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BRIC SAI Core User Guidelines for COVID-19 Reopening

Date: 7/30/2020

Scope:  This document is to provide guidance for SAI core users to safely conduct their imaging studies at the SAI core facility during the COVID-19 pandemic.  The guideline applies to all individuals that enter the SAI facility in Marsico Hall suite SB210 and Genetic Medicine Building room UB61 for animal imaging studies.  The general guideline set by the UNC SOM will be followed in any public spaces including elevators, bathrooms, and restrooms. This guideline will provide specific instructions for using the SAI core facility.

The guideline shall be followed in order to conduct imaging research at the SAI core.  Failure to comply will result in being asked to leave the facility and potentially suspension of activities.

The guideline is subject to change when additional information from the Institution becomes available. Users will be updated when there are any changes in the guidelines.

  1. Facility Operation Hours

As of August 1, 2020 the SAI facility will be operating with staff support from 8am-6pm. User-operated studies, mainly optical and ultrasound imaging can be scheduled and conducted 24/7 by trained and certified users.

  1. PPE Requirement

The following PPE must be worn in the core facility

  • A medical grade mask (provided by individual labs) – This is consistent with the university guidelines where everyone needs to wear a mask prior to entering any SOM buildings.
  • Lab coat or gown (provided by individual labs) in imaging lab – Users can come to the facility  with lab coats on or bring their lab coats and wear them in the lab.
  • Disposable gloves (provided by the SAI core) when entering imaging lab.
    • To be discarded prior to leaving the imaging labs.
    • Gloves are NOT to be worn between locations.
  1. Facility moving flow
  • Only trained users who have no signs of illness such as fever, cough, chills, sore throat, etc, can enter the facility.
  • Users will follow the one-way route in the facility as shown below. Signs will be placed in the facility.
  • For trained users with animals housed in Marsico vivarium, please take the service elevator (not the public elevator) on the basement to bring animals to the sub-basement imaging facility. For trained users with animals housed in other vivariums outside of Marsico, please enter the Marsico through the loading deck. Your approved card should allow you to enter the card access door on the loading deck, and then take the service elevator in the basement to the sub-basement imaging facility. If you have any problem on this, please call us at 919-966-2855.

  1. Scheduling
  • iLab calendars will be continuously used to schedule all imaging studies.
  • The optical and ultrasound systems are available 24/7 to trained users.
  • There should be at least 15 min time interval between studies to ensure there is absolutely no overlap between two groups, and secure safe entering/exiting the facility. Users should schedule accordingly to leave a 15-min interval between two studies.  SAI staff will adjust the study schedule if the 15-min gap is not included between two studies and notice will be sent to users if such a change is made.   Every user is expected to finish her/his study within the scheduled time slot.  In the case when a user is unable to complete her/his study within the scheduled time, the user should immediately notify the SAI staff (by phone in GMB UB61).  The staff will coordinate with the next user.  If this happens more than 2 times from the same user, the PI will be notified and potential solutions will be suggested, e.g., lengthening scheduled time slots for future studies.
  • Users will be required to adhere to their scheduled time. The scheduled time should always include lab cleaning time as originally stated in the training document.
  • Users who need to have fluorescence filters changed prior to imaging need to request at least 24 hours prior to their appointment to allow staff to arrange while maintaining occupancy guidelines.
  1. Room occupancy
  • The maximum number of people working in the SAI facility is nine. Maximum number of people in the hall way is two with a one way traffic direction. Users in different imaging equipment rooms should minimize interactions.  Keep social distance of at least 6” when talking to facility staff.
  • Occupancy of Marsico Hall optical lab (SB223), ultrasound lab (SB229), CT lab (SB225) shall be limited to one user at any time.
  • Occupancy of the Marsico procedure room, SB230, shall be limited to one person at any time. Any users who need to use room SB230 need to send email to Usage will be coordinated by the SAI core and can be allowed after approval.
  • Occupancy of Marsico Hall Room SB227, SB228, and B217 shall be limited to maximum 2 persons. These labs are larger than 350 sqft, but less than 400 sqft. These rooms are allowed to have two people to accommodate study requirements. In the case that two persons are in the room for needed imaging studies, each must wear a mask and a face shield, keep maximum distance between each other, and keep interactions as short as possible.
  • Occupancy of Genetic Medicine Building room UB61 (more than 400 sqft, housing both IVIS-Lumina and Ultrasound system) will be limited to maximum of two users, with one user on each imaging system. Social distancing of at least six feet should be maintained at all times. The ultrasound imaging system has been rearranged to have more distance from the IVIS-Lumina system. Users can check both IVIS-Lumina and Ultrasound calendars under “Reservations” tab and try to schedule imaging studies when there is only one study in the room.
  • Staff will adhere to occupancy guidelines described above when conducting assisted imaging studies .
  • Doors to all occupied rooms will be closed during use.
  • Doors to the imaging suite SB210 will remain closed to minimize cross contamination.
  1. Cleaning
  • Disposable gloves will be worn during cleaning and hands will be washed immediately after discarding gloves.
  • All equipment surfaces, computer keyboard (wrapped with plastic sheet), and countertop should be cleaned before and after usage.  SAI staff will remove any unnecessary items on the counter top to ease the cleaning procedures.
  • Disinfecting will be done with one of the following items provided by the core.
    • 70% EtOH (spray or wipes)
    • Virkon S (spray)
  • For cleaning, spray the disinfectant solution to the countertop, chairs, keyboard (with plastic wrapper), equipment outside surface that has been contacted (e.g. door buttons), leave for 2 min before wipe.
    • For the imaging chamber of the optical imaging system (including AMI system and IVIS-Lumina system), direct spray is now recommended. First, spray Virkon solution in paper towel, use the paper towel to wipe the imaging chamber surface and imaging sheet if used.  Then spray 70% Ethanol to another new paper towel, and wipe the chamber surface and imaging sheet the second time.
  • Soap, water, and paper towels will be provided in each room by the SAI for hand hygiene. Paper towels will be used to turn off water following hand washing.
  • All waste will be collected in the trash cans in each imaging lab. SAI staff will bring the trash cans to the hall way at the end of the day for housekeeping to remove daily.
  • Individuals who do not follow the above outlined cleaning procedures after usage will receive a warning first, and failure to do so for more than 3 times will be banned from using the imaging lab.
  • SAI staff will conduct additional cleaning, especially on the door knobs, hall way, countertops, etc, to maintain the facility in a good condition.
  1. Training

