Resources for all
- Key issues page - The university’s key issues page is the go-to place for the latest U-M guidance on this evolving situation. This page includes information on travel restrictions, event cancellations, policies, FAQs, and tips on how to self quarantine, stay healthy, etc. It is updated by the university on a rolling basis.
- How to Support Other Students: If there is interest in supporting students at this time, the easiest way to do it is to go to the University of Michigan Leaders and Best site, make a gift online, and send a message to Scott Bertschy (firstname.lastname@example.org) indicating that you would like your student support gift to be designated for those students most affected by the recent Covid-19 outbreak related shutdowns. https://leadersandbest.umich.edu/find/#!/give/basket/fund/322343
- Primary Voting During COVID-19 - With many states still holding primary and local elections in the coming months, we wanted to share the following information with you so that you can learn how to apply for absentee or mail-in ballots. In addition, those who are in high-risk groups may wish to plan ahead to vote remotely in the November election. U.S. Absentee and Early Voting - https://www.usa.gov/absentee-voting ACLU Resources and Coronavirus Voting Information - https://www.aclu.org/news/voting-rights/keep-calm-and-carry-on-voting-how-to-vote-by-mail-during-the-coronavirus-outbreak If you have questions, please visit govote.umich.edu for more information.
- Physical Health Support -
- Virtual Care Video Visits - Talk to a doctor online
- UHS Nurse Advice by Phone - 734-764-8320
- OAP is working remotely, you can find their email contact information here.
- Student resource and needs planning form: We are asking students to complete this form to help us better understand your circumstances, and to prepare for remote-learning challenges ahead in light of the current situation. While completing this form is entirely voluntary, it will help us ensure the most seamless transition to a remote learning and mentoring environment.
- Job Search Help, including if your internship or summer job was cancelled:
- Ashley Richardson, Associate Director of Career Services - email@example.com
- Jenna Bumstead, SEAS Career Counselor - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Nate Geisler, SEAS Employer Relations Manager - email@example.com
- Funding Support:
- Emergency Funding:
- EAS 700, 701, and 702 Enrollment: Students who wish to enroll in EAS 700 (thesis), EAS 702 (practicum), or EAS 701 (master's project) during the Fall 2020 term should reach out to Jennifer Taylor (firstname.lastname@example.org). She needs to create the courses for you and give you permission to enroll.
Services for Students with Disabilities: The Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) Office is still up and running! If you wish to register with SSD, please start by filling out our Student Intake Form and reviewing the registration process on our website. Students already approved for accommodations through SSD will continue to receive their accommodations. At times, however, specific accommodations may not transition equitably to an online format. Contact your SSD Coordinator if you have questions related to a specific accommodation.
SSD has also expanded Academic Coaching options during this time; if you are interested in receiving services, please complete the form at https://ssd.umich.edu/academic-coaching. Additionally, our PASS (Peer Assisted Study Sessions) program has resumed its regular schedule on a virtual platform and added a POWER HOUR for goal setting and strategy sharing. Students may contact PASS at email@example.com to receive an invitation to these online sessions.
- Support for students with mental health challenges:
- CAPS counselor: For students who are facing mental health challenges, the SEAS embedded CAPS counselor, Jaime Yang (firstname.lastname@example.org) is also available should you wish to make a remote appointment with her.
- CAPS Services Regarding COVID-19
- CAPS resource: Your Mental Health and COVID-19
- 10 Things You Can Do If You Are Feeling Helpless
- Tips For Staying Productive While At Home
UM Insurance Covers Coronavirus Treatment: Information about Health Insurance Plans for Students
If you are concerned about possible health care costs if you did need to be tested or treated for COVID-19, please remember that the U-M health insurance plans, including the International Student/Scholar Health Insurance Plan, and the health insurance plans administered by the U-M Benefits Office, such as GradCare, U-M Premier Care, etc. all cover medically necessary health care costs related to testing and treatment for infectious diseases and medical conditions, including COVID-19.
- Guide for adjusting your study habits: The Center for Academic Innovation recently launched The University of Michigan Office of Academic Innovation has released a guide to help you adjust your study habits to covid-19. It includes lots of helpful information, including how to stay organized, making the most of video lectures, and trading old strategies for new ones.
