March 20, 2020
We would like to provide you the following guidance about animal research and operations during the rapidly evolving COVID-19 situation.
Status of the IACUC
The Research and Sponsored Programs office wants to reassure you that the IACUC remains fully operational, including administrative support staff, despite the campus transition to remote work and away from face-to-face classes. You can continue to contact us anytime at (818) 677-2901 or at email@example.com, and your message will be returned during normal business hours. The IACUC has procedures in place to function remotely and will continue to conduct protocol reviews, including regular designated member review (DMR) assignments. For IACUC members, we encourage you to review NIH Notice Number NOT-OD-20-088, which covers additional flexibility to IACUC operations in support of the spring meeting and facility inspection.
Safety of Research Animals and Personnel
The safety of the lab animals under our care and all study personnel are our highest priorities. Please note that basic care of all animals will continue throughout the current "Stay at Home" and "Safer at Home" orders, and in case of a full campus closure. The vivarium supervisor, Toni Uhlendorf, and Elizabeth Perez are designated "essential personnel" and permitted to be on campus in all scenarios.
Additionally, the IACUC is aware of seven experimental research protocols for which treatments (i.e., therapies or breeding programs) must continue for the safety of the animals and integrity of the research. Toni has the capacity to carry out all research-related functions and testing for these protocols in addition to providing basic animal care. For this reason, as long as the stay orders and telework expectations are in place, we ask that PIs respect social distancing requirements and not come to the vivarium in person during the current crisis. This is especially true for those PIs at high risk for complications from Coronavirus, as identified by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
If you feel you absolutely must be on campus to carry out some portion of your animal research in person, please contact your College Dean and ask for an exception request to be made on your behalf. The Provost will determine whether or not to allow the exception. If your research is supported by external funding, please reach out to your grants analyst in the Research and Sponsored Programs office to discuss your particular situation, as Coronavirus-related guidance on project extensions varies by funding agency.
Protocol Deviations and Unanticipated Problems
The IACUC and administrative staff understand that there may be protocol deviations and unanticipated problems related to the virtual campus transition. These should be reported within one week of the time that the investigator becomes aware of the incident by sending an email incident report to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please give the IACUC number and title of the protocol, and describe to the best of your ability the deviation from the approved protocol or the unanticipated problem that occurred.
We will be in touch with further information as we receive additional guidance from the federal Office of Laboratory Animal Welfare, the State of California, and/or the CSU. Stay safe and stay well. We look forward to continuing to work with you in the future.