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For more information on BU’s plans to reopen, please visit our Back2BU website.

As lab groups receive approval to resume on-campus research, researchers are required to take steps to minimize infection risk, including daily health screenings, physical distancing, use of face masks, frequent disinfection of lab space, and working with assigned building coordinators for the management of shared spaces. Learn more below.

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For Principal Investigators

Checklist to Complete Before Resuming On-campus Research

  • Coordinate with key offices and facility managers:
    • You must receive written approval from the Office of Research to resume research before returning to campus. If you have not received an email from the Office of Research with this approval you are not permitted to return to your lab.
    • Share your planned date of return with your building coordinator and EHS Safety Specialist (listed in BioRAFT), as well as the Animal Science Center if your work involves animals.
    • Check in with core facility directors for any other facilities you may require, if you haven’t already. Not all core facilities will be open and available, at least initially.
  • Review the following information, and ensure EVERY member of your research group does the same before you approve their re-entry:
  • Schedule a date/time to pick up your PPE and cleaning supplies.
    • Charles River Campus PIs who participated in Sourcing & Procurement’s bulk order in May will need to fill out this web form to make an appointment to pick up your supplies. You must present a copy of your approval letter from the Office of Research when you pick up your supplies. 
    • If you have yet to resupply, you will need to ensure you have PPE and cleaning supplies for 2-3 months. Sourcing & Procurement encourages you to leverage BU’s preferred supplier channels or email for assistance.
    • For Medical Campus pick-ups, please contact Fredric Majnoun.
  • Prepare your lab space according to your recovery plan and the guidance above.
    • Ensure all necessary equipment is available and ready to operate (e.g., all eyewashes are working, spill kits available).
    • Consider equipment startup hazards for any equipment that has been powered down, and review operating manuals and SOPs for safe startup procedures.
    • Take steps to ensure six feet of distance between personnel at all times by removing chairs, using tape to designate work areas and direction of flow, etc.
    • Make sure contact information is available for PIs, facility managers, and other key contacts who may not be onsite during all shifts.
    • Set up a log to allow lab members to track and coordinate disinfection of shared surfaces.
    • Establish safe eating space away from lab where social distancing is possible.

Revising Your Plan and Personnel List Moving Forward

All plan revisions and changes to a lab’s roster of on-campus personnel require approval from the Office of Research. Approvals will be processed and communicated weekly. 

Update Plan

For Lab Members

Required Reading Before Returning to Campus

Daily Checklist for Returning Researchers

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  • Daily Health Screening: Early detection can prevent the spread of COVID-19. Please review this symptom list before arriving on campus each day. All researchers reporting for on-campus work are required to complete this symptom survey each morning, which they will receive by email daily. Any individual who has symptoms that require further review will be contacted by Occupational Health, Research Occupational Health or Student Health Services (depending upon your affiliation).
  • Required Attire: Masks are mandatory inside all BU buildings at all times except when eating, and outdoors when physical distancing of at least six feet isn't possible.* Lab personnel should remove their cloth face covering before entering the lab and wear a surgical/medical mask along with the other required PPE for lab work.
  • Cleaning and Disinfection: Use good hand hygiene and routinely disinfect high-touch surfaces in the lab according to the schedule put in place by your lab’s recovery plan. Use a daily log to track and coordinate with other lab members.
  • Physical Distancing: Continue to conduct meetings virtually and perform non-lab work remotely. Maintain six feet distance from colleagues at all times. Remain in assigned areas when working in the lab, and follow guidance and signs implemented by building coordinators when using elevators, restrooms, other areas.

* If you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask you must obtain a note from your primary care physician and contact ROHP or the BU Occupational Health Center via COVID-19 Employee Support at 617-358-4990 prior to being cleared to enter a BU lab or facility. 

Resources for Returning Researchers

Boston University Guidance

State of Massachusetts Guidance

Other Resources