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Using the Facility While Covid, FAQs

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Although you're alone in the microscope room, you must keep your mask on. If you are infected but don't feel symptoms, you are still shedding virus in your breath. Respiratory droplets can persist in the air to the next user (one of the reasons for a mandatory gap between reservations). Masks reduce the risks of respiratory droplets, thus reducing the risks for subsequent users. Help protect the community. Keep your mask on!

No, if the wrap is intact, there is no need to change the plastic wrap each session. If not intact, discard the old wrap and use fresh wrapping. The wrap is to protect the instrument from the alcohol solution that we use as disinfectant. Your gloves and good hand hygiene (avoid touching your face without disinfecting hands) protects you from those high-contact surfaces.

On the other hand, many people do not have another layer of protection for their eyes. Wearing eyeglasses or safety glasses are excellent protection for your eyes. Otherwise, disinfect the wrap on the eyepieces before you use the microscope.

No! Do NOT change the direction of fans; do NOT blow at your face! If you are infected but don't feel symptoms, you are still shedding virus in your breath. When blowing at your face, the fan would blow any respiratory droplets up into the air, spreading and keeping them aloft longer, increasing ability to infect the people around you. Instead, the fan should be drawing your respiration into its filters (intake towards you), trapping respiratory droplets before they can get suspended.

Short answer: no. Not only are microscope rooms very small (typically <6 ft), microscope control areas are very small. It would be impossible for two people to operate a microscope and still maintain safe social distancing. In this initial phase when social distancing is so critical for everyone's safety, we will allow only a maximum of one person at each microscope.

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