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COVID-19 Research Resources for Laboratories

This page contains Division of Biological Sciences guidelines as well as collections to campus resources.

Campuswide Guidance for Research Laboratories

  • Masks/face coverings must be worn on campus at all times (indoors or outdoors), unless an individual is working in a private office.
  • All laboratories are required to post the EH&S mandated “Room Entry Requirements” signage at each lab door. Each lab occupying a space must post this sign with the PI name, PPE requirements, and maximum room occupancy. Horizontal [PDF] and vertical [PDF] versions of the sign are available for download.
  • Upon returning to working on campus, all individuals must complete the online “COVID-19 Return to Work” training course. This course is available on UC Learning. Indivduals planning on returning to work on campus must complete this course to comply with Cal/OSHA return to work guidelines.
  • In accordance with county symptoms tracking guidelines, all faculty, staff, and students working in laboratories must complete the COVID-19 symptoms checker before coming to campus each day. Registration for the symptoms checker and a direct link to the checker can be found at the COVID-19 Symptom Screening website. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms on a day you are planning to come to work, please complete the symptoms screener in order to alert the EOC of your symptoms, contact the nurse hotline phone number provided, and stay home.
  • While working on campus, adhere to appropriate density restrictions, as defined by phase (In our current Orange Phase, those restrictions are: 1 individual per aisle in wet labs/1 individual per 250 sqft).
  • Each individual in a lab must review their lab’s research ramp up plan prior to returning to work on campus. The plan must be adhered to at all times.
  • If an individual is sick and/or believes they have had exposure to COVID-19, they must stay home from work.
  • Regularly disinfect your work areas with an EPA approved disinfectant. This includes disinfecting lab benches/equipment/desks/etc at the start and end of each shift.
  • If an individual in a laboratory tests positive for COVID-19, the laboratory PI/leader will be contacted by the EOC (Emergency Operations Center) to plan the next steps. These next steps will always include disinfection and contact tracing.
    • EOC staff will evaluate and gather information on the case. With this information the EOC staff and Facilities Management will execute a disinfection plan.
      • During disinfection, affected areas will be “Out of Service” for cleaning and occupants must vacate these areas. Access may be restricted until cleaning has been completed.
      • Disinfection would typically take 24 hours during the work week, but could take up to 48 hours.
    • The Department of Family and Public Health’s Contact Tracing Team will review and lead the contact tracing effort.
      • Patient confidentiality will be maintained and all “close contacts” of the positive case will be contacted.
      • Additionally, all positive COVID-19 cases are required to be reported to San Diego County Public Health Services by the testing center. Close contacts will likely be contacted by both the county and the UCSD team, in order to ensure the health and safety of the county and campus communities.
      • If there is a positive case within a lab and additional staff are not contacted, they are not considered a close-contact and can continue to work on campus, following the general precautions recommended to all individuals and making sure to closely monitor their health.

Research Ramp Up Plans

  • The Research Ramp Up Blink web page provides a comprehensive overview and guidance for research ramp up
  • The Guidelines for Research Ramp Up at UC San Diego [PDF] is a guidebook developed by the Research Continuity Task Force guided by recommendations from infectious disease experts, the World Health Organization, the CDC, and state and local public health experts.
  • Research laboratories on campus are currently in the Orange Phase .
  • Before a laboratory can enter the Orange Phase, they must complete their research ramp up plan.
  • After submission, all research plans must be approved by a lab’s section chair and dean. Plans may also be reviewed by the Office of Research Affairs and campus EH&S. When a lab’s plan is approved, they will receive an email from AVC Faith Hakwins. Only once a plan has been approved may labs proceed with their proposed plan.
  • Amendments to plans may become necessary. Guidelines for making minor or major revisions to a research plan have been outlined.
  • As of July 15th, the Office of Research Affairs has released the following update to plan ammendments: We will not be able to add additional personnel to any Research Ramp Up plans until further notice. New personnel can replace existing personnel, but the total number of approved personnel cannot be increased at this time. To make these personnel “trades,” please contact
  • Once a plan has been approved, labs are eligible to receive a one time supplies kit of PPE and sanitization supplies. Submit a Return to Research Supplies Form to request this kit

Division Guidelines

  • The Division of Biological Sciences requires all faculty, staff and students to wear a face covering/mask at all times when they are on campus (indoors or outdoors), unless they are working in a private office.
  • Social Distancing must be observed at all times. Individuals should stay at least 6 feet apart and follow their lab’s approved maximum occupancy plan. For rooms that are smaller than 500 square feet, the maximum occupancy is one (1). For labs, there is a occupancy limit of one researcher per lab bay/aisle. When outside near lab buildings, individuals must continue to socially distance and wear face coverings.
  • Division controlled conference rooms are currently available to be reserved via contacting your Faculty Assistant. Rooms have a maximum occupancy of one (1) and they must be sanitized by the user before and after use. Sanitization supplies and instructions have been provided.
  • The Biology Safety Office will be conducting weekly, unannounced building walkthroughs to ensure everyone is maintaining social distance, density requirements are being followed, and everyone is wearing masks/face coverings. These walkthroughs will be documented and repeated violations will be communicated to section chairs.
  • All standard safety practices must still be observed, including the continued use of standard PPE (lab coats and safety glasses).

Campuswide Forms and Resources

Questions or concerns? Contact your Division Safety Officer at or (858) 333-9791.