I am writing to you with guidelines for your laboratory research operations in the face of the coronavirus crisis. I understand that you may have an inclination to forge ahead, but these are not normal times. I am asking you at this time to follow the guidelines below:
- You should begin to ramp down your research operation to a state that requires the absolute minimum number of people to be present in your lab. Ideally, that number should be zero if possible. You should aim to reach this ramped-down state by Friday, March 20th. To efficiently ramp down, you should prioritize those things that are not replaceable or repeatable.
- All non-essential personnel should work remotely. Essential personnel are those who are involved in maintaining long-term experiments, animal care personnel or those involved in performing critical tasks such as filling cryogens in NMR magnets.
- Your essential personnel should not be graduate students unless they are the only ones with the necessary skills. In that case, they must be supervised by a senior person when they are in the lab. Undergraduates may not be designated as essential personnel.
- At this stage, you should not begin any new experiments, and you should not be placing any orders unless they involve supplies needed for critical functions such as animal care or cryogenics.
- Make sure that your laboratory has an emergency contact list with off-campus phone numbers posted on the door. At a minimum, the list should have a primary and a back-up person listed.
I understand the anxiety this crisis is causing everyone. And I understand that you cannot ramp down your operations instantly. That is why it is important to start now and be ready to have your lab in hibernation as soon as you can. The situation is changing hour-to-hour and we need to be ready. At any time these guidelines may be superseded by more stringent guidelines from the University, the City or the State.
Thank you for your help and support in these challenging times.