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  1. Purpose:
    This Policy is implemented in accordance with public health guidelines to protect the health, safety and security of the La Jolla Institute for Immunology (LJI) community during the COVID-19 pandemic. The measures taken by LJI outlined in this Policy are designed to reduce the risk that an individual onsite at LJI is infected with SARS-CoV-2  with the potential to transmit virus and COVID-19 disease to others. 
  2. Scope:
    The policy applies to all non-LJI employees who are essential visitors, such as contractors, collaborators, vendors, members of the media, job candidates and other temporary visitors without a valid LJI email address (collectively, “Non-LJI Employees”).
  3. Policy:
    The following restrictions apply to all Non-LJI Employees who require access to the building to perform essential functions:

In order to maintain a safe work environment, LJI requires all Individuals who would like to gain access to the building to participate in the COVID-19 Occupational Safety Screening Program (the “Program”).

All Visitors must be pre-approved by Operations. 

Only visitors who are essential to maintaining research operations, for example equipment repairs or scientific collaborators  who must be present are allowed into the building.

Starting November 16, 2020, all visitors must obtain a negative COVID-19 screen—either through participation in the LJI screening program or obtaining a test through a CLIA-approved facility—BEFORE being allowed to enter the building. Exceptions can only be granted by the president or the preparedness committee (COVID-19@lji.org) in emergencies, e.g. necessary repairs. A lack of planning does not constitute an emergency.

All visitors need sign up for the COVID-19 Occupational Safety Screening Program here.

External blood donors participating in clinical research studies constitute an exception and therefore are NOT required to screen/test negative before being allowed into the building. Donors are screened thoroughly by clinical staff regarding their health and fitness before they are admitted to the building and are accompanied by LJI personnel at all times during their brief visits to donate blood.

All Non-LJI Employees entering LJI will undergo a contactless, digital temperature check at the building entrance. Building access will not be granted for an individual with a temperature greater than 99.5°F.

While onsite, all Non-LJI Employees must be accompanied by their LJI host, wear a face mask and adhere to social distancing guidelines as required by current COVID-19 operational guidelines

All visitors must scan their personal QR code when entering the building to confirm that they are cleared to enter the building. 

Obtaining a negative screen result will allow Non-LJI Employees to access the building for 14 days starting on the day the screening result was received. 

Molecular COVID-19 test (PCR) results obtained through a CLIA-certified laboratory or a professional healthcare provider within the last five days and virus antigen test results obtained through a CLIA-certified laboratory or a professional healthcare provider within the last three days will be accepted in lieu of participating in the Program. It will give Non-LJI Employees building access for seven (7) consecutive days. 

Non-LJI Employees requiring repeated building access need to submit a new saliva sample and obtain a negative screening result within 14-days of their last negative screening result in order to be allowed into the building.

In the event that a sample screens positive for the presence of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, the Institute will ask the individual to immediately leave LJI premises and LJI will  initiate contact tracing of LJI employees.

A positive Screen is highly presumptive of the presence of the virus that causes COVID-19, but is not a clinical diagnosis .  Similarly, a negative screen cannot be considered an assurance that an Individual does not have COVID-19 or the virus that causes it, but rather that the assay on the sample submitted did not detect the presence of the SARS-COV-2 virus.

LJI is not a medical provider, and only diagnostic testing through a CLIA-certified laboratory or a professional healthcare provider can render a medically approved diagnostic result or diagnosis.

Reasonable accommodations may be available to Individuals who are unable to satisfy the requirements of this Program, in accordance with applicable law. For more information please contact Operations at ops@lji.org.

 

Screening Procedures and Frequency

Non-LJI Employees who have requested building access to work on site will receive a uniquely coded screening kit and a personal QR code when they sign up for the COVID-19 Occupational Safety Screening Program.

Individuals will self-collect a saliva sample outside the Institute (e.g. at home or in their car) according to the included instructions.  

Individuals will return their sample for Screening in a designated collection box at the entryway of the Institute.

Once a negative screening result has been received, Non-LJI Employees will be allowed into the building. 

In general, individuals requiring continued building access must obtain a negative screen—either through participation in the LJI Program or regular testing through a CLIA-approved facility—no less than every two (2) weeks.  Failure to obtain a negative screening result within two (2) weeks from the last screening  will result in denied building access. 

Individuals whose essential job duties expose them to increased risk of exposure, as  determined by the Institute’s Coronavirus Preparedness Committee may be screened more often, and are encouraged to do so if they cannot maintain social distancing due to their on site work responsibilities.

The frequency that screening is required may be adjusted from time to time based on testing capacity and local infection rates, and individuals will be responsible for submitting a sample in time to remain on site. 

 

Screening Results

COVID-19 screening results can be retrieved through an online portal that is accessible to Non-LJI Employees who have a screening kit code.  

Individuals will only receive results through the online system unless alternative accommodations are made through Operations in advance. Screening results are confidential and will only be available to Operations Staff at LJI to facilitate contact tracing in the event of a positive result.

Individuals who retrieve positive results online agree to leave LJI premises immediately, notify the Coronavirus Preparedness Committee at covid-19@lji.org and provide a list of close contacts as defined by the CDC while within the building for contact tracing purposes.