UCSF Research at ZSFG during COVID-19


There is now a Color Test Kit vending machine at ZSFG, located in the Building 9 lobby. Please refer to the https://coronavirus.ucsf.edu/testing website for guidance and questions.

Selected Announcements and Guidance from DPH and the UCSF Office of Research

A full list of communications from the UCSF Office of Research regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19) Related Guidance to Researchers can be found at https://research.ucsf.edu/.


September 20, 2022 - Per the ZSFG DAILY CENSUS REPORT and COVID-19 UPDATE, ZSFG is updating guidelines for staff eating and drinking on campus effective Wednesday, September 21. Please note that these updates do not impact general mask guidelines which continue to be required in all campus buildings and for all patient care activities.


  • Food and drinks are permitted when staff are present together in indoor, non-clinical areas, including conference rooms and break rooms. Food and drinks are not allowed in charting rooms, nursing stations, nor public areas such as hallways or elevators. Staff will wear masks when not eating or drinking.
  • The maximum capacity of rooms will not be exceeded. For indoor rooms or spaces with a capacity greater than 50 persons, maximum occupancy may not exceed 50% when food or drinks are being consumed.
  • Additional note: when a speaker is delivering a lecture or educational talk in front of an audience, the speaker may remove their mask while speaking and replace it when finished.
  • Final note: We will continue to monitor cases of COVID-19 among staff and in the community, and changes may be required if rates increase. If there is a local increase in cases (e.g. in a unit or department), restrictions may be required until cases decrease.


All employees at ZSFG should follow ZSFG Employee Health Respiratory Viral Illness and COVID-19 Infection Control Interim Guidance for Employees Working on Campus. This includes guidance for:

  • monitoring symptoms
  • clearance to return to campus after COVID-19 diagnosis
  • exposure assessment
  • return from travel

UCSF employees at ZSFG must also comply with COVID-19 vaccination policy issued by UC, including the requirement for any personnel or students under this policy who physically access a university facility or program in connection with their employment, appointment, or education/training, subject to limited exceptions and associated non-pharmaceutical interventions (NPIs), to be up-to-date on COVID-19 vaccination (they have received all doses in a primary series and any boosters recommended by the CDC or by CDPH) before physically accessing the University’s locations and programs.


The UCSF Office of Research has announced an early termination of the hold on Category 3 on-site clinical research visits effective Monday, January 24. All Category 3 research activities can resume at that time, with careful attention to continued compliance with UCSF’s COVID policies.


September 30, 2021 - Effective 10/1, anyone entering ZSFG Campus will need to be fully vaccinated with exception of patients and outpatient visitors. This includes vendors and service technicians working on lab equipment. If you work with outside vendors, agencies, organizations or receive deliveries, the representative will need to be fully vaccinated and must enter through Building 25 lobby or Building 5 Loading dock.

Details of this policy are provided in the ZSFG Supplier/Vendor COVID-10 Vaccination Requirement memo issued September 22, 2021. Acceptable documentation for a vendor representative to enter ZSFG includes either 1) a Vendormate badge; or 2) a yellow ZSFG Contractor badge with a vaccination confirmation sticker provided by ZSFG.

As an alternative, a vendor representative can enter the Building 25 lobby wearing a badge issued by their own company and present proof of vaccination to the screener. They would then be allowed to enter the building and proceed to the vaccine clinic on the 2nd floor of Building 5, which is open on Monday to Friday from 7:30 AM to 4 PM. At the vaccine clinic, they can present proof of vaccination again to obtain COVID-19 vaccination stickers (COVID 1 and COVID 2, and if applicable COVID 3) which they can place on their company badge as evidence of vaccination.
Once they have these stickers on their badge they would be allowed to access buildings at ZSFG for that visit. For future visits, they would be able to present their badge with the stickers to the screener in the B25 lobby upon arrival to campus, and then proceed to their service destination.


June 22, 2021 - Staff no longer need to show verification of completed screening and screening stickers will no longer be required. Staff are now able to enter through the Building 5 South Lobby. Your ID Badge must be visible to enter. For more information, please read the Staff Screening Changes.

June 14, 2021 - Universal Masking Continuation Guidelines for ZSFG

April 28, 2021 - UCSF has removed specific density restrictions on research activities and is now linking UCSF research guidelines directly to compliance with Cal/OSHA COVID-19 policy (https://www.dir.ca.gov/title8/3205.html).



      Previous Announcements and Guidance from DPH and the UCSF Office of Research

      August 12, 2021 - Updated Meeting Guidelines for ZSFG

      August 11, 2021 - Updates to Visitation (GuidelinesFAQSMemo

      April 23, 2021 - All UCSF employees are now required to receive or decline the COVID-19 vaccination by June 30, 2021, in accordance with an interim policy issued by the University of California Office of the President. Submit/Complete on the New OHS portal: ohsportal.ucsfmedicalcenter.org (MyAccess/VPN required).

