Research plan announced as working groups discuss campus return procedures

June 3, 2020
Author: Imran Ghori
June 3, 2020

Several working groups have begun discussing guidelines for how and when UC Riverside will start allowing more students, staff, and faculty members to return to campus.

A new website provides more details on the ideas under discussion. 

Research is the first area where on-campus activity can resume, under certain conditions, starting Monday, June 8. 

Rodolfo Torres, vice chancellor for Research and Economic Development, who led the Research Ramp-up working group, announced that requirements for returning to research labs have been approved.

The framework requires researchers to adhere to public health guidelines designed to protect the health and safety of all personnel, Torres said. 

Each principal investigator must prepare an implementation plan outlining procedures for physical distancing and disinfecting shared items and surfaces, and maintaining logs for contact tracing. The plans must be approved by the corresponding dean before on-campus research resumes.

The other working groups are Instructional Continuity, Public Health, Budget and Finance, Operations and Support Recovery, Testing, Student Services Continuity, Instructional Technology, Employee Health Assistance, and Student Health Assistance.

In describing the groups last month, Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox said the purpose is to thoroughly evaluate issues and scenarios for each specific area.

“Our ultimate goal, of course, is to bring everyone back to campus, but we must do so in a way that protects the health of our community as first priority,” he said.

Under a planning framework the groups are following, the campus will follow guidance from the Riverside County Public Health office as well as state and federal agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The document states that the campus will continue to require physical distancing of at least 6 feet in all settings and face coverings. Remote work and instruction is expected to continue as much as possible. Rules and procedures will also be established for symptom screening, testing, contact tracing, and self-reporting, under the framework.