondi, Professor, Geophysics
    • Susan Holmes, Professor, Statistics
    • Tom Devereaux, Director SIMES, Professor, MSE, SLAC
    • Manisha Desai, Professor, SoM Quantitative Sciences Unit
    • Gianluca Iaccarino, Professor, ICME/ME
    • Nick Bloom, Professor, Economics
    • Andrej Krevl, IT Technical Manager, CS
    • Ruth Marinshaw, Chief Technology Officer, Research Computing
    • Kevin Manalili, Director of Facilities and Planning, Engineering
    • Yiqing Ding, grad student, Mech E
  • Humanities and Arts
    • Stephen Hinton, Professor, Music (Chair)
    • Susan Dackerman, Director of the Cantor Museum, Cantor Arts Center
    • Coralie Delhaye, postdoc, Education
    • Paula Findlen, Professor, History
    • Roland Greene, Director of the Humanities Center, Professor, English and DLCL
    • Alexander Nemerov, Professor, Art and Art History
    • Steve Sano, Professor, Music
    • Lisa Surwillo, Associate Professor, DLCL, Iberian and Latin American Cultures
    • Matt Smith, Professor, TAPS
    • Kristin Wilson, grad student, EDGE fellow in Modern Thought & Literature, Education
    • Sonia Barragan, Executive Director, Research Administration, H&S
    • Shannon Silva, Associate Director of Facilities and Capital Planning, H&S

Travel Policy

Current Stanford University travel policy can be found here. Off-campus research should be registered in MyTrips.

Stage 0 for Laboratory Research

Environmental Factors

Stanford Research will remain in Stage 0 as long as any of these environmental factors persist:

  • COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to increase.
  • The availability of testing and tracking remains too limited to assure the health of our community.
  • Personal protective equipment, face coverings, and supplies for cleaning, disinfection, or personal protection remain limited.

Allowed Research Activities

During Stage 0, Stanford is allowing access to campus laboratories and research spaces only for approved key personnel and only for approved Essential Research Functions. Essential Research Functions, defined in a March 17 memo, consist of a) maintenance required to preserve laboratory viability, b) certain clinical research described in the School of Medicine’s Guidance for Clinical Trials and Clinical Research, and c) COVID-19 research that has the clear potential to reduce the spread of COVID-19 or its impact on human health. Essential Research Functions require the approval of relevant department chairs, institute directors, cognizant deans, and review committees.

As of May 11, 2020, Stanford academic units (schools, departments, and institutes) may approve a small number of research visits to campus for Minimum Basic Research Operations that a) maintain the value of research inventory and samples, or b) ensure that remote work can continue to the fullest extent possible. For example, Minimum Basic Research Operations may include these activities: biobanking, making cultures, processing samples that would otherwise degrade, acquiring a final piece of data that will enable group members to analyze and document their experiments, setting up an experiment that someone can monitor and control remotely, or accessing laboratory data for subsequent remote analysis.

Laboratory Headcount and Building and Campus Population Density

During Stage 0, we expect that most research groups will have zero researchers coming to campus. For each Principal Investigator (PI), preferably no more than 1, and definitely no more than 2 personnel should work on campus on any given day, unless the PI has obtained approval for COVID-19 or other Essential Research Functions or Minimum Basic Research Operations. The main goal of these very limited visits should be to maintain the value of the research inventory and to maximize the amount of remote work that research group members can perform.

During Stage 0 and all later stages, we should limit the headcount in laboratory spaces to support adequate physical distancing (at least 6 feet apart). We need to limit population density not only in the lab, but also throughout the building, including in shared spaces such as equipment rooms, bathrooms, elevators, and other common areas, and on campus overall. By maintaining low density in the lab, throughout each building, and on campus, we can help protect researchers and limit the number of staff in support roles who must come to work. Stanford’s social distancing protocol must be followed.

A PI approved to conduct critical or COVID-related work who meets the personnel limits of the current stage cannot add more personnel to his or laboratory space until the research effort reaches a higher stage (e.g., until Stage 2).

Preparations for Stages 1 and 2 that can be completed during Stage 0

  • Labs and facilities take inventory of their personal protective equipment (PPE), plan their anticipated use rates, and purchase lab-specific PPE through normal channels. It is important to order supplies early, given the longer-than-usual lead times.
  • EOC Logistics a) purchases additional COVID-specific protective materials, including face coverings and cleaning and disinfection supplies, and b) coordinates with school facilities directors to distribute those materials if needed to smooth supply chain disruptions.
  • Labs and facilities create lab-level Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) that incorporate rigorous training and enforcement.
  • Each school works with internal and external stakeholders to ensure adequate local planning. Efforts could include tabletop exercises, planning workshops, and/or department-specific discussions.
  • School facility directors coordinate with Land Buildings & Real Estate (LBRE) to reactivate building systems and housekeeping services at least two weeks before we enter Stage 1.
  • Building managers and lab support staff assess lab environment and configuration, then equip buildings and labs with floor marking and signage to reduce density and encourage physical distancing.
  • Laboratory support staff members operationalize shared facilities and animal research facilities.
  • All researchers and laboratory support staff members who are designated to return to campus are required to complete the COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB training through STARS before doing so.
  • EH&S, schools, and support units collaborate to implement the symptom tracking tool. Update: in response to SCCDPH guidance issued May 19, all personnel on campus must use the Health Check beginning May 22.

Stage 1 for Laboratory Research

Environmental Factors

Stanford may decide to enter Stage 1 when the local environment satisfies these criteria:

  • Local COVID-19 hospitalization rates flatten and decline.
  • COVID-19 testing capacity increases.
  • Stanford offers rigorous COVID-specific EH&S training and enforces physical distancing directives.
  • The campus community adopts the Health Check tool.

It is not necessary to eliminate all shortages of personal protective equipment and supplies before entering Stage 1.

Health and Other Concerns

All personnel must:

If you know or suspect that you have COVID-19, follow the guidance on the Health Alerts site.

For the purposes of cleaning a laboratory workspace where someone with COVID-19 has recently worked, contact Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) at 650-723-0448 and your school Human Resources (HR) representative. In the School of Medicine, the Department Finance Administrator (DFA) or HR representative should contact somemergency@stanford.edu. EH&S will assess the need for cleaning and, if necessary, will oversee a thorough cleaning of the appropriate spaces. Do not enter the lab without EH&S approval. The Occupational Health Center will coordinate contract tracing and take other steps as necessary.

Individuals who believe they should not return to research because of medical, pregnancy, or disability issues should contact their local HR representative or may contact the Diversity and Access Office or consult the Administrative Guide: Requesting Workplace Accommodations for Employees with Disabilities.

Individuals who have safety concerns may contact EH&S.  For confidential and anonymous reporting, members of the research community may raise concerns or ask questions via the Ethics and Compliance Helpline.

For emotional and wellbeing support, faculty, staff and postdoctoral scholars should contact the Faculty Staff Help Center, and students should contact Vaden Health Services.

Access to Buildings

Academic units should grant laboratory access only to Key Personnel (i.e., personnel listed under Key Personnel on the Essential Research Smartsheets) with approvals from the COVID Committee and all regular approvals.