- Maize and Blue Cupboard remains open at this time to serve students food needs.
- Support for International Students:
- International Center: COVID-19 Update: Leaving Ann Arbor Before the End of Winter Term 2020
- Preparing Students for International Internships: We recognize that travel overseas is strongly discouraged right now due to coronavirus. However, you may want to travel overseas for an internship in the future, after the pandemic is over. The international center put together this powerpoint to help prepare you for interning outside the US.
- SEAS researcher guidelines: Please see this document for guidance specific to UM-SEAS Principal Investigators (PIs) and Research Group Leads.
Research Laboratory Ramp Up Guidance and Safety Plan
HOW TO USE THIS PLAN:
This guide focuses on the ramp-up of research within the School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), and addresses key considerations related to our on-campus workforce, workspace, and operations. This guide should be used along with guidance from the U-M Environment, Health & Safety Department (EHS) and the U-M Office of Research (UMOR).
Federal, state, and local requirements and recommendations have been incorporated into the EHS and UMOR information, including Michigan Department of Health and Human Services MI Safe Start Plan and Executive Order 2020-90; the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations, and Michigan Occupational Safety and Health Administration regulations.
This research ramp-up guidance plan provides general information and considerations for SEAS. Each research lab will create and implement individualized safety plans that consider the unique aspects of their lab including the type and size of the group, organizational structure, and any other special circumstances, as well as how they plan to work safely in their spaces. A safety plan template that can be used for research laboratories to document and communicate their COVID-19 procedures is provided in Appendix A. All workplace re-entry plans should be dynamic, allowing for flexibility as circumstances change. This document is intended to provide general guidance in creating a lab-specific plan for your space and staff.
The resumption of U-M laboratory research will happen in four waves, with each subsequent wave increasing the laboratory research activity on campus. The first wave was a pilot intended to help U-M identify issues and challenges to safely open research laboratories on a larger scale. SEAS has been allowed to open the Dana Building in the second wave, which will begin on June 8. The opening of Dana will be for a few faculty with wet labs and whose research must be conducted in the summer season, or who are collecting time-series data or whose research has been determined to be critical or essential in nature. All other researchers will continue to work remotely.
Some highlights of this plan include
- Each lab will operate according to an approved safety plan and with strict limits on occupancy (1 person per 144 square feet and the ability for 6 feet of social distancing between all occupants).
- Social distancing must always be maintained and interactions between labs should occur by phone or electronic means.
- Face masks must always be worn.
- Signs will be posted on all labs and common spaces indicating the allowed room occupancy. Most common spaces (conference and classrooms) will remain closed and off-limits along with offices. Restrooms will be open with restricted occupancy and will have signage posted.
- Shared equipment must be disinfected before and after each usage when sharing of equipment cannot be avoided.
- EHS and building Facilities Managers will conduct walk throughs and spot checks and will report on all safety violations.
- Any individuals who feel ill should not come to Dana. Rather, anyone feeling ill should phone the Occupational Health Services (OHS) hotline at 734.764.8021 and speak with the clinic about what to do next.
We ask that faculty consider equity issues as they make decisions about which lab members will be allowed to return, making sure that requests from all lab members are heard and discussed and giving prioritization to senior graduate students and postdocs. The return of graduate students and postdocs should be through mutual agreement and should follow Rackham Guidance. Undergraduate and visiting researchers are not allowed in labs at this time.
There will be a daily health screening consisting of several questions that will be asked of researchers when they first arrive at Dana. If you answer YES to any of the online health screening questions, PLEASE DO NOT COME TO DANA. You will be sent home and denied building access, and you will be referred for follow-up with the OHS hotline (734.764.8021). You should also report this to your supervisors. Any individuals who are at high risk for complications of COVID-19 are also strongly encouraged to stay home. For those who don’t feel ill and are permitted to work, we ask that you complete the online health screening in advance of your arrival to help reduce wait times.
