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COVID-19 Public Health Reminders

Published January 21, 2021

On January 14th, we sent a Research News message​ that launched the next iteration of our laboratory research during COVID-19 survey to help us identify areas that need attention. So far, over 600 people have responded (thank y​ou!), and I look forward to sharing the results of the survey with you in the coming weeks. If you have not taken the survey, we are extending it until the end of day on Friday, January 22nd, and I encourage you to provide your input.

In that message I also updated you that we, and our peers, have been successful in keeping our research personnel safe in our laboratories and in our laboratory research during the COVID-19 pandemic. This achievement has only been possible because of your adherence to our public health guidance.

Today’s message is to reinforce the public health guidance. With new strains of COVID-19 that are highly transmissible, it is more important than ever that we do not relax our vigilance over the coming months. We all must continue w​ith universal masking, physical distancing, keeping our density low, hand hygiene, and daily screening before coming to campus. Please note, the screening website was recently upgraded, and now has a different URL. If you have trouble accessing it, here is the new web address:

If you have concerns about adherence to our requirements, please contact your supervisor, your department chair, my office (Johnnie Cartwright, or submit your concerns on the OVCR COVID website,

It is especially important to continue our public health practices (masking, distancing, handwashing), even as vaccines are rolled out. At this point, we know that vaccination is effective in preventing symptoms in the vaccinated person, but we do not know whether vaccination prevents infection or viral spread.

Our public health experts, as well as the state, county and city, will determine when we can relax our public health requirements.

I recognize everyone has experienced various levels of loss, sacrifice, emotional and physical fatigue as a result of this pandemic. I also know the ongoing safety precautions and restrictions are testing the limits of our patience and resilience. It is because of this, I remain extraordinarily grateful for all your hard work and support as we ensure the safety and security of our research community during this most critical time.

Jennifer Lodge, PhD
Vice Chancellor for Research