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Guidebook Appendices

The appendices for the UC San Diego Research Ramp Up Guidebook.

As noted above, all persons conducting research, scholarship, and creative activity either on campus or in off-campus facilities or field research settings are required to participate actively in protecting against the spread of COVID-19. Minimal requirements to do so are outlined above (see page 6), and include ensuring social distancing through maintaining reduced numbers of personnel on-site, adjusting work spaces and the conduct of work to reduce proximity of personnel, and adherence to CDC recommendations regarding personal hygiene practices, face coverings, and facility/surface/site sanitization.

Some contexts and types of activity require additional practices to help reduce the risk of infection, which are outlined here.

Wet Labs

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • As per EH&S
  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • As per usual
  • Additional density guidance?
    • Creative approaches to planning work schedules and physical lab structure that requires close proximity or that prevents the use of some PPE, is recommended. Labs and work schedules should be arranged so that no more than 2 persons are working at a time per aisle in orange phase or 2 people at a time per aisle in yellow phase.

  • Additional PPE?
    • In addition to face coverings as required for all activity, disposable gloves and face shields should be used if working conditions will not allow required social distancing as described above (density guidance) or involve protracted contact.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • All equipment and instrumentation should be disinfected after each use, as well as at the beginning and end of every shift or workday.

Equipment-Intensive / Dry Labs

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • As per EH&S
  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • N/A
  • Additional density guidance?
    • Creative approaches to planning work schedules, physical structure and processes (e.g., sequential rather than simultaneous activity) that requires close proximity or that prevents the use of some PPE, is recommended.

  • Additional PPE?
    • Gloves, surgical masks, and face shields should be considered for personnel who work on tasks requiring personnel closer than social distancing guidelines or for protracted periods of time.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • N/A

Clinical Trials

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • As per EH&S and as outlined in clinical trials site SOPs.
  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • To decrease potential exposure, the research team or facility will pre-screen research volunteers (RVs) via phone whenever possible one day prior to their scheduled study visits. Appointments will be rescheduled if RVs are known positive COVID-19, have high exposure risk (unless that is expected of the study), or exhibit COVID-19 or flu- or cold-like symptoms. RVs must wear facial coverings at all times unless directed by study staff to remove their facial coverings for a study procedure.

      RVs should be emailed an information sheet explaining what to expect at their visit. [“Info Sheet for Human Subjects”] This includes hand washing before the visit and wearing a facial covering. Some RVs may be asked to call the study team upon arrival and parked. RVs may wait in their cars and called when they are ready to be seen to minimize the number of people in the waiting area.

      All visitors accompanying RVs must be screened, and wear facial coverings, and wash their hands before the visit.

      RVs with extended stays or procedures (e.g., overnight stays) may be referred for COVID-19 screening prior to their appointment. Principal Investigators should contact ctpmo@ucsd.edu for additional information.

  • Additional density guidance?
    • In waiting areas, use signage [example on OneDrive] to reserve space between people.

      Allow only the minimum number of people necessary to the visit and into the clinic space.

      Consideration should be made about how visitors wait or congregate for a visit. Waiting rooms may be reserved for individuals who have difficulty walking or need additional assistance or time to meet the study team if the location is far away from parking.

      Potentially, all others should wait inside their cars by calling the study team when they arrive to UC San Diego, provide their phone numbers, and wait inside their cars until called to come into the clinic.

  • Additional PPE?
    • Disposable gloves may be used but can give a false sense of protection and allow cross-contamination. Frequent and habitual hand-washing (without gloves) is likely better than if you wear one set of disposable gloves for the whole day without washing them.

      Face-shields and other personal protective equipment should be considered depending on the likelihood of the RVs having COVID-19. For most, face shields are not needed.

      Whenever employees are wearing face coverings, they must wear their UCSD employee ID with their photo visible to ensure employees can be identified and recognized while at work.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • N/A

Social, Cognitive and Behavioral Human Subjects Research in Dedicated Research Facilities

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • Possible start-up needs from EH&S, especially for behavioral, cognitive research labs.
  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • To decrease potential exposure, the research team will pre-screen research participants via phone whenever possible one day prior to their scheduled study visits. Appointments will be rescheduled if RVs are known positive COVID-19, have high exposure risk (unless that is expected of the study), or exhibit COVID-19 or flu- or cold-like symptoms. Participants must wear facial coverings at all times unless directed by study staff to remove their facial coverings for a study procedure.