Building Entry Procedure
Entry into the Dana Building will be limited to the basement East Ramp entrance facing Church Street. Anyone with permission to enter Dana will need to swipe their MCard in order to get in. A log of entrants is being maintained in case contact tracing becomes necessary. Upon entry, researchers will be met by a U-M Division of Safety and Security (DPSS) greeter at the check-in station at the bottom of the ramp. The greeters will check for completion of the online health screening and take a thermal temperature scan. If you did the anonymous online screening, you need to show them your results. If not, you will be asked a series of screening questions.
All entrants must wear a face mask/covering in order to enter. Without one, you will not be allowed into Dana and be sent home. Masks will be provided in the Labs and not at the greeter stations, so plan ahead. SEAS will provide each lab group with two masks per researcher, along with instructions for mask wear and care. This will only occur during a researcher’s first visit to Dana. After their first visit, all lab researchers are expected to bring their own mask when entering Dana.
If someone else is being screened when you arrive, we ask that you wait 6 feet away from the person ahead of you. Additional waiting areas can be found by noticing the markings on the ground and at the seating area on the north side of the Dana Gardens.
- All MCard access has been removed starting June 1, except for approved researchers. All requests for access to Dana must be approved by the Associate Dean for Research (email@example.com).
- All lab researchers must check in between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. for the day with the greeter. They can come and go as they need between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.
- The doors are set to operate from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. for approved access. Unapproved personnel attempting to enter Dana at any time will be denied.
- Everyone will be required to exit the building outside these hours. Once you leave after 5 p.m., you will not be permitted back in even with MCard access, as the doors are scheduled to lock. You will need to wait until 7 a.m. to get back in the next day.
- Propping of the doors is strictly prohibited even for loading/unloading. Anyone caught doing so will lose their access to continue to work in Dana.
- You will be required to show you UMID to confirm your identification.
SEAS has been approved to welcome back a total of 18 researchers who include faculty, staff, and grad students. New individual lab room maximum occupancy limits have been established and vary based on lab square footage. These maximum occupancy limits will be posted on the exterior door of each lab. A central map of occupancy can be found at the greeter station and the map is also shown in Appendix B.
All mail to Dana has been on hold with the date extended until June 30. All labs should plan to have deliveries made to their place of residence to avoid the handling of mail within Dana during wave 2 of the research restart. The only deliveries permitted to Dana at this time will be from UPS.
We understand that there are a lot of messages coming from different areas. In an effort to clarify, all SEAS communication for the research ramp-up will come from our Associate Research Dean (ADR) with follow-up emails from SEAS Facilities as needed. Our SEAS Web page will be updated periodically to reflect the latest information that you will need. Questions can be emailed to SEAS-Facilities@umich.edu. Signage will be placed throughout the building regarding PPE requirements and safety procedures, as well as what spaces are open and what the maximum occupancies are of those spaces.
Building Hours and Staged Entry/Exit
One of the challenges of re-opening the buildings is getting researchers into and out of the building through a single entryway while managing the social distancing. To do this safely, ingress will be at the East Ramp and egress will be at the East Stairs. You will need to swipe your MCard to get in AND as you exit so that total building occupancy can be controlled.
Holding the door open for the next person will be strictly prohibited. Building access activity will be closely monitored. Anyone caught not following this process will be considered in violation and will immediately lose access to the building and their lab space. All entry into Dana will need to be scheduled with the SEAS Facility Manager to help reduce congestion at the doors. During wave 2, greeters in Dana will be working from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday to Friday only. Those approved to be in Dana will be allowed to return before 5 p.m. should they need. There will be no access to Dana on the weekend or holidays unless requested and approved in advance. If you need to access Dana outside of these hours, please arrange this 1 to 2 days in advance with the SEAS Facilities Manager.
Researchers working in Dana will be allowed to use the Ford Commons and the first-floor kitchen for breaks only. All other areas outside the approved labs in Dana will be closed. The first-floor kitchen will be accessible for warming up of food, but the community fridge will remain off limits. To maintain social distancing, the kitchen will be set up to “Enter” through the west door (by the sink) and “Exit” through the east door. Signs also will be prominently posted to remind you to wipe down surfaces when you’re done. Alternatively, you can leave Dana for your break as long as you’re back before 5 p.m. when the doors and access will be locked.
