COVID-19 Research Ramp-Up
School-level and PI-level Research Ramp-Up Plan Guidelines
Campus Access and Wellness Check
Procedure for Visitors to Campus During Phase 2
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
Guidance Documents and Checklists
Project Restart Research FAQs
July 16, 2020: COVID-19 infections are surging in LA County. All members of the USC research community — faculty, staff, students, postdocs, visitors, and all others — are urged to redouble their efforts to maximize safety for all at and around USC. We are all responsible for one another’s safety; research can only continue while everyone observes maximum caution.
This site provides guidelines for the safe, cautious, and phased ramp-up of USC research activities during COVID-19. Current Phase: 2A3 (3 stands for 30% capacity) (learn more)
The schools with approved school-level ramp-up plans (see below for details) have been notified, and they are, in turn, notifying the PIs with approved PI/lab/group-level plans (see below for details) about the process for returning to campus.
Researchers returning to campus should schedule deliveries as required. Additionally, areas returning should also contact mailing services to inform them of how to proceed with internal mail delivery (resume delivery or continue holding for pick up, etc.); the email contact for this is Mail7777@usc.edu or they can contact the Mailing Services manager Nita Pilate at (213) 821-1238.
To ramp-up research, each research-active unit/school has:
- Developed a school-level plan that observes the guidelines and the provided template, including developing and communicating plans for PPE distribution and research space use (including access permissions and scheduling, occupancy constraints, and disinfecting), for approval as communicated.
- Established and following a process by which each research-active PI has a lab/group-level plan that is reviewed at the level of their department and then school, to ensure comprehensive adherence to all the policies and safety practices.
- All researchers (as all USC employees) must complete the TrojanLearn module on COVID-19 prior to returning to campus.
- All researchers must check into the campus check‐in system if design to do work on campus, to complete the wellness check to get permission, and then reserve access to the specific building and time period.
- Individuals with symptoms suggestive of COVID‐19 should not come to work/campus.
- Individuals at high risk for adverse outcomes from COVID‐19 (e.g., due to age, comorbid conditions, etc.) should consult their care provider prior to coming to work.
- All visitors should be called out in each school’s Restart plan and reviewed/approved accordingly.
- During Phase 2, any non-USC visitor approved for campus entry should complete this form on a daily basis and file it with the host department. Each visitor will also be required to register and make a building-specific visitor reservation via iVIP.
- Full implementation of campus-wide check-in will be operational in Phase 3 and include a version of Trojan Check. Information on that system will follow when ready.
- Visiting vendors are required to follow campus health safety procedures. Observed non-compliance should be reported to USC Procurement.
- Physical distancing of six feet or greater to be observed at all times (except when closer physical proximity or contact is dictated by required clinical research procedures). CDC guidelines indicate spacing of less than 6 feet constitutes excessive exposure. This requires sequential use of elevators, corridors, bathrooms, and any other public small spaces.
- Common areas should have signage indicating maximum occupancy allowable to maintain distancing rules.
- Entry into and egress from buildings should be done singly and frequency should be limited to maintain distancing.
- Schools/units may consider limiting the number of hours on campus per researcher, to limit space sharing / de‐densify, as well as simplify food and other complex/risky activities.
- Masks/facial coverings as appropriate provided by the University or school must be worn at all times, except when physically isolated in a private space (e.g., closed private office not used by others and not having any visitors).
- Other PPE (gloves, disposable gowns, face shields, shoe covers) may be indicated in situations that increase risk of exposure/transmission in some contexts.
- All researchers wash / disinfect hands hourly, and disinfect all surfaces before and after each use.
- All researchers observe and comply with the safety signage in all areas of campus.
Any non-compliance to safety policies (physical distancing, facial coverings, PPE, hand washing, etc.) in other researchers observed by an individual (student, postdoc, staff and faculty) may be reported directly to the individual’s PI or the Vice Dean for Research. If an individual prefers to remain anonymous, they may report their concern by calling the USC Help and Hotline at (213) 740-2500 or (800) 348-7454; or by filing a report over the web.
Any travel must be part of the individual PI/lab/group-level plans that are approved by the school’s vice dean of research (in some cases also the department-level review and the dean, depending on the school’s process). Such travel would need to be of critical need, such as required by the funder or relevant to COVID-19 research, etc., in order to qualify for exception status.
USC COVID-19 Research Ramp-Up Tables
2020 06 04 USC Restart Phase 2 Guidelines – Final
Appendix 1. USC Phases for Campus Return
Appendix 2. Detailed Public Health Guidelines by Phases
Appendix 3A. General Checklist for All Groups
Appendix 3B. Checklist for Resumption of In-Person Academics
Appendix 3C Checklist for Resumption of Research Activities
Appendix 4A. Draft COVID-19 Training Material
Appendix 4B. Sample Staff Screening Questionnaire
Appendix 4C. PPE Risk Matrix Guide Sheet
Appendix 4D. Surgical Mask Use Quick Guide
Appendix 4E. Cloth Face Covering Quick Guide
Appendix 4F. Glove Donning and Doffing Guide Sheet
Appendix 4G. Cleaning Guidelines for Suspected COVID-19 Disease
Appendix 4H. COVID-19 Higher Risk Population USC Phase 2 Guidelines
Appendix 4J. Guidance for USC Instructional Labs