      April 29, 2021 - In alignment with CDPH and CDC guidelines, staff screening at ZSFG will no longer include a temperature check.

      March 5, 2021 - Category 3 clinical research density will increase from 25% to 50% on Monday, March 8, 2021.

      January 28, 2021 - Category 3 clinical research density will increase from 12.5% to 25% on Monday, February 1, 2021.

      January 22, 2021 - Allowable laboratory research density will increase to 50% on Monday, January 25, 2021. On-site Category 3 clinical research will remain at 12.5% density.

      January 6, 2021 - Effective January 14th, staff screening at ZSFG is transitioning to online screening only.

      December 31, 2020 - ZSFG Return to Work Guidance has been updated:

      • Employees who return from international travel are mandated to quarantine for 10 days with testing offered between day 5-9 from date of return.
      • Emloyees who return from domestic travel outside of the Bay area may continue to work if asymptomatic but are strongly recommended to quarantine for 10 days. Testing may be offered to those with significant risk of domestic travel-related exposure.
      • Although there is no explicit statement on HR/leave guidance in the linked document, OHS will counsel employees to contact managers/supervisors regarding travel-related leave. We understand it that travel-related time off will not be considered covid leave, but personal/vacation time.

      December 29, 2020 - The Chancellor’s Executive Team (CET) has approved an extension of the current decreased research density levels until 12:01 a.m. on January 19, at which point it will be reassessed and may be extended.

      As announced on December 18, the current densities (effective December 24, 2020, and now extended until January 19, 2021) are:

      1. Laboratory research density at 25%. LARC operations will continue unabated, and there is no need to reduce animal census.
      2. Clinical research that is not essential to the health of the participant (termed Category 3 research) at 12.5%. It is strongly recommended that research-only onsite visits (i.e., conducted without a concomitant clinical visit) be postponed. COVID-19 clinical research and clinical research determined to be essential to the health and/or well-being of the participant can continue without density restriction.

      December 9, 2020 - ZSFG Return to Work Guidance has been updated:

      • Quarantine period after community household exposure and high-risk work exposure is shortened to 10 days (previously 14 days), with testing offered at 7-9 days after exposure (previously 5-7 days)
      • After return from international travel, self-quarantine is recommended but not required. (If employees make the decision to travel, the time used to self-quarantine does not qualify for COVID leave- per HR).

      Please note that gatherings outside of the county or state are not exempt from guidance. Any gathering regardless of location is not currently recommended.
      Individuals returning from travel involving gatherings do not need to self quarantine unless they are symptomatic, or have known exposure to someone who is positive or suspected to have COVID-19.

      November 2, 2020 - The UCSF Office of Research is strongly encouraging all Clinical Research Coordinators to complete a new online training course, Clinical Research During COVID-19, before the end of November. The brief course is hosted on the UC Learning platform and takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. Additional details including instructions for how to access the course are posted on the Office of Research website.

      October 7, 2020 - ZSFG Return to Work Guidance has been updated to clarify:

      • circumstances in which employees with household members that have unconfirmed yet high likelihood for having COVID-19 may be quarantined out of work by ZSFG OHS (footnote at the end of Table 4).
      • ZSFG and UCSF have slight differences in return to work guidelines. At ZSFG, employees with high risk exposures will be quarantined for 14 days. In other exposure cases, as long as an individual is asymptomatic, they may continue to work. This difference is allowed under CDC staffing shortage mitigation plan.
        UCSF employees working at ZSFG will only need to follow ZSFG guidance, but when working at another UCSF location they will need to follow UCSF guidance requiring 14-day quarantine and symptom monitoring for both high and medium risk exposures.
      • ZSFG OHS will cc [email protected] representatives with communications on return to work letters. These letters do not contain specific health information, and primarily serve to notify HR departments on expected off work/return to work dates.

      September 15, 2020 - Phase 3 of increased onsite research will begin on September 17. Laboratory-based research allowable density will increase to 50% density, or the equivalent of one person per two workstations, and the allowable density for onsite Category 3 clinical research will increase to 25%.

      June 26, 2020 - Updated guidance for clinical research, including a Return to Work Checklist with useful information and links for general considerations and research participants.

      June 4, 2020 - Phase 2 of the laboratory-based research reopening will begin on June 8th, in which the allowable density will increase to 25% capacity, or about one person per four workstations.

      May 14, 2020 - Guidance for Phase 1 of the Planning for Gradual Increase of UCSF Research Activity.



      ZSFG-Specific FAQ for the Gradual Increase of UCSF Research Activity

      This FAQ addresses aspects of this initiative that are unique and specific to ZSFG and is not intended to reiterate information provided in the UCSF guidance. It represents the best current knowledge and will be continually updated as new information becomes available.

      If you have questions about the ZSFG-specific policy, please email [email protected].
      For questions about the UCSF policy, please email [email protected].



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