Academic units should also provide all personnel a checklist to review the protocols and procedures necessary to protect themselves and others (see the Researcher Return Checklist).

In early periods, researchers should conduct only work approved on Essential Research Smartsheets. To facilitate record keeping and tracking of personnel numbers for population density measurements, we have added sections for Essential Research Functions (up to 5 total), Minimum Basic Research Operations, Stage 1 and Stage 2 to the Smartsheet. Beginning in Stage 2, an On-site Role Management System will be available to track essential personnel who are allowed on campus.

Allowed Research Activities

During Stage 1, the research activities initiated in Stage 0 will continue. ​This is defined as Essential Research Functions and Minimum Basic Research Operations–see Stage 0 for details. The purpose of Stage 1 will be to prepare the laboratory for an increase in research activities in Stage 2.

Non-clinical Human Subjects Research

Whenever possible, non-clinical human subjects research should continue to be postponed or conducted remotely until a safe return to campus is possible.

However, IRB-approved, in-person non-clinical human subjects research activities that meet all four of the following criteria may restart beginning June 10, 2020:

  1. Subjects are members of the same research team as PIs;
  2. PIs, researchers, and subjects are willing and ready to participate, in compliance with IRB consent procedures;
  3. PIs have Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) that conform to requirements (e.g., density criteria, hygiene, laboratory headcount and building population density) for Stage 1 Laboratories Research in the Research Recovery Handbook, and that have received approval from appropriate departments and/or schools;
  4. PIs will provide feedback and share information with the non-clinical human subjects research recovery working group about restart procedures and lessons learned while restarting.

The non-clinical human subjects research recovery working group is currently weighing the risks and potential mitigation strategies of all other types of in-person non-clinical human subjects research conducted on our campus and related sites. While the working group continues to develop recommendations on these matters, PIs are encouraged to develop restart plans and SOPs. These plans and SOPs must minimize the risk of COVID-19 transmission among subjects, researchers, and their respective communities, as well as to the broader campus community. Restart plans and SOPs should include health screening of researchers and subjects at the time of the study, physical distancing and occupancy limits in research space and buildings, personal protective equipment, and disinfectant protocols for any instrumentation, computers, etc. that subjects might come into contact with. Anonymous reporting and consent procedures must be made clear to researchers and subjects. PIs should consult the Research Recovery Handbook, which will be updated as recommendations for in-person non-clinical human subjects research are developed. Questions, concerns, or suggestions may be directed to the working group here.

Density Criteria

Academic units will gradually and incrementally increase the numbers of research personnel and the type of research allowed in accordance with the space density criteria (see below).

Prioritization

Local units will determine their own restart priorities ​within the bounds of allowed research activities, considering factors such as these:

  • research with near-term contractual deliverables to external sponsors,
  • early-career PI projects,
  • trainees who are close to completing their degrees or their terms of appointment,
  • animal research with animals or colonies already established on campus, and
  • longitudinal research projects.

Shared Facilities

Shared facilities will resume operations to the extent required to assist user demand from the essential functions and minimum basic operations allowed in Stage 1.

Libraries

On-campus libraries will expand their availability options ​as allowed under Santa Clara County and Stanford guidance. See the appropriate sections of this Handbook relating to Libraries.

Disallowed Research Activities

During Stage 1, Stanford will continue to prohibit most non-essential in-person human subject research. High school and undergraduate researchers may not enter laboratories.

Laboratory Headcount and Building Population Density

The goal in Stage 1 is to allow preparations for Stage 2 research while limiting population density in labs, in buildings, and on campus. In Stage 1, a small number of researchers will a) prepare labs and units for a gradual return to work in Stage 2 and b) prepare to train the next group that will be coming in to work. In Stage 1, we will cap the limit on personnel at two (2) per faculty member per shift.

In Stage 1, only one person at a time may occupy rooms with areas smaller than 250 square feet (e.g., tissue culture rooms, microscopy rooms, small instrument rooms, etc.).

On June 5th, the density cap was extended to 4 people per faculty member per shift, provided that (a) the laboratory room has at least 250 square feet per person, and (b) the local unit approves the faculty member going to this density. The lab SOP must include physical distancing.

In some instances, situations may require that two people work in closer proximity than 6 feet. This might include operating a piece of equipment (e.g., starting up an NMR machine), performing necessary experimental steps (e.g., surgeries requiring two researchers), or safety activities (e.g., working with cryogens, transporting heavy equipment, providing aid in case of a potential incident/exposure). In these instances, personnel should maximize distance where possible, minimize time in proximity where possible (without rushing), and coordinate and collaborate on logistics before and during the work process. Physical distancing should not be discarded for convenience, such as simply allowing more people to work in a smaller space.

Researchers should occupy (at most) only every other work space (bay, bench, etc., depending on the lab layout) and remain at least 6 feet apart. Pairs of researchers should not occupy work spaces directly opposite one another at the same time if the distance between those work spaces is less than 6 feet. Laboratory managers should place barriers or partitions between researchers who work facing one another. PIs must cooperate to ensure that they do not exceed these density limits in shared spaces. We recommend that researchers establish a shared calendar for spaces belonging to 2 or more faculty members.

Wherever possible, researchers who share shifts should work in the same groups consistently to limit the number of cross-shift contacts.

We strongly encourage units (schools, departments, institutes, and buildings) to disallow late shifts and to establish limits on scheduled shifts. For example, we recommend that no scheduled shifts occur between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., with minor exceptions for timed experiments. These exceptions need approvals from the PI and / or the department. Late or “graveyard” shifts, such as 10 p.m. to 6 a.m., frequently correspond with higher rates of injury and exposure, and safety personnel are less available at those times.

In Stage 1, researchers may not at present extend the types of research beyond Essential Research Functions, COVID-19-related work, and Minimum Basic Research Operations, and they may not exceed the workforce limit of 2 personnel per PI per shift.

Non-Laboratory Areas

Academic units should comport with general campus recovery plans. They should assess common public areas to determine population density limits and mark floors to regulate physical distancing. To assist with this, LBRE will provide a Building Manager Communication Toolkit with applicable signage and markings, as well as examples and guidelines on where to place items.

Academic units may generally choose not to occupy conference rooms and similar community spaces at this stage. If they choose to do so, they must mark them appropriately.

Where kitchens are open and accessible, academic units should discourage people from congregating, insist that they observe physical distancing, and require people to clean surfaces after each use with cleaning supplies provided on site.

Academic units should reserve smaller restrooms (< 250 square feet) for single occupancy where possible and should provide appropriate signage, per LBRE, or occupancy limits on communal spaces such as bathrooms or elevators.

Hygiene

Researchers must continue to wear personal protective equipment (PPE) that they commonly wear for research activities.

Do not share PPE with other lab members unless necessary. If you commonly share personal protective equipment (for example, the face shields used with UV lightboxes to visualize DNA), you must clean and disinfect it after each use in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Consistent with Santa Clara County and Stanford guidance, researchers must wear face coverings in all university buildings except residences, where other rules apply. Researchers may elect not to wear face coverings when they are outside (provided that they maintain physical distancing) or under other situations outlined on the Health Alerts site. Face coverings can reduce the spread of the virus, but they do not eliminate the requirements to maintain physical distancing or to wash hands frequently.

