Executive Summary: If you have been outside of St. Lawrence County since March 14 and plan to return to campus, public health direction is that you must self-isolate – meaning separating from others — with all members of your household for two weeks before returning to campus.
Dear research students and faculty,
As some of our students living off-campus (undergraduate and graduate) return from spring break to resume their research, they may have visited other locations during that time. As we are working diligently to support the health of our north country community I wanted to share with you the latest recommendations from state public health officials as well as information about grant-funded employees.
1. RETURNING FROM SPRING BREAK AND LEAVING ST. LAWRENCE COUNTY
a. If a research employee (staff, student, or faculty), who will need access to on-campus research facilities, left St. Lawrence County during spring break (or leaves the country St. Lawrence County henceforward) they must self-isolate for 14-days upon return to Potsdam. Public Health officials are directing that during self-isolation, all contact outside of the home be minimized.
i. If you are a student (or staff/faculty) who is just getting back to Potsdam, or you leave (until further notice) St. Lawrence County (with the exception of commuting to campus for work if you live beyond the County border) you are required to notify your research mentor that you have returned and work together, via phone or zoom, on a plan for completing research work from home (data analysis, writing, reading etc.) during the 14-day self-isolation period. At the end of the self-isolation period, provided you remained healthy, if your work necessitates a return to the lab you may do so.
2. SOCIAL DISTANCING AND WORKING IN THE LAB
a. For faculty, staff, and students, if you must perform work in the lab (the university is not closed), you should be following social distancing best practices (https://www.clarkson.edu/sites/default/files/2020-03/CU-Social-Distancing-Guideline.pdf) at all times. You should expect to do as much work as possible via distance and should work on a plan with your research group to establish a schedule of activities that supports this.
i. If working in the lab, you must reduce crowding to maintain social distancing. You should maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet between lab mates. This may mean developing an attendance schedule with your lab group that ensures social distancing while also supporting your research goals and needs.
3. FOR GRANT FUNDED STUDENTS, STAFF, AND FACULTY
a. For those students, research staff, and faculty whose salary is drawn from a federally funded external award, we understand that the state requirement of maintaining pay for all employees, while facing a loss of research productivity due to the current crisis, places your research budget at risk of depletion prior to the conclusion of your work. If, during this period of time (until the self-isolation and work from home recommendations are lifted) a lab member(s) funded on a federal award is unable to fulfill all or part of their research-related duties, principal investigators will, once the university is up and fully operational, be able to apply for up to 14-days of salary + benefit funding for each personnel member you paid during this time who was unable to work. Additional details are forthcoming. In the interim, if you have any questions please contact the Provost.
b. Attached please find additional guidance from the Council on Government Relations regarding federal awards and management of activities under current constraints.