Resuming On-Campus Access for SFA Research Activity

STEP 1: Read the following SFA research ramp-up guidelines, policies, and procedures

Policies and Procedures for Resumption of On-Campus Research and Creative Activity after May 20

The Office of the Vice President for Research (OVPR) is coordinating policies across all the schools to restart on-campus research activities after May 20. The OVPR phased plan can be found here. The period after May 20 is designated as Phase 2. Protecting the health and safety of all members of the UConn community, as well as their families and other off-campus contacts, and generally limiting the broader transmission of the Covid-19 virus, will remain the priorities at all times. To the extent that it does not undermine these priorities, low-density on-campus research activity, including limited use of single-occupancy offices/studios, and carefully managed small-scale multi-occupancy of spaces, may be allowed during Phase 2 where an essential need for such activity can be demonstrated. Working at home/telecommuting will nevertheless remain the default recommendation in most cases. This document sets out the procedures and safety practices that must be followed by those who need to conduct research-related work in School of Fine Arts facilities during Phase 2. While the document will be kept up to date as far as possible, it should be stressed that all policies here are subject to CDC, Federal, State, and University guidelines and mandates, and any changes that may be made to those after the date of this release or subsequent revisions.

For Those Using Only Single-Occupancy Spaces

  1. Wear face masks/cloth covering at all times in public spaces, e.g. corridors, school/department administrative offices, restrooms – any time except when alone in single-occupancy spaces.
  2. Limit all in-person interactions, in number and duration, and always at a distance of at least 6 feet; speak away from one another (i.e. not directly toward a person’s face) as much as possible.
  3. Wherever possible, no more than one person at a time should be in public restrooms; if someone is already there when you enter, leave and return later. Other smaller public spaces, e.g. departmental mail/copier rooms, should be approached in the same manner.
  4. Avoid more than one person on an elevator. No congregation in front of elevators; maintain social distancing while waiting.
  5. Wash hands frequently. When hand washing is not possible, use ethanol (>60%) hand sanitizer. Facilities Operations will provide where possible, especially in elevator areas, and common areas. You must hand wash just prior to entry into the lab or research space and just prior to exit.
  6. All touch points (any surfaces that you touch) should be wiped down thoroughly with approved cleaning materials before and after each use. This includes but is not limited to: computer keyboards, doorknobs, light and other switches, musical instruments, and other equipment (per departmental guidelines on cleaning materials that will not damage the instrument/equipment).
  7. Any concerns regarding possible protocol breaches, policy violations, or other safety matters, should be reported to either your first line manager or department head/director immediately. In terms of suspected illnesses, please follow the HR guidance on the covid-19 website, which states the following protocol: You should immediately notify your manager, director, or department head of your circumstances and be prepared to provide your manager with the date you first began to have symptoms of COVID-19, when you last were physically at work, and anyone at work with whom you had direct contact. Additionally, you may also contact the COVID Call Center at UConn Health at 860-679-3199. The Call Center staff will assist you with any other medical concerns and can supplement information provided by your primary care physician and any other member of the medical community who has provided you guidance.
  8. Everyone has a role to play to reduce the density, practice social distancing guidelines, clean their respective areas/equipment/instruments, and continue to check on the COVID-19 specific University/SFA communication sites for updates as we do expect guidance to evolve over time.

For Those Using Spaces That May Be Occupied Simultaneously or Consecutively by Multiple Users

All procedures listed above for those using single-occupancy spaces should be followed. In addition:
  1. Simultaneous multiple occupancy of any space is allowed only where the size and configuration of the space allows for a minimum of 6 feet of separation between all occupants in all directions.
  2. Even with appropriate distancing, the time period spent with others in a multi-occupancy space should be kept as short as possible, and speaking should be kept to a minimum: even normal speaking drastically increases the potential for spreading the virus. Continue to rely on virtual meetings for any group discussions, even if you’re in the same building.
  3. Any strenuous activity that is likely to increase breathing rates and depth, including intense vocalization as involved in singing or dramatic declamation, or other activities likely to create airborne droplets (e.g. playing wind and brass instruments) must be avoided at all times.
  4. Windows should be kept open when possible (but closed when leaving the space); doors should be kept closed unless they open to an area outside the building and are not required to be kept shut by fire regulations or HVAC zoning.
  5. Those responsible for computer labs, workshops etc. will likely need to establish and monitor sign-up rosters to ensure that occupation density and duration are kept at safe levels.

