As the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, VUMC guidance for all members of our community may change rapidly.  VUMC specific guidance is being updated regularly and can be found on the VUMC coronavirus webpage: www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-vumc-employees-and-patients.  

Effective August 10, 2021: Masking is required for all persons, regardless of vaccination status, in all areas of VUMC.  Complete updated guidance is posted here: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/sites/default/files/COVID%20Documents/Revised%20Masking%20Guidance.pdf 

Resources for more information:

Occupational Health COVID testing, vaccination and exposure monitoring

What to do if you think you are sick 

Vaccine badge sticker program

See the VUMC Research Enterprise Functions and other sections below for more details.

Effective June 1, 2021:

 

Restrictions on gatherings and lab capacity limits are lifted effective June 1, 2021.

Staff who have been working from home should continue to do so.

Updated COVID-19 infection prevention guidance for outdoor and non-clinical areas

Beginning Wednesday, May 26, 2021 Vanderbilt University Medical Center will no longer require employees or visitors to wear masks outside its facilities regardless of the individual’s vaccine status. This change is part of the Medical Center’s updated COVID-19 infection prevention guidance that will be phased in between May 26 and June 1, 2021.

The updated guidance includes changes to indoor and outdoor masking policies and provides a new ID badge sticker process so that VUMC employees who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 can be easily identified. Beginning June 1, 2021 employees who have been vaccinated will no longer be required to mask indoors in non-clinical areas (including non-patient care areas of mixed-use buildings) outlined in the updated guidance. Information about which buildings and areas of buildings on VUMC’s campuses are considered non-clinical is available here.

The updated guidance also includes changes to social/physical distancing requirements, updated guidance on meetings/gatherings, information about changes to the daily temperature screening process at facility entrances, masking requirements in breakrooms, and updated guidance on business travel. Policies for those working from home are not changing at this time.

The guidance for clinical areas and patient encounters has not changed. Masking will continue to be required of all persons, employees and visitors, regardless of their vaccination status, upon entry into all clinical areas. Clinical areas include any patient care or public areas where patients are or may be present. Masking will continue to be required when riding a VUMC shuttle, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.  Visitation policies for hospitals and clinics remain unchanged for now.  

On Tuesday, June 1, the Occupational Health Clinic will begin distributing “Vaccinated” ID badge stickers to VUMC employees. The stickers allow employees to be quickly identified as fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and will assist with streamlining business and operational processes such as for in-person meetings and in non-clinical areas to quickly identify employees who are fully vaccinated and not required to wear a mask. More details about the OHC sticker program are found here.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about the new masking guidance, “vaccinated” ID badge sticker process, in-person meeting guidance, business travel, and working from home can be found here.

VUMC has issued updated COVID-19 Infection Prevention Guidance for Non-Clinical Areas.  This new guidance applies for all research areas, include core facilities.

  • Effective May 26, 2021, Vanderbilt University Medical Center will no longer require employees or visitors to wear masks outside its facilities regardless of the individual’s vaccine status. 
  • Beginning June 1, 2021, the VUMC Occupational Health Clinic will begin distributing “Vaccinated” ID badge stickers to VUMC employees. The stickers allow employees to be quickly identified as fully vaccinated for COVID-19 and will assist with streamlining business and operational processes such as for in-person meetings and in non-clinical areas to quickly identify employees who are fully vaccinated and not required to wear a mask. 

Guidance for research core facilities:

  • Vaccinated personnel who have a VUMC Occupational Health issued Vaccination Badge Sticker are no longer required to wear masks in core research labs unless otherwise necessary for non-COVID biological or chemical safety reasons. 
    • Keep in mind, masks are required in all discrete clinical areas and indoor public areas and therefore masks may be required going to and from some core facilities.
  • Unvaccinated personnel or those without a VUMC Occupational Health issued Vaccination Badge Sticker are required to be masked and maintain 6’ physical distancing.
  • Restrictions on gatherings and lab capacity limits are lifted effective June 1, 2021.
  • Staff who have been working from home should continue to do so.

Resources for more information:

Users of core facilities/shared resources should contact the facility manager in advance to plan for any core-specific guidance and restrictions.

The VUMC Office of Clinical and Research Safety has prepared a Biosafety Guide for Research CoresDownload the PDF

Monitor the ACUP COVID-19 Response website for updates and status for animal facilities.

Guidelines are available for VU undergraduates who will perform research within the VUMC research enterprise.  Both VU undergraduates and the faculty who mentor them should be aware of the guidance and terms for review, approval and conduct of VU undergraduate activities in VUMC research labs.  

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) will continue to provide an attractive environment for VU undergraduates to perform research as part of their educational experience.  To ensure safety, regulatory compliance, and an optimal experience for students, faculty, and VUMC staff and patients, both VU undergraduates and the faculty who mentor them should be aware of the following updated guidance and terms.

ALL students seeking a research experience at VUMC, whether paid, unpaid, for credit, a VUMC, or a VU program must complete the appointment process through the VUMC Medical Center Relations (MCR) office. The requirements include: 

  • A succinct description of the specific research project that includes the location, educational objectives, goals for the experience, faculty mentor, and start and stop dates 
  • Completion of a VUMC pre-appointment background screen (except minors)
  • Clearance from VUMC Occupational Health Clinic 
  • Having and maintaining health insurance for the stated dates of the research experience 
  • Participant-signed VUMC Confidentiality Agreement, Emergency Contact, Release Form, Potential Hazard Summary 
  • Completed Statement of Agreement (participant, mentor, and department chair) 
  • Completed Faculty Responsibility Agreement 
  • Completion of the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module and VUMC Compliance Training (in the VUMC Learning Exchange). Additional training may be required to work in the designated research area.

