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Important Phase 2 Research Ramp-Up Information

If you have a research laboratory at UCIMC in Shanbrom Hall or the UC Irvine campus and plan to do research that does not involve direct contact with human subjects in Phase 2 Ramp-Up, you will need to complete the Qualtrics Research Activities Ramp-Up form designed to provide guidelines for your laboratory. After you complete the form, you will be able to download the pdf and email it to your division chief (DOM) or chair for approval. Human subject research directions will come from Senior Associate Dean for Clinical Research Daniela Bota, MD, PhD.

Safety Steps & Guidance for Anyone Who Believes They Have Been Exposed:

IF YOU (FACULTY, STAFF, POSTDOC or STUDENT) feel any of the Working Well described symptoms of COVID-19or if you have concerns about contact with an individual who has tested positive for COVID-19, please follow these steps:

FACULTY, POSTDOCS OR STAFF ON THE UCI CAMPUS: contact UCI Occupational and Environmental Health (https://hr.uci.edu/disaster-relief/report-known-cases.php949-824-8685). Here is the process: on the website, you will be directed to fill out a form, you will later be contacted and given an opportunity to provide information. If you pass the threshold to be tested, you will be directed to a physician who will interview you and recommend, or not, that you be tested. We have been told these responses occur within 24 hours. IF YOU ARE IN THE MEDICAL CENTER, CONTACT OCCUPATIONAL HEALTH (714-456-8300). Steps will also be initiated for contact tracing as necessary.

STUDENTS ON THE UCI CAMPUS: contact student health (949-824-5304) and ask to speak with the triage nurse.

Notify School of Medicine Assistant Dean of Administrative Operations, Carl Smith (cdsmith@hs.uci.edu) of your concerns so that any necessary steps can be taken for sanitizing potentially contaminated areas. 

Remember you are taking care of your research community when you follow these steps.

Report a Lab Safety or Compliance Concern | Your Report Can Be Made Anonymously:

There are 3 ways to file a report:

  1. To report a lab safety or compliance concern, please go to Environmental Health & Safety https://ehs.uci.edu/apps/hr/. At the end of the report, you can opt to omit your name and contact information so that your report is made anonymously. 
  2. You can also call the EH&S front desk at 949-824-6200 and make a report. This report can be made without revealing your identity. 
  3. You can email safety@uci.edu

Before you login to complete your plan, you will need to:

The Qualtrics Research Activities Plan Ramp-Up form has two main parts:

  • A School of Medicine-specific step-by-step guide to your essential ramp-up plan
  • The Office of Research Assessment template provides acknowledgment by you that your plan meets the safety requirements specified by guidance on the UCI Office of Research Ramp-Up webpage

In order to be approved for research during the Phase 2 Ramp-Up, principal investigators of laboratories follow these steps:

  • Complete the SOM Qualtrics Research Activities Ramp-Up Form to provide legal assurance that persons re-entering the laboratory understand and are following guidelines according to a compliant laboratory and shared space occupancy plan.
  • Submit the completed form to your Division Chief (Department of Medicine only) or Department Chair for written approval.
  • Note: If the PI is the reviewer, s/he can self-approve according to the same guidelines and move into phase 2. However, those Research Activities Ramp-Up forms will also undergo review in the Dean’s Office in case modifications are required.
  • Once you have received written email approval, forward the approval and PDF version of the Research Activities Ramp-Up form to Emily Dawidoff (Edawidof@hs.uci.edu) SOM Office of Research.
  • Post this approval in a visible site on the laboratory entrance and save your Research Activities Ramp-Up form PDF in your lab safety notebook.
  • Acquire supplies to ensure people in the laboratories have proper sanitizing materials and PPE.
  • State and County guidelines require that we identify those employees from your units who will be returning to onsite work. Therefore, send the Name & UCInetID of your onsite employees to Rachel Corell, rcorell@hs.uci.eduThis includes any people (faculty, staff, students, postdocs, etc.) who will be working for any amount of time (part-time or full-time) at a UCI-controlled location, excluding the clinical sites already covered by current on-site checks.  These locations include the UCI campus, Research Park, and Centerpointe. 
    1. Once added to the list, these employees can be activated within the application and begin receiving the daily UCI Support Working Well emails.  On days when those persons are planning to be in the laboratory, they should complete the wellness check-in and submit. The response should be forwarded to the lab safety designate.
    2. To assure that our research employees who are returning to work on-site are self-monitoring, using the UCI Working Well™ Daily Symptom Check, we are requiring each lab to verify compliance and follow the three-part process outlined below:
    3. This process will be periodically monitored to ensure best practices, as part of our ongoing effort to keep all employees safe when entering the workplace.
  • The laboratory PI should have designated one person as a safety representative who is responsible for monitoring the submission of working on-site submissions daily and sent that person’s name to Emily Dawidoff (edawidof@hs.uci.edu). The deadline for submission has passed. If you have not completed this designation, please do so immediately.
  • The laboratory PI should require employees working on-site for that day to forward their Working Well™ confirmation emails, or a screenshot of the confirmation, to the designated safety representative so that compliance is documented.
  • The safety representative’s duty is to create and maintain a daily log of individuals who have submitted their Working Well acknowledgment to them indicating they are working on-site that day. An Excel spreadsheet format is recommended for this safety representative project.

