March 16, 2020
UF ADMINISTRATIVE MEMO
Dr. David P. Norton, Vice President for Research
Updated Guidance for Research Community Regarding COVID-19 (updated
The university continues to monitor developments locally, statewide, nationally
and internationally regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and actions taken.
While there is significant uncertainty regarding future events, it is prudent for UF
researchers to recognize that impacts and measures seen in other parts of the
nation and world could be realized locally, and that they could occur rapidly.
Recognize that future safety measures instituted by the University of Florida, the
city, or the state could result in limitations and disruptions in staffing, supplies,
and access to facilities.
UF|Research is providing the following updated guidance to researchers as they
prepare for potential additional impacts from COVID-19:
· Supervisors are encouraged to determine what functions can be migrated
to remote workplace (e.g. home), and begin implementation. While we
don’t anticipate all functions will migrate off campus, moving some
functions now makes implementation of social distancing throughout the
on-campus UF workspace more readily achievable.
· Implement recommended practices for on-campus operations that
minimize the potential person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. If an
employee is or feels sick, they should stay home. At work, frequent hand-
washing, social distancing (maintaining at least 6-feet of separation from
others), and migrating meetings to calls or Zoom are good practices and
are strongly encouraged.
· Perform situational planning in the event that access to your research
space is restricted, or the availability of laboratory personnel is curtailed.
· Formulate research plans in the event that extended absence from
laboratory is required for one or more individuals. For critical functions
that must be performed on campus, such as research animal care,
develop a plan for how these will be handled. Discuss now with your
group who will be designated as research continuity personnel to
maintain ongoing experiments and receive essential supplies, should
access to campus be restricted.
· Primary consideration is the health and safety concerns of your group
members and their families. Individuals in high-risk groups or with high-
risk family members should significantly limit exposure to other co-
workers, who may be asymptomatic.
· Consider what supplies and reagents you will need to maintain ongoing
laboratory experiments and human subject data collection projects in the
event of a shortage or restricted campus access.
· Prioritize ongoing laboratory activities that are critically important in the
event that on-campus efforts are disrupted. Consider postponing new
experiments that require significantly long timelines of uninterrupted on-
· Discuss with your research group the types of research activities that
could be performed if access to campus is impaired. This could include
data analysis, documentation of procedures, developing manuscripts, and
writing reports. The university recognizes that such disruption may
impair progress for certain research endeavors. While the university will
seek to maintain on-campus research operations, these could become
· In light of disruptions due to COVID-19, federal funding agencies are
providing flexibility to awardees and applicants. Agency-specific guidance
will be posted at https://research.ufl.edu/covid-19-updates.html as it
becomes available. Please contact Stephanie Gray ([log in to unmask]) or
Tiffany Schmidt ([log in to unmask]) for specific guidance.
· Establish a communication plan (or review existing plan) for your group,
including both students and staff. This should include emergency contact
phone numbers for all group members, and a strategy for how you will
communicate essential information rapidly, if necessary. This information
should be shared with all members of your group. Plan to stay in good
communication via virtual lab meetings to provide scientific as well as
emotional support to your research team.
Many of these recommended actions represent prudent preparation for what
might occur going forward. The local situation with COVID-19 could evolve
rapidly. Our goal is to keep research laboratories open and available for UF
researchers, but we to need to prepare now for various scenarios so as to protect
UF personnel and families, and to preserve the remarkable entity that is the UF
Additional updates specific to the research community will be posted at
https://research.ufl.edu/covid-19-updates.html . University-wide updates are
posted at http://www.ufl.edu/health-updates/ .
NOTE: This and other Administrative Memos are
maintained at: http://administrativememo.ufl.edu
(ALL ATTACHMENTS TO ORIGINAL MEMOS ARE POSTED