COVID-19 Update: Reporting Symptoms, Delivering Supplies to Labs and More
05/26/2020, 03:30:01 PM
From the Vice President for Research at the University of Houston. View this message in browser.
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Dear Research Faculty,

With more than 250 PIs and 1,400 researchers back on campus, DOR continues to receive questions from faculty and staff. I address questions posed during the weekly Virtual Office Hours. Below are answers to additional questions we received last week.

Reporting Symptoms

Make sure that everyone in your research group knows that if they exhibit COVID-19 symptoms, they must contact their supervisor immediately. Here is what supervisors need to do if they receive an email indicating that someone in their group is experiencing symptoms: Ask them to self-isolate right away, that is, they should stay at home, except to get medical care, and should not go to work, school or public areas. They should also not use public transportation or ride-sharing. They should call their doctor or local health department for guidance, next steps and arrange for testing. The employee should review the UH self-quarantine requirements and complete the Reporting COVID-19 Diagnosis form if they test positive for COVID-19. Inform others in your lab if they have been in contact with the symptomatic individual but do not identify the symptomatic individual by name. Send home anyone who has been in close contact (less than six feet) for a prolonged period of time with this individual and ask them to self-quarantine for two weeks and to monitor their health for symptoms. Also, please contact Cris Milligan ( who will work with Facilities Services in case a deeper cleaning of your lab is required. We added these guidelines to the Reopening Research page.

UH Libraries

I wrote a couple of weeks ago about the services the Libraries are offering during this phase of reopening. UH Libraries continues to provide research data management and sharing services, which can all be accessed remotely. These services and resources are useful at all points of a research project and continue post-project in support of long-term care of and access to data. UH Libraries maintain a guide to data management that provides an overview of the essential elements and resources for UH data management plans. You can access the DMPtool with your Cougarnet ID to access funding agency templates for your plan. UH Libraries can also provide guidance and resources to help you care for your data throughout your project, from version control to back-ups, finding the best place to archive, preserve, and share your data, and curating your data for deposit. UH, as a member of the Texas Digital Library, has access to the Texas Data Repository Dataverse where deposited datasets are given a citation and a persistent digital object identifier (DOI) and where you can share and preserve your data at no cost. More information on handling data and curating data for deposit is available in the research guide. You can schedule a consultation for guidance on data management, handling and sharing or contact the Research Data Management Librarian, Reid Boehm (

Delivering Supplies to Labs

Another question that we receive frequently is why we cannot open the buildings to UPS, FedEx and other delivery services so that supplies can be directly delivered to the labs, especially for shipments that require freezing. The buildings will remain locked during this phase for the safety of the occupants. You should note that UH Mail Services is not equipped to manage chemicals, biological and radioactive materials. They do not have refrigeration to maintain package temperature. Please coordinate with UH Research Stores, 713-74-2639 or, and have your sensitive packages delivered at their facility. They are receiving shipments, and have trained staff and the necessary equipment to handle chemicals, biological materials and packages requiring constant temperatures. (Note: radioactive materials, by policy, can only be shipped to and received by Environmental Health and Safety). Other, less sensitive supplies can be shipped to and picked up at UH Mail Services. Be sure to schedule a pickup time so that UH Mail Services can have it ready for you when you come.

VPR Virtual Office Hours

We are continuing the weekly VPR Office Hours. The next session is on Friday, May 29 at noon (please note the time). I hope you will be able to join us. I look forward to talking with you this coming Friday. We regularly have around 80 individuals joining the virtual meeting where we can discuss your concerns and questions.

You can access the event through the Research & Innovation Teams site, where you will also find channels for topic-specific questions you might have for our directors. I would like to encourage you to post questions prior to the event in our VPR Office Hours channel.

Questions and responses are visible to everyone at UH. If you have project- or team-specific questions that you do not want to share with others at UH, please contact our units directly. Area-specific email inboxes for DOR offices are listed on our COVID-19 Additional Resources page.

Best regards,

Amr Elnashai, FREng  
Vice President for Research and Technology Transfer

Amr Elnashai | VP for Research and Technology Transfer | | 713-743-4736

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