Researchers must follow hand washing guidance.

PIs and academic units must ensure that labs follow self-care guidance on cleaning and disinfecting workspaces (Laboratories and Offices) at the end of each work session. Cleaning options include 10% freshly prepared bleach, 70% ethanol, or disinfecting wipes. Custodial cleaning occurs in common shared spaces, and not in labs or offices, and thus it is the responsibility of users to clean these spaces.

Preparations for Stage 2

  • The EOC Research Continuity Team assesses the effectiveness of Stage 1 results and adjusts operating guidelines if needed.
  • Departments and labs train people who will return to their laboratories in Stage 2.
  • Labs secure supplies to support the people who will return to their labs.
  • Campus partners (e.g., LBRE, Transportation, Public Safety, R&DE) increase staffing for core campus functions to handle the anticipated increased occupancy limit.

Stage 2 for Laboratory Research

Environmental Factors

Stanford may enter Stage 2 when the local environment satisfies these criteria:

  • Stage 1 implementation reaches steady state.
  • Local COVID-19 hospitalizations continue to drop.
  • COVID-19 testing reaches full capacity.
  • PPE shortages may still exist but become less severe.
  • Public health authorities and the Governor allow small gatherings or relax restrictions on “essential workers and essential functions”.

Allowable Research Activities

Additional on-campus research activities will be permitted starting on Monday, June 22 as Stage 2 begins. During Stage 2, essential on-campus research functions and associated support activities will continue to ramp up as a small number of additional researchers return to campus to conduct research that cannot be done remotely because it requires access to facilities or materials that are only available on campus. Most faculty and staff members will continue to work off-site, including theoretical, computational, and other researchers who have not yet been granted access to on-campus facilities, consistent with County guidance.

As Stage 2 begins, each academic unit may adjust research activity levels depending on staffing and readiness, while adhering to the broader Stanford guidance. PIs may gradually increase the number of on-site personnel in their labs with approval from the academic unit. Headcount will be limited mainly by laboratory space considerations, with up to one person per 250 square feet of laboratory space permitted. (Note that per Santa Clara County guidance, total building occupancy at this time is limited to 300 square feet per person based on gross square footage, which would include lobbies, bathrooms, hallways, etc.)

Tracking of essential personnel will transition from the Essential Research Smartsheets to the On-site Role Management System (ORMS). The ORMS will be used to track essential personnel and will be maintained by local units. For help updating your personnel lists, please contact your department to determine who is assisting with this function. The ORMS will also track completion of the COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB, as well as completion of the daily Health Check (it will not report health status).

High school and undergraduate researchers may not enter laboratories in Stage 2 until further notice.

All researchers are encouraged to update Stanford Who to list their primary building location to help with ORMS, as well as for emergency management and disaster response. Stanford Who is currently being updated to allow for primary floor and room listing as well.

Beginning in Stage 2, COVID-19-related basic research will no longer need approval from the Dean of Research Essential Research Functions Review Committee. This research must still receive approval from the normal relevant panels, such as IRB, APLAC and APB, prior to initiation of work, and must also comply with all guidance outlined in this document. COVID-19 research involving Human Subjects must still obtain approval from the COVID-19 Clinical Research Review Panel (CCRRP); contact Pooneh.Fouladi@stanford.edu for details.

Local academic units may approve field research on a case-by-case basis, subject to travel restrictions, local restrictions at field sites, and the ability to maintain physical distancing at field sites. See the appropriate sections of this Handbook relating to Field Research.

Additional information about other types of research will be updated as it becomes available.

After the June 22nd transition to Stage 2 has been completed, and if public health conditions and county guidance allow, the use of offices, conference rooms, and teaching spaces in laboratory buildings may be allowed for non-lab academic or educational work activities. Those using these spaces must still adhere to the 1 person per 250 square feet density, physical distancing, use of Health Check, required online COVID training, good hygiene, wearing of face coverings, and all other requirements outlined in this document and required by the county and Stanford. Further updates will be posted here when available.

Outdoor Small-Group Meeting Guideline and Protocol for Research Restart

Faculty from a variety of schools and departments have been requesting access to meet with their students, postdocs, and researchers. To accommodate this request, and given the need to keep building density low during Stages 1 and 2 of returning to research on campus, the guidelines for outdoor small group meetings detailed below have been approved. These outdoor meetings can be held on campus, on private premises (e.g., faculty homes), and at other locations where the group can distance from one another AND from others in the area.

The outdoor meetings are intended to serve as an interim solution for theoretical, computational, and other dry lab researchers who do not yet have access to on-campus facilities. The following guidelines apply to these meetings:

  • Outdoor small-group meetings will be allowed in the current stage (Stage 2) for research groups only.
  • The meetings will be permissible for research groups that are not able to meet within the physical distancing requirements in their building and are not allowed to restart in Stage 1-2.
  • The meetings will be prioritized for work sessions that cannot be done effectively through remote collaborations.
  • Schools and departments will approve outdoor meetings on a case-by-case basis.
  • The meeting will be capped at 4 people, including faculty.
  • Faculty cannot require students, postdocs, or researchers to attend if they feel uncomfortable.
  • The location of the outdoor meeting should be easily accessible by students, postdocs, and researchers.
  • Faculty shall record the meeting on their Stanford calendar as they do for regular meetings in order to comply with contact-tracing requirements. The calendar should include the names of meeting attendees and the general outdoor area where the group will be meeting. For on-campus meetings, non-departmental outdoor space should be reserved via 25Live.
  • Faculty will be present at all times to enforce compliance with masking and physical distancing.
  • All participants will complete Covid-19 Hygiene STARS training and Health Check before coming to campus.
  • All participants are required to wear face coverings, maintain at least 6’ physical distancing, and sanitize hands before and after the meeting.
  • Participants are strongly encouraged to bring their own seatings, such as picnic blankets and foldable chairs.
  • Participants are responsible for wiping down common surfaces with disinfecting wipes before and after the meeting. For on-campus meetings, participants may not use outdoor seatings that are taped off.
  • Meetings should be limited to a duration that avoids or at least minimizes the need for restrooms.
    • Restroom use at outdoor meetings on campus is limited to facilities in department buildings with which meeting participants are affiliated. For meetings on private premises, faculty shall provide disinfecting wipes, and participants are responsible for wiping down touched surfaces after using the restroom.

Laboratory Headcount and Building Population Density

Beginning on June 22, headcount will be limited mainly by laboratory space considerations, to a maximum of 1 person per 250 square feet. PIs may gradually increase the number of on-site personnel to the maximum allowed based on room size, density requirements, and while observing physical distancing requirements. The university may change the lab density requirements on the basis of new evidence. Stanford’s social distancing protocol must be followed.

Santa Clara county currently requires a maximum building density based on 300 square feet per person. The allowable square feet per person in laboratory spaces accounts for both primary use of laboratory space and use of some common spaces throughout the building, for a maximum density in agreement with the county requirement.