No training on optical and ultrasound imaging will be offered until further notice.  Any individuals who need to do optical or ultrasound imaging but have not been trained yet, they will need to schedule their studies as staff-supported imaging studies.

  1. Staff-supported imaging studies
  • Staff-supported imaging studies can be requested from iLab platform. Your study time will be confirmed by SAI staff through email.
  • Users will need to discuss all the imaging details through online meetings, including to coordinate the animal transportation, animal identification, imaging protocol, imaging reagent, etc.
  • Animal Transportation:
    1. Coordination between users and staff to deliver animals should be made before the imaging study.
    2. Users need to follow animal transportation rules to bring animals for imaging – The user will call SAI (919-966-2855) before coming to the BRIC to confirm the delivery time and location.
    3. For users who have animals housed outside of Marsico, SAI staff will bring a cart and wear a mask and a face shield to meet the user on the Marsico loading dock (on the basement floor) facing West Drive . For users who have animals housed in the Marsico vivarium, SAI staff will meet the user in the basement by the vivarium door.
    4. Animal cages will be placed on the cart, and the user is asked to leave right after animal delivery. All the information about animal imaging studies will be communicated through email, phone call, or virtual meeting.
    5. SAI staff will use the service elevator to bring the animals from the basement floor to the subbasement space.
  1. Consultations and Technical Support
  • If you need any consultation on imaging, analysis, or imaging related issues, please send email to, or to schedule a virtual meeting or phone call.
  • All meetings will be either through phone calls, or online using Zoom, or Microsoft Teams, or Skype.
  • Staff support for technical problems will be limited. Remote diagnosis will be always conducted before in-person staff assistance. When in-person tech support is necessary, the staff should wear fact shield in addition to mask and lab coat when communicating with users. Social distancing of 6” should be maintained as much as possible.
  1. Good practice
  • Users are encouraged to conduct daily self-checks including temperature and wellness. Only trained users who have no signs of illness such as fever, cough, chills, sore throat, etc, can enter the facility.
  • SAI staff will comply with the UNC SOM guidelines to conduct daily health checks and personnel health monitoring.
  • Each of us should follow Wear Wash and Wait to protect the community as best as possible. Wear a mask.  Wait 6 feet apart.  Wash your hands often.