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Wet Lab, Clinical Research, and Core Facilities Ramp-up

Published on
April 14, 2021
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UPDATED APRIL 14, 2021

We’re seeing many bright spots ahead in our COVID-19 pandemic response. Vaccination among CHOP employees is rising — more than 12,000 are fully vaccinated — and CHOP’s COVID mitigation strategies continue to provide a safe work environment.

Yet, our optimism is in the shadow of fluctuating community prevalence of COVID-19, which necessitates that we remain at ramp-up Stage 3 and continue to limit staffing to 75 percent personnel performing in-lab work. (Labs with six or fewer members are exempt from this policy and can remain at 100 percent.)

Despite all the uncertainty about reaching a “new normal,” one constant is your dedication to conducting research safely for both staff and study participants. Thank you! Universal masking, physical distancing, and practicing hand hygiene is key to our ongoing success, and we can count on you to stay the course.

Our expectation is that ongoing vaccination efforts and low, stable community COVID-19 prevalence rates — combined with vigilance in following safety procedures — likely will allow more employees to return to campus sometime in July. In the meantime, we continue to encourage strongly that research personnel complete tasks at home whenever possible.

While Stage 3 staffing levels have not changed, please note these important updates to the Guiding Principles for Wet Lab Research Stage 3 document:

CHOP Daily Check-in Tool

Start your day with the Daily CHOP Check-in Tool. Fill out a brief symptom survey prior to coming to work on-site each day. Report concerns to your personal physician and the CHOP COVID-19 Hotline: 1-800-722-7112.

Meeting/Conference Rooms at 50 Percent Occupancy

If it is necessary to hold an in-person meeting, allow six foot distance around each person, and maintain universal masking for all individuals. Minimize both the number of people (50 percent conference room capacity) and time spent together (<1h). Look out for new room signage with QR codes to get quick info on safe occupancy limits and seating configurations.

Eating and Breaks

Individuals who completed their vaccination series at least 14 days ago may voluntarily disclose vaccination status to colleagues/friends if they want to eat together. It is important to recognize that not all staff received the vaccine. Under six feet distances can be tolerated for small groups of vaccinated individuals who choose to disclose vaccination status and eat together. No one can assume their colleagues are fully immunized, nor should individuals ask another person about vaccination. Please note: Several conference rooms at Colket and ARC are available from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. for eating and taking breaks. Outside of standard mealtimes, all individuals in conference rooms should wear masks and refrain from eating and drinking in meeting spaces.

Guidance About Onboarding Non-Traditional Personnel

Effective May 1, 2021, the onboarding of all Research High School Scholars and Cooperative students will resume at CHOP for on site or remote work. Exceptions for students to be onboarded earlier than May 1, 2021, should be submitted to lewism8 [at] chop.edu (subject: Request%20for%20Exception%20to%20Onboard%20HS%20Student) (Michelle Lewis). The Clarifying Guidelines for Onboarding Non-Traditional Personnel (NTP) During Ramp-up of Research document contains this updated information.

Please review the robust ramp-up resources below:

COVID-19 Research Institute Updates

Check this COVID-19 Information and Resources page often for ongoing research communications and virtual opportunities. Visit the internal Bioresponse @CHOP Community for the latest bioresponse enterprise updates.