Important Details about Next Stage of Research Ramp-up

As things stand now, we anticipate being able to move to the second stage of the Research Ramp-up by means of a one-week transition period, starting on Monday, July 13, with the second stage officially to begin on Monday, July 20.

We want to express our deep appreciation for all those who have been on campus all along, helping ensure that critical work continued.  We are also grateful to all of you who have completed the new training, who are conducting daily symptom self-checks and using the ReOpenCU app, who have obtained or scheduled a COVID19 diagnostic test, and for wearing a face covering and maintaining physical distance in your work places.  To our schools, institutes and principal investigators who developed detailed ramp-up plans:  your planning paid off, and we encourage you to continue to monitor the implementation of this first stage, to ensure that your priorities are being met.

Our Research Ramp-Up Framework contemplates a move to a second stage of the Ramp-Up for research and other sponsored activities as conditions warrant, subject to New York State and New York City requirements and the judgment of our Public Health Work Group.   As things stand now, we anticipate being able to move to the second stage by means of a one-week transition period, starting on Monday, July 13, with the second stage officially to begin on Monday, July 20.  Schools, institutes, departments and principal investigators should revisit your ramp-up plans to ensure that you have appropriate strategies in place for this next stage.  

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  • Increased density, from approximate maximum of 30% to maximum of 50% occupancy at any particular time.
  • More researchers and others permitted to work on campus as schools, institutes, departments and principal investigators adjust their ramp-up plans to take advantage of the greater density permitted.
  • Individual faculty/staff will be permitted to use their offices for research and other activities, subject to an approved ramp-up plan and procedures established by your school, institute or department.
  • Mandatory initial COVID-19 testing prior to the return to campus on or after July 20 (in contrast to the first stage, during which the test could be obtained within 14 days before or after return);  the initial testing will be followed by a sampling approach to testing.  Testing can be scheduled immediately by calling 646-317-1999.
  • New expectations about who is to return to work on campus.
  • For those who can do their work remotely, there is no change.  You should continue to do it remotely.  That was true for the first stage under our Research Ramp-Up Framework, and it remains true under the second stage.
  • For those who cannot do their work remotely but are not yet covered by an applicable planned next phase of ramp-up plan, there is no change for the time being.  Your school, institute or principal investigator will bring you within the scope of a ramp-up plan as soon as feasible.
  • For those whose work can only be accomplished on campus and who are covered by an applicable research ramp-up plan, you will be expected to be on campus to the extent needed to carry out your work responsibilities.  We understand the world is different than it was pre-COVID-19. You should spend as little time on campus as needed to get your work done.  For example, if coming in one day a week would make it possible for you to do the rest of your week’s work remotely, that is what you should do, in accordance with the plan for your research team.
  • For those returning from locations with increased rates of COVID-19 transmission, you must quarantine for 14 days before returning, unless you are essential personnel, in accordance with New York State interim guidance.

For all researchers, including graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, whether working remotely or on campus, if carrying out your responsibilities represents a particular hardship for you or raises health or other concerns, please work with your schools, institutes, departments and principal investigators.  They will do what they can to adjust your responsibilities, to the extent feasible, to meet your needs. We also have a variety of leaves available to care for others, and a Human Resources accommodations process that is available to you to address specific needs resulting from a permanent or temporary medical condition. 

Schools, institutes, departments and principal investigators will implement any adjustments necessary for compliance with applicable density requirements, and to ensure compliance with the following critical requirements applicable to everyone newly returning to campus:    

  • Schedule a COVID-19 test (at 646-317-1999) (unless, e.g., making a one-off stop to pick up materials, with appropriate approvals); if you are returning on or after Monday, July 20, as part of the second stage, you will have to complete the test before you return;  Testing can be scheduled immediately.  All personnel are encouraged to schedule tests at the Morningside campus location.
  • Complete COVID-19 Safety Training;
  • On a daily basis, complete the symptom self-check required by New York State;
  • Follow the University’s Enhanced Health and Safety Policy, including wearing a face covering, maintaining physical distancing, and hand hygiene.

Face covering remains critical.  Non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as wearing a face covering and physical distancing, have been shown to be effective in stopping the spread of COVID-19.  Your face covering protects your colleagues; their face coverings protect you.  We expect everyone to wear face coverings and follow other non-pharmaceutical intervention requirements on campus to help keep our community safe.

The University has many resources available for those who may have concerns regarding the ramp-up process, including the Research Ramp-Up Ambassadors, at least one of whom has been identified for each school.  We thank the Ambassadors for agreeing to serve in this role.