City Tech Reopening Plan

Biological Sciences Department

Biological Sciences Department

Re-opening Plan for Teaching Labs in Fall 2021 with 3 feet Social Distancing

Biological Sciences teaching labs are located on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floor of the Academic Building.

Rationale: Strategies to minimize exposure to respiratory or airborne droplets or high touch surfaces in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19 virus are necessary to ensure health and safety of all personnel including students, instructor, and laboratory technicians working in the designated lab teaching space.

Phase 1-Pre-entry Procedures

Training: Individuals allowed to work in the designated lab classroom space will be required to watch the return to campus video and review safety and infection control procedures developed by the EHS office.

Utilization of Lab Classroom Areas: Each laboratory room will have a maximum of 24 students (except where noted otherwise), one instructor and one laboratory technician who will not be present in the room at all times at a given time to ensure social distancing of at least 3 feet. Teaching Lab rooms range between 1200-1400 square feet and a maximum occupancy of 24 students (except where noted) plus two more individuals at a time will allow for adequate social distancing. Each room will have the daily schedule of all personnel posted. A sign-in sheet will be available to monitor lab utilization.

Biological Sciences Lab Teaching Schedule Fall 2021
Room Course Enrollment Cap Maximum Students Allowed
(3 feet social distancing)
A201 Biochemistry (BIO 3601) 18 18
A202 Biology I (BIO 1101) 24 24
A203 Biology I (BIO 1101)/Human Biology (BIO 1100) 24 24
A205 Biology I (BIO 1101)/Human Biology (BIO 1100) 24 24
A206 Biology II (BIO 1201) 24 24
A207 Biology I (BIO 1101)/Human Biology (BIO 1100) 24 24
A208 Biology II (BIO 1201) 24 24
A303 Anatomy & Physiology I and II (BIO 2311 & BIO 2312) 24 24
A305 Anatomy & Physiology I and II (BIO 2311 & BIO 2312) 24 24
A403 Molecular & Cell Biology (BIO 3620) 16 16
A405 Genetics (BIO 2450) 16 16
A503 Microbiology (BIO 3302) 22 22

Pre-screening: Employees and students will answer daily the COVID health screening questions Everbridge app to gain access to campus. In addition, the NYS Excelsior pass will be utilized to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test every 7 days.

Building Entry:

  • Personnel with temperature lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and with proper face covering will be allowed to access the building and research areas. –
  • Access to the lab classrooms will be using escalator and elevators. Social distancing (6 feet) will be observed during the use of escalator and elevators, and the handrails of escalator will be disinfected at least once a day by the building staff.
  • All personnel arriving on the designated floor will sanitize their hands using mounted hand sanitizing liquid.
  • All personnel will proceed to the designated laboratory space.

Inside Teaching Lab

  1. Social Distancing:
    • Social distancing of 3 feet between individuals will be maintained at all times according to CUNY guidelines
    • Due to social distancing requirements, there will be no more than 24 students (except where noted) plus two more individuals per lab teaching room at any given time. Students will be allowed only under the supervision of their instructors.
    • Each person working in the lab will be assigned a lab bench and will maintain a distance of 3 feet from any other individual in the laboratory.

Face Covering:

  • All laboratory personnel must wear protective face covering at all times.
  • Biology laboratory personnel including lab technicians and instructors are well trained in the use of personal protective equipment and will use those as required including disposable nitrile gloves, lab coats, safety goggles or face shields.

Personal Hygiene and Disinfection Guidelines:

  • College will establish cleaning and disinfection policies handled by Buildings & Grounds.
  • Buildings and Grounds will ensure cleanliness of bathrooms, availability of soap, and use of appropriate signage. The department will also provide soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectants in the laboratories.
  • Laboratory personnel will be reminded of proper hygiene and disinfection techniques according to CDC and CUNY guidelines. All personnel will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before commencing any work, wear gloves where needed, discard gloves and wash hands for at least 20 seconds at the end of the shift, and to wear face coverings at all times during their stay in the lab and in the building.
    The laboratory personnel must disinfect all computer keyboards, computer mouse, and other equipment after use.

Campus and Laboratory Specific Pre-entry Guidelines:

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

  • Laboratory waste removal will be scheduled with EHSOs. All laboratory waste containers should be empty before lab resumption. This was the case prior to the shutdown.
  • The EHSO will complete a health and safety inspection for the designated lab teaching areas, and report findings to Chair and Dean prior to resumption of teaching 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 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 laboratory personnel including instructors and lab technicians 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 (www.citytech.cuny.edu/health-safety/health-safety.aspx and www.cuny.edu/research/student-resources/laboratory-safety-manual)

EHSO will place signage based on COVID-19 guidelines in labs before resumption.

