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Exceptional Use of IC Funds for Per Diem Quarantine for Non-FTE Trainees (VF/IRTA/CRTA)

Update as of August 27, 2020

Please note that the CDC has dropped its 14-day self-quarantine recommendation for international and out-of-state travelers (see link below). However, individual non-FTE trainees may have circumstances that still render them in need of hotel lodging (such as if their housing is not made available without quarantine or a negative COVID-19 test result) for up to 14 days. Thus, at the discretion of the SD and on a case-by-case basis, the IC may continue to use funds for lodging per diem for non-FTE trainees (VF/IRTA/CRTA), as necessary.

Dear Scientific Directors,

CDC guidance recommends 14-day self-quarantine for anyone traveling internationally, which includes NIH’s incoming Visiting Fellows (VFs). Before COVID-19, VFs were able to get housing ahead of time or stay with someone they knew locally until they secured housing. Now the permanent housing lessors have required that VFs confirm the 14 day quarantine before they can even see the place and the VF isn’t able to stay with someone they know locally due to the 14 day quarantine requirement (in some cases the permanent housing is also requiring the VF to get testing done before moving in). Therefore, our VFs are required to stay in a hotel before being able to come to campus or secure permanent housing.

Due to this unprecedented situation, I have determined that, at the Scientific Director’s discretion (akin to the “Relocation Allowance” permitted for trainees but not limited by the current $3000 specified for that in the manual chapter), IC funds may be used to defray the required quarantine period up to the per diem rate, as long as the 14-day self-quarantine requirement is in place. All fellows in this situation in a given IC must be treated equally. This should also extend to IRTA/CRTA fellows if some are also required to self-quarantine now or in the future. Under exceptional circumstances, an IC may use this authority to reimburse the additional cost of quarantining current IRTAs/CRTAs who are unable to return to their home of record and whose circumstances require that they move from their current housing as a result of a positive SARS-CoV-2 test for themselves or a roommate.

Michael M. Gottesman, M.D.
Deputy Director for Intramural Research

The page was last updated on Thursday, August 27, 2020 - 9:44am