In Stage 2, research personnel must continue to maintain physical distancing. The limits established for Stage 1 regarding small rooms, distance between people, and distances between work spaces still apply. Laboratories may gradually relax the limits on the number of personnel in laboratories, up to a density of 1 person per 250 square feet in any space. Local units will determine the appropriate limits for population density in individual labs by evaluating the square footage, the layout, and the workable space.

Laboratories will remain ready to return to earlier stages expeditiously if the university or government agencies require them to do so. For example, laboratories should leave their Stage 1 floor markings in place even after the campus moves to Stage 2, and should be ready to implement shutdown procedures on experiments that they could not maintain under Stage 1 guidelines.

PIs, Departments, and Institutes, within the bounds of this guidance and the limits imposed by their units, must identify the maximum numbers of personnel who can work safely in their lab at the same time, enforce these limits, and implement a calendar or scheduled shift system to accommodate physical distancing.

Academic units must verify that PIs have identified appropriate limits to the density of laboratory personnel and the PIs are enforcing those limits. If research teams are not observing density limits or are otherwise failing to observe physical distancing requirements, academic units have the authority to cut off lab access until the issues are resolved and to revoke access altogether in cases of repeat offense. Before restarting, each unit should discuss how to best escalate these issues. We strongly recommend routine walkthroughs of buildings or laboratories to check for compliance.

Building Access, Non-Lab Areas, Hygiene, Health & Other Concerns

All instructions and recommendations provided for Stage 1 also apply for Stage 2.

Preparations for Stage 3

  • The EOC Research Continuity Team assesses the effectiveness of Stage 2 results, adjusts operating guidelines if needed, and advises the COVID-19 Policy Group.
  • Departments and labs train people who will return to research in Stage 3.
  • Labs continue to secure supplies that will allow more people to return to labs.
  • Campus partners staff other functions to handle the increased load.

Stage 1 for Libraries

Access

All persons entering Green Library must have made an appointment, taken the COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB program through STARS. Access to and use of Health Check will be required for all staff coming to campus and all readers and staff entering the Green Library.

Given the need for library access to continue research by faculty in the humanities, area studies, and social sciences, Green Library will be opened solely to Stanford faculty, including those with faculty studies, by appointment only and on a limited basis and requiring physical distancing, masking, frequent hand washing, and reduced hours. Portal monitors will be available only at the Green East entrance, the ​Bing Wing entrance will be closed.

Please be prepared to stand in the designated queue and be prepared to show your Health Check status, appointment confirmation and Stanford ID. Entry into the building will be done one at a time to ensure proper social distancing.

Graduate students and postdocs will be admitted as well to continue their research in reading rooms, group study rooms now designated for the pendency of physical distancing requirements as single occupancy rooms, and/or dissertation carrels.

Seminars and group study are specifically forbidden in this Stage, unless conducted by Zoom or similar telecommunications technology.

The Special collections reading room in Green Library will be open by appointment only to faculty and graduate students so that they might resume their work on source material. This will be a limited service, 10:00 to 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. There will be only 1 person per table in the Field Room, so that the physical distancing rule can be easily maintained; face coverings and frequent hand washing will be required.

Any person not observing physical distancing and face covering will be required to leave Green Library on demand.

Paging

Stanford Libraries will provide a paging service to Stanford ID holders for circulating physical resources through limited personal contact guided by physical distancing protocols. Books and other physical resources that ordinarily circulate will be held for the requesting member of the Stanford community in Green Library. This service will start with books held in Green Library, the auxiliary libraries, SAL1, 2, & 3. Once procedures are tested and working well, books from subject specialty libraries (Bowes, Braun, Branner, Cubberley, Lathrop EAL, LiMa, Miller, & Terman) of the Stanford Libraries will be available for paging requests. Paging pick up will be conducted at the East Entrance of Green Library and instructions will be emailed once an appointment is made.

Other Services

Stanford Libraries will re-establish interlibrary borrowing and lending, first in digital forms and then physical forms, in concert with UC-Berkeley and the Ivy+ libraries, pending mutual agreements with these other libraries, making this service available as and when possible.

The digitization lab will be re-opened with reduced staff to begin to digitize resources requested by faculty and graduate students through each reader’s appropriate subject curator.

Stage 2 for Libraries

Access

Current status of library services is regularly updated here: https://library.stanford.edu/status

Library materials from several collections can be requested for pickup at Green Library. This service is available to current Stanford ID cardholders. Please note the request and pick up service does not grant you admittance into the library. Materials can currently be requested from Green Library; SAL1,2, and 3. The request service will be expanded to include branch libraries over several weeks.

Limited access to Green Library, the Special Collections Reading Room in Green Library, and the East Asia Library is now available. Hours for all locations are shortened and by appointment, and appointments are available only to graduate students, post-docs, professors (including emeriti), academic staff, fellows, and Stanford visiting scholars.

All persons entering Green Library must have made an appointment, taken the COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB program through STARS, and been cleared to come to campus through Health Check. Physical distancing is enforced throughout all Stanford Libraries. Group study rooms are for single occupancy use only. Seminars and group study are specifically forbidden in this Stage, unless conducted by Zoom or similar telecommunications technology. Any persons not observing physical distancing and face covering will be required to leave on demand.

Miller Library at Hopkins Marine Station is also open for approved faculty and staff at the station.

Field Research: Principles and Procedures for Restart

The below Field Research Guidance applies only to non-human subjects field research.

As Stanford prepares for a phased re-opening of campus, the university will consider the threat posed by transmission of the coronavirus to the researcher and to the surrounding community in reviewing proposed field research activities. Throughout this process, the safety of Stanford personnel and the local community remains the highest priority. It is acknowledged that addressing safety concerns may require additional costs and increased logistical complexity.  The below COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices provides guidelines regarding risk for typical field activities as well as recommended safety procedures for mitigating risk.  This matrix is a guideline for the approval process by the relevant units on campus. We consider typical outdoor data collection activities as well as activities that occur indoors but away from Stanford facilities and not within the laboratory setting of another institution. 

Section 1. Stanford field stations

Field research operated at and out of Stanford facilities at Hopkins Marine Station and Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve should follow general principles similar to those that govern lab-based research on campus, suitably modified to fit field situations. Research activities must be approved, registered and scheduled, and safety plans for research activities must follow guidelines developed by the facilities and registered with the cognizant Director. Staging of return to research should follow the staging of the reopening of Stanford campus.

Campus Stage 1. Essential Research Functions and Minimum Basic Research Operations that were allowed in Stage 0 may continue. A limited number of additional activities may be allowed to prepare for resumption of some high-priority research projects that may be allowed to resume during Stage 2.

Campus Stage 2. Certain research that has a high priority due to the time sensitive nature of data collection, data type, or researcher status may resume at this stage. Research can be conducted by Stanford affiliates (with approval) following appropriate scheduling and safety procedures.

Campus Stage 3. Research can be conducted by any user (with approval) following appropriate scheduling and safety procedures. Researchers visiting from outside the Bay Area will need to follow any travel-related guidelines regarding self-isolation prior to participating in research at the Stanford facility.