The VUMC appointment process above is initiated by designated administrative personnel in the department of the VUMC PI’s primary faculty appointment. To initiate the process, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org.  

PLEASE NOTE: Research experiences may not begin until all requirements have been met and the VUMC department receives the appointment letter from MCR.

Additionally: 

  1. Research experiences at VUMC will comply with all VUMC guidelines for COVID infection control and prevention, updated regularly here: www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-vumc-employees-and-patients.  
  2. Undergraduate and summer research students will not be granted access to clinical systems containing identifiable protected health information (i.e., EPIC, the Research Derivative).
  3. Clinical observational experiences are not permitted this summer.
  4. Students must be at least 16 years of age to participate. Additional requirements apply to minors, including completing a Consent Form for VUMC Minors in the Laboratory, Direct Supervisor Form and Lab Personnel List, lab compliance with Protection of Minors training, and program registration with the VUMC Office of Risk and Insurance Management.

The VUMC Office of Research and VUMC Medical Center Relations are working closely to advance the safe conduct of research during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org

Vanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC) welcomes the return of summer students to research experiences at VUMC. Research experiences are faculty-directed with defined educational objectives that will inform the participant about biomedical research and potential careers in the field. To ensure safety, regulatory compliance, and an optimal experience, summer students and the faculty who mentor them should be aware of the following updated guidance and terms. 

ALL students seeking a research experience at VUMC, whether paid, unpaid, for credit, a VUMC, or a VU program must complete the appointment process through the VUMC Medical Center Relations (MCR) office. The requirements include: 

  • A succinct description of the specific research project that includes the location, educational objectives, goals for the experience, faculty mentor, and start and stop dates 
  • Completion of a VUMC pre-appointment background screen (except minors)
  • Clearance from VUMC Occupational Health Clinic 
  • Having and maintaining health insurance for the stated dates of the research experience 
  • Participant-signed VUMC Confidentiality Agreement, Emergency Contact, Release Form, Potential Hazard Summary 
  • Completed Statement of Agreement (participant, mentor, and department chair) 
  • Completed Faculty Responsibility Agreement 
  • Completion of the CITI Responsible Conduct of Research (RCR) module and VUMC Compliance Training (in the VUMC Learning Exchange). Additional training may be required to work in the designated research area.

The VUMC appointment process above is initiated by designated administrative personnel in the department of the VUMC PI’s primary faculty appointment. To initiate the process, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org.  

PLEASE NOTE: Research experiences may not begin until all requirements have been met and the VUMC department receives the appointment letter from MCR.

Additionally: 

  1. Summer research experiences at VUMC will comply with all VUMC guidelines for COVID infection control and prevention, updated regularly here: www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-vumc-employees-and-patients.  
  2. Summer research students will not be granted access to clinical systems containing identifiable protected health information (i.e., EPIC, the Research Derivative) and clinical observational experiences are not permitted this summer.
  3. Students must be at least 16 years of age to participate. Additional requirements apply to minors, including completing a Consent Form for VUMC Minors in the Laboratory, Direct Supervisor Form and Lab Personnel List, lab compliance with Protection of Minors training, and program registration with the VUMC Office of Risk and Insurance Management.

The VUMC Office of Research and VUMC Medical Center Relations are working closely to advance the safe conduct of research during the COVID-19 pandemic.   

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact vumc.iso@vumc.org

General guidance when a lab member tests positive for COVID-19, has traveled, or has come in contact with a positive COVID-19 case at home or in the community:

VUMC-employed faculty, staff and postdocs should report to their PI or Core Director, and to Occupational Health:

Graduate students should report to their PI and to Student Health:

Download: Responsibilities of the Lab PI or Core Director, when lab member(s) tests positive for COVID-19

The VUMC Office of Clinical and Research Safety has issued specific guidance for researchers planning to work with COVID-19 clinical specimens or SARS-CoV-2 associated materials. Importantly, researchers must work with VEHS Biosafety on a risk assessment before finalizing research plans or submitting a grant proposal. 

Visit the Biosafety website to learn more and submit an intake form for research with COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 materials, and to review the COVID-19/SARS-CoV-2 material biosafety action grid to determine actions that will likely apply to your research plans. 

Contact Bettye Ridley bettye.ridley@vumc.org for assistance or more information. 

At this time, delivery companies, vendors and instrument service engineers are allowed on site for essential, non-sales related, purposes. Visitors should check for updated guidance on visitor policies on the VUMC COVID-19 information site: https://www.vumc.org/coronavirus/information-patients-and-visitors 

VUMC-employed postdocs should take their guidance regarding on-campus or remote work from their VUMC employer. Any questions about a trainee’s responsibilities, especially of those involving research operations, should be directly addressed by the faculty PI/mentor in concert with the departmental chair.

VICTR has provided a set of FAQs containing information about COVID-19 as it relates to the conduct of clinical investigation, operations, and sponsored projects.  Learn more here.

Updated guidance from the Human Research Protection Program is found here: www.vumc.org/irb/covid-19-updates-research