COVID-19: Pandemic Preparedness Guide for Researchers Updated

A Message from Rob A. Rutenbar, Senior Vice Chancellor for Research

March 12, 2020

Dear Pitt Researchers:

As you know, the University of Pittsburgh is closely monitoring the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak. Emergency plans are in place should the need arise.

Please continue to check Pitt's comprehensive page on this subject.

As researchers, your best course of action right now is to ensure you have thought through planning and protocols for your research group. Principal investigators and research group leads should discuss approaches now in case some personnel are unable to come to work. Such advanced planning will make future decisions straightforward and minimize disruption to research activities. Our updated checklist will guide you through a self-examination of preparedness.

As you work through the checklist, think about these general categories of research operations:

  • Human health, welfare and/or safety
  • Information technology services or security
  • Building or property security, safety, and integrity
  • Research animals, specimens, or equipment
  • Critical infrastructure (power, water, heat, roads, etc.)
  • Critical business, contractual, or legal obligations

Medical experts are still learning about COVID-19 and how it is transmitted. Employees should stay home if they experience any symptoms, including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing. It is also advisable to avoid large group meetings or gatherings, and limit physical contact with others, such as hand-shaking (substitute elbow bumps or bows) and sharing of food. The most effective prevention measure is frequent, thorough hand-washing.

We at Pitt Research will continue to be in touch as needed during the course of this outbreak.

Rob A. Rutenbar
Senior Vice Chancellor for Research
University of Pittsburgh