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Ramp-up roundup: Important updates regarding on-campus work for the week ending June 5

The following email was sent to personnel at Penn State College of Medicine on June 5, 2020, on behalf of Dr. Leslie Parent, Dr. Terry Wolpaw and Dr. Chuck Lang. For the most up-to-date coronavirus information relevant to the College of Medicine at any time, see

Research ramp-up

It has been an exciting and safe first week back as we entered COM Phase 2 and began to ramp up research activity to the 25% level.

Almost all labs now have some activity, and those present have taken utmost care to comply with all safety requirements. PPE and disinfectant have been distributed, and safety signs placed in labs and throughout the College. Our thanks to the lab and departmental safety officers for their excellent work to prepare the labs for research. Departmental safety officers should continue to pick up masks and face shields at Junker Auditorium Ante Room every Tuesday between noon and 3 p.m. for distribution to the labs in their department.

See on-campus safety guidance here.

Education ramp-up

This week, we welcomed our fourth-year medical students back to the clinical setting to do acting internships and advanced clinical electives. Our thanks to the faculty, staff and residents for helping to make the transition a smooth one. With encouraging support on their first day, the students quickly adapted to the new routines needed to ensure the safety of patients, team members, and themselves.

The physician assistant second-year students began their Family and Community Medicine rotation this week in Family and Community Medicine offices throughout Penn State Health. Thanks to Cletis Earle, Jason Hughes and the IT team, 33 loaner laptops were delivered to these offices to optimize the students’ active role in TeleHealth visits.

A cell phone screen shows a large picture of a checkmark, a name and a timestamp. The name shown is Nittany Lion.

Online check-in

Beginning Monday, June 8, all College of Medicine personnel working on campus will need to complete a very short, web-based form at before arriving at the screening station each day.

It takes less than one minute to complete and only asks for your name, work email address and locations where you expect to spend at least 10 minutes during the day.

You will receive an email confirmation that the form was submitted, and a green checkmark with your name and the date will appear.

The form should be completed from a smartphone if at all possible, as you will need to show the green checkmark to the screeners at the COM and BMR entrances when you arrive.

This information is being collected in order to allow for contact tracing if someone develops COVID-19.

You can save this website to your smartphone home screen for easy access, and the form can be updated during the day if you need to add a new location. See instructions for doing so, and on completing the process if you don’t have a smartphone, here.

Daily screening and COM access

College of Medicine employee and student screening operations will change slightly starting Monday, June 8. Two screening locations will be open for screening – the College of Medicine main entrance (by the Dean’s office) and the BMR entrance from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekends.

Access requires an ID badge, which must be scanned each day before screening. Please individually scan your ID badge for contact tracing efforts needed for our safe return. COM employees should make every effort to be screened during the hours noted above.

All other external doors to the COM will remain inaccessible from outside and are for exit only. Do not hold those exterior doors open for anyone wanting to enter, as they would be circumventing the screening process for COVID symptoms and fever.

Physicians and other clinical staff employed by Hershey Medical Center will undergo screening at their work units, so they can bypass the COM screening stations. For clinical staff, medical students and residents in clinical rotation, please report to your clinical work unit for screening.


All PIs should complete a schedule of research activities for their respective labs, and submit that schedule each Friday to their department chair, vice chair for research, or their designee. This is then to be uploaded to the respective departmental folder within the Box folder at and posted on the lab door. For those labs engaged in “essential research” over the past two months, this process replaces the weekly Essential Research Report. For tracking purposes, the uploaded work schedule should indicate the full name of each researcher; however, you may then modify your copy to initials or generic names (student 1, postdoc 2, etc.) to print and post on your lab door.

Clinical research

Please appoint a safety officer for your group and notify your departmental safety officer to facilitate communication as we progress to the next phases of research. Clinical research groups are reminded that they are to follow all of the College and University Research guidelines, as applicable. Additional guidance including allowances of some non-therapeutic clinical research effective June 1 was announced and can be found here.


The Westview garage is closed to parking effective June 8. Please use your assigned parking lot instead of that garage.

Frequently asked questions

A series of FAQs from the last Town Hall on May 26 is now available for your review. We hope you find this information helpful. We’ll continue to add to this document as we progress through each phase of our ramping up on-campus efforts. See the answered questions here.

We can’t thank you enough for your dedication over these last few months and especially this week as we moved to this next phase in ramping up our on-campus efforts. If this pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we are better together and we will get through this. In the meantime, for those of you that can, please continue to work from home.

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