Wake Forest Microscopy Core Covid-19 Operational Guidelines

Adoption of these new practices and guidelines are intended to circumvent physical interactions, provide a safe work environment for limited and selective microscopy users, and minimize risk for all Wake Forest students, faculty and staff that utilize the microscopy core facilities. 

Overall Regulations and Distancing Rules:

  • 24 hour advanced electronic equipment signup/scheduled required (no drop-in usage)
  • Imaging sessions require 30 minute gaps for ample sanitation time and to allow air droplets to clear
  • Strict limit of 1 person per operating zone at all times– these zones encompass separate subrooms within core facilities with doors to remain closed while in occupancy – with no more than 3 total persons in any designated zones for a particular site at any time
    • WD zones (4): main entry, confocal room, V-16 room, and manager office) 
    • Winston 002 zones (5): main entry, SEM room, inverted microscope/histology room, upright microscope room, manager office) 
    • Winston 009 (2): main entry, confocal room
    • Winston 001 (3): front half of teaching lab, rear section of teaching lab, culture room *special rule no more than maximum of 2 total persons at any time

(Phase 2): Physical in-core microscope use strictly limited to established/experienced users that typically require minimal assistance. All real-time assistance and help provided exclusively by video/phone chat to a remote manager. Less experienced users will work exclusively via remote software control/acquisition methods to acquire their own images, with physical sample loading accomplished by core managers (ongoing video chat). New user training and novice usage suspended at this time. Wake Health usage suspended at this time.

(Phase 3): Similar to above guidelines with some exceptions made for allowing less experienced users physical in-core microscope usage on a case-by-case basis. New user training and novice usage strongly discouraged. In person core manager assistance is carefully regulated and limited to verbal directions just outside of designated workzone (entire room), with any physical checks of sample/microscope by core manager performed only after the user exits zone to the designated “holding” area. At no time will the user and manager by closer than 10ft in distance. New electronic training/help videos will be developed and implemented including theoretical background for each microscope and specific video-based practical instruction for use of each device and acquisition software. When possible novice/new users are encouraged to utilize remote acquisition with manager loaded samples (ongoing video chat)

All data analysis will be performed off-site by remote log-in to analysis workstations. 

PPE and Saftey Protocols: Users will be required to BYO mask and wear at all times when working in the core. Nitrile gloves will be provided and required to be worn at all times while in the core. Managers will wear masks and gloves at all times when in or passing through non-office zones. Users will be directed to perform a specific checklist of sanitation steps before and after use of equipment including ETOH wipedown of all main microscope buttons, knobs, and contact sites, door handles, light switches etc. Core managers will perform a more rigorous cleaning checklist once per day when any user has been present in a given zone, including such efforts as switching cling wrap keyboard covers.