Section 2. Local field research 

Field research that requires only local transportation (<50 miles from a Stanford campus and no overnight lodging) should follow stages similar to those that govern lab-based research on campus.  Transport to and from field sites should be conducted in ways that minimize the risk of virus transmission (e.g., only researchers from the same household should travel to and from the field site in the same vehicle). Approval and registration of all local field research is the responsibility of the School with which the lead researcher is affiliated. When considering projects for approval, the attached matrix should be used to assess the risk level associated with the proposed research. The researcher must present a fully documented safety plan for the research that describes general safety controls for the work as well as controls to minimize the risk of virus transmission within the research team or to others in the local community.

Campus Stage 1. Essential Research Functions and Minimum Basic Research Operations that were allowed in Stage 0 may continue. A limited number of additional activities may be allowed to prepare for resumption of some high-priority research projects that may be allowed to resume during Stage 2.

Campus Stage 2.  Certain research that has a high priority due to the time sensitive nature of data collection, data type, or researcher status may resume at this stage. Research can be conducted by Stanford affiliates (with approval) following appropriate scheduling and safety procedures. Research and safety plans must be registered and approved by the Dean prior to the proposed activities.

Campus Stage 3. Research and safety plans should be registered with the department prior to the field research. Prior approval requirements TBD to align with requirements for on-campus research.

Section 3. Off-site field research (not including human subjects) that is local for the participants 

Field research that requires only local transportation (<50 miles from the home of the researcher at any domestic or international location more than 50 miles from Stanford campus) should be registered within the associated School. The researcher must have proper authorization to work in any international location, must present a fully documented safety plan for the research that describes general safety controls for the work as well as controls to minimize the risk of coronavirus transmission within the research team or to others in the local community. This plan must be in compliance with local public health and field research guidelines at the site of research and the local measures in place that would affect research activity. Further justification should be provided in cases where the proposed mitigation measures would not meet current guidance in Santa Clara County. Such research plans must be approved by the cognizant Dean, in consultation with the Field Research Committee, until the CDC Travel Advisory for the country of the study site is reduced below Level 2.

Field Research: COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices

Applies to all Field Research activities unless otherwise stated

  1. General Precautions
  2. Before conducting field research
    1. COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices online training
    2. Symptom Self-Check and Reporting Illnesses
    3. Pre-Fieldwork Isolation, Symptoms Monitoring & Testing
    4. Written Health & Safety Field Plan
  3. During field research
    1. Physical Distancing
    2. Personal Hygiene Practices
    3. Face Coverings
    4. Cleaning and Disinfecting
    5. Vehicles
      1. University-owned and personal vehicles
      2. Public transit
      3. Rideshare, Taxi, Limo For-Hire Vehicle
      4. Shared Bikes, Scooters, Skateboards, and Other Micro-mobility Devices
      5. Rental Vehicles
    6. Shared Equipment
    7. Buddy System
    8. Public Spaces
    9. Other Considerations

 

1.0 General Precautions

  • Researchers, and all personnel should regularly check the Stanford Health Alerts website for updated information (https://healthalerts.stanford.edu/)
  • General information about Stanford’s recovery process, including the staged approach to recovery, can be found at Cardinal Recovery (https://cardinalrecovery.stanford.edu/)
  • In addition to added precautions required to minimize the risks of COVID-19, fieldworkers must take all normal precautions to remain safe in the field. Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that is normally required for the activities being performed.
  • These practices apply to all field work, regardless of location. There may be additional guidance and restrictions for field research that involves travel (>50 miles from campus or current residence). Check Stanford Health Alerts website (https://healthalerts.stanford.edu/) and Cardinal Recovery (https://cardinalrecovery.stanford.edu/) for more information about travel. Off-campus research should be registered in MyTrips.

2.0 Before conducting field research

2.1 COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices online training

COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices (EHS-2470-WEB) online training is required for all personnel before returning to work onsite (including work at field locations).

2.2 Symptom Self-Check and Reporting Illnesses

  • Complete daily the Health Check Tool prior to arriving onsite: https://healthcheck.stanford.edu
    • Required for all personnel working on campus or other field research site
    • 1-2 hours prior to arrival onsite each day
    • Completion of the Health Check tool is not required on days personnel work exclusively from home
    • Paper copies of the Health Check Tool are available on request.
  • Notify your supervisor if you experience any changes in your health condition while onsite
  • Stay home if you suspect you may have contracted COVID-19, and contact your regular healthcare provider for guidance
  • Report to your HR manager if you are sick and were recently onsite/expected to be onsite, awaiting test results or have tested COVID-19 positive

2.3 Pre-Fieldwork Isolation, Symptoms Monitoring & Testing

3.0 During field research

3.1 Physical Distancing

  • Maintain a minimum of six feet distance between co-workers not part of your household at all times, including during travel
  • Modify work practices and physical work spaces to maintain physical distancing
  • Stagger shifts to maintain physical distancing

3.2 Personal Hygiene Practices

  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
    • Before, during, and after preparing food
    • Before eating food
    • After touching commonly used surfaces (e.g., door handles, elevator buttons)
    • After using the toilet
    • After blowing nose, coughing, or sneezing
    • After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
    • After touching garbage
  • Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are unavailable
  • Avoid touching your face with unwashed hands
  • Cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue or cough/sneeze into your elbow. Throw used tissues in the trash. Wash your hands immediately with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
  • Have adequate hygiene supplies. Pack sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol (in case you are unable to wash your hands at your destination).
  • When traveling, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol, before you depart and upon arrival at your destination.
  • Do not wear gloves when touching common surfaces like door knobs or light switches. It is highly recommended that you use paper towels or other disposable items when you need to touch these common surfaces, or to wash your hands after touching them.

3.3 Face coverings

  • Face coverings are not a substitute for physical distancing nor hand hygiene
  • Have a face covering with you at all times
  • Face coverings must be worn:
    • In buildings
    • In vehicles at all times, unless alone or with individuals from the same residence
    • When working outdoors if unable to maintain 6 feet physical distancing
  • Face coverings should:
    • Cover the nose and mouth
    • Fit snugly but comfortably against the face
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops
    • Include multiple layers of fabric
    • Allow for breathing without restriction
    • Be laundered and machine dried frequently
  • When removing cloth face coverings:
    • Do not to touch eyes, nose, or mouth
    • Wash hands with soap and water or apply hand sanitizer after removing face covering

3.4 Cleaning and Disinfecting

  • Clean and disinfect surfaces and objects frequently, at a minimum daily
  • Clean to remove visible soil from objects and surfaces
  • Dispose of used cleaning materials and immediately wash hands
  • Use EPA-registered disinfectants (e.g., Lysol and Clorox wipes) to eliminate pathogenic microorganisms on surfaces
  • https://www.epa.gov/pesticide-registration/list-n-disinfectants-use-against-sars-cov-2
  • Use disinfectants according to appropriate contact time for maximum effectiveness against SARS-CoV-2

3.5 Vehicles

3.5.1 University-owned and personal vehicles

  • When operating university-owned or personal vehicles for research purposes:
    • Practice social distancing. Consider limiting the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary. If possible, limit vehicle capacity to 1 person per vehicle unless individuals are from the same residence.
    • Improve ventilation in the vehicle if possible by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.
    • Consider using alternative modes of transportation including walking and biking.
    • Use disinfecting wipes to wipe down high touch surfaces regularly (e.g., steering wheel, parking brake, gear shift, arm rests, etc) to prevent the spread of pathogens.
  • Where practicable, encourage hand hygiene by providing hand sanitizer
  • Participate in self-cleaning of the vehicle at the end of your work session:
    • Commonly touched surfaces (e.g., handles, steering wheel, radio) should be wiped down before and after use with appropriate disinfectants as detailed in the self-cleaning guidance and appropriate for the type of surface.
    • Be sure to build in time at the end of each shift for self-cleaning.
    • See section 3.4 Cleaning and Disinfecting for details on how to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects.

