Date:        May 18, 2020
Subject:    State Reopening Plan and Laboratories
To:           UMass Amherst Faculty, Postdocs and Graduate Students,
               Deans, Directors and Department Chairs, Business Managers
Cc:           Chancellor K. R. Subbaswamy, Provost John J. McCarthy,
               Campus Leadership Council, Faculty Senate Rules Committee,
               Research Council, Chairs of IRB, IACUC, Chemical, Biosafety, and
               Radiation Safety Committees, Research & Engagement Staff

As you are probably aware, Governor Baker announced the Reopening Massachusetts plan and requirements today. The plan includes a provision and requirements for the reopening of research laboratories after May 25, 2020 as soon thereafter as the Safety Standards for Laboratories are met and the university can certify compliance with the state requirements.
Two actions for the research community are advised and requested now. 
  • All operations under Laboratory Research Continuity Plans must meet these Safety Standards by May 25, 2020. Please take the COVID-19 Training for Labs that provides information on the procedures, requirements, and guiding principles that need to be followed in labs and visit the EH&S COVID-19 Response for more information. Contact Environmental Health & Safety for advice or referral if you have additional questions about this.

  • The resumption of additional laboratory activities will require that these Safety Standards be met before the activities begin and that the university certify this. More detailed guidance specific to UMass Amherst will be provided soon, but researchers should now be considering approaches for their programs to comply with some of the standards that require staggered shifts, such as possible “redesigning workstations to ensure physical distancing...,” e.g. equipment relocation, or other aspects particular to individual labs.
More information is being developed and will be shared as soon as it is available. 
Thank you very much for your continued patience and diligence in this emergency.
Hoping that you and yours are doing well and staying safe.

Michael F. Malone                                                 
Vice Chancellor for Research & Engagement
Professor of Chemical Engineering
University of Massachusetts Amherst
(413) 545-5270
Assistant: Christine Burnett,
University of Massachusetts Amherst
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