UWCCC Flow Cytometry Laboratory COVID-19 Operations Plan
Goal: To provide the services expected from our shared resource lab/core so that essential research can continue in a manner that is as safe as possible, and mitigates risk for all involved.
COVID-19 is spread from person to person before symptoms are present therefore, we MUST:
- Limit Number of Physical Interactions
WITHOUT PHYSICAL DISTANCING
WITH PHYSICAL DISTANCING
- Wear Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)
- Wearing a mask alone can reduce the amount of airborne particulate.
- Minimize Time
- Even with PPE, the more time individuals spend in a shared space, the greater the chance of transmission.
- Lab side air is exhausted, office side is recirculated.
- Face to Face Meetings
- Limited to less than one hour.
- Face Masks and 6 foot distancing maintained whenever possible.
- Every effort to minimize the necessity of these meetings will be attempted.
- Flow Lab Staff may request that customers contact other staff working at home via email, phone, or Microsoft Teams (or other web meeting platform).
- Disinfect common areas often
We will follow these considerations to mitigate the risk of exposure to COVID-19 for our staff and our customers as follows:
- The Flow Lab at WIMR has been reorganized to maximize physical distance between customers.
- Thunder has been moved from 7018D to 7018E.
- Lightning has been moved from 7018D to 7018C.
- Instruments will operate on staggered schedules.
- No more than one person in in each “area” at a time.
- Example: If LSR is booked, Fortessa must be blocked.
- Keep doors closed at all times.
- One customer per instrument during an appointment. NO EXCEPTIONS.
- Physical distancing cannot be maintained unless this is followed.
- The UW Genetics and Biotechnology Building remains closed to customers.
- The Attune NxT V6 “River” is not available for customer use.
- Staff will operate in pairs of two, on staggered schedules, on 2-week rotations.
- AH and DS, AB and KF (see UWFlow WIMR COVID-19 SOP)
- LN and ZS will be at Biotech Facility (see UWFlow Biotech COVID-19 SOP)
- This allows for mitigation of potential transmission and further lab shut-downs.
- PPE will be worn by staff and customers at all times.
- Masks, Gloves, and Lab Coats and while sorting
- N95 Masks, Gloves, Lab Coats, Tyvek Sleeves and Face Shields if a clog occurs while sorting human samples and the operator needs to open the sash on the BSC/BioBubble.
- Masks, Gloves, Lab Coats while prepping/cleaning
- Masks, Gloves and Lab Coats (provided by Flow Lab) donned in the hallway before entering the Flow Lab.
- Surfaces will be disinfected before and after each appointment and routinely throughout the day.
- Blocks will be added to the schedule as needed.
- 62-71% Ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite have been proven to deactivate the virus in under 60 seconds according to the CDC.
- All instruments will remain on a 24hr advanced booking requirement in order to manage the number of customers and staff in the lab at any one time.
- Key card reader will remain active 24hrs a day.
- Customers must be granted access by the Flow Lab.
- The entry log from the card reader will be checked daily.
- Sorting will have additional requirements for the customer.
- There will be minimal, if any, face to face contact between the sort operator and customer.
- Samples will be dropped off on the desk outside 7016.
- Secondary and Tertiary containment must be used.
- Secondary containment must be a plastic bag for tubes or Tupperware for plates.
- Tertiary containment must be a Styrofoam cooler/Igloo cooler or equivalent that can be sprayed with disinfectant.
- Customer will call the flow lab when they have left and the samples are ready for the operator to pick up.
- If this is a new experiment and customer must help set gates, sort operator will wave customer in when they are ready.
- If this is a repeat experiment, customer will inform flow staff in appointment reservation of a previous gating strategy to follow.
- Operator and customer will communicate via text, phone, and images uploaded to the server during the appointment to ensure customer satisfaction.
- When finished, operator will disinfect secondary and tertiary containment, return sorted samples to the desk outside the flow lab, and call the customer to pick up their samples.
- Instrument assistance, training, and troubleshooting will be handled via Microsoft Teams.
- All Intro to Flow classes will continue to be held via WebEx.
- Research Lab approvals should specifically list use of the Flow Lab.
- PIs must acknowledge that using a core facility increases risk to their employees and to the core facility staff.
- PIs must acknowledge that access to core facilities will be severely limited during the COVID-19 Pandemic, and that not all requests can be accommodated.