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Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
Inuyama, Aichi 484-8506, JAPAN
TEL. +81-568-63-0567
(Administrative Office)
FAX. +81-568-63-0085

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Primate Research Institute,
Kyoto University All rights reserved.


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2020/5/21

New Measures starting on June 1: "New lifestyle" at the Primate Research Institute


21th, May update

Dear PRI Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students:

As the spread of the novel coronavirus is thought to be subsiding in Japan, the government has ended the emergency declaration in 42 prefectures including Aichi and Gifu, and is expected to do so soon in the Capital Region. Nevertheless, experts agree that we should be prepared for the second and third waves of the pandemic, and have proposed that we adopt and continue into the foreseeable future a "new lifestyle" that avoids the 'three forms of congestion' (large gatherings, stagnant air, and physical proximity to others) .

At PRI, we have decided that our institute, as a facility that keeps non-human primates, should continue to impose more strict restrictions than are typical for other types of research institutes. After the current phase of restricted activities (May 18?31), we ask you to follow the updated guidelines below starting on June 1. These new guidelines will be effective until further notice; the Director will continue to monitor the situation and announce by email further relaxation or strengthening of the restrictions.

1) "New lifestyle" at work

a. There will be no restriction on coming to PRI, but you may continue to work from home. Consult with your supervisor, and if you choose to continue working from home, follow the procedure as instructed by the General Affairs Office.

b. We will continue to make it mandatory to wear a mask at PRI, so be sure to wear a mask while you are on the premises of PRI.

c. Small gatherings of fewer than ~10 people at PRI, such as the Fundamental Lectures and research-related meetings, should be conducted while making sure to avoid the 'three forms of congestion'.
Gatherings of 10 or more people should continue to be held online whenever possible.

d. To avoid the 'three forms of congestion' in each room, take such measures as taking staggered shifts, using plastic sheets as partition walls, and maintaining good ventilation. In addition, avoid infection by spraying door knobs with disinfectants, and by thoroughly disinfecting shared pieces of equipment and tableware.

e. Gatherings of fewer than ~10 people that include participants from outside PRI should be conducted while making sure to avoid the 'three forms of congestion'. Please refrain from holding large gatherings of more than 10 people as well as parties that involve food.

f. The cafeteria will reopen in June, but it will be takeout-only for the time being.

g. Even outside of work, try to avoid visiting crowded places and where the 'three forms of congestion' is expected.

2) "New lifestyle" as it relates to experiments

a. When working in laboratories, follow the instructions of lab managers, and avoid the 'three forms of congestion' while performing experiments. Please contact us if you need to perform experiments outside PRI. For fieldwork, see 4).

b. To conduct experiments involving captive non-human primates or to enter the Captive Primate Area, follow instructions from the Center for Human Evolution Modeling Research.

3) Domestic/international visitors and their access to the Captive Primate Area

Domestic visitors should take sufficient measures to prevent infection while working at PRI, and should refrain from entering the Captive Primate Area unless it is necessary and urgent. We also ask you to refrain from hosting international visitors (except those who are already in Japan) for the time being. The PRI dormitory is currently closed to visitors.

4) Minimize business trips

Please minimize business trips. In particular, business trips to places with limited medical facilities, such as remote islands, are prohibited unless they are judged to be in compliance with local policies and respect the wishes of the local residents.

5) Strict adherence to animal caretaking practices that prevent close contact with non-human primates

Faculty, staff, and graduate students who are involved in caretaking of non-human primates are asked to continue to practice the measures that avoid close contact with non-human primates, such as: do not stay near them; do not have prolonged contact with them; and do not talk to them. Always remember that you may be a virus carrier, and take care of the non-human primates with a strong resolve not to infect them.

To protect your lives and the lives of our non-human primates, we ask for your understanding of our decision to continue some of the emergency measures.

Takakazu Yumoto
Director
Primate Research Institute, Kyoto University
.


 

11th, May update

Dear PRI Faculty, Staff, and Graduate Students:

Although the threat of the novel coronavirus infection persists, we have decided to partly reopen PRI. This is because we fully understand that an indefinite ban on experiments by graduate students will severely impact their academic advancement and fulfillment of degree requirements. Nevertheless, as an institution that takes care of non-human primates, we also recognize the necessity for greater restrictions on staff and graduate-student activities than are normal for other types of research institutes. Below are our new guidelines that relax the previous bans on coming to PRI, experiments, and business trips. This partial relaxation of restrictions will be in effect for approximately 2 weeks, from May 18 until May 31. We will later inform you of our policies for June and beyond, according to the decisions which would be made by the local and national government.

1) Relaxation of restriction on coming to PRI to work

a. We are lifting the ban on coming to PRI, but recommend that you continue to work from home as much as possible. Consult with your supervisor, follow instructions from the General Affairs Office, and continue to work from home.

b. The requirement for everyone to wear a mask while on the premises of PRI remains. Please make sure to wear a mask while you are at PRI.

c. Meetings within PRI will be held on Zoom, except for the Primatology & Wildlife Research Faculty Meeting (学系会議). The Fundamental Lectures will also principally take place online. Please hold other meetings, such as research-related discussions and seminars, online as well, whenever possible.

d. To avoid the "3 forms of congregation" (large gatherings, stagnant air, and physical proximity to others), in each room, please take such measures as: taking a different work shift (morning/afternoon/evening) from others; using plastic sheets as partition walls; and ensuring good ventilation. In addition, prevent infection by taking such measures as: disinfection of doorknobs using spray disinfectants; disinfection of shared pieces of equipment and shared tableware. We will provide spray disinfectants for doorknobs and other shared equipment.

e. Meetings involving outside people (i.e., people who do not belong to PRI) will continue to be prohibited. Please refrain from eating together in large groups.

f. We plan to reopen the cafeteria in June. Initially, lunch will be served for takeout only.

