Research Labs – Safe Continued Operations

Dear Colleagues,

We understand and support encouraging remote work as much as possible. With that in mind, research operations will still continue, balancing the safety of our campus and continuity of research with CDC recommendations and guidance on social distancing.

Some of our research activities require constant monitoring and in-person intervention. Therefore, an important element of our preparation for potential disruptions caused by the COVID-19 virus is the identification of ongoing research activities that would be critically disrupted in the event of key persons being absent due to illness or quarantine.

For example, a laboratory may rely on the continuous operation and monitoring of equipment (e.g. maintenance of a high vacuum or a constant temperature environment) that, if interrupted, could lead to a loss of equipment or samples. Or researchers may need to actively monitor and care for living specimens.

We can divide these activities into three broad classes that may not be mutually exclusive:

  1. Laboratory activities/equipment that may be unsafe if left unmonitored.
  2. Laboratory activities/equipment that may be irreversibly damaged if left unmonitored.
  3. Laboratory activities/equipment that may be detrimentally impacted if left unmonitored. 

If you are managing a research laboratory that could be critically disrupted, please do the following:

Report to CoE if your laboratory activities fall within any of the three classes described above: Please use the following link and fill out the brief form to let us know if your laboratory activities would be unsafe, damaged or detrimentally impacted if there is a sudden disruption to laboratory staffing.

Please complete this brief form before Wednesday, March 18th.

Once we have collected your forms, we will share them with the CoE Safety Committee and work with you to develop any necessary plans for safe reduction in operations or laboratory shutdown. Our goal is to have all these plans in place by March 25th, at the latest.

We are standing by to work with you to identify any potential safety issues and to help you develop an effective plan for reduced or disrupted operations. Again, our primary concern is the health and safety of our students, postdocs, staff and faculty.

Please do not hesitate to reach out with any questions, concerns or feedback during this time. We are here to help. You can submit those via this form.

Steve Ceccio