Considerations for Lab Sunrise Plans

This document contains infection control and safety considerations specific to research environments that should be considered when developing Sunrise Plans for research restart. In general, all areas are required to follow Center for Disease Control (CDC) and Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) guidance along with UMN and College-specific requirements. Contact your Research Safety Partner with specific questions or concerns.

General Considerations

  • Stagger shifts and equipment schedules to maintain proper social distancing. Determine how you will manage employee shifts.
  • In shared research spaces (e.g. open labs), coordinate with neighboring labs to ensure that staggered work shifts are adequate.
  • Food and beverage container storage is prohibited in labs. Open food/drink container storage outside lab doors (e.g. on communal tables) is also discouraged.
  • Different buildings, Core Facilities, and different Colleges may have different restrictions. Be aware of signage and observe any restrictions while entering new spaces.

Working Alone

  • Working alone is strongly discouraged. Determine protocol for checking in with other personnel to ensure safety.
  • Determine when work requires a “buddy” to be within earshot, or within the building, or a phone call away.

Shared Equipment

Consider what restrictions are required for the use of shared equipment. For example:

  • Determine equipment disinfection protocols. Verify compatibility of an EPA approved disinfectant with the manufacturer of the equipment. Always follow required disinfection times listed on the product.
  • Determine whether users will be required to wear gloves while using shared equipment or if it will be disinfected between uses.
  • Determine who will manage equipment schedules. Consider using tools like Google Calendar to schedule time on shared equipment.

Face Coverings

All employees will wear face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain. Consider the following if face coverings are needed in your research area:

  • Follow CDC guidelines regarding proper use of face coverings and how to make one.
  • The face covering must be easy to remove in the event of an accidental exposure.
  • The face covering must not have loose ties that could get caught in moving equipment or interfere with lab work.

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

  • Determine PPE required for your research. If your lab is experiencing a shortage of PPE, reach out to UMarket and College leadership.
  • Determine what PPE will be shared and routinely disinfect shared PPE.
  • Make sure that PPE is appropriately stored to avoid cross-contamination with other users.
  • Consider increasing frequency of disinfection/laundering of PPE.

Prepare for Future Hibernations

  • Make sure you are prepared for shutdown procedures in the event of another pandemic-related closure.
  • Make sure all signage is updated with proper lab contacts and posted when required.