City Tech Reopening Plan

Attachment C. Movement and Social Distancing

Overview of Movement and Social Distancing within the Academic Building

The required signage from CDC “Stop the Spread of Germs” will be posted by the main building entrance, by all elevators and at the entrance to the Vision Care Technology clinical areas.

  1. Entering the Academic building
    1. All people (faculty /staff/students) will be required to have a face covering (mask) the entire time they are in any of the academic building public spaces.
    2. Face mask use within the classroom will be determined by the ability to social distance
    3. All people will enter the building through the designated entrance.
    4. Persons entering will have thermal scan temperature taken.
    5. Persons with Temperature ≥ 100.4 F, not permitted in the building.
  2. Movement within the Building
    1. Floors 1 to 5 will be escalators use only.
    2. Escalator in lobby to be used with social distancing (6 feet) and disinfection of handrails every 2 hours
    3. Main lobby elevators will be controlled to move from lobby to the 6th through 8th floors only.
    4. The elevators will be programmed with automatic stops at each floor 6 to 8.
    5. High touch surface- buttons will be covered and not available for use.
    6. Limited volume of people to promote social distancing and social distance floor markers will be utilized.
    7. Freight elevators- designed to stop at each floor for handicap accessibility.
    8. High touch surface buttons are to be covered and not available for use.
    9. Egress from the building will be the exit which goes directly to Jay Street, next to the first-floor classroom
  3. Arriving on the 8th floor
    1. All Vision Care faculty/staff/students will disinfect hands upon exiting the elevators on the 8th floor.
    2. All Vision Care faculty/staff/students go to their designated classrooms

Chemistry Department

Academic Building 5th floor
Prepared By: Dr. Diana Samaroo

Phase 1 - Pre-entry Procedures


All faculty/student interns will watch the return to campus video plus review safety and infection control procedures and any other guidelines or trainings session (provided by the EHS office)

Utilization of Research Areas/Laboratories:

Each laboratory room/area will have a maximum of 3 personnel (faculty and student) permitted in A507 to A511 (shown below) to assure adequate social distancing. Labs A507, A508, A509 and A510 are all approximately 1,000 sq. ft., which guarantees that safe distancing can be easily maintained with the occupancy of three laboratory personnel. A schedule of laboratory personnel and days/times will be posted within each research area (with specific days). A sign in sheet will also be posted in each lab to keep a record of lab utilization.

Proposed Chemistry Research Area Social Distancing Schedule
(initials represent different PIs)
9:00am - 5:00pm

Lab room Sq. ft. of lab Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday
507 1,054 sq. ft. TN PS* AM PS, IJ TN, AM
508 1,042 sq. ft. DS AM IJ AM, DS
509 1,238 sq. ft. TN PS PS, IJ TN
510 1,206 sq. ft. PS PS
511 825 sq. ft. DS AM IJ AM, DS

*This faculty indicated that they might have 1-2 student researchers

Prior to Coming to the Campus:

Pre-screening at home: each day before a laboratory personnel reports to work, they will use Screening.NY.GOV to determine whether it is safe to report to the workplace.

  • The college will establish a mechanism that employees will answer the COVID daily health-screening question and measure their temperature.

Campus/Building Entry:

Health Screening Guidelines: All laboratory personnel are required to complete the COVID pre-screening prior to coming to campus. If asymptomatic and afebrile, they may come to campus.

  1. Upon entry to the building, the temperature will be taken (most likely by public safety)
  2. COVID-19 monitoring stations (thermal scan temperature check) and entry-control will be at the entrance of 285 Jay Street (Academic Building). This will be the single designated entrance.
  3. Only laboratory personnel with temperature lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and with appropriate face, covering will be permitted to enter the building and designated laboratory areas.
  4. Access to the fifth floor by using the escalator only. Campus personnel will use the escalators with social distancing (6 feet) and disinfection of handrails every two hours.
  5. Freight elevators will be designed to stop at each floor for handicap accessibility.
  6. Upon arriving on the fifth floor, hand hygiene will be performed using the wall mounted Purell hand sanitizing liquid.
  7. Faculty/intern will proceed to their assigned chemistry laboratory space

Chemistry Research Areas

  1. Social Distancing:
    • Social distancing will be maintained according to CDC and CUNY Guidelines.
    • As social distancing is required, there will be a maximum of three chemistry personnel per laboratory room on designated days. If students are interns, there will only be one student allowed per research areas.
    • Each faculty/lab personnel will be assigned a laboratory fume hood and lab bench and will maintain a social distance of 6 feet from any personnel in the laboratory.
    • Lab benches will not be shared to maintain social distancing.
  2. Face Covering:
    • All laboratory personnel must always wear reusable and disposable protective face covering in the lab and safety goggles, which can serve as COVID protection as well
    • The Chemistry laboratory personnel/CLT are well-versed in the usage of different personal protective equipment, and will use those as required by the chemical hygiene plan and experiment being carried out (disposable nitrile gloves, traditional or flame resistant lab coat, safety goggles or face shields; face shields may be used depending on the chemical reaction carried out)
  3. Personal Hygiene and Disinfection Guidelines:
    • Campus will establish cleaning and disinfection policies, which will be handled by Buildings & Grounds.
    • Buildings and Grounds will ensure that bathrooms are clean and operational, soap is available, and signage is posted. They will also provide soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectant in bathrooms.
    • Laboratory personnel will be responsible for soap and disinfectant in their research areas

