Additional safety measures for undergraduate student researchers

COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force
Office of the Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities

To:  Faculty

Dear Colleagues:

In a BruinPost on April 8, Vice Chancellor Wakimoto shared that if the COVID-19 infection rates remained low for the week of April 5, each principal investigator (PI) would be permitted to include up to a maximum of four undergraduate student researchers (USRs) on their Research Operational Plans (ROPs) so long as space density limits are maintained and the four USRs will rarely, if ever, be in the lab at the same time.

Unfortunately, we saw 93 new COVID-19 cases last week, more than doubling the new cases in the previous week, which was more than a tripling of the previous week. However, we recognize that we are heading into the third week of the quarter and realize this may be the last opportunity for many students to participate in lab research. Additionally, cases associated with those engaged in research activity has remained low. Therefore, USRs may immediately be approved on ROPs under the following conditions:

  • No more than four USRs allowed to work in-person in a lab under an ROP
  • Receive a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours prior to their first day in the research lab
  • Participate in twice weekly COVID-19 testing until further notice
  • Complete the symptom monitoring survey each day prior to coming to campus and forward the clearance certificate to the PI or other designated representative

It is not appropriate for faculty to request students produce evidence of a negative test and instead should refer to the daily symptom monitoring certificate of evidence of being cleared to work in the lab. The Exposure Management Team will monitor if USRs are participating in the mandatory testing. Please reinforce the need for the students to undertake the testing and receive a negative test prior to starting to work in the lab.

We appreciate your understanding and support of these additional safety measures. Please be prepared to ramp down these activities should cases continue to rise. As a reminder, everyone, including faculty and staff, involved in onsite activities are required to complete the symptom monitoring survey prior to arrival and participate in the weekly COVID-19 testing, even if fully vaccinated. If you have any questions, please visit the ROP FAQ (PDF) or send an email to c19@research.ucla.edu.

Sincerely,

Michael J. Beck
Administrative Vice Chancellor
Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Michael Meranze
Immediate Past Chair, UCLA Academic Senate
Professor of History

Co-chair, COVID-19 Response and Recovery Task Force

Roger Wakimoto
Vice Chancellor for Research and Creative Activities
Chair, COVID-19 Research Ramp-up Working Group

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