Revised Directive Regarding Use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)


March 26, 2020

To All UCSF Research Faculty and Staff:

The supply of personal protective equipment (PPE) for clinical care at UCSF is critically limited and the reliability of supply chains is uncertain. The UCSF community must do all that is possible to avoid a situation in which our front-line medical providers are without adequate protection (e.g., N95 respirators, surgical masks, gowns, face-shields) in caring for patients infected with or undergoing work-up for COVID-19 (PUIs).

Therefore, this communication requests the following actions until further notice:

Human subjects-related research: All UCSF human-subjects-based research faculty and staff are asked to postpone clinical research visits requiring PPE unless the research visit can be combined with clinical care and be conducted by team members required for clinical care (i.e., not research-only staff). We recognize the impact this directive will have on essential research. Research teams are asked to consider this directive and work with clinical staff as appropriate in the planning of research visits essential to the health and well-being of participants in the inpatient and ambulatory settings as per interim policy and guidance.

Laboratory-based research: Laboratory researchers can reduce their lab’s rate of PPE use by:

  • Pausing all research unless it has been deemed essential as described in interim policy for laboratory research released March 15th, 2020.
  • Deferring purchases of new PPE if the existing PPE is still in acceptable condition.
  • Ensuring that engineering controls such as fume hoods and biosafety cabinets are working properly and are used by the research group members.

Of course, safety remains a vital priority at UCSF. Any continuing essential research activities should be conducted while wearing the appropriate PPE.  If you have questions about the appropriate use of PPE, please contact your EH&S Department Safety Advisor (DSA).

Any research groups that wish to donate currently-unneeded PPE (especially N95 respirators) to COVID-19 response efforts should contact Elizabeth Lin at [email protected] or cell (909) 348-3238 to arrange for pick-up.


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