Please watch both the UCI Office of Research Ramp-Up website as well as the SOM Office of Research website for updates as they become available. 

EXCEPTIONS: If you are in Beckman Laser Center or Gross Hall you will follow those building specific protocols (which have different forms but are similar in principle). Sprague Hall has adopted the SOM Qualtrics form, but will report plans to the Cancer Research Institute (Waterman/Driscoll) for building approval, as well as department chairs for approval. Cancer Center/CRI have adopted specific codes of conduct within building spaces.

Frequently Asked Questions:

If you have any questions, please submit your questions to somrd@hs.uci.edu.

Do I need to follow this procedure if I was approved for critical research in phase 1? »

Yes. This guidance including the Research Activities Ramp-Up form does apply to all laboratories that have been performing critical research in phase 1. That approval does not apply to research during Phase 2.

When can a person return to work after suspected or confirmed COVID-19 infection? »

Per CDC Guidelines:

  • At least 3 days (72 hours) have passed since recovery defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath); and,
  • At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared
Do I have access to COVID supplies? »

Initial signage, sanitizing spray, hand-sanitizer, towels, and cleaning gloves will be provided by Facilities Management. Washable masks will be provided by Environmental Health and Safety [David Melitz (949) 824-4660]. Supplies are likely to be limited so laboratories should plan accordingly.  Facilities Management supplies will be distributed June 5 and ongoing by SOM Facilities [Jeff Dillon (949) 824-6708; jdillon@hs.uci.edu, Med Sci C142F] at the Medical Sciences loading dock operations team to departments proportional to their share of the supply based on the number of faculty investigators. SPRAGUE, SCRC, and BLI will need to check with Jeff regarding their supplies and pickup or delivery.  Other PPE are the responsibility of the laboratory as per usual. Centralizing supply provision initially is to help insure supply flow rather than internal competition. No-touch, infra-red thermometers have been ordered to make approximately one per laboratory available after delivery. Delivery is expected by mid-June.

Is COVID-19 signage available? »

Signage will be provided by Facilities Management, but it is possible to print signs from centrally provided templates and may be possible to request additional signage. Check here for EH&S COVID-19 Resources and Posters.

Where can I find the COVID UCLC training? »
COVID training is live on the UCLC website. Follow this link to complete the training or it can be found by searching “returning to campus” and “COVID”.
What are the instructions for core facilities? »
In the case of core facilities, the facility director can delegate the plan to the core manager, but must approve the plan and forward to his/her chair.
Do the SOM faculty in Gross Hall or the Beckman Laser facility have to complete two plans? »

No, the SOM faculty in Gross Hall may follow the SCRC Gross Hall plan and similarly, the SOM faculty in the BLI building may follow the plan for that building.

This plan has been agreed by SOM Vice Dean for Research and the Directors of those two SRP building “owners”.

What about undergraduate researchers? Are they eligible to come back to work? »

SOM has updated the policy on undergraduate researchers: Early Career Researchers (junior faculty, post-docs, and PhD students) should be given highest priority for accommodation in Phase 2 ramp up returning to the laboratories. Undergraduates must either be paid employees or registered students to be eligible to be in the laboratory. Undergraduate researchers on external grants should have higher priority over other undergraduates. All individuals in the laboratory must be compliant with applicable safety guidelines (campus generally, SOM buildings, BLI, SCRC, Sprague Hall). Beyond those guidelines, the decision to allow undergraduates in the laboratory and responsibility for their compliance and safety is the responsibility of the individual faculty principal investigator. Note: this policy is school dependent.

Ramp-Up Email Communication Archive

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