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Frequently Asked Questions

South Dakota State University – COVID-19 Pandemic

Research, Scholarship, and Creative Activity Reacceleration – Implementing Transition to and Function in Reacceleration Phase from June 1, 2020

The following information is intended to supplement the JacksRBack SDSU employee FAQ release earlier as part of the university’s phased transition to bring staff back to campus. The Q&A below is adapted more specifically to RSCA at SDSU.

  • Which personnel should be given priority to work in labs or other RSCA spaces? 
    • The principles and framework document provide general principles of prioritization in the section "Choice of lab members who return to work."  More specific guidance on prioritization is given in the "Criteria" column of the "Early Reacceleration Phase".
  • Can undergraduate students work as volunteers in SDSU RSCA during the summer?
    • Yes.  But, undergraduates are recognized as students first and researchers second. Their public health and safety comes first and must not be compromised by their work as a RSCA volunteer. Other laboratory functions may need to be given priority if functions and staffing must be selective in order to maintain public health and safety. 
  • Is there guidance for implementing distancing and other public health safety principles in laboratories?
    • Follow CDC guidelines for social distancing as implemented by SDSU. Managing distancing may include decreasing person density by separating team into alternating shifts or days, managing to a certain maximum number per laboratory, minimum bench workspace between people, shields, etc.  Plans for safe management of public health safety principles must be developed in conjunction with and approved by supervisors. A valuable resource for laboratory safety in general and COVID-19 public health safety strategies is SDSU Environmental Health and Safety.
  • What if a project requires travel for field work or other interactions with participants at non-SDSU locations?
    • Plan travel, field work, and interactions with study participants in keeping with SDSU's adopted guiding principles. All plans should ensure public health safety, using SDSU's guiding principles during travel and at project sites. In-state travel is permitted but should be minimized and planned and approved by your unit’s Dean in conjunction with your supervisor. All out-of-state travel must be approved by your college unit and will be considered on a case-by-case basis. Motor pool procedures for vehicle occupancy and documentation of approvals will apply.  Consult guiding principles and employee guidance for up-to-date information. 
  • Is SDSU supplying face coverings to RSCA personnel and volunteers?
    • No. Face coverings are self-supplied.  The exception is that if the work specifications require coverings or other specific protective gear, the unit or project is responsible for providing the appropriate protective gear. A limited amount of masks are available through Environmental Health and Safety. If masks or other protective gear related to the COVID-19 pandemic must be purchased by the project or unit, use the index "3ZCOVD." The index will facilitate reimbursement claims if that option becomes available to SDSU.
  • Does "RSCA Reacceleration" including starting new trials, experiments or projects?
  • What if service providers or other non-SDSU personnel must visit a laboratory or other RSCA space?  How is building access provided for them?
    • Personnel from the hosting team should meet visitors at the building entrance and escort them to the place of work. Visiting personnel are expected to observe the same safety guidelines as SDSU personnel