Laboratory Research is in Phase 3 reopening effective Sept. 17, 2020. Please disregard the guidelines below and refer to the Phase 3 announcement and laboratory research guidance for details.

Phase 2: Reopening of laboratory-based research

June 4, 2020

Dear UCSF Laboratory Research Community Colleagues:

Thank you for your hard work in the successful reopening of laboratory-based research during Phase 1. Since May 18, the density of laboratory-based research personnel has been limited to 12.5% of capacity (roughly one lab member per eight workstations). Beginning next week, June 8, we will move to Phase 2 of our laboratory-based research reopening, in which the allowable density will increase to 25% capacity, or about one person per four workstations.

Onsite COVID-19 clinical research, as well as non-COVID-19 clinical research that is determined to be essential to participant health, will continue as described in our previous clinical research directive. Category 3 clinical research (i.e., determined to be non-essential to participant health) will remain at Phase 1 density due to additional considerations and requirements that require more time to implement.

Our decision to move to Phase 2 for laboratory-based researchers is based on local public health and institutional guidance, the presence of adequate infrastructure support for laboratory-based research activities, and documentation of widespread compliance by laboratory researchers with our safety directives regarding face coverings, physical distancing, and completion of the daily Health Screening forms.

As before, laboratory PIs and their research teams should be familiar with the detailed directives and safety information found in the following documents:

All safety directives and other guidance in these documents remain applicable.

During Phase 1, some laboratories working on COVID-19 were allowed to work at a 25% capacity. Similarly, faculty with small labs of four benches were allowed to work at this capacity. These labs must continue to work at their pre-approved 25% capacity, and this new directive does not allow them to increase density further. Thus, in Phase 2, all research laboratories will have the opportunity to be operating at the same density.

As before, faculty are encouraged to work with neighboring labs to develop shift schedules and other mechanisms to meet this directive. Faculty with labs of fewer than four workstations should negotiate with neighbors to allow some progress on research at the 25% capacity level.

In the previous directive, small rooms containing multiple tissue culture hoods were limited to one occupant. In the second phase, two people are allowed in rooms with multiple hoods, but only if precautions are taken to minimize interactions among those using the same small room. 

 As before, faculty members should distribute this message to their research group members and coordinate with lab personnel regarding individual authorizations to return onsite, including any “shift” assignments to enable physical distancing. Faculty members are also asked to coordinate with their departments and neighborhoods to manage the level of activity in shared/common spaces at safe levels. In addition to faculty, department administrators are available to answer questions that are unique to your department.

Before coming onsite, all employees (including faculty, staff, and student employees) are required to complete a five-minute, read-only training on “COVID-19 and Working Onsite at UCSF.” Please follow the instructions to read the summary document, which will automatically complete your training.

  • You can access the course via the UC Learning Center:
  1. Login to the UC Learning Center with your MyAccess credentials.
  2. Click the Required Training button.
  3. Click Start to launch the training.
  4. Click on the language document most appropriate for you.
  • For technical problems with the UC Learning Center, submit a ticket online.
  • Training completion will be tracked on your training transcripts.

I greatly appreciate your help in our efforts to safely and gradually increase our research activities, and I extend my sincere wishes for your health and well-being in these challenging times.


Lindsey Criswell, MD, MPH, DSc
Vice Chancellor of Research
Professor of Medicine and Orofacial Sciences