The Ford Commons area is more than 3,000 square feet and allows for 6 feet of social distancing for several researchers to use the space at the same time. All extra furniture will be removed and put in storage. All remaining furniture will be spaced out to maximize social distancing. We ask that you and your staff refrain from moving furniture to help us manage the social distancing requirements.
Most building systems have been maintained during the research ramp-down. In some spaces we returned Cryogenic tanks for safety purposes. In other areas the water hasn’t been on for months. Maintenance has been going around to flush bathrooms to help circulate the water. If you plan to be using deionized water, it will be important to notify SEAS Facilities so that we can bring back Veolia to check the on filters and flush the system if needed. Each lab will be responsible for their personal lab filters and flushing of their systems. Temperature Control Rooms were checked periodically with no reports of issues while we’ve been away. Once you get back into your spaces and notice issues, please continue as you have in the past to email SEAS-Facilities@umich.edu. Sucila is available for building emergencies at 734.646.8429. If you’re unable to reach her, please feel free to contact the Call Center at 734.647.2059. This contact information is posted on all lab doors.
Though we don’t expect a spike in COVID-19 cases, we do need to be prepared to quickly shut down our research labs should it happen. The SEAS contingency plan of reversibility is based on a rapid shutdown of all research lab facilities within the Dana Building. In the event of a recurrence of COVID-19, SEAS researchers will be required to immediately cease all research activities and ensure that their labs, hazardous/flammable chemicals, and equipment can be safely shut down within 24 hours of the notification of a local outbreak of COVID-19. Twenty-four hours after the recurrence, the SEAS ADR and/or Facilities Manager will coordinate with U-M EHS to visit each lab to ensure that each lab and its equipment has been safely shut down. Signage will be posted on each of the active labs indicating that the lab has been closed until further notice. All labs should plan to include this additional COVID-19 shut-down procedure into their SOP safety plan.
Response to COVID-19 Cases Within the Building
For the foreseeable future, there will be close monitoring of illness within Dana. Anyone with COVID-19 symptoms or confirmed illness MUST report to Occupational Health Services (734.764.8021). All lab members of a confirmed case will be offered free testing. Any concerns about lab and building safety issues, including personnel who are ill or not following safety protocols, should be reported using the U-M Compliance Hotline.
If you have any further questions regarding your research and scholarship, please work directly with our Research Associate Dean Ivan Eastin (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Guidelines for preparing the safety plan and operating a safe lab in Dana
Each lab space in Dana must provide and maintain all the following items before reopening:
- SEAS Laboratory Space Usage Request Form. It should include the occupants list of researchers you plan to have working in your lab.
- Individual laboratory safety plan – you can refer to your Chemical Hygiene Plans if your lab uses chemicals and see Appendix A
- Completed Certificate of COVID Safety Online Training by EHS at COVID 19: Working Safely in U-M Research Areas
- Lab schedule for researchers will need to be shared and approved by SEAS Facilities in advance since we are limited to 18 researchers
- Lab Plan of how you will be using the room while managing social distancing and interactions.
- PI safety plans should include attestation that buildings must not be used for social gatherings or group meetings, that conference rooms and other group spaces will be off limits. See Appendix E
- Map of researchers' designated stations (by lab)
- Lab cleaning schedule and record form (by lab)
- EHS Checklist for Labs to assist you in setting up your lab. See Appendix D.
- Interaction Guidelines, which is a short description as to how you plan to deal with interactions within your lab with deliveries, etc.
- COVID Shutdown Plan.
At all times, you must maximize spacing among lab occupants and comply with social distancing, and all personnel in the lab space must have and use relevant PPE.
Your safety plan must be approved by the SEAS Facilities Manager and the SEAS ADR before you can start. All the procedures described below must be followed and adhered to:
- A laboratory plan should show how all rooms that you will be using, and their respective schedule should not exceed the maximum recommended occupancies for all associated spaces at any one time. Since some spaces will be shared, those areas should be coordinated through SEAS Facilities. Your plan should create a safe, hygienic space and always maintain at least 6 feet between researchers.