Laboratory personnel will be reminded of proper hygiene and disinfection techniques. They will review the CDC, CUNY guidelines regarding:

  • required PPE and mask type based upon task and risk of aerosol
  • review of hand hygiene protocols
  • Laboratory personnel will wash their hands for at least 20 seconds before commencing any work. It is common for lab personnel in research labs to wear gloves.
  • At the end of the shift, lab personnel will discard gloves and wash hands for at least 20 seconds.
  • Laboratory personnel must always wear face coverings while working in the lab.
  • After use of any instrument, laboratory personnel will disinfect keyboards and mouse and any part of the instrument that has been touched.

Campus and Laboratory Specific Pre-entry Guidelines

Campus will implement health and safety measures in buildings containing laboratories.

  • Laboratory (hazardous) waste removal will be scheduled with EHSOs. All hazardous laboratory waste containers should be empty before lab resumption. This was the case prior to the shutdown. Regular trash containers will be place outside of laboratory areas for removal by Buildings and Grounds.
  • The EHSO will complete a health and safety inspection for Chemistry research areas and report findings to Chair and Dean prior to resumption of research activities by laboratory personnel.
  • Campus personnel (Buildings and Grounds) will determine the functionality of the infrastructure, elevator, HVAC, gas line, water supply and drainage. Along with EHSO, they will ensure proper ventilation, airflow, air exchanges and air quality in laboratories and shared research spaces.
  • Campus personnel will also check the functionality of safety equipment including fire safety systems, fire extinguishers, sprinkler systems, high-level alarms, safety showers, eyewashes, and spill kits. They will inspect storage tanks, boilers, generators, cooling towers, chemical and waste storage areas, and other potential hazards.

Laboratory-Specific Guidelines

EHSO will set up a meeting with each PI or a group of PIs/laboratory personnel prior to restarting work. Laboratory personnel will review the chemical hygiene plans and other health and safety protocols to address potential lab hazards and specific PPE needs (; and EHSO will place signage based on COVID-19 guidelines in labs before resumption.

Laboratory personnel will perform only essential laboratory work, which cannot be done remotely. These include organic synthesis and preparation; and using equipment for characterization that is only available on campus. Laboratory personnel will only work in the designated areas noted above.

The number of laboratory personnel/students in laboratory spaces will be limited. At most, there will be three laboratory personnel in a shared research room. Each laboratory personnel will have an assigned fume hood and an assigned laboratory bench. A schedule will be posted, listing the days and time laboratory personnel will be in the lab. A sign in sheet will also be posted in each lab to keep a record of lab utilization. Upon entering any research area, laboratory personnel must wash hands immediately and in accordance with CDC guidelines, before touching any surface or equipment.

Any laboratory work by vendors will adhere to current policy in place. No more than two technicians will be in one room at any given time.

EHSO will complete and document that a lab safety inspection of all lab spaces was performed before re-entry. This inspection will follow the CUNY Lab Safety Manual checklist.

PIs will provide to the EHSO a current list of inventories, if needed. EHSO, PIs or college laboratory technicians will complete a lab equipment check, which includes an assessment of the functionality of fume hoods, glove boxes, refrigerators, freezers, gas, vacuum, and all electrical equipment. Compressed gas and chemical storage areas will be checked prior to resumption.

EHSO and college laboratory technicians will also check all safety equipment. They will flush all eyewash stations even if annual checks have been completed.

Phase 2 - Restarting Chemistry Research Laboratories

Establish Safe Research Guidelines

PIs will implement updated lab-specific protocols and training based on COVID-19 lessons learned. PIs hold certificate of Fitness (C14) holder.
Research schedules will be posted within each research areas.

Each PI will be responsible for maintaining a clean and safe working lab space. PPE will not be shared. Any shared equipment will be disinfected after each use.

Each PI will complete the self-audit using CUNY Lab Safety Manual checklists for their research area (

Each PI will complete the Blackboard training course “Welcome to NYS - Covid-19 Response: Return to Work Training”.

Each PI was provided with the following training and resources web links, in preparation on research resumption.

Each PI will check for proper chemical segregation, container conditions, expiration dates, labeling and signage. The list below includes items that will be checked and if there are any issues, consult with EHSO. EHSO will assist PIs with appropriate procedure. The following will be checked:

  • Laboratory and chemical inventories and note discrepancies.
  • Electrical cords (should be in good condition before reconnecting to power)
  • Startup of equipment, one at a time.
  • Turn on water in lab and check for leaks (if there are leaks, water will be shut off immediately and Public Safety notified)
  • Test compressed gas-piping systems for leaks before using.
  • Check freezers and refrigerators in case there was a power outage during the shutdown.

Phase 3 - Continued Research Operations

All guidelines and steps implemented in Phase 1 and 2 will be continued and updated as necessary and maintain compliance with Federal, New York State and New York City public health updates.

  • Review schedules and ensure continued social distancing
  • Make sure that all laboratory personnel continue to wear face coverings/masks
  • Ensure that any laboratory personnel who develop COVID-19 symptoms do not come to campus until cleared by physician