Covid-19 policies

Covid-19 policies for JHU Research Re-opening phase 1 (updated 20200930W) - this page is our official policies, some items may be newer than iLab pages. 

Coronavirus news: Monday September 30, 2020: we are now willign to train new users. One user & Dr. McNamara, face masks AND face shields required, gloves required for microscope, keyboard, mouse (users hould provide their own; if needed for biosafety handling, need to discard and put on new gloves for keyboard and mouse), observe 'social distancing' witin practical limits of the microscope being used (i.e. we both need to see the computer monitor). Each station has 'saran wrap' available to cover keyboard, optionally mouse, eyepieces.

Coronavirus news: Monday June 15, 2020 we re-opened as part of JHU-Research's covid-19 phase 1 re-opening. 

==> Please read this entire box and current JHU-Research re-opening emails/documents.

==> help and consults will preferentially be conducted via Zoom. George has a personal zoom, normally on (unless in another zoom meeting)

Zoom meeting ID   728 381 7167

           password     4dEWPd

          numeric password 872431 (devices without alpha keys).

      George's office is currently (covid-19 phase 1) Ross 903 (conference room). 

* Policies subject to changes to optimize use of the image core for all fully trained users.

* Initial goal is to enable active users to catch up on each of your research projects from March.

1: Reservation

To satisfy the social distancing mandate from SOM, we have set the following occupancy limit for the Core facility.

Ross 913 …                   Olympus FV3000RS confocal microscope ... one. ... Please enter through Ross 913 door (hallway, scan card).

Ross S913 …                 PTI fluorimeter #1 … one.

Ross S910A back …      Leica SP8 confocal microscope … one.

Ross S910A front  …     Keyence … one (in future: Keyence OR FISHscope, for now Keyence only).

Ross S972 …               Zeiss inverted microscope … one, will be shared with absorbance plate reader, PTI fluorimeter #2).

Ross S972 “MP” …       Multiphoton microrscope due to 400 sq ft space limitation, the Olympus FV1000MP multiphoton microscope cannot be used if the Zeiss inverted microscope has reservation(s).

During phase I, only fully trained users can reserve the instrument. We will resume new user training at phase 2.
We require one hour gap between reservation and use on the same instrument/space. Start and end your session on schedule if there is a reservation before and/or after you – that is, respect the one hour gap.
Planning ahead: Please do not make reservations more than 16 days ahead of your session.

Business hours and shifts (this section updated 20200930W):

FV3000RS confocal microscope use during JHU business hours (9am-6pm Mon-Fri); this policy ue to the FV3000RS being often heavily in demand by many users):

* FV3000RS has AM and PM "windows": AM is 9am-1pm, 1 hour gap for room air clearing safety, PM 2pm-6pm. Full day reservations, 9am-6pm coiunts as two half day windows. Spanning the windows, ex. 12noon-2pm, is strongly discouraged, counts as two half day shifts (if allowed), and may be deleted (preceding Friday 1pm) by core staff to enable more efficient use of the FV3000RS. We also note the one hour gap is useful with respect to warm-up aand cool-down time for the incubator (which requires ~1 hour to equilibrate temperature). Please align your sessions to the windows. As of 1pm the preceding Friday, reservations are "first come first served" - please do your best to continue aligning sessions to our windows, with 1 hour (better) or 30 minutes 9not as good) gaps between different labs (users who share the same lab space can reserve back to back without gap, though gap is safer so better). 

* Advance FV3000RS reservation: Each Lab group (which can be one, ore more than one PI who work together closely, ex: Donowitz&Singh, Pascricha&Kulkarni) are limited for workday reservations of either three 4 hour windows (AM and/or PM), or one full day and one half day. Reservations less thn a window cound as a full window. 

* Failure to follow above and/or "Gaming the system": will result in deletion of all advance reservations for that lab group (decision made by George on inspection of schedule just before 'cutoff'). After the preceding Friday 1pm cutoff, users can reserve open slots, first come first served.

==> We do note one lab historically has worked "late morning to late night" (ex. 10am-10pm, with 10-11am being incubator warm-up in mostly empty room) and currently make an exception for them, specifically since they have been doing so since FV3000RS arrival August 2018, and their staff would be at even higher risk with respect to travel in Baltimore if they had to end even later. If the FV3000RS becomes  "super busy" during the work week, we will ask them to limit advance reservations to the "one full day or two half days" (we also note that a different user could work say 6am-10am, leave one hour gap while the incubator is warmed to 37C, and then that project image from 11am-10pm). 

==> Multi-day reservations: ideally do as much of these over weekends as possible, ex. Friday 2pm - Monday 1pm (counts as one half day window one week, one half day window the following week).  

* FV3000RS is available 24/7. to fully trained users. 

each lab is now limited to 16 hours work week (equivalent two workdays), subject to change if need to accommodate more users. If your experiment requires more than 8 hours (including 1 hour haps before and after) please contact George in advance to discuss plans – expect that you will only get maximum 4 hours during JHU business hours (including gaps).

Non-FV3000RS instruments Business hours and JHU work shifts (this section updated 20200930W):

Most instruments are not heavily used, so currently we do not restrict reservations.

Outside business hours: JHU Research has workers on ~8 hour shifts, including weekends. Please limit your reservations to your shift.

Some instruments are in the same room and have liited occupancy (N=1) - so please check all instruments in a room, ex. Ross S972, see:


All instruments Cancellations: (i) be sure to cancel any session you cannot use; (ii) currently sessions can be cancelled by a user up to 24 hours in advance of the start of the session; (iii) if you need to cancel at under 24 hours, contact George to do so; (iv) failure to cancel may result in billing at full rate ($27/hr for the confocal microscope).


2: Cleaning and PPE

Cleaning: 70% Ethanol wipe-down: All work surfaces must be wiped down at start and after each use. 70% ethanol, use paper towel(s). Keyboard/mouse … we will cover with ‘saran wrap’ (not clear if should change for every user).
PPE: you should plan to bring your own PPE (mask, gloves, lab coat – please label your box of gloves to identify it). Per JHU-Research policy:

           Face mask: required. ... if you have a face shield, please use mask AND shield (not just shield).  Both required of boththe trainer (george) and trainee (user) if new user training, or extensive interaction.

           Gloves:       now required in labs and cores - bring your own  supply - (and JHU policy: hallways and stairs and elevators) … use different gloves for biosafety and for ‘desk’ … discard in biosafety trash.

           Lab coat:    encouraged (if clean) ... research restart phase 1 mentions lab coats in the context of cleaning with disinfectants. Our imaging equipment should only be cleaned ('decrease risk of covid-19 contamination') with 70% EtOH that we supply, so we do not think lab coats critical. 

          Transparent wrap over eyepiece: encouraged ... we suggest you apply new 'wrap' at start of your session, discard in biosafety trash at end. Reminder: one user.

3. If you see someone not following PPE rules in the core, please inform us promptly.

3: Contact George for help and consultation

George’s primary office is currently Ross 903 (conference room near front of Ross). May be other rooms occasionally, 913, S913, S910A, S972.
George’s cell phone 305-764-2081.
In person trouble shooting will onlybe be done if George is unable to solve the problem using Zoom.
Video help will be conducted via Zoom 728 381 7167 … password 4dEWPd ... numeric password 872431 (devices without alpha keys) (same info as top of page).

If George is unavailable by phone, Email is and – include the name of your lab PI, department/division, and what instrument.


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