      Participants should be emailed an information sheet explaining what to expect at their visit. This includes hand washing before the visit and wearing a facial covering. Some participants may be asked to call the study team upon arrival. Participants may wait in their cars and be called when ready to be seen to minimize the number of people in the waiting area. Multiple participants/visitors may be seen jointly only if currently living together.

      All visitors accompanying participants must be screened, and wear facial coverings, and wash their hands before the visit. Only visitors currently living with the participant may be less than 6 feet from the participant.

      RVs with extended stays (multiple hours) or procedures (e.g., overnight stays) may be referred for COVID-19 screening prior to their appointment. Principal Investigators should contact ctpmo@ucsd.edu for additional information

  • Additional density guidance?
    • In waiting areas, use signage and seating arrangements to reserve space between people.

      Allow only the number of people necessary to the visit and into the research space. Ventilation modifications, site changes (outdoors vs indoors), and physical barriers, including clear plexiglass shields may be useful in situations where protracted assessment/testing is anticipated.

      Consideration should be made about how visitors wait or congregate for a visit. Waiting rooms may be reserved for minors, individuals who have difficulty walking or need additional assistance or time to meet the study team if the location is far away from parking.

      Potentially, all others should wait inside their cars by calling the study team when they arrive to UC San Diego, provide their phone numbers, and wait inside their cars until called to come into the clinic.

  • Additional PPE?
    • Disposable gloves may be used but can give a false sense of protection and allow cross-contamination. Frequent and habitual hand-washing (without gloves) is likely better than if you wear one set of disposable gloves for the whole day without washing them.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • All participants should use hand sanitizer or hand wash upon entry into the research space. Materials touched by researcher or participant will require sanitization between use.

Imaging Research Involving Human Subjects

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • Consider requesting additional outdoor seating (with sunshade) that supports social distancing to be placed in the proximity of the facility.

  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • Pre-screen research volunteers (RVs) via phone [such as “Imaging Research Phone Screen Form”] whenever possible one day prior to their scheduled study visits. Appointments will be rescheduled if RVs are known positive COVID-19, have high exposure risk (unless that is expected of the study), or have exhibited COVID-19 or flu- or cold-like symptoms in the past 21 days.  Parents/caregivers accompanying the RV should also be screened.

      Upon entry into the facility, all researchers and research participants/parents/caregivers should wash their hands or use hand sanitizer. RVs and parents/caregivers must wear facial coverings at all times unless directed by study staff to remove their facial coverings for a study procedure. Only those residing with the research participant may be within 6 feet of the participant.

      RVs should be emailed an information sheet explaining what to expect at their visit. This includes hand washing and/or using a provided hand sanitizing station upon entry to the facility and wearing a facial covering for the duration of their visit. Whenever possible, RVs should be asked to call the study team upon arrival and wait in their cars for a member of the study team to escort them to the facility to minimize the number of people in the facility. Alternatively, RVs should remain in a designated outdoor area, while maintaining proper social distancing until a study representative can escort them to their appointment location. [“Info Sheet for Human Subjects”].

      Study staff should only work if feeling well and healthy and should perform the daily self-screen using UC San Diego's standardized symptom and exposure screening tool; Research Volunteers should use the same criteria.  Study staff should wear facial coverings during the study procedure.

  • Additional density guidance?
    • Additional procedures may be required if the researcher and RV need to be within 6 feet for the procedures. This time should be minimized and strategies to limit the extent of exposure should be considered (e.g., sequential rather than simultaneous activity).

    • FACILITY SPECIFIC

      Establish scheduling guidelines and restrictions to minimize physical overlap between different groups using the facility.

      Establish a parent/caregiver limitation (e.g., maximum of 1 parent/caregiver allowed with a research volunteer and no additional family members/friends allowed inside the facility). When applicable and appropriate for the population under study, RVs should be encouraged to arrive at the appointment alone.

      Establish maximum occupancy limitations for all rooms in the facility and post relevant signage (e.g. do not sit here signs placed on chairs; limitation on number of people per room; space seating at least 6 ft. apart). Examples and downloads of signage can be found on the Research Ramp-up blink page.

      All signage must be available /presented in the language of the participants.

      Establish procedures and guidelines that maximize social distancing while placing the RV in and taking the RV out of the MRI scanner. Provide additional training as needed. 

      Communicate facility-specific guidelines to all users of the facility via email, posted policies, and website. All materials must be presented or posted in the language of the participants.

