Skip to Content

Current Status of Research Laboratories at Texas State University: Impact of COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Are the university research laboratories closed?

Currently, only essential university functions are operating on the Texas State University campuses in San Marcos and Round Rock, and at the Freeman Center and the Science, Technology, and Advanced Research (STAR) Park. By extension, only essential activities are permitted in our research laboratories. 


Has Texas State University stopped research activities?

No, research may continue but is restricted to activities that can be carried out remotely and the activities must adhere to all relevant Shelter-in-Place (“Stay-At-Home”) directives. Note: No equipment, specimens, reagents, etc. should be removed from the research laboratories. 


Who is allowed to enter the research laboratories at this time?

Only individuals who are needed to maintain the essential activities taking place in the laboratories are permitted to come on site and enter the research laboratories.


Are students allowed in the research laboratories?

Students (undergraduate or graduate) may enter the laboratories only if; 1) their presence is required to support an essential function and, 2) if they are comfortable with that assignment.  Students may choose to only work in a remote-assignment mode without retribution. In all cases, activity taking place in research laboratories must be performed while meeting the “6-feet” requirement for social distancing. No individuals in a high-risk category should be on site. 


What is an essential activity with respect to research laboratories?

For the purpose of Stay-At-Home directives, “essential” pertains to maintenance activities that focus on the critical functions in the laboratories, and must be performed to keep the laboratories safe and operational. 

Laboratory access is limited to essential personnel who maintain essential research-related activities that include:

  • Activity that if discontinued would generate significant data and sample loss.
  • Activity that if discontinued would pose a safety hazard.
  • Activity that keeps critical equipment and infrastructure in facilities and laboratories safe or avoid catastrophic loss.
  • Activity that maintains critical samples, reagents, and materials.
  • Activity that maintains animal populations.
  • Activity that maintains critically needed plant populations, tissue cultures, bacteria, archaea, and other living organisms.
  • COVID-19 related activity that has a timeline for deployment that could address the crisis.
  • Activity in support of essential human subjects research.

Note:  These general categories are provided for guidance.  Any activity taking place in the research laboratories beyond just brief walk-throughs must receive approval from the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs using the following form:

Request for Designation of an Essential Activity in a University Research Laboratory Form