10/19/2020 | News release | Distributed by Public on 10/19/2020 15:26
From left, Dr. Leslie Parent, vice dean for research and graduate studies; Dr. Terry Wolpaw, vice dean of educational affairs; and Dr. Charles Lang, associate dean for graduate studies and Dr. Neal Thomas, associate dean for clinical research.
College of Medicine leaders updated faculty, staff and students on Oct. 16 about the ongoing response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
New updates this week
As more people return to work on campus, we want to remind our faculty, staff and students to continue to be vigilant in the following areas:
We thank everyone for their diligence in creating and maintaining a safe working environment.
The procedure masks distributed to College of Medicine researchers and students on Oct. 6 through Oct. 13 do not meet safety standards for medical use and have been recalled. The masks that were provided have a 90% filtration efficiency and not the medical-grade use standard of 95% filtration efficiency. The risk of infection is low when they are used in basic science labs and other research environments that have no direct patient contact.
October 19, 2020Penn State College of Medicine News
However, because the safety of our employees and trainees is our top priority, Hershey Medical Center leadership will be removing these masks from affected areas and replacing them with medical grade masks. We recommend that all departmental pandemic safety officers pick up new masks in the Anteroom next Tuesday, Oct. 20, between noon and 3 p.m. Before Oct. 20, please stop by C4723 to pick up the correct 95% medical-grade masks. The hospital is continuing to evaluate the safety of our supply chain to prevent a reoccurrence.
Off-Site Observational Clinical Research Now Being Reviewed
In an email this week, Candy Yenkel, associate vice president for research at Penn State, reported that the University is now allowing researchers to request permission to conduct research at non-Penn State locations. All in-person observational research, regardless of location, if not being conducted during a clinical visit, must be approved through InfoReady.
All research that can be performed remotely should continue remotely. Researchers wishing to conduct in-person research must demonstrate strong rationale for meeting with participants face-to-face during the pandemic. Contact Neal Thomas ([email protected]) with any questions.
Suspension of Weekly Research Schedule Submission
On Oct. 12, the College transitioned to phase 4 for its research activities. All laboratory PI's should continue to develop work schedules for their lab and post these in the vicinity of their lab so they can be checked by Biosafety and Pandemic Officers. However, effective immediately, these weekly research lab schedules do not need to be submitted to your department chair or safety officer for posting in BOX. Please continue to check in daily at the College entrance for contact tracing, if necessary. Although we are now at a maximum research capacity of 80%, appropriate physical distancing of at least 150 square feet per person is still required along with appropriate PPE. We urge those who can work remotely should continue to do so.
COVID-19 Cases on campus
The table below summarizes the number of COVID-19 cases among our College of Medicine faculty, staff and students for this past week.
College of Medicine Statistics
Week of Oct. 12-16
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