What guidelines are to be followed for remaining essential activities in labs?

First, practice social distancing, including laboratory-specific guidance

  • Keep at least 6 feet between people when together for prolonged periods.
  • Shift work spaces to maintain distance.
  • Stagger shifts to maintain no more than two people in the lab at any given time.
  • Work elsewhere for non-laboratory work, such as writing, planning, or data analysis.
  • Establish access connections and communication tools to ensure effective remote work.

Second, plan for contingencies:

  • Plan research activities such that essential functions can be carried out by designated lab members, who could serve as essential personnel if needed.
  • Coordinate with colleagues and consider if cross training of personnel is feasible for managing critical activities.
  • Order crucial research supplies and materials now to ensure availability if there is a disruption in supply chains.
  • Connect with your departmental leadership to learn about their plans for operations on which you depend, such as facility needs like loading docks or IT support.
  • Even in the case of essential activities, plan procedures to idle or shut down experiments and equipment, should it become necessary.
  • Document contingency plans and share the plan with lab members.

Note, per Syracuse University guidance, anyone who has traveled outside the Central New York region (defined as the counties of Cayuga, Cortland, Madison, Onondaga, and Oswego) should remain away from campus for 14 days, following their return to Central New York.