- Include a list of duties to be performed by personnel, indicating the location and designated time of day for such duties to be completed. Disinfecting activities must be scheduled and completed twice a day, particularly for high touch surfaces (e.g., shared tools, lab equipment, and door knobs within your labs.) Custodial services will only collect trash in labs. Floors will be cleaned as needed and after requested by Labs.
- Develop a means of signifying who is present in the lab space at any given time.
- Stagger use of labs so as not to exceed room capacities. Stagger break times to minimize contact between people in lunchrooms. Scheduling of activity in all labs spaces will be through SEAS-Facilities@umich.edu. This includes dedicated and shared labs that all research staff will use.
- Building hours will be from 7 a.m. to 12 p.m., Monday through Friday. All researchers will be required to check in during this time, but you can come and go as you need throughout the day until 5 p.m. Be sure to collect a sticker that will allow you access back into Dana. Your building access will allow you to return to Dana until 5 p.m. There will be no access to Dana on weekends or after 5 p.m.
- Your plan should explain how your staff can utilize designated break areas. It should share that Conference rooms and classrooms will be closed off and cannot be used as well as ensure eating and drinking does not occur in labs.
- Post a map inside the lab space entryway with maximum room/bay occupancy to maintain social distancing. Post a schedule for the rooms that will have shared activity. This will include placing tape on the floor to designate workstations and travel paths that ensure 6-foot distancing.
- Each lab space can only accommodate a maximum of 1 person per 144 square feet. If you cannot maintain at least 6 feet of social distance, or the person per square feet requirement, then the schedule will need to be revised and/or reconfigured to achieve these. Small, narrow laboratories/facilities smaller than 288 square feet can only accommodate one person at a time.
- If your lab has benches or stations that are not 6 feet across, your plan should show you can for work to occur only on one side of the lab bench in most instances.
- Note that, depending on the research area/experiment, safety guidelines for the specific research project may require more than one person to be present in the room at any one time. Even in this case, the individuals present must maintain a 6-foot separation at all times. If the appropriate physical separation cannot be maintained, this work cannot be started.
- Labs should plan to move equipment to create at least 6 feet between users and reach out to facilities for assistance for heavy objects. If this can’t be achieved, modifying other things to make it work will need to be considered or not work with this equipment.
- Tape should be used to mark out 6-foot spaces for high traffic areas or bottlenecks.
- PI safety plans should include attestation that buildings must not be used for social gatherings or group meetings, and that conference rooms and other group spaces will be off limits. Submit names, dates, and hours that staff will arrive/work to SEAS-Facilities@umich.edu. This will be needed before approval to start is granted.
- PI should submit all training certificates to SEAS-Facilities@umich.edu.
- And share the link to the online health training with staff so that they can complete this in advance of entry. They will be asked to show that “green check” at the greeter station. It is preferred that this be done in advance since it saves time for everyone arriving but not critical at this time.
Supplies Provided by SEAS vs by the Labs
Each lab on June 4 will receive a start-up kit provided by SEAS. It will include an adequate supply of hand sanitizer, bleach spray bottles and paper towels, sanitizing wipes (if available at the time of start-up), and masks based on the max number of people allowed in the lab. We will plan for two masks per person submitted to start. Replacements will be the responsibility of each researcher. It is the researcher’s responsibility to wash their reusable masks daily after use.
Facial Coverings, PPE, and COVID-19 Hygiene
Any individual able to medically tolerate a face covering must wear a covering over his or her nose and mouth—such as a homemade mask, scarf, bandana, or handkerchief—when in any enclosed public space. At this time, the University requires the use of a face covering when you are (1) indoors in a place other than your home and in an area where you cannot self-isolate (e.g., you cannot close the door and expect other individuals not to come into the room) and (2) with other individuals in the same space or where you are likely to encounter another individual. For example, if you have a single office or lab space and you can close the door and reasonably expect other individuals not to enter, you need not wear a face covering while you are in such location. However, if you leave your office or lab space and proceed into a common area or hallway (even if there are no other individuals present), you should wear a face covering. If you are unable to wear a mask for any reason, you are not allowed to enter the Dana Building during the wave 2 startup.
