❖ What should I be doing to prepare for a possible disruption in operations that affects my animal studies?
Researchers should be developing plans now in the event there is a change in campus operations and/or personnel are unable to come to campus. Activities that require regular personnel attention should be prioritized and planned for, and if possible, research staff trained to fill in for others who may be unable to come to campus. Coordinate with colleagues to identify ways to cover critical activities. Research activities that can be delayed or completed without compromising the research project should be identified, and shutdown processes that minimize the impact on the study should be considered in the event normal operations are halted.
❖ What plans are in place to ensure that the animals housed on campus will continue to receive care?
The UML Animal Care Unit will continue to provide daily care to all animals housed in the animal care facility in the event of a disruption to operations. This includes continued veterinary medical care; assessment of animal health and wellbeing; provision of food, water and clean cages; and maintenance of appropriate environmental conditions. Investigators are responsible to provide the necessary care of animals under their care. OLAW has developed a FAQ regarding how to prepare during a pandemic: https://olaw.nih.gov/guidance/faqs#687
❖ Should I expect delays in Institutional Animal Care & Use Committee review of protocols?
We expect the IACUC to continue to accept and review submissions, even if faculty and Office of Research Integrity staff are working remotely. All faculty and ORI staff are able to work remotely, and should if necessary, IACUC meetings will be held remotely. For additional guidance, please email IACUC@uml.edu.