2) Partial resumption of experiments

a. You may resume experiments following instructions from lab managers, but please avoid the "3 forms of congregation". New experiments are also allowed; please follow the existing procedures. Contact us if you need to conduct experiments outside PRI. See (4) regarding fieldwork.

b. To conduct experiments involving captive non-human primates or to enter the Captive Primate Area, follow instructions from the Center for Human Evolution Modeling Research.

3) Refraining from hosting cooperative researchers and other visitors to PRI

Please refrain from hosting cooperative researchers and other visitors, especially those from other prefectures where the emergency declaration remains in effect. Visitors who are not based in those prefectures should be asked to avoid traveling through them on their way to PRI.

4) Minimizing business trips

Please minimize business trips. In particular, business trips to other prefectures that are still under the emergency declaration are prohibited unless essential, and business trips to places with limited medical facilities, such as remote islands, are also prohibited. Carefully consider not only your destination but also your route, and avoid traveling through the prefectures that are under the emergency declaration.

5) Strict adherence to animal care taking practices that prevent close contact with non-human primates

Faculty, staff, and graduate students who are involved in care taking of non-human primates are asked to continue to practice the measures that avoid close contact with non-human primates, such as: do not stay near them; do not have prolonged contact with them; and do not talk to them. Always remember that you may be a virus carrier, and take care of the non-human primates with a strong resolve not to infect them.

To protect your lives and the lives of our non-human primates, we ask for your understanding of our decision to continue some of the emergency measures.

Takakazu Yumoto
The Director, PRI, Kyoto University

 

 


New measures in response to emergency declaration for Aichi Prefecture 

30th, April update

Dear PRI Staff and Students:

When the emergency declaration was issued to prefectures nationwide, it was intended to last until May 6. However, as you know from the news, the current situation is such that there is no prospect of the spread of the coronavirus ending by the end of the May holidays.

Accordingly, as a research institute with a special mission to care for and manage non-human primates, the Primate Research Institute will continue the current restriction on staff and student activities (https://www.pri.kyoto-u.ac.jp/pub/press/20200410/index.html) for the time being, regardless of the continuation/cancellation of the emergency declaration on or after May 7.

The Director will notify all staff by email regarding reopening of PRI, so please wait for instructions.

We ask for your understanding and cooperation in order to protect your lives and those of our non-human primates.

Director, Kyoto University Primate Research Institute
Takakazu Yumoto


 

Dear PRI Staff and Graduate Students:

Given the news of an impending declaration of a state of emergency for Aichi Prefecture, we held a meeting of the PRI Committee on Infectious Diseases on 9th, April, and decided to issue the directives below. Please read carefully as this is an extremely important message.

Essentially, we are announcing temporary closure of PRI, and the following is our BCP (Business Continuity Plan).

1) Do not come to work

From April 20 until the emergency declaration for Aichi Prefecture is lifted, all faculty, staff, and graduate students are ordered not to come to PRI to work. If it is absolutely necessary for you to come to work, you must submit to the General Affairs Office a statement of reasons and a request for permission to come to work. Essential staff meetings will be conducted using Zoom. Seminars and research-related meetings should also be conducted on Zoom.

2) No experiment is allowed

Experiments are prohibited except in special cases such as those that require long-term continuous collection of data. If you have a special reason, please submit a request (free format) that describes the necessity and urgency of the experiment. The Future Planning Committee will evaluate the necessity and urgency of the experiment and approve/disapprove it.

3)New rules regarding business trips during a state of emergency: Business trips are not permitted except in special cases.

If you must take a business trip that is absolutely necessary for the management and operation of PRI, please submit the travel form noting the reason in the remarks column. Make sure to follow the policies of the local government of your destination and the organization that you will be visiting.
If a cooperative researcher of PRI must take a business trip on a project using the Cooperative Research Funds, follow the policy of the organization to which the cooperative researcher belongs.

 

4) Comply with animal-care protocols that avoid close contact with non-human primates

During the temporary closure of PRI, we must continue to care for the non-human primates (NHPs). Starting tomorrow, we ask members of the faculty, staff, and graduate students who are involved in animal care to adjust how they care for the NHP-e.g., avoid close/prolonged contact and verbal communication?in order to lower the risk of virus transmission; this may require you to adjust your normal way of thinking that prioritizes animal welfare and environmental enrichment.

 

During a state of emergency, anyone without a permission is not allowed entering to the site of PRI.

The non-human primates in our care include rare apes, and we have no knowledge of how they may be affected by coronavirus infection. As such, please do everything you can to prevent transmission of the virus. Several means of avoiding close contact with captive animals have been proposed that take into account the possibility that the caretaker may be infected; please adopt such measures, and care for the NHPs with strong resolve to prevent virus transmission.

We ask for your understanding of these forceful measures, which we are taking to protect your lives and the lives of the non-human primates.

As for the graduate courses that are scheduled to be taught at PRI, the Curriculum Committee will inform you of any changes.

Since this decision will have a large impact on all of us, I am communicating it to you in a hurry, but you will receive more detailed information later from relevant sections. 

Takakazu Yumoto
Director, Kyoto University Primate Research Institute