Guidelines for COVID-19 Research & Teaching

Rules for use of Chemistry Facilities

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  • All work that can be done remotely must be done remotely.
  • No person in any position (faculty, staff, postdoc, student, etc.) is required to return to research or to the facility during Stage 2. There are no financial or healthcare penalties for preferring to wait for a later return. Researchers who do not return in Stage 2 will have opportunities to return in future stages. Please confer as you choose about your comfort level and concerns. You may speak with your research advisor, members of your mentoring committee, or with Char Horsfall, the department HR specialist. You are not obligated to share health concerns if you are uncomfortable doing so, and any discussions are confidential.
  • You must self-check daily for symptoms. If you are unwell, do not come to the Chemistry building.

Facility Details

  • The building is open to researchers approved by the Chair, L&S Dean and VCRGE only. No unauthorized visitors may enter.
  • Building hours are from 6 a.m. until 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. All researchers must be outside before 5 p.m. so that they do not cross paths with custodial staff. Building access is not permitted on weekends and evenings in early Stage 2.
  • Enter and exit the building through the Shain Tower on Charter Street or Daniels building on Johnson Street.
  • ‘Racetrack’ corridors in Mathews and Daniels will be designated with a preferred direction of travel (counterclockwise). In case of emergency, move to the nearest exit immediately regardless of direction.
  • Stairwells in all buildings will be designated with a preferred direction of travel (up/down). In case of emergency, use any stairwell regardless of direction.
  • Restrict your movement to the area immediately adjacent to your laboratory as much as possible.
  • Elevator use is acceptable. No more than one occupant may ride in an elevator cab. In case of emergency, do NOT use the elevators and exit via the stairs.
  • Use the elevator in your building. Shain elevators are primarily for use of Shain building occupants (and construction crews, as needed). Mathews elevator and Daniels passenger elevators are for the exclusive use of Mathews/Daniels building occupants. The Daniels freight elevator is primarily for use of construction crews.
  • Access to the Daniels sub-basement is via stairs or Mathews elevator except when transporting materials that cannot be carried down the half flight of stairs from Mathews elevator to Daniels sub-basement.
  • Use of the Daniels freight elevator is limited to situations requiring movement of unusually large objects or movement into the sub-basement where stairs are not an option. Such use must be coordinated with Jeff Nielsen to ensure that there is no overlap with construction crews.


  • Each research floor in each building is limited. The total number varied by local lab capacity, and is 11-15 occupants in Stage 2. Each research group has a set limit of lab members who can occupy their space at any given time; you must adhere to this number.
  • Remain at least 6 feet away from each other at all times in the building. No one may work within 6 feet of another person unless authorized by the department chair and face shields are worn.
  • Occupancy in most experimental labs should be maintained at a maximum of two or three (with physical distancing) to ensure chemical safety.
  • Occupancy in smaller labs with shared-use, low-chemical-safety-risk equipment is limited to one researcher.
  • Please identify a safety buddy in an adjacent lab at all times if you singly occupy a lab.
  • Use of labs with shared-use, low-chemical-safety-risk equipment must be sanitized before exit and remain vacant for at least 15 minutes to permit air exchange.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • All persons must wear a cloth mask on entering the Chemistry Building Complex and must wear that mask at all times while in the building. Cloth masks should be washed/changed daily.
  • All researchers will wear a mask while working in the building at all times and strictly adhere to existing chemical safety protocols regarding PPE.

Laboratory Offices

  • Lab-adjacent offices may only be used in support of laboratory work. Researchers should leave the building following successful completion of their experiments.
  • Offices may be used for no more than 30 minutes at a time, for short breaks to input data, eat or drink.
  • Only one worker is permitted in an office at any time. Signage will be provided as a means of designating ‘in use’ and when the facility can be used again.
  • Following completion of office use, common areas must be sanitized before exit.
  • Each office will remain vacant for at least 15 min between uses to permit air exchange.

Custodial Support/Trash

  • Chemistry personnel must avoid contact with custodial staff and construction crews.
  • Custodial staff will only clean common areas and restrooms.
  • Custodial services will only occur on weekday evenings, M-F.
  • There is no custodial service on weekends (S, Su).
  • Researchers must clean their own lab/office spaces and deliver trash to the designated pickup location at least once a week or as often as necessary. Do not allow trash to build up in labs!


  • All restrooms will be considered gender neutral.
  • No more than one occupant may enter any restroom at a time (regardless of size / capacity of restroom).
  • Clocks will be provided as a means of designating ‘in use’ and when the facility can be used again. Please knock and ask if anyone is in the restroom to confirm that it is unoccupied.
    • Determine that the bathroom has been empty for at least 15 minutes
      • Set the clock for 15 minutes AFTER you expect to leave the bathroom
      • Use the bathroom and wash up
      • Sanitize by spraying surfaces you have touched
      • Reset the time on the clock (if necessary) for 15 minutes from the time you leave
  • Use only the restroom on the same floor and in the wing of the building complex where your laboratory is located. (All wings of the building have at least one restroom on each floor. You may not be familiar with it.)
  • If that restroom is not available, you may opt to use restrooms on B, 1, 2, or 9 Daniels or 1 Shain.
  • Facility must be sanitized on exit (surfaces touched, door handle, faucet and toilet handles)
  • Restroom must remain vacant for 15 min after use to allow room air exchange between uses.

Breakrooms, drinking water, etc.

  • Use of break rooms/kitchens is not permitted.
  • Use of shared refrigerators, microwave ovens, and other shared kitchen equipment is not permitted. All food eaten in the building should be packed in and out in a lunchbag/cooler, etc.
  • Water in the building is safe to drink. The water bottle filling stations can be used. For sanitary reasons, use of drinking fountains/bubblers is not permitted.