On March 13th, Vice Chancellor for Research & Innovation, Terri Fiez, provided the following guidance to the CU Boulder research community:
Our goal is to reduce the risk to faculty, staff and students by minimizing exposure through social distancing and remote work.
With the ongoing concern for the spread of the disease, researchers should anticipate the possibility of interruptions to normal activities and develop plans for the different scenarios to ensure the continuity of research.
Researchers (faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students, post docs and other researchers) can continue to use university research laboratories.
Work that can be completed remotely should be conducted remotely.
MCDB’s highest concern is for the health of our staff, faculty, students, families, and communities. The MCDB faculty understand that the coronavirus situation presents a considerable threat and hardship to those conducting laboratory research. Anyone who feels uncomfortable being at work or cannot be because of school closures or other personal circumstances should express this to their PI. Any disputes should be brought to Associate Department Chair Ken Krauter. The intent of the faculty is to respond on the side of safety.
Public health experts tell us that the next week or two represents the most critical window for the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, during which aggressive social distancing will have the greatest effect on reducing spread of the disease. This is a time for researchers to evaluate their ongoing experiments—to determine which experiments could be postponed for a time, after which we should have more and better data to gauge the status of the pandemic.
This is also a time to pause and evaluate aspects of your research and career that don’t involve bench work:
updating your literature base
planning long-term goals and strategies
identifying and networking with colleagues. We have excellent online tools for this, such as:
When you must be in the lab, maintain a heightened alertness to keeping yourself and your colleagues safe. Wash your hands frequently and thoroughly, maintain distance with others, minimize touching surfaces, and disinfect surfaces (bench tops, door handles, elevator buttons) that you do have to touch, before and after you touch them.
Beginning March 16, most buildings will require students, faculty and staff to swipe their Buff OneCard at entrances equipped with card readers for entry. Presume that Porter and Gold will be secured.
In view of the increasingly rigid governmental guidance, you would be wise to plan how to suspend all lab activity in short order if required.