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

Published on
August 4, 2021
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UPDATED Aug. 4, 2021

The rapid spread of the Delta variant, which new research has shown is much more transmissible and contagious than previous strains of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, requires that we take urgent action to protect you and our community.

UNIVERSAL MASKING AT ALL TIMES INDOORS

All employees — regardless of vaccination status or location — should revert to universal masking at all times indoors, except for during mealtimes or when alone in a closed office. Continue to practice physical distancing whenever possible. Distancing is strongly recommended when individuals are eating.

This shift is in response to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's latest guidance on indoor masking. CHOP modifies its approach to universal masking based on community prevalence, evidence of disease transmission in our healthcare setting, and guidance from the health departments of New Jersey and Pennsylvania to minimize spread of COVID-19.

COVID-19 VACCINE MANDATE

CHOP previously indicated that a COVID-19 vaccine mandate would follow full FDA approval; however, given uncertainty regarding this date, the current environment dictates that we move forward immediately. This mandate applies to all workforce members who work on-site at a CHOP location, regardless of role or amount of time spent on-site. This also includes our home care professionals who are interacting with patients and families offsite. Read the full announcement from Madeline Bell (internal link).

If you have not yet been vaccinated, you will be required to be fully vaccinated by Oct. 20, 2021. Fully vaccinated means that you have received one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine or two doses of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. If you have already received the first dose of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, you must complete the second dose by Oct. 20 to be considered fully vaccinated. CHOP employees vaccinated outside of CHOP should be certain to submit vaccination status (internal link).

Visit the Vaccine Mandate @CHOP page (internal link) for more information and resources on the vaccine mandate.

RESEARCH INSTITUTE STAFFING LEVELS REMAIN AT 100 PERCENT

Staffing capacity at the Research Institute remains at 100 percent, which at times may reduce physical distancing to less than 6 feet. Practice physical distancing whenever possible. For assistance with determining appropriate physical distancing within any given RI space, Research Safety is available for consultation.

NEW WAYS TO WORK

Each department and lab's full resumption of services may look a little different. Employees who are not location critical and have remote capability should consult with their leaders about adapting to new work models and staying engaged with their hybrid and remote teams. Visit WorkWise@CHOP (internal link) for resources.

REMINDER:CHOP DAILY CHECK-IN TOOL

Don't forget to use the Daily CHOP Check-in Tool (internal link) prior to coming to work on-site each day.

CONTACT TRACING CENTER HOTLINE

Contact Tracing Center Hotline will continue to manage concerning exposures and illnesses in CHOP employees. New exposures and onset of illness should be shared with the hotline to ensure appropriate response and next steps may occur. Reach the hotline at 1-800-722-7112, Press Option #1.

STUDENTS

All students must adhere to the vaccination, masking, and workspace policies described above.

  • Before arriving to CHOP, the PI or lab manager must thoroughly screen each student who doesn't have access to the Daily CHOP Check-in Tool. This should include any recent exposures, illness, COVID-19 diagnosis. For any positive screening questions, the facilitator should contact the Contact Tracing Center Hotline (1-800-722-7112) for additional guidance.
  • If at any time a student starts to feel ill while at CHOP, they are required to immediately notify their facilitator and leave the hospital. See HR sick policy (internal link) for more details.

STAY INFORMED

Information changes quickly, so stay tuned by visiting the New Normal Bioresponse page (internal link) and WorkWise@CHOP (internal link). See below for more resources:

Thank you for working together to keep our patients, families, and each other safe!