Covid-19 Info Center

July 17, 2020

Phase 2 research ramp-up preparation instructions

Dear DLC Heads,
We are pleased to report that research ramp-up Phase 1 continues to proceed smoothly. Consequently, we are taking steps to prepare for Phase 2, which will allow increased research activity on campus. The steps required for the transition to Phase 2 are outlined below. 

  1. The maximum density of research spaces has been adjusted to 125 sf/person from 160 sf/person, in keeping with recently published Massachusetts guidelines related to the density of persons in certain indoor spaces. If your DLC chooses to adopt this new standard, your PIs may complete revised Planning Exercise A floor plans following the guidance provided and submit these to the DLC head for review and approval. All other guidance in Planning Exercise A is unchanged. Please note that the guidelines for common spaces (bathrooms, elevators, lunchrooms) in buildings are unchanged in Phase 2.
  2. On-campus research capacity for Phase 2 will increase to 50% from 25% in Phase 1. PIs who wish to increase their research group’s on-campus capacity should complete the modified Planning Exercise B materials and submit them for DLC head approval. Please note that the guidelines associated with the inclusion of personnel are changing. PIs and DLCs should review the instructions carefully and watch for additional guidance over the next few weeks. The “Thunder Committee” is currently piloting a recommended process for office access, and will produce final guidelines once it has incorporated feedback and learnings from the pilot.
  3. Each DLC head must form a DLC Monitoring and Compliance Committee (DMC), which will ensure that the DLC is adhering to overall guidance related to Covid-19 safe working practices, and their PI groups are remaining within the 50% capacity caps. DLC heads should chair (or co-chair) the DMC, and it should consist of a broad representation of DLC personnel.

    The DMC must establish mechanisms for their PIs to log their personnel’s daily/weekly hours. The hours should be recorded on a daily basis, summarized weekly, and submitted to the DMC using whatever software (Excel, Google sheets, etc.) works best for the DLC. The logged information should also include hours spent in core facilities. 

DLCs may implement Phase 2 once their DMC is in place. At that time, PIs with DLC-approved modified Planning Exercise A and B documents can transition to Phase 2. The mechanisms for access by personnel via the Covid Access and Covid Pass systems are unchanged relative to Phase 1. Any newly returning personnel will be required to undergo an MIT Medical SARS-CoV-2 viral test, and all personnel will be required to undergo periodic testing as well. Details of the regular surveillance testing will be released soon. Please note that all participants in the research ramp-up are required to wear masks or face coverings, practice physical distancing, and perform frequent handwashing.
At this time, the return to campus research continues to be voluntary. With the opening of indoor spaces in the Commonwealth, researchers should expect the voluntary nature of returning to campus research activity to transition to a “return if needed” in the coming weeks. At that time, guidance will be provided to those who are unable or unwilling to come to campus. We will maintain the practice of allowing individuals who are able to work at home to continue to do so. 
Maria T. Zuber
Vice President for Research
Tyler E. Jacks
Chair of the Lightning Committee