COVID-19 Social Distancing and Safety Plan for Resuming Lab Operations
Updated:  10/8/2020

The NMR facility is available for use only while strictly observing social distancing using the following procedures and safety protocols. These rules should be observed at all OSU NMR facility sites. This plan may be updated as new guidance emerges from the University, RO, College and CDC.
Attention student researchers: If, due to health and safety concerns, you feel uncomfortable working in the lab, please contact Doug Keszler, COS Associate Dean, Research and Graduate Studies, to opt-out (
NMR Facility staff are available to run samples for researchers who are uncomfortable using the spectrometers themselves.

1. Scheduling:  The minimum time block for scheduling walk up instruments has been increased to 30 minutes to allow for an additional twenty minutes for users to sanitize the systems before and after use, and enter and exit the facility. Please increase your total time reservations by 20 minutes to account for the buffer time. Maximum reservation times for the instruments have been increased to accommodate the buffer time. Do not enter any NMR facility laboratory until you confirm that the prior user for the spectrometer you are scheduled to use has already exited the space.
2. Access:  Only NMR facility users, staff members, or those with an essential need (such as building maintenance) may enter the facility. Only one person may access a given spectrometer at a time. Do not bring trainees, visitors, students who are shadowing, etc. into the facility.
3. Sanitation:  Use hand sanitizer upon entering the lab, a bottle of sanitizer is located at the entrance door. If another user is using the sanitizer at the door, do not enter until they have finished and moved on. At the spectrometer, wipe down all surfaces, keyboard, mouse, spinner, etc with alcohol disinfectant prior to use of the spectrometer. For electronics, like keyboards, spray disinfectant on a towel and wipe down with the towel, do not spray disinfectant directly on the keyboard. When finished with experiments, wipe down the surfaces again with alcohol disinfectant. Wear clean gloves when you come to the laboratory and dispose of the gloves after leaving. Cleaning supplies are available at each NMR workstation.  While NMR facility staff will clean surfaces throughout the day, this is not a substitute for cleaning by the user.
4. Masks:  Masks or face shields are required in the main lab spaces. Cloth masks, as recommended by the CDC, are sufficient to help reduce the risk to the community. We encourage users to bring their own masks. Disposable masks are also available for purchase at Chemstores (Gilbert Hall). The facility will have a limited supply of disposable masks available for users who are arriving from off campus and forget to bring a mask. If you have special needs regarding wearing a cloth mask, please contact Dr. Patrick Reardon or Stephen Huhn prior to scheduling instrument time. Reminder: Cloth masks are primarily meant to protect others from a possibly infectious wearer and are not a substitute for correct social distancing and sanitation practices.
5. Social Distancing in the Lab:  Maintain 6 ft social distancing in the NMR facility at all times. Blue painters tape on the floor indicates the 6 ft separation area around each spectrometer control computer.
6. Travel and Entry:  Researchers will observe social distancing while traveling to and from campus.  Maintain at least 6 ft social distancing at facility entrances. If someone is exiting the facility, wait until they have left before entering. Do not congregate at the facility entrance while waiting to enter the facility.
7. Remote Operation:  Several of our spectrometers can be operated remotely. If you have a longer series of experiments to perform on a single sample, please consider remote operation to reduce the time spent in the NMR facility.  Contact Dr. Patrick Reardon or Stephen Huhn for more information on remote operation.
8. Compliance:  Breaking ANY of these rules will result in immediate suspension of NMR facility access, with reinstatement at the sole discretion of the NMR facility director.

Staffing:  The NMR facility will be staffed on a staggered schedule.  Steve will be at the ATAMI site on Tuesdays, 9 am to 5:30 pm.  Steve will be on the main OSU campus Monday and Wednesday-Friday, 1 pm-6 pm.  Patrick will be on site Monday - Friday 8 am to 2 pm.  Patrick and Steve will be available at other times via email, phone, or zoom.

Communicating with Staff:  Staff are available to assist users as needed. Where appropriate, please communicate electronically (zoom, email, phone, text, etc) with staff. Staff will have office doors closed. If you have a question or need assistance, you may knock on our doors. After knocking, please step away from the door and wait for us to answer.  Please maintain 6 ft distancing during the conversation.

Training (updated 10/8/2020):  New user training will be offered in two parts, a "classroom" part that will be done over zoom and a hands on part that will be done at the spectrometer with an NMR facility staff member.

To help everyone get their work done in this difficult time, please plan your work and be as efficient as possible while in the labs. If you can do it at home, please do it there. Consider processing data, including making hard copy plots, outside of the NMR Facility.  Topspin is available for free to academic users and all data are accessible for download from the NMR facility nmrdata server shortly after it is acquired.
In addition please follow these general guidelines:
• Wash hands with soap and water for 20 seconds; use alcohol-based sanitizer if no water is available
• Avoid touching eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands
• Avoid close contact (within 6 feet)
• Stay home if sick
• Cover a cough or sneeze with a tissue, throw the tissue in the trash, wash hands
• Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces

Strict observations of these procedures will allow us to safely get back to work and make progress towards research goals, sponsor milestones, and advanced degrees.

Remember, if you think you have been exposed to COVID-19 and have symptoms, stay home; avoid close contact with others; and contact your health care provider, Student Health Services, or an emergency medical care provider. For more information about the university’s COVID-19 response and services, please visit this website: