COVID-19 Information and FAQs

Links and resources for the research community at VCH.

A new coronavirus is the cause of an outbreak of respiratory infections, known as COVID-19. The number of cases worldwide is changing quickly. Information on the prevention, transmission, symptoms and treatment of COVID-19 can be found on the Government of Canada website.

In response to the ongoing COVID-19 situation, VCHRI is following the “UBC and Health Authority Resumption Guidelines” for Resumption of Research Stage 1. Resumption of research activities at VCHRI will now proceed to Stage 2, aligning closely with the UBC Faculty of Medicine’s recent Stage 2 recommendations.  

VCHRI’s process is different from that of UBC with changes outlined as follows:

Human Subject Research - In accordance with VCHRI’s communication dated June 2, a phased-in approach to resumption of on-site human subject research activity is being planned at VCH. This is needed to slowly and responsibly restore clinical services and other patient and public spaces across VCH’s facilities and communities and is aligned with the VCH/PHC COVID-19 Recovery Planning Framework. This will enable VCH/PHC’s ability to maintain acute care capacity for COVID-19 cases, while simultaneously preventing undue harm to non-COVID cases. Prioritization and restoration of healthcare services are being determined by VCH/PHC and VCHRI’s phased-in resumption plan.

During Stage 1, the following human subject research will be prioritized:

  1. COVID-19 research
  2. Current research activity exemptions, as previously approved by VCHRI
  3. Ongoing clinical trials concurrent with clinical care

For Stage 2, all categories of research may now be included.

The resumption of human subject research activities at VCH is dependent on: 

  • alignment of research study requirements with VCH/PHC’s COVID-19 recovery plan; 
  • the type and extent of clinical or diagnostic services required; 
  • the ability of a clinical department/area to support a research study; and 
  • an approved safety plan.

Re-occupancy for clinical research must follow the process outlined in the VCHRI's Memo dated June 11 with additional guidance from VCHRI’s Stage 2 Memo dated August 12. The VCHRI Unit Level Research Access Summary for Human Subject Research must be included for new resumption requests or updated for approved Stage 1 requests (see sample to make updates). Adjudication will follow the process as indicated above. Note requests for access to the Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre (DHCC) require additional information/coordination with VCH - if you need access to DHCC please use the VCHRI DHCC Unit Level Research Access Summary for Human Subject Research spreadsheet. For those who require access to multiple buildings, you can include all buildings on the DHCC spreadsheet only but exclude the DHCC tab for non-DHCC buildings.

Ethical requirements for clinical research resumption

  • Ethics approval - Please note that for UBC CREB and PHC REB, a Post approval activity (PAA) to notify the REB of the resumption is not required.  VCHRI will indicate in RISe when the study has approval for resumption.
  • For industry sponsored studies, please verify if sponsor requires a PAA Request for acknowledgment to be submitted. Please contact your REB if you have questions.

Animal Research - We have adapted from a UBC form; the VCHRI version includes additional information which will help us determine priorities, manage scheduling, services and meet occupancy and safety measures.

Excel Templates - We have adapted the two UBC forms; both VCHRI versions have one additional green tab titled "Project Information" to facilitate researchers to fill out the Access Priority Template, thereby, providing the information needed by Centre Directors to include on the Unit Level Research Access Summary Template.  Note only the completed Unit Level Research Access Summary Template needs to be submitted to VCHRI.

Medicine - Faculty/PI Re-entry Request Forms - VCHRI does not require this form; however, Centres (or Departments where no Centre exists) may require this to be used for their process. This may change for the clinical research implementation – we will communicate that process to you in the coming week.

Read more on Research Resumption - Stage 1.

Conducting research during COVID-19

More information on conducting research activities during this time can be found below:

The Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund - The federal Canada Research Continuity Emergency Fund (CRCEF) is open for applications for Stage 3 funding to support research maintenance and ramp-up costs incurred due to COVID-19. The internal submission deadline has now passed. Visit for more information. For urgent enquiries, email

Research on COVID-19

Reseachers at VCH are conducting research to help identify treatments and improve care for COVID-19 patients, health care providers and communities. Learn more and get involved at

Sign up at REACH BC to be matched with research study opportunities based on your interests and health conditions.

Situation updates and other information

Provincial Medical Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, the BC Centre for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Vancouver Coastal Health are leading the coordinated response to COVID-19.  See the following sites for situation updates, FAQs and additional information:

COVID-19 Response Support

VCH is accepting donations to bolster medical supplies during the COVID-19 pandemic. Learn more and show your support.

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