Guidance for Onsite Animal Research Activities

UCSF Animal Research Activity Requirements During COVID-19 Response


May 13, 2020 (Updated September 17, 2020)

  • All personnel must complete UCSF training requirements and daily health screening per UCSF policy.
  • All animal research activities must occur as detailed in the approved IACUC protocol, and all LARC and IACUC policies and procedures must be followed to ensure appropriate animal welfare. Modifications to IACUC protocols can only be implemented once approved by the IACUC. Please contact [email protected] with questions about protocol or policy requirements.  

Social Distancing must be maintained at all times:

LARC will implement the following to facilitate social distancing within LARC Facilities:

  • Maximum room occupancies are posted on animal rooms, procedure rooms, gowning areas, etc.
  • LARC will establish regular hours for servicing animal rooms.

Labs must comply with UCSF social distancing protocol.

  • New PPE Requirement:
    • Disposable surgical masks are required within the LARC vivaria (not cloth face coverings).
  • Barrier Level PPE continues as posted.
  • Comply with posted room occupancies.

Adequate LAB Staff: 

  • In all cases, labs must have adequate available staff to perform the proposed animal research activity.
    • Labs must adhere to the frequency of monitoring and parameters described in the protocol and maintain associated documentation.
    • Labs must monitor all animals under researcher care or housed outside of LARC every day (including weekends and holidays), and maintain associated documentation.
  • If LARC assistance is required, that must be pre-arranged with LARC a week before the planned study. 
  • Increased density could increase risk of infection in small animal care rooms, where laboratory staff often share the space with LARC staff or other researchers from different laboratories. In these cases, it is important that all room occupants consider others’ health and do their part to minimize interactions and use appropriate PPE.

USDA Non-Rodent Species (not currently in progress):

  • Labs must discuss projects with LARC. This discussion identifies the needed LARC support and LARC selects the start date of the project.
  • Labs must provide LARC with a list of proposed lab staff engaged in the project.
  • Special PPE requirements will be determined based upon the project needs.

 Mice and Other species:

  • Animals already on UCSF campus:  Labs may resume studies using existing campus animals.
  • Breeding:  Mouse and other animal breeding may commence at levels that lab staff can support.
  • Orders for new mice and other animals:  Labs may place animal orders every other week.
  • Importation of mice and other non-USDA animals from non-commercial vendors: This may commence immediately.
  • Mouse transfers within UCSF: Same as importation, this may commence immediately.
  • New rodent research projects that require veterinary and/or IACUC oversight: Lab staff must contact LARC ([email protected]) and IACUP ([email protected]) at least two weeks in advance of proposed studies.