3.5.2 Public transit

  • Practice personal hygiene habits above, plus:
    • Stay up-to-date. Check with local transit authorities for the latest information on changes to services and procedures, especially if you might need additional assistance.
    • Avoid touching surfaces. Limit touching frequently touched surfaces such as kiosks, digital interfaces such as touchscreens and fingerprint scanners, ticket machines, turnstiles, handrails, restroom surfaces, elevator buttons, and benches as much as possible.
    • If you must touch surfaces, as soon as you can, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or rub your hands with sanitizer containing 60% alcohol.
    • Use touchless payment and no-touch trash cans and doors when available. Exchange cash or credit cards by placing them in a receipt tray or on the counter rather than by hand, if possible.
    • Practice social distancing guidelines:
      • Consider traveling during non-peak hours when there are likely to be fewer people.
      • Avoid gathering in groups, and stay out of crowded spaces when possible, especially at transit stations and stops.
      • Consider skipping a row of seats between yourself and other riders if possible.
      • Enter and exit buses through rear entry doors if possible.
      • Look for social distancing instructions or physical guides offered by transit authorities (for example, floor decals or signs indicating where to stand or sit to remain at least 6 feet apart from others).
    • Practice hand hygiene. After you leave the transit station or stop, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible upon arrival.

3.5.3 Rideshare, Taxi, Limo For-Hire Vehicle

  • Practice personal hygiene habits above, plus:
    • Avoid touching surfaces frequently touched by passengers or drivers, such as the door frame and handles, windows, and other vehicle parts. In circumstances where such contact is unavoidable, use a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible afterwards.
    • Avoid accepting offers of free water bottles and avoid touching magazines or other items that may be provided for free to passengers.
    • Use touchless payment when available.
    • Practice social distancing. Limit the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary. Avoid pooled rides or rides where multiple passengers are picked up who are not in the same household. Sit in the back seat in larger vehicles such as vans and buses so you can remain at least six feet away from the driver.
    • Improve ventilation. Ask the driver to improve the ventilation in the vehicle if possible, e.g., by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.
    • Practice hand hygiene. After leaving the vehicle, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible upon arrival.

3.5.4 Shared Bikes, Scooters, Skateboards, and Other Micro-mobility Devices

  • Practice personal hygiene habits above, plus:
    • Clean and disinfect surfaces, focusing on frequently touched surfaces on the device (e.g., handlebars, gears, braking handles, locks etc.) or shared equipment before you use it. Use disinfecting wipes, if available.
    • Avoid touching surfaces. Use touchless payment when available and if applicable.
    • Practice hand hygiene. After completing your trip, use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. When you arrive at your destination, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol as soon as possible upon arrival.

3.5.5 Rental Vehicles

  • Practice personal hygiene habits above, plus:
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces regularly, e.g., the steering wheel, gear shift, door frame/handles, windows, radio/temperature dials, and seat belt buckles.
  • When using parking meters and pay stations, consider using alcohol wipes to disinfect surfaces or use hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol after use. Wash hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds as soon as it is possible.
  • Practice social distancing. Consider limiting the number of passengers in the vehicle to only those necessary.
  • Improve ventilation in the vehicle if possible by opening the windows or setting the air ventilation/air conditioning on non-recirculation mode.

3.6 Shared Equipment

  • Whenever possible, tools and equipment should not be shared. Equipment should be cleaned with soap and water and disinfected before and after use.(Include link to re-start guidance site when available)
  • Individual PPE, field equipment and supplies should be marked and assigned to each crew member whenever possible. If equipment must be shared, it should be disinfected before and after it is used.
  • If tools and equipment must be shared, see section 3.4 Cleaning and Disinfecting for details on how to clean and disinfect surfaces and objects.

3.7 Buddy System

Working alone in the field should be avoided if possible and mitigated if not. The dynamic nature of field environments present increased risks, and these risks are heightened when working alone because help may not be not readily available.

A buddy system reduces the risk of certain tasks by ensuring another person is capable of assisting if someone becomes injured or incapacitated in the course of their work. There are several methods for implementing a buddy system in the field, even while maintaining social distancing. One of the following buddy systems should be used based on the risk level of field locations and planned tasks. You may want/need to utilize different buddy systems at different points in your fieldwork based on the activities you’re performing. For example a researcher may use an asynchronous buddy system for on-trail work, but a live remote buddy system while off trail or performing higher hazard activities.

  • In-person buddy system*: For most field work, another person should be within earshot, but >6 feet away. If tasks require people to be less than 6 feet away, face coverings should be worn.
  • Live remote buddy system*: For some low risk tasks and locations, if there is another person nearby (can get to you in an hour) AND you have a reliable means of instant communication with them (e.g., radio, walkie-talkies, cell phones + cell service) you may coordinate to serve as one another’s buddy. Check in with your buddy regularly (e.g., every hour).
  • Asynchronous remote buddy system*: For a small subset of very low risk tasks and locations, it may be acceptable to have a designated “check in” buddy whom you tell where you are working, what you are doing, when they should expect you to check in, and what to do if you do not check in at the appointed time. If you do not check in, you may instruct your buddy to call you, call a member of your household, or call an appropriate authority such as your PI (all emergency contact names and telephone numbers should be listed on your field safety plan).

*Similar to work in laboratories, a written safety plan is required for any fieldwork. This plan must include provisions for a reliable means of communication (cell phone, sat phone, or satellite texting device), an emergency response plan, and risk assessments for critical tasks (consider what can go wrong and how adverse impacts can be eliminated or reduced). Review the safety plan and choice of buddy system with the Principal Investigator/Laboratory Supervisor prior to conducting the field work.

