Research activity is critical to NYU’s core mission. NYU researchers working on essential COVID-19 related work remained active throughout the pandemic and our laboratories were among the first areas to gradually resume activity as the pandemic lockdown lifted. Throughout this process, faculty and staff have followed a variety of protocols to protect their own health and that of their colleagues. As we continue to ramp up, we remain committed to supporting our researchers in every way possible as you pursue your important work during these challenging times.
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Starting on June 8, NYU began a phased reopening of laboratory activity and has gradually added occupancy, in keeping with local and New York state guidelines. Visit the Research Reconstitution Plan to learn more about the phased openings.
The phased approach has incorporated social distancing, mandatory personal protective equipment (PPE), and other health and safety precautions in order to reduce both individual risk and the risk of others in our community.
All on-site research activities are purely voluntary at this time. Nobody is required to come back on site.
Principal Investigators (PIs) and members of the laboratory should review and complete the Research Operation Plan before returning to work, which identifies mission-critical functions, communication methods, personnel, and key dependencies.
Masks and Social Distancing
All researchers are required to wear masks. CDC guidelines state that coming within 6 ft (2 m) of another person for under 10 minutes is not considered a close contact, but beyond that timeframe, recommended separation between researchers will be required. Lab members are required to wear the proper PPE when interaction between individuals is less than 6 ft (2 m).
Laboratory heads and PIs are required to create an online scheduler for shifts to control the density of people in a laboratory and shared office spaces, and to account for situations where working alone is not permitted. Meetings and collaborations, where possible, should be conducted via phone or video.
Research and Lab Safety (RLS) has created signage which should be posted on all laboratory door entrances and common areas located within lab suites, including lounges, conference rooms, office suites, and bathrooms to clearly indicate occupancy limits.
Many of the labs have 100% outside air. For other spaces, all filters and mechanical equipment (i.e., air dampers) have been inspected and repaired as needed. Ensuring that the outside air supply is optimized per the HVAC design will be a paramount objective. Visit PPE for more information on mask protocols and obtaining PPE.
NYU is prepared to roll back reconstitution in the event of another COVID-19 outbreak and in response to any government directive. Researchers are encouraged to have a plan to safely wind down experiments in the case of worsening health conditions, and should consider prioritizing research activities that can be shut down quickly without significant difficulty or expense.
Every person returning to work in the NYU buildings needs to complete a brief, daily health survey regarding possible COVID-19 symptoms. Failure to complete the survey will preclude entry to all NYU buildings. Learn more information about the Daily COVID-19 Screener for Campus Access.
NYU Face Covering Policy
All members of the NYU community are required to wear face coverings that cover the wearer’s mouth and nose while in NYU buildings. Individuals may only remove their face coverings when in an NYU facility in the following circumstances:
- When they are working alone in single-occupancy spaces
- When they are eating (they must maintain physical distancing while doing so)
- If they have an accommodation that precludes their wearing a face covering
To request an accomodation for any underlying health conditions that preclude wearing a face covering, contact the Office of Equal Opportunity at firstname.lastname@example.org. Concerns about, and non-compliance with, health and safety protocols should be reported either to the appropriate supervisor or to the email@example.com email.
While the Institutional Review Board is currently reviewing submissions for studies involving in-person interactions, investigators are encouraged to design protocols that include either remote-only interactions or include the option to conduct both remote and in-person interactions. The IRB is prioritizing the following requests:
- modifications which add procedures to conduct remote interactions
- time-sensitive submissions related to the COVID-19 pandemic
- modifications requesting exceptions to the suspension of in-person interactions
- time-sensitive research on remote teaching and learning
The IRB will review requests for in-person activities after priority submissions are complete.
Labs will be cleaned on the same schedule as before the pandemic. Cleaners will sanitize high touch points in common areas (i.e. door handles, elevator buttons, etc.) and monitor bathrooms to ensure an adequate supply of soap and paper towels. Research laboratories must implement daily enhanced cleaning and disinfecting of high touch surfaces with an EPA-registered disinfectant, an alcohol solution with at least 70% alcohol, or a 10% bleach/water solution. Additional guidance is available in the Cleaning Guidance.
NYU Mail Services, at 547 Laguardia Place, will accept packages to be included in their regularly scheduled pick-up on Mondays, Wednesday, and Fridays only. All drop-offs must arrive before 1pm on these days. For incoming shipments, delivery personnel will drop packages off in designated package rooms when available or call the recipient to come to the lobby to pick up the package. If the intended delivery person or the department contact cannot be reached, then the Public Safety Officer will refuse delivery.
We recognize that COVID-19's effects have been disparate, and its impacts on poor communities and communities of color have been especially painful. In our response to the coronavius, NYU is committed to mitigating those impacts as well as ensuring no one in our community is ostracized, bullied, or mistreated due to ignorance around this disease. If any member of our community believes they have experienced harassment or discrimination, we encourage them to report concerns to the Bias Response Line.