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UTL COVID Restart Plan

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Uytengsu Teaching Lab (UTL) Restart Plan


UTL maintains two guiding principles upon resumption of research activities

  1. Always ensure the safety, health and wellness of the students working in UTL
  2. Research, teaching and learning that can be done remotely will be performed remotely.

All activities need to be approved by Dr. Jeffrey Tok ( before starting work in UTL. See forms and instructions on website, under ‘reservations’. After approval for work in UTL, students must do the following prior to lab entry:

  1. Get familiar with lab regarding UTL room layout (see UTL website, especially current Teaching Lab Policy)
  2. Complete the UTL safety form, which includes STARS Training for COVID-19 COVID19 Hygiene Best Practices course (EHS-2470-WEB) and Health Check.
  3. Ask your instructor or faculty sponsor to e-mail Ms. Mong Saetern ( for your keycard access to Shriram Bldg and UTL.
  4. All activities in UTL is restricted only from 9am to 8pm.


The UTL restart plan is based on a workspace model, and is optimized according to the following guiding principles: 1) Social Distancing.  Always maintain a safe distancing while working in laboratory. The current maximum density allowed in research lab spaces is 1 person per 250 square feet. Also, 6 feet distance should be observed between all personnel at all times. 2) Shared lab spaces.

  • Follow the instructions on the Green and White Stay Safe signs. 
  •  Walkways and doorways: If two individuals need to cross paths, one person should yield (step off to the side while the other person passes). This applies to walkways and all labs where entrance and exit need to be at the same door. Commonly used equipment will be moved to clear aisles and walkways.
  • Computer work (e.g. data analysis, data recording) that must occur concurrently with wet lab work should primarily be done at the lab workstations.
  •  Brainstorming and all prep work needs to be done remotely. There is absolutely NO LOITERING in Rm 112A. Please note Rm 112A has reduced air handling relative to the wet lab space and will also require disinfection before and after use. Spray tables, chairs, and anything you touch with provided 70% ethanol before and after use.

3) Shared Shriram Building spaces. All other work that can be done offsite should be done offsite. Shriram kitchenettes may be used for food storage and warming while maintaining proper social distancing; however, food should be eaten outside. In general, avoid congregating in common areas. If you use a table in a common space, please clean with 70% ethanol or wipes before and after use. Please take precautions when using the restroom to avoid direct hand contact with sinks, door handles etc.

4) Personal Protective Equipment. All personnel are required to wear face coverings while in Shriram at all times. Fresh or freshly sterilized gloves (sprayed with 70% ethanol) are required for all activities in the lab, including working at the bench, handling all laboratory equipment, and working on lab computers. Please make sure gloves are changed as necessary after handling hazardous reagents or chemicals, and gloves used in the lab for any purpose are changed before exiting the lab. UTL will provide PPE and reagents for sterilization and disinfection. Please note all PPE, including lab coats, safety glasses, face shields are not to be shared. Face masks will be provided by request, but you are encouraged and welcome to use your own.

5) Experiments/activities requiring >1 individual. Certain lab activities require involvement of >1 individual, e.g. training of other students, demonstration of an experimental technique, or troubleshooting an issue with equipment. In these instances, personnel should take special care to remain at a distance of 6 ft. For training – please be creative in use of videos/photos/zoom to demonstrate procedures or to discuss data at a distance even when individuals are present in the lab together. If individuals cannot avoid being in closer proximity for short periods (e.g. to lift a piece of heavy equipment), full PPE (including face masks, gloves, lab coats should be used without exception).

6) Disinfection.

  • Shared equipment and workstation should be disinfected at the start and end of each lab shift, as well as after each period of use.
  • Common supplies: there will be no shared supply on benchtop. Student(s) can keep their own personal supplies (e.g. pipette boxes, tubes, racks) in personal bins for duration of their experiments. There will be signage to remind students to disinfect supplies before using.
  • Contact points with all equipment and handles (including freezer door handles, lab entrance and office doorknobs, incubator handles) should be sterilized with provided 70% ethanol. Bench surfaces and desks must be disinfected with 70% ethanol and wiped with bleach wipes.

7) Personal Monitoring. Prior to entering Shriram, each person must self-monitor and submit a self-report. If symptomatic, report immediately per university guidance. If you are experiencing symptoms of illness of any kind, do NOT come back to school and follow this guideline. Please note these guidelines specify that all personnel who are experiencing symptoms or are ill must stay home and report symptoms.
NOTE: People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms reported – ranging from mild symptoms to severe illness. Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the virus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19  (see CDC guideline for latest updates): Fever or chills, Cough, Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, Fatigue, Muscle or body aches, Headache, New loss of taste or smell, Sore throat, Congestion or runny nose, Nausea or vomiting & Diarrhea.