UC Berkeley administration recommend researchers prepare for COVID-19

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Although the current campus response to COVID-19, the new coronavirus, does not include campus laboratories and research facilities, Vice Chancellor for Research Randy Katz sent a campuswide email Monday outlining measures the research community should take to prevent the virus’ spread and plan for significant changes in staffing.

Katz asked in the email that all campus labs and research facilities require unwell personnel to stay home, standardize personal hygiene measures and allow “social distancing,” such as spacing researchers out and separating shifts. He also discouraged traveling and attendance of conferences, recommending that researchers cancel or postpone research field trips.

UC Berkeley will continue to prioritize the safety and good health of researchers and research animals, according to Katz, who said in the email that researchers and lab facilities should be prepared to decontaminate workspaces if a researcher becomes ill. He also recommended that researchers should prepare for potential building or laboratory access restrictions.

“Individual labs and research facilities are best positioned to create a continuity plan that will meet their unique needs,” Katz said in the email.

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Kate Finman is the university news editor. Contact her at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @KateFinman_DC.