University of Hawai‘i
Research Compliance

Biological Safety COVID-19 Guidelines

The University of Hawaii (UH) is seriously concerned for any researcher, staff member, and support personnel working on material with SARS-COV2.  As guidance for working with COVID-19 material, please direct your attention to and practice these safety guidelines from the CDC, NIH, and ABSA references below:

CDC
https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/lab/lab-biosafety-guidelines.html

NIH
https://www.nih.gov/health-information/coronavirus

ABSA Summary
https://absa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/ABSA2020_Covid-19-dr3.pdf

The CDC guidance on the handling of SARS-CoV2 indicates heightened BSL-2 standards with BSL-3 practices which include the use of an N95 respirator along with other PPE.  The use of such respiratory protection for activities whereby aerosols may be produced is recommended.  Also, the extraction of SARS-CoV2 results in positive sense RNA; therefore, extra precautions should be taken to prevent any possible entry of this product into working cell cultures.

At this time, the CDC Select Agent program has indicated that this strain of coronavirus does not fall under their current regulations.  However, once contained or eliminated from the population, SARS-CoV2 may be regulated as a select agent.  Therefore, care should be taken to well document locations and quantities of viral product and derivatives.