Types of Locations Example Activities
Moderate to High Risk:

Use In-Person Buddy System

Remote locations >1 hr total (hike + drive out) to emergency services

Overnight stays outside of developed areas (e.g., remote camping)

Locations with unpredictable/ inclement weather

Locations with security concerns

  • Private homes
  • Areas with civil unrest
  • Animal Handling
  • Work near heights (>6 ft)
  • Using power tools or blades (e.g.,chainsaws, machetes)
  • Swimming/snorkeling/most boat-based work
  • Work at altitude
  • Confined space work
  • Any other moderate to high hazard activities
Low Risk:

At minimum use Live Remote Buddy System

Moderately remote (<1 hr to emergency services) or moderately hazardous field locations

  • Intertidal zones
  • Slippery surfaces
  • Easily wadeable/ slow moving water (e.g., shallow lakes/streams, beach areas on low surf days)
  • Work with hand tools
  • Working from small boats within visual/voice range of shore.
  • Hiking off-trail (e.g., out of sight of trail, vehicle, or road)
Very Low Risk:

At minimum use Asynchronous Remote Buddy System

Local field locations in developed areas

  • Stanford lands (Lake Lagunita, the Dish)
  • Public parks/beaches on well maintained trails.
  • On/adjacent to paved public roads (in sight of vehicles)
  • Photographing
  • Surveying/GPS
  • Collecting samples
    • Water grab samples
  • NO handling of animals or hazardous chemicals

3.8 Public Spaces

Efforts should be made to minimize contact with the public and precautions such as face coverings and hand washing/sanitizing, should be taken in public areas. (gas stations, grocery stores, etc)

3.9 Other Considerations

  • Researchers are strongly encouraged to bring their own drinking water (at least 2 L/day).
  • Researchers are also strongly encouraged to bring their own food from home rather than acquiring food offsite, since this significantly increases chances for exposure/infection and transmission to the rest of the crew.
  • Avoid communal food preparation

Field Research Approval Process

During Stage 2 of campus reopening for research, off-campus field research activities will require approval by the department and cognizant Dean. Field research activities at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve or Hopkins Marine Station require approval of the relevant Director. These approvals will occur in consultation with the Field Research Working Group, which will also review the request. Additionally, field research that involves travel more than 50 miles from Stanford campus or overnight stays away from home is further restricted by the current university travel policy, which is in effect until at least September 1, 2020. Exceptions to these restrictions will also be required for such research to proceed.

For consideration by the Field Research Working Group, PIs must submit a plan describing the proposed research and addressing important COVID-19-related protocols, as described below. This plan should be sent by email to Kristi Geerke, who will coordinate providing materials to the Field Research Working Group and communicating with PIs if there are questions or feedback.

Please submit to Kristi Geerke:

  1. A brief summary of the research
    1. A written field plan that specifies how the field work will adhere to the Stanford University Field Research COVID-19 Prevention Best Practices. Include dates, activities, locations, modes of travel to the field site, lodging arrangements, as well as any local transportation at the site, and potential contact with collaborators or members of the public. Please be clear whether the research involves one trip or several.
    2. Justification of why this research needs to be done in Stage 2, rather than waiting. For example, would the research be irreparably compromised if it could not be carried out now, or is there an obligation to a sponsoring agency to carry out the research now. Stage 2 research is described here, under “Stage 2 for Laboratory Research.”
    3. Description of current COVID-19-related public health restrictions and guidelines at the field site (e.g., county health orders within the USA).
    4. If field research activities require access to a non-Stanford facility, a description of the facility’s COVID-19-related safety procedures should be provided.
  2. A copy of any additional materials being submitted to your chair and dean’s office, or the relevant directors of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve or Hopkins Marine Station, as part of the required approval from them.

Note that PIs must separately obtain approvals for travel exceptions that involve travel more than 50 miles from Stanford campus or overnight stays away from home. PIs shall submit directly to the travel committee, see: university travel policy

The Field Research Working Group aims to provide comments and recommendations to the Dean or the Dean’s designee within 5 working days. The final decision for approval of the request will be the responsibility of the Dean or the Dean’s designee (or the Director of the Hopkins Marine Station or Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, where applicable), who will notify the PI of approval, request for modification, or denial of request.

Appendix A: Researcher Return Checklist

All researchers should review the following prior to their initial return to campus, and as they are updated.

Notice: These requirements are subject to change as University and County/State requirements and guidance evolves.

Faculty:

☐ Complete the approval process for research work and confirm your work has been:

  • Identified on Essential Research Smartsheets entry, and
  • Validated and approved by your Dean, Chair, Lab Director or designee, and
  • If COVID-19 related, approved by either the Dean of Research Essential Research Functions Review committee or the SOM Critical COVID Research Committee, and
  • All normal approvals, such as IRB, APB, and APLAC, have been obtained.
  • NOTE: The use of the Essential Research Smartsheets is not required in Stage 2 unless directed by your local unit, and COVID-19 related research does not require approval from the Dean of Research Essential Research Functions Review Committee. COVID-19 research involving Human Subjects must still obtain approval from the COVID-19 Clinical Research Review Panel (CCRRP); contact Pooneh Fouladi for details.

☐ Review and confirm/update all Key Personnel on your Essential Research Smartsheets or On-Site Role Management System.

☐ Contact those responsible for access to additional buildings, core facilities, service centers or labs for approval to enter and use those spaces.

☐ Review the PI Lab Level Pre-start Checklist for Safety Considerations (Appendix C below), and complete all necessary items prior to the initiation of any work.

☐ Review the Lab Startup Checklist (Appendix B below) with your personnel, and ensure completion of all necessary items prior to the initiation of any work.

☐ Review guidance around lab density provided by Stanford and your department, and identify how your lab will comply with and adhere to these limits.

All Researchers (Faculty, Staff, Post-docs, Graduate Students, etc.):

General Guidance Already in Place

☐ Follow your Department/Building/Facility requirements for safety training.

☐ Complete COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB in STARS prior to your return to campus.

☐ When working, wear all the Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) normally required for the activities you will perform, in accordance with your lab’s PPE Assessment Tool.

Health

☐ Use Health Check to self-report your health status prior to coming onsite to campus each day.

☐ Follow the guidance provided by Health Check.

☐ Do not come to work onsite if you are sick or feeling unwell.

☐ If you are sick or feel unwell, follow Stanford guidance and contact your primary care provider as needed.

☐ If you develop symptoms at work, leave work immediately and follow Stanford guidance. Update Health Check.

Building Access

☐ Only access the buildings and spaces which you are authorized to enter.

☐ As needed, seek approval to access additional spaces such as core facilities, service centers, or other buildings or labs.

☐ Do not prop open doors to buildings, facilities or labs and do not let people follow you into these areas.

☐ If people request access, direct them to contact their PI or department.

Lab Headcount and Building Population Density

☐ Adhere to physical distancing guidelines (6 feet) and population density limits as set forth by your department and Stanford at each Stage, unless the use of specific equipment or procedures mandates that you work in close proximity to another person.

☐ If your lab has a schedule or calendaring system in place, follow your assigned times to be in the lab.

  • Set up a schedule system that limits overlap among other individuals (i.e., wherever possible, assign pairs for each shift that do not overlap with other pairs).
  • Update the calendar regularly.
  • As needed, an annotation system to check in/check out on the calendar is recommended.

Hygiene

☐ Consistent with Santa Clara County and Stanford guidance, wear face coverings in all university buildings except residences. Face coverings are not required outside if physical distancing is maintained, or in certain situations outlined on the Health Alerts FAQ. Face coverings are required for outside when business is being conducted, such as engaging in scheduled meetings.

☐ Recognize that although wearing a face covering is one tool for reducing the spread of the virus, doing so is not a substitute for physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent hand washing.

☐ Wear all the PPE that is appropriate to the tasks you are performing as outlined in your lab’s PPE Assessment Tool.

  • Do not wear gloves when touching common surfaces like door knobs or light switches. It is highly recommended that you use paper towels or other disposable items when you need to touch these common surfaces, or to wash your hands after touching them.

Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds upon entering the lab, after removing gloves, and before departing the lab. If your lab does not have a hand washing station, wash your hands prior to entering or after exiting the lab.

☐ Participate in self-cleaning of the lab at the end of your work session.

  • Commonly touched surfaces (e.g., fume hood sashes, pipettes) should be wiped down before and after use with appropriate disinfectants as detailed in the self-cleaning guidance and as appropriate for the type of surface.
  • Be sure to build in time at the end of each shift for self-cleaning.
  • Custodial cleaning occurs in common shared spaces, and not in labs or offices, and thus it is the responsibility of users to clean these spaces.

Appendix B: Laboratory Pre-Start Checklist for Safety

Please work with your building/facility/department representative as needed.

☐ Assess your lab space for ability to meet physical distancing guidelines.

☐ Within the limits set by Stanford and your department, and based on the recovery stage, determine how many people can work safely in your lab at a single time while observing appropriate physical distancing.

  • Each individual working in the lab must at all times have at least 6’ clearance on all sides from others.
  • No more than one person should occupy a small space/room (defined as less than 250 square feet) at any time. This includes, but is not limited to, tissue culture rooms, microscopy rooms, or other small instrument rooms. Procedures that require two people should be minimized where possible, or performed using appropriate face coverings and hygiene practices. If the procedure requires a buddy for safety, guidance on implementing a buddy system, notably for researchers working alone or while maintaining physical distancing, can be found here.
  • Consistent with Santa Clara County and Stanford guidance, face coverings must be worn in all university buildings except residences, and outside while conducting university business, such as engaging in a scheduled meeting. Face coverings are not required outside if physical distancing is maintained, or in certain situations outlined on the Health Alerts FAQ. For clarity, although wearing a face covering is one tool for reducing the spread of the virus, doing so is not a substitute for physical distancing of at least 6 feet and frequent hand washing.
  • Consider placing colored tape on the ground around the work spaces indicating boundaries between workers. This does not limit the area in which researchers can work, but helps define the boundaries around common work areas.
    • This is strongly recommended for shared spaces or any spaces where 5 or more people may be working at a single time. Units may consider requiring this.

☐ Have your department/building/facility representative confirm your space assessment and the number of personnel you are proposing to allow in the space at a single time.

  • For shared laboratory work spaces, you must work with the other faculty and facility representatives to establish definitive guidelines for the space.

☐ If your lab has 2 or more people who will be conducting research, create a lab calendar to track who will work at what time.

  • Track different work shifts. One possibility is to create a shared Outlook Calendar.
  • You should have a check-in system such as a Slack, group text or other messaging system to communicate openly and often to coordinate and adjust schedules as necessary.
  • It is highly recommended that you have a system to annotate check-in/check-out so that people do not unintentionally overlap.
  • The scheduling system should limit, where possible, overlap of multiple individuals across shifts. For example, if Person A and B are scheduled together, this pairing should continue, and neither should overlap with Persons C and D on a different shift pairing.

☐ You should share this calendar with the appropriate unit representatives. It is highly recommended that you:

  • Post occupancy limits on the door, visible to those outside.
  • Post the calendar on the door, visible to those outside.

Appendix C: Laboratory Startup Checklist

The following checklist should be reviewed by your Unit and customized, as necessary.
Before you arrive in lab
☐ Complete COVID-19 Hygiene Best Practices, EHS-2470-WEB in STARS.

☐ Review PPE decontamination and reuse guidelines.

☐ Review work alone guidance.

☐ Familiarize yourself with Health Check.

First Time You Arrive
☐  When you arrive for the first time, turn on lights, observe the lab briefly before entering, and then proceed with caution.

☐ Clean the lab and wipe down surfaces.

Before You Begin, Evaluate Supplies

☐ Labs are still required to obtain their normal PPE. Evaluate PPE on hand to perform the work you intend to do.

  • What amount do you already have on-hand in the lab?
  • What is your expected weekly “burn rate”?
  • Can you accommodate existing lab-required PPE to complete the work?
    • If you cannot, please place orders in advance through your normal procurement channel.
    • If the orders are in short supply, please contact covid19orders@stanford.edu with a description of your needs.

☐ Evaluate cleaning materials available in the lab to perform appropriate lab self-care.

  • Do you have a sufficient quantity, quality?
  • Is it compatible with the equipment and the science in the lab?

☐ Evaluate other supplies needed to complete your research tasks.

  • If other supplies in your lab are low and you are unable to obtain them through normal routes, contact covid19orders@stanford.edu with a description of your needs.

Before You Begin, Evaluate Support Services
☐  Verify the availability of support services needed for your work.

  • Compressed gasses
  • House services (compressed air, house gasses, DI water)
  • Glass wash services
  • Hazardous chemical or biological waste pick-up
  • Supply deliveries
  • Other halted services (lab coats, etc.)
  • Regular custodial services

Core/Service Center Facilities, including the Veterinary Service Center
☐ Contact the Core Facilities or Service Centers to ensure they are available to support your lab needs.

☐ Contact the VSC at (650) 723-3876 for any animal-related questions, or visit their website at http://med.stanford.edu/vsc.html.

Hazardous Materials (Chemicals, Biologicals, Radiation, etc.)

☐ Walk through the lab space to check if there has been a chemical spill. If you are not comfortable with cleaning up the spill, call EH&S at (650) 725-9999 for chemical spill clean-up.

☐ Resume the quarterly laboratory self-inspection on BioRAFT if your lab missed the March 31st deadline. Be sure to conduct another inspection for the second quarter, due on June 30th.

☐ Inspect hazardous waste storage. Request EH&S hazardous waste pick-up for any containers which are full or you no longer need. If you were previously participating in the SWEEPS Program for waste pick-up, it will be running at a reduced level in Stage 1, and you should submit pickup requests online using the above link. For any waste without a label or with a noncompliant label such as “Waste” with no additional data, label the waste using a  Waste Tag.

☐ Review the Lab Compliance Cheat Sheet.

☐ Turn on BSCs or fume hoods, and disinfect surfaces before conducting lab work.

☐ Set-up new aspirator collection flasks if needed.

☐ Turn on the Geiger counter and resume radioactive material surveys, if needed.

☐ If you use a dosimeter and have not received your replacement, please call Patrisha Cherry at (650) 723-3203.
Equipment
☐ Turn on essential equipment in the lab.

☐ If cryogen fill is needed, perform it with assistance from another lab member.

☐ If CO2 is needed for incubators, contact your building manager/ facility support services for gas orders.

☐ Check that equipment restarts and functions appropriately.

☐ Use the shutdown checklist as a guide for equipment.

☐ Is calibration needed?

Do safety devices operate properly?
General Building (Performed by building/facility units) 
☐ If needed, update shutdown signage on the building entrance doors.

☐ Check mechanical rooms.

☐ Check water distillation units.

☐ Check shared equipment and shared facilities (chemical storage/waste areas, gas storage area).

☐ Communicate with all delivery personnel any changes to time/location for deliverables.

☐ Reactivate biohazardous waste pick-up and lab coat laundering services if they were stopped.