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FYI:  The following email will be sent to UF animal researchers early this morning.

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Dear Colleagues,

As announced yesterday, the University of Florida is reducing on-campus personnel to those identified as essential, effective March 24.  Animal Care Services has already begun moving to a modality that best ensures maintaining the health and care of our research animals, particularly those animals deemed ESSENTIAL to rebooting our animal research once we emerge from the COVID-19 epidemic.  Please note the following:

*       You have already been asked by ACS to identify those animals within your portfolio that you deem essential for the future date when we resume normal research operations. Please do this immediately per instructions from ACS.

*       With few exceptions, animal experiments within the ACS facility will be suspended effective 12:00 PM on Thursday, March 26.  Most activity should have already ramped down or ceased.   This suspension will remain in effect until we emerge from the COVID-19 crisis.  IF FOR ANY REASON YOU NEED TO ENTER ACS FACILITIES PRIOR TO 12 PM ON THURSDAY, PLEASE NOTE THAT SOCIAL DISTANCING OF AT LEAST 6 FEET IS MANDATORY.

*       If you believe that your animal experiments should be deemed MISSION CRITICAL and exempt from this suspension of animal research, you must secure written approval from your Dean and the UF Vice President for Research.  The most likely justification for this exemption will be research directly addressing COVID-19. While I can confidently state that the research each is doing is important and highly valued by the institution, at this specific time and place, designation as MISSION CRITICAL will very much be the exception. For the health science colleges, Dr. Steve Sugrue is collecting and reviewing all such requests for possible submission to the UF Vice President for Research to consider. Others should submit through your respective Dean.  All requests submitted through the proper channels that pertain to animal studies will be reviewed no later than 5 pm Monday, March 30.

*       In order to manage the needs of our animal population for many weeks ahead,  access to the ACS facilities will be restricted to ACS staff and researchers with studies that have been provided the above- referenced exemption to this suspension.  The rationale for this action is simple:  as COVID-19 moves through our community in the coming weeks, it is imperative that person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 within our ACS staff population and facility be aggressively minimized.  If a significant fraction of ACS staff are simultaneously required to self-quarantine due to illness, the consequences on ACS operations would be remarkably negative.  We are taking multiple steps to keep our ACS workspace and staff as safe and dispersed as possible.  If during this period you require access to ACS facilities, please contact Denisse Cancel ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>; 352-246-9983) or Mike Riley ([log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>; 352-246-5227).

*       Additional ACS-specific guidance and instruction over the coming days and weeks will be provided by the ACS leadership.
I want to thank you for your cooperation as we work together to manage the unprecedented challenges of COVID-19.  The importance of our research and the people that make it happen have never been more evident.

Sincerely,
David


Dr. David P. Norton
Vice President for Research
University of Florida
Office:  223 Grinter Hall
Phone: (352) 392-9271
Fax: (352) 846-0491
e-mail: [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]>
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For mail or delivery:
David Norton
University of Florida
Office of Research
223 Grinter Hall
PO Box 115500
Gainesville, FL 32611-5500