    • STUDY SPECIFIC

      Each study will comply with facility-specific guidelines regarding density restrictions. To further minimize density, studies should plan on conducting non-MRI-related procedures outside of the facility.

      RVs should wait outside or in their cars until the study team calls or fetches them in person while leading with a safe social distance. The RVs and study team should plan on going directly to the pre-testing or imaging rooms, bypassing the waiting areas. Exceptions can be made for minors, individuals with difficulty walking or other reasons preventing them from waiting outside or in their car.

      Parents/caregivers accompanying RVs must wait outside of the facility during the scan session. Exceptions can be made for studies with special circumstances with the prior approval of the facility. Only those dwelling with the participant are allowed within 6 feet of the participant during the sessions, unless an exception has been approved.

      In addition to following the facility-specific density restrictions, limit the number of study staff present to the minimum needed for safe and successful visits.

  • Additional PPE?
    • Disposable gloves may be used but can give a false sense of protection and allow cross-contamination. Frequent and habitual hand-washing (without gloves) is likely better than if you wear one set of disposable gloves for the whole day without washing them.

      Face-shields are not required. Face-masks are required at a minimum. Face-shields and other personal protective equipment should be considered depending on the likelihood of the RVs having COVID-19. For most, face shields are not needed.

      MRI safety and compatibility of face-masks should be assessed. The study group should be prepared to provide the RV with an MRI-safe face-mask.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • FACILITY SPECIFIC

      Establish procedures for disinfecting and sanitizing study areas and major equipment throughout the day and for monitoring compliance. Facility staff should disinfect and sanitize at the beginning of each non-holiday weekday. Develop a facility-specific cleaning checklist to ensure key areas and equipment are regularly disinfected (see UC San Diego's Center for Functional MRI's checklist). Establish procedures for safe management of laundry and PPE.

      Communicate facility-specific disinfecting and sanitizing guidelines to all users of the facility via email, posted policies, and facility website.

    • STUDY SPECIFIC

      Each study group must follow the facility procedures for disinfecting and sanitizing after each scan. Groups should also disinfect and sanitize prior to a scan session when it is likely that the study area and equipment have not been recently disinfected (e.g. on a weekend).

Animal Research

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • As per EH&S

  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • N/A

  • Additional density guidance?
    • Shared housing and procedure rooms require coordination between personnel specific to each location. See facility supervisor for specifics.

      Procedures necessitating higher densities (surgeries, coordinated treatments and data collections), preapproved through the research plan emphasizes proper PPE and sanitation procedures, and efforts to sequence rather than conduct activities simultaneously.

  • Additional PPE?
    • Additional location specific mask/face covering procedures are in place. See facility supervisor for specifics.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • Increased disinfection of common surfaces outside of animal areas (door entry hardware, biometric devices, etc.) is being performed by facility personnel.  Similarly, common spaces in the facility will comply with disinfection protocols.

Community-based Research in Controlled Settings (classrooms, clinics)

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • Before returning to the field, researchers should consider whether remote interaction via telephone or internet can produce equal quality data. When feasible, remote virtual assessments and interviews should be conducted.

  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • Community-based research in densely populated sites, in sites with high rates of COVID-19, in sites that lack adequate medical care, adequate testing and contact tracing is risky, and should be conducted remotely to the greatest extent possible. All community-based research across the border of Mexico should be conducted remotely, because of a significant lack of testing and contact tracing, unless that research is directly related to COVID-19, its diagnosis and treatment.

      All community participation in campus-based research activities should be conducted remotely to the greatest extent possible.  

      To decrease potential exposure during essential community-based research, all researchers, and all community-based participants must be pre-screened one day prior to any in-person interaction and on the day of the interaction. In-person interaction should be rescheduled if participants are known positive COVID-19, report exposure to individuals with the diagnosis,  have high exposure risk, or exhibit COVID-19- or flu- or cold-like symptoms. All researchers and participants must wear facial coverings at all times, regardless of known negative COVID-19.

      All researchers and community participants should be contacted one day before any in-person interaction, with a set of guidelines, including the pre-screening of all participants, hand washing or hand sanitization before the in-person interaction and wearing facial covering. Additionally, common surfaces such as tables and chairs, doorknobs and lavatory facilities in the community-based site should be disinfected immediately before and after any in-person interaction. If feasible, outdoor waiting is preferred.

      Note: All written messaging and signage must be in the language of the community participant.