1. Employees authorized to return to lab work during the wave 2 ramp-up should already have a mask on before entry or they will not be allowed inside. A replacement mask if needed can be received from the DPSS/Greeter if asked. For cleaning and maintenance of your masks, please refer to EHS Face Covering Usage for COVID-19.
2. Users must retain their mask and bring it with them, after complying with all relevant and applicable cleaning and care requirements. Refer to EHS Face Covering Usage for COVID-19.
3. A face covering must always be used unless your research procedures dictate heightened PPE requirements. When not wearing the safety, PPE required for your laboratory work, reapply your face covering. Proper hand hygiene before and after using any face covering is critical.
4. Laboratory occupants must wash their hands with soap upon entering and before leaving the lab space and wash them after touching shared devices like phones (use speaker phone if possible).
5. Eye protection must be used if there is a potential chemical hazard in the lab. To help prevent safety glasses from fogging, wash with soap and water. Dry with a clean cloth.
6. The sharing of items (pens, notebooks, frequently used reagent bottles, etc.) should be minimized. As much as possible, each person should have their own. Nitrile/latex gloves should be worn if items/equipment must be shared.
7. PI’s must formally assign a daily in-lab sanitation role which includes daily decontamination of lab-space which may include cleaning of work benches, door & drawer handles, light switches, sink areas and lock keypads, keyboards/mice/desks for shared equipment computers, telephones, printer, cameras, microscopes, control panels, etc.
8. If it can be done safely, staff should use paper towels or Kimwipes when handling common or shared laboratory items, laboratory equipment and cabinet handles.
9. Wipe or spray door handles with 70% ethanol (or other EPA-registered disinfectant) after use. Laboratory spaces must be disinfected at least twice daily. See EHS guidelines Disinfecting U-M Lab Spaces
10. Tables and chairs must be disinfected before and after use.
- Wash your hands after using a designated break area in the Ford Commons
- Food and drink are not allowed in labs.
11. Lab coats, gowns, or aprons are recommended to protect personal clothing. Follow EHS guidelines for cleaning and disinfecting hard, non-porous surfaces (see above).
12. Lab coats and gloves should be removed when leaving the lab.
Shared Equipment/Instrument Rooms
1. All shared equipment should be disinfected before and after each use. Some instruments are sensitive to chemicals; alternate procedures such as wearing gloves at all times will be provided for these sensitive areas. A plan specifying materials and procedures for disinfecting equipment must be provided.
- Disposable gloves must be worn for cleaning and disinfecting equipment.
- Gloves should be discarded (where supplies allow) or disinfected after each use with 70 percent ethanol or sanitizer.
- Special care should be taken to disinfect equipment that makes direct physical contact with skin, including eyepieces for microscopes, touch pads, etc.
- Disposable tissues, Kimwipes, etc. should be used to touch surfaces that cannot be disinfected, and/or when gloves are not available.
Building and Laboratory Interaction Guidelines
1. Create a plan for interacting with individuals outside the lab. Contact with other labs should be made via phone or electronic means, except in cases of extreme emergency. VISITORS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE DANA OR THE LAB DURING WAVE 2.
- Visitors and undergraduates are not allowed in this wave.
- Transfer of items between labs should be arranged by leaving them in the hallway or other designated area for a no-contact approach, as opposed to handing them over in person. The timing of these transfers should be closely coordinated to ensure the safety of all involved, as well as to eliminate the potential for lost or otherwise unattended items in these settings.
- Research studies must be carefully and thoughtfully planned given the likelihood that support services, such as central stores, core laboratories, etc. will be operating at reduced levels.
- Use of shared facilities and other labs’ equipment must be pre-arranged to avoid accidental contact. Be sure that all users understand lab sign-in procedures.
- Use precautions when entering small spaces like restroom, shared use facility, or other common areas. Call out to assess occupancy or create an “occupied” door sign. Use a disposable towel or Kimwipe to touch door handles and faucets and wash your hands upon entering and leaving.
- Access to office space for work that can be done remotely will not be permitted for use at this time. It is explicitly expected that you and your staff agree to this requirement before being approved to start up research.
- No animal studies are permitted in Dana at this time.
- Research activities can only occur within Region 1 of the state of Michigan during this initial research ramp-up, research outside this region will not be allowed.