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COVID-19 Compliance Updates For Research Laboratories

Updated: Tuesday, May 26, 2020

(3 - 5 minute read)

The latest COVID-19 updates for research laboratories to stay compliant with federal health standards.

Legal Disclaimer: 

The information contained in the documents does not constitute legal advice and should not be applied arbitrarily to other businesses or workplaces. Axios HR bears no responsibility with respect to third party reliance on the recommendations set out herein. All employers should consult with local legal counsel, medical as well as health & safety advisors specific to their jurisdiction and industry in developing strategies applicable to their unique workplaces.

COVID-19 Updates For Research Laboratories

Per Executive Order 2020-90 9

  • 1. Workers necessary to conduct research activities in a laboratory setting are considered workers who perform resumed activities within the meaning of section 10 of Executive Order 2020-77.
  • 2. Research laboratories, but not laboratories that perform diagnostic testing, must adhere to the workplace safeguards described in subsection 11(a) through (h) of Executive Order 2020- 77, as well as the following:
    • (a) Assign dedicated entry point(s) and/or times into lab buildings.
    • (b) Conduct a daily entry screening protocol for workers, contractors, suppliers, and any other individuals entering a worksite, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19, together with, if possible, a temperature screening.
    • (c) Create protocols and/or checklists as necessary to conform to the facility’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan under section 11(a) of Executive Order 2020-77.
    • (d) Train workers on adherence to the facility’s preparedness response plan.
    • (e) Suspend all non-essential in-person visitors (including visiting scholars and undergraduate students) until further notice.
    • (f) Train workers on the proper use of lab protection and personal protective equipment.
    • (g) Establish and implement a plan for distributing face coverings.
    • (h) Limit the number of people per square feet of floor space permitted in a particular laboratory at one time.
    • (i) Close open workspaces, cafeterias, and conference rooms.
    • (j) As necessary, use tape on the floor to demarcate socially distanced workspaces and to create one-way traffic flow.
    • (k) Require all office and dry lab work to be conducted remotely.
    • (l) Minimize the use of shared lab equipment and shared lab tools and create protocols for disinfecting lab equipment and lab tools.
    • (m) Provide disinfecting supplies and require workers to wipe down their work stations at least twice daily.
    • (n) Implement an audit and compliance procedure to ensure that cleaning criteria are followed.
    • (o) Establish a clear reporting process for any symptomatic individual or any individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19, including the notification of lab leaders and the maintenance of a central log.
    • (p) Clean and disinfect the work site when a worker is sent home with symptoms or with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
    • (q) Send any potentially exposed co-workers home if there is a positive case in the facility.
    • (r) Restrict all non-essential travel, including conference events.

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