COVID-19 Update – Research Restart Plan Phase 6

Friday, March 25, 2022

Dear Colleagues,

With the recent update to the face covering guidance and FAQ, we will transition to Phase 6 of the Research Restart Plan. Under this final phase of the plan, all types of on-site research are allowed. It is important, however, that we all remain vigilant in protecting the University community and continue to follow campus recommendations for testingvaccination, and work arrangements

Face Covering Guidance

The Research Restart Plan follows University's face covering guidance.  Based on current public health conditions and aligned with CDC guidance, masks are recommended, but not required, in most indoor spaces including classrooms.  

We will continue to require that surgical masks or higher-grade masks be worn:

  • in any building/facility that is operated by or affiliated with the University where patients or human research subjects participating in clinical research are seen in person;
  • in locations where personal protective equipment (including masks) has always been required to maintain safety protocols for situations with high hazards, such as areas where regulated chemicals are used or stored and other laboratory settings; and
  • inside a Cat Tran shuttle or any other public transportation provided by the University, as recommended by the CDC and TSA.

Surgical masks are three-ply disposable masks. Higher grade masks include KN95 or KF94 masks. 

Locations and/or environments that require the use of respiratory protection (N95) must be enrolled in the University Respiratory Protection Program. Researchers are responsible for ensuring their staff – including employees, students and DCCs – and visitors use the appropriate face coverings and/or PPE for the setting.  

Voluntary use of N95 Respiratory Protection 

Use of self-supplied N95 respirators continues to be allowed, but individuals choosing to use an N95 must follow the UArizona Voluntary Use of Respiratory Protection During COVID-19 guidelines.

Although employees voluntarily choosing to wear an N95 mask are not required to have their N95 mask fit tested, the University will offer N95 fit testing for faculty, staff or students who voluntarily choose to provide and wear their own N95 respirator. Contact Risk Management Services at 520-621-1790 or risk@arizona.edu to request an N95 fit test.

RII will continue to monitor conditions and changes to University protocols and communicate the most updated information to this group. I am grateful for your thoughtful approach to continuing research as we mark the two-year anniversary of navigating the pandemic response.

Elizabeth "Betsy" Cantwell
Senior Vice President for Research and Innovation

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