STEP 2: Review Preparatory Steps and Complete Access Form

All faculty, staff and graduate students who need to request access to SFA facilities for research related purposes must first complete:

  1. The online form Request for access to SFA facilities for essential research/creative activity Summer 2020, which may be accessed here.
  2. The online module Returning to Research COVID-19 Safety Training, available here. (This takes about 15 minutes; you will receive a confirmation e-mail upon completion, and will be asked to provide a copy when submitting the SFA Request for access form.)

In addition, managers/directors of workshops, labs, etc. should:

  1. Read the UConn Research Lab Ramp-Up Preparedness Guide, available here.
  2. Complete a COVID-19 Safety Plan for the space that they supervise found, available here. Once completed the plan should be uploaded during submission of the SFA Request for access form.
The COVID-19 Safety Plan for labs and workshops need be submitted only once for each such space, but every person who needs to work in the space must submit their own individual access request; no individual will be allowed to access the space for research until the responsible manager/PI has submitted a Safety Plan and it has been approved. All applications will be reviewed in the order in which they are received, and responses provided as soon as possible, in most cases within 48-72 hours during the working week (M-F). You may be asked for additional information before a decision is reached. Those submitting applications for lab or workshop spaces may expect a longer response time. If approval is granted, please note that it may take a further day or two to arrange access, depending on the building involved. In all cases, planning well ahead will help to minimize frustrations.                                            

STEP 3: Complete On-Premises Research Log

If approved for research access, individuals using SFA facilities must after each visit record the details in a copy of the On Premises Research Log, which is being used across the university in case a need arises to undertake COVID-19 contact tracing. The form may be downloaded here, and on the Friday of any week in which the individual has used SFA facilities a completed log for that week should be emailed to the SFA Dean’s Office email,

STEP 4: Read Safety Practices for Using SFA Facilities

All established CDC, Federal, and State guidelines and mandates should be followed at all times.

Only those who actually need to be in the lab, studio, or research space for conducting research activities are allowed. Please keep in mind that these should be research activities that cannot be conducted remotely and that rely on SFA facilities and equipment to be undertaken successfully. Building access will be provided for individual(s) and for a specific period according to a timetable approved and prepared by the researcher via the SFA research access request form. Please refer to the policies and procedures in STEP I for further guidance.

STEP 5: Review Operational Guidance for Research Ramp-Up


Regular payroll, temporary staff searches and/or non-personnel expenditures that are entirely grant funded may proceed, however “100% Grant Funded” should be notated in the HR Page Up system as well as the - HuskyBuy Purchase Request form. Please reach out to your fiscal contact within the SFA Financial Services Office for further guidance.


While most UConn employees are now working remotely, it is understood there may be a need for research supply-type purchases to be shipped to remote work locations. In some cases this is possible depending on the purchasing amount and method (HuskyBuy or Pro-Card). Please reach out to your fiscal contact within the SFA Financial Services Office for further guidance. Employee reimbursements should be used as a last resort where HuskyBuy or a Pro-Card cannot be used. If this method is used then the procedures under Pro-Card apply. Please reach out to the SFA Financial Services Office for further guidance.

Shipping and Deliveries

UConn faculty and staff are encouraged to refrain from ordering items if they do not plan on being present on campus to receive the item(s) from the intended carrier. The Central Warehouse can receive items for departments and hold for future delivery or pick-up as a last resort only. Delivery can be arranged for one day each week. Please call (860) 486-6297 to coordinate.

