Phase II…July 13


Dear Colleagues,

As shared in the latest communication from the Office of the Vice Provost for Research, the initiation of Phase II of Research Resumption is planned for Monday, July 13, 2020.   In Phase II -- approved thanks to everyone’s continued efforts in adhering to COVID directives such as socially distancing and wearing masks -- we can gradually increase density across our buildings and programs from 20% to 50%.  We continue to ask that all activities that can occur from home should continue remotely.

In determining the right timeline and circumstance for your own return, we ask that you review and adhere to the following necessary steps:

  • Training: Each PSOM member is required to complete EHRS “Resumption of Research Training” through Knowledgelink.  This includes important guidelines applicable to everyone, even if you are not a researcher.

  • Research Resumption Plans: Next week we will send additional information on research resumption plans for Phase II, which must be approved by your department chair and/or center/institute director.  For those who submitted plans during Phase I, you will be asked to update plans for Phase II.  For those who have not submitted any plans, you must complete this step before coming to campus.

  • Research Support Areas: Beginning on July 13, we will strictly maintain 50% density across our programs, floors, and buildings.  Please note that while individual labs may have developed ways to stagger their personnel, it is imperative that all research activities, as applicable, are closely coordinated with other research support areas, such as ULAR and cores facilities.  They have been terrific partners, working hard to accommodate research resumption plans, and we also need to support their ability to operate at lower density and with social distancing.  Especially during our initial phases, the level/intensity of work requiring access to animal and core facilities cannot be sustained at the same level as during pre-COVID times.

  • We strongly encourage you to “check in” on a shared lab, program, or floor calendar – this has been an important step during Phase I, and will help in maintaining 50% density in Phase II, as well as for contact tracing purposes. 

  • Symptom Monitoring and Self-Attestation: As part of Phase II, PSOM will implement a mandatory digital symptom monitoring and self-attestation process – PennOpen Pass.  This process requires that you take your temperature every day, confirm that it is below 100.0F, and electronically attest your understanding of symptom-free screening before arriving to campus (guidelines here).  More information on PennOpen Pass will be communicated next week.

  • Hand Hygiene, Mask Wearing, and Social Distancing: Helpful information on proper masking is found on the EHRS site.  An important reminder: even if you are not within 6ft of another person, even when no one is around, and even when you are on the phone, you must wear your mask at all times unless you are eating/drinking or in a private office or cubicle with sides extending above the head.   Every time a mask is off, particles emerge and contaminate your working environment or walking path, which could result in an unwanted and inadvertent transmission.  More information here

Thank you,


Jon Epstein, MD | EVD/CS