  • Additional density guidance?
    • Allow only the minimum number of researchers and community participants necessary to accomplish the goals of the in-person activity. Visits should be as brief as possible. No visitors or children may accompany researchers or community-based participants during in-person interaction, unless the population under study involves minors or disabled, or added participants are essential to the goals of the in-person interaction. If support services are provided to enable participation (eg babysitting or elder care), this must be off site. 

      Researchers and community participants should remain a minimum of 6 feet apart while waiting for in-person activities to begin, and through the duration of the in-person interaction. There should be no physical contact of any kind, handshakes or hugs among researchers, or between researchers and community-based participants.

      Meetings should take place outdoors whenever possible. When meeting indoors, rooms should be well-ventilated, and large enough and seating positioned so as to enable 6 feet of separation between all participants during any in-person interaction. 

      When traveling by car to the community-based site, no more than two researchers should occupy a single vehicle. Public transportation to community-based sites is discouraged. But should researchers need to use public transportation to travel to a community-based site, they should exercise all precautions regarding physical distancing and face covering, and adhere to the UC San Diego travel guidelines.

  • Additional PPE?
    • All researchers and participants must wear face coverings at all times, and should consider if the specific setting requires face masks, shields or plexiglass partitions. Frequent hand-washing or sanitization among researchers and community participants is essential before, during and after interactions between researchers and community-based participants. Tables and chairs, doorknobs and lavatory facilities should be disinfected before and after in-persona interaction.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • N/A

Social Sciences / Humanities Field Research

Field research is an integral and essential part of the research mission at UC San Diego. Preparation and planning for conducting safe field research present challenges because of travel restrictions and potentially limited key supplies, communication, and access to medical services.

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • As per EH&S

  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • To decrease potential exposure, the research team will pre-screen staff one day prior to their scheduled observations as well as on the day of their observations. Appointments will be rescheduled if researchers are positive to COVID-19 or exhibit COVID-19 or flu- or cold-like symptoms.

  • Additional density guidance?
    • Researchers must wear facial coverings at all times and observe locale-mandated social distancing requirements. Observations should take place outdoors whenever possible. When observing indoors, rooms should be well-ventilated, and large enough to enable 6 or more feet of separation between all researchers and participants during any in-person interaction. Before returning to the field, researchers should consider whether remote interaction via telephone or internet could produce equal quality data. When feasible, such virtual data collection should be used.

  • Additional PPE?
    • Face shields may be mandatory where social distancing is not possible.

  • Additional disinfection?
    • Research site, including all common touched surfaces, should be disinfected before and after study/engagement.

Performing Arts

  • Additional start-up procedures prior to return?
    • If performance or rehearsal spaces have been unused for any length of time, departments should work with Facilities Management to ensure appropriate cleaning and determine if any props should be relocated for health safety purposes.

  • Additional daily start-up/shut-down procedures?
    • The CDC advises that risk of viral transmission rises when individuals work in close proximity (at distances of less than 6’) for periods of as little as 10 minutes. To prevent transmission, personnel who will be working in proximity to one another should be pre-screened for COVID-19 symptoms on the day of the activity. Those reporting symptoms are not permitted to participate in on-site activity.

  • Additional density guidance?
    • Some performing arts (such as vocal and wind instruments) make risk mitigation extremely difficult, and may not be able to resume in-person until the risk of infection declines. Performing artists should limit rehearsal/performance time in close proximity to one another. Creative approaches to planning activity that requires close proximity or that prevents the use of some PPE might include the use of tall plexiglass dividers in situations where facial coverings would substantially interfere, such as in rehearsals and performances with vocal / brass / reed / wind instruments, etc. Where possible, use larger-than-typical rehearsal space, or rearrange personnel via seating changes at greater-than-typical distance from one another. Ventilation changes may be considered. If feasible, outdoor venues should be considered. Additionally, remote participation of individuals integrated for simultaneous rehearsal or presentation of the performance should be considered when feasible.

  • Additional PPE?
    • N/A

  • Additional disinfection?
    • Sanitation of studios, rehearsal and performance spaces, shared instruments or materials, equipment such as music stands, easels, etc. is required before and after use. All participants must wash or sanitize hands before engagement in the practice or performance.

Field Research--Additional Guidance

Field research is an integral and essential part of the research mission at UC San Diego. Preparation and planning for conducting safe field research present challenges because of travel restrictions and potentially limited key supplies, communication, and access to medical services. You can download "Field Research: Additional Guidance During COVID-19 Pandemic" here (PDF).

If you need help or have questions about research ramp-up procedures, please email researchrampup@ucsd.edu.