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UWRL COVID-19 or Other Infectious Disease General Field Safety Plan

Prepared by Joan McLean, Joshua Hortin, Patrick Strong
Approved by UWRL Director David Tarboton

When the State of Utah is under any disease risk phase other than Green (“New Normal,” and/or the University is at any stage of its Infectious Disease Response other than level 5 or 4 (“Normal conditions” or “Increased Readiness,”, the requirements of this section apply.

Travel and use of Vehicles

  • Face coverings are required in USU vehicles when riding with others.

  • For longer trips, separate vehicles should be used if at all possible.

  • To facilitate the use of separate vehicles, if a research project is unable to pay for the extra expenses incurred through use of multiple vehicles, the UWRL will provide funding for the extra vehicle costs by approval of the director.

  • UWRL vehicles will be disinfected between each use according to the UWRL Vehicle Disinfection Plan

Field Work

  • All field work should be conducted following the field activity and sampling (if any) procedures developed by the PI as part of their standard operations.

  • Field activities should be reviewed in advance by the field team and adjusted or adapted to address physical distance, mask wearing and tool handling needs. Plans should address needs for, and minimization of, tool and equipment sharing (e.g., one employee operates a field computer, while the other installs sensors and dataloggers).

  • Any member of the field team may veto a field activity plan without penalty if they feel it will be unsafe.

  • Project leaders may not override disagreement with a field activity plan and should continue to work with the field team until all agree it is safe before heading into the field.

  • Before beginning field work, all parties should confirm that no team member is currently exhibiting or has been experiencing COVID symptoms within the last 14 days.

  • While in the field, team members will strive to maintain at least 6 feet of distance between individuals. If work requires contact closer than 6 feet, then project-specific PPE—at a minimum face covering—must be worn. Work closer than 6 feet should be minimized to the extent possible.

  • While in the field, employees will wear cloth face coverings consistent with USU’s guidance on face coverings.

  • While working in the field, team members should sanitize their hands frequently (before and after each set of tasks, especially if using equipment that may subsequently be used by someone else). PI’s or field team leads are to ensure that sufficient hand sanitizing supplies are available.

  • Any additional COVID-19 specific procedures needed for field work should be described in Standard Operating Procedures developed by faculty and research team leads to augment this document and existing (pre-COVID) Field Safety Protocols that are already in place.