Return to Research FAQs

Approval Process, Training

Cleaning, PPE, Face Coverings

Other Research Questions

  • Are there any changes in my normal biosafety and chemical safety procedures/protocols?

    No. The same biosafety and chemical safety protocols you used before in your laboratory to conduct experiments are still in place and should be strictly followed. However, with the pandemic, there are additional safety measures, specific to COVID-19, that need to be implemented. These additional measures are outlined in your laboratory’s Plan for Safe Return and include:

    • Social distancing
    • Use of face coverings
    • Daily completion of a health screening prior to reporting to work
    • Frequent disinfection of high-touched surfaces with products found in the List N of EPA disinfectants for SARS-CoV-2
  • Are there any changes in my normal hazardous waste procedures/service?

    No. Note that the 90-day accumulation limit for chemical waste and sharps containers is still in effect. Please plan ahead in order to adhere to this requirement. Submit a pickup request on the EHS Safety Portal as promptly as possible.

    When submitting your pickup request, include in the comments field any extenuating circumstances to accessing your location. If applicable, note the best days of the week, time of day, or site contact cell phone to arrange to gain access. EHS will contact you if unable to gain access to pick up your waste within 10 business days.

  • Are undergraduate students allowed to return to laboratory research?
    If an undergraduate student is employed, he/she is allowed access to the laboratory to work. If the student would be in the laboratory solely for educational purposes, he/she is not allowed laboratory access at this time.
  • Can I work alone in a laboratory?
    Due to the coronavirus pandemic, it is mandatory that personnel practice social distancing in all areas of the University, including laboratories. However, safety guidelines should be followed at all times. Working alone when conducting high hazard experiments or procedures is prohibited. Researchers should not work alone if required faculty or staff expertise is not available. If someone is working alone, someone else should always be aware of their location in case of an emergency.
  • How can I practice social distancing while still being safe in the laboratory?

    Establishing a plan for the laboratory will ensure that work is conducted with minimal disruption while maintaining a 6-foot physical distance and keeping the safety of lab personnel a priority:

    1. Minimize the number of research team members (faculty, staff, students, etc.) who access the laboratory at any time to ensure all individuals can continue to practice physical distancing, but keeping at least 2 people in ear shot of each other, so help can be provided in the event of an emergency.
    2. Stagger schedules of lab personnel, noting that working at extreme off-work hours is highly discouraged. Working too late or too early may put researchers at a higher risk of an accident due to diminished alertness.
    3. Create "teams" or a "buddy system" of lab personnel that will work at the same time daily.  This allows researchers to check on each other throughout the work shift and helps minimize the number of different contacts an individual may have. This is meant to reduce the number of people who would be impacted in the event of a positive case of COVID-19 within the research group.
  • Will I have to fill out the campus wide health screening form every time I enter my building?

    Yes, all employees must fill out a health screening form each day they come to campus to work. MSU IT and the University Physician’s office have created an online campuswide health-screening form that units can use. The submitted information automatically will be sent to an employee’s supervisor.

    guide has been created for supervisors and administrators (PDF) so they can access screening reports for employees in their units.

Additional Contacts, Resources