Facility Building Access

  • Exterior Building Access Individuals with approved research plans will be provided with the necessary building access, according to the approved dates and schedule. Access will continue to be arranged through the SFA Dean’s Office. Interior Building Access Individuals with approved research plans will be provided with the necessary building access, according to the approved dates and schedule. Access will continue to be arranged through the SFA Dean’s Office. If a key is needed for doors with physical locks, faculty will need to make special arrangements with the Dean’s Office for assistance.

Access to Equipment/Instruments

Individuals with approved research plans that need access to secure equipment/instruments will be provided access on an as-needed basis only according to the approved dates and schedule. Access to any specialized equipment and/or instruments will be managed directly with each respective department via the Dean’s Office.

Parking Services

Parking Services is neither issuing nor enforcing permit parking on campus this summer. Faculty can park in any permit parking space without displaying a UConn parking placard. Illegal parking in any of the designated accessibility parking spaces, sidewalks, fire lanes, etc., will continue to be monitored and enforced.

University Sponsored Travel

UConn continues to act in accordance with Governor Lamont’s standing directive issued March 9 to executive branch agencies freezing employee travel on state business. However, with the announcement of the removal of federal restrictions on travel associated with federally funded research and the ramping up of research here at UConn as of May 20, the University will consider exceptions for essential research conducted out of state. If you believe an exception should be made for your planned travel, please make a request in writing to the appropriate operational leadership office to whom you report, meaning the President (for units that report directly to the President’s office), Provost, Executive Vice President for Administration/CFO, or the CEO of UConn Health. Each request should include an explanation of why this travel is essential at this time, and how you will ensure your safety and the safety of others in the course of your travel. Each request will be evaluated and a response will be provided. Please note that in-state research travel is permitted at this time, but there is an expectation that the same attention to safety is undertaken for such travel. Finally, while the University has always permitted employees to travel across state lines to come to work, any faculty and/or staff that lives outside of CT and that has an approved OVPR research plan must follow certain travel and/or quarantining restrictions instituted by each respective state. To that end, approved researchers should determine if their state law prohibits or restricts travel to neighboring states and/or mandates certain reentry quarantining parameters.

Guidelines on Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Cleaning, and Disinfecting

The CDC has published Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Places, Workplaces, Business, Schools, and Homes, which provides information for cleaning and disinfection practices. Labs, research programs, or research areas must have the appropriate PPE and cleaning supplies onsite before resuming research. A process is in place to assist faculty with obtaining masks, gloves, hand sanitizers, and disinfectants needed to return to work spaces. Ordering of PPE and lab specific cleaning supplies is not sufficient to return to the labs. Research staff and personnel are not permitted to return to labs or resume research activities if the necessary PPEs and cleaning supplies are not onsite. Individual use (surgical cloth) face masks are currently available for approved researchers on the OVPR list on a request basis only. Approved researchers should go to the Central Warehouse website to fill out a Face Mask Request form. These are available as supplies last. Masks are intended to be reused, having one for each day of the workweek. They can be picked up outside the Central Warehouse, 3 Discovery Drive. The specific location will be provided after the request is approved. Individual use hand sanitizer, as well as disinfectant spray bottles for cleaning equipment, is currently available for approved researchers on the OVPR list on a request basis only. Approved researchers should go to the Central Warehouse website to fill out a Hand Sanitizer/Disinfecting form. These are available as supplies last. They will be distributed through inter-office mail or can be picked up outside the Central Warehouse, 3 Discovery Drive. The specific location will be provided after the request is approved. Facilities Operations is also elevating the frequency of disinfecting touch points in buildings where research activity has been approved (per OVPR’s list). Approved research plans that require specialized cleaner for identified equipment and/or instruments will be purchased separately and provided by the SFA Dean’s Office.

Facilities Maintenance Repairs and/or Planned Projects

To every extent possible, routine facility maintenance repairs and/or special projects will be scheduled asynchronous to the OVPR approved research plans. Please contact the Dean’s Office directly if facility activity is occurring simultaneous to the approved research plan and corresponding dates, working location and schedule submitted. Please note that all of the above information is up to date as of June 23, 2020, and is subject to further adjustment.