Students will perform only essential laboratory work, which cannot be done remotely. These include wet lab experiments in biology that requires use of reagents, live biological samples, and specialized equipment to collect data. Students and 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 24 students (except where noted) plus two more individuals in a shared lab teaching room. Each student will have 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 lab area, all 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 one lab technician 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.

Chief CLT and Chair will provide to the EHSO a current list of inventories, if needed. EHSO 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 Biology Research Laboratories

Establish Safe Research Guidelines:
Instructors and lab technicians will implement updated lab-specific protocols and training based on COVID-19 lessons learned. Teaching schedules will be posted within each lab teaching room.

Each instructor and designated lab technician 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 instructor and lab technician will complete the self-audit using CUNY Lab Safety Manual checklists for their research area (www.cuny.edu/research/student-resources/laboratory-safety-manual/)

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

Each instructor and lab technician was provided with the following training and resources web links, in preparation for lab teaching resumption.

Each lab technician 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 lab technicians 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 Teaching

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.

Re-opening Plan for Teaching Labs in Fall 2021 with 6 feet Social Distancing

Biological Sciences teaching labs are located on the 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floor of the Academic Building.

Rationale: Strategies to minimize exposure to respiratory or airborne droplets or high touch surfaces in order to prevent transmission of COVID-19 virus are necessary to ensure health and safety of all personnel including students, instructor, and laboratory technicians working in the designated lab teaching space.

Phase 1-Pre-entry Procedures

Training: Individuals allowed to work in the designated lab classroom space will be required to watch the return to campus video and review safety and infection control procedures developed by the EHS office.

Utilization of Lab Classroom Areas: Each laboratory room will have a maximum of 12 students (except where noted otherwise), one instructor and one laboratory technician who will not be present in the room at all times at a given time to ensure social distancing of at least 6 feet. Teaching Lab rooms range between 1200-1400 square feet and a maximum occupancy of 12 students (except where noted) plus two more individuals at a time will allow for adequate social distancing. Each room will have the daily schedule of all personnel posted. A sign-in sheet will be available to monitor lab utilization.

Biological Sciences Lab Teaching Schedule Fall 2021
Room Course Enrollment Cap Maximum Students Allowed
(6 feet social distancing)
A201 Biochemistry (BIO 3601) 18 18
A202 Biology I (BIO 1101) 24 12
A203 Biology I (BIO 1101)/Human Biology (BIO 1100) 24 12
A205 Biology I (BIO 1101)/Human Biology (BIO 1100) 24 12
A206 Biology II (BIO 1201) 24 12
A207 Biology I (BIO 1101)/Human Biology (BIO 1100) 24 12
A208 Biology II (BIO 1201) 24 12
A303 Anatomy & Physiology I and II (BIO 2311 & BIO 2312) 24 12
A305 Anatomy & Physiology I and II (BIO 2311 & BIO 2312) 24 12
A403 Molecular & Cell Biology (BIO 3620) 16 16
A405 Genetics (BIO 2450) 16 16
A503 Microbiology (BIO 3302) 22 11

Pre-screening: Employees and students will answer daily the COVID health screening questions Everbridge app to gain access to campus. In addition, the NYS Excelsior pass will be utilized to show proof of vaccination or a negative PCR COVID test every 7 days.

Building Entry:

  • Personnel with temperature lower than 100 degrees Fahrenheit and with proper face, covering will be allowed to access the building and research areas. –
  • Access to the lab classrooms will be using escalator and elevators. Social distancing (6 feet) will be observed during the use of escalator and elevators, and the handrails of escalator will be disinfected at least once a day by the building staff.
  • All personnel arriving on the designated floor will sanitize their hands using mounted hand sanitizing liquid. –
  • All personnel will proceed to the designated laboratory space.

Inside Teaching Lab

  1. Social Distancing:
    • Social distancing of 6 feet between individuals will be maintained at all times according to CUNY guidelines
    • Due to social distancing requirements, there will be no more than 12 students (except where noted) plus two more individuals per lab teaching room at any given time. Students will be allowed only under the supervision of their instructors.
    • Each person working in the lab will be assigned a lab bench and will maintain a distance of 6 feet from any other individual in the laboratory.
  2. Face Covering:
    • All laboratory personnel must wear protective face covering at all times.
    • Biology laboratory personnel including lab technicians and instructors are well trained in the use of personal protective equipment and will use those as required including disposable nitrile gloves, lab coats, safety goggles or face shields.
  3. Personal Hygiene and Disinfection Guidelines:
    • Buildings and Grounds will ensure cleanliness of bathrooms, availability of soap, and use of appropriate signage. The department will also provide soap, hand sanitizer and disinfectants in the laboratories.
    • Laboratory personnel will be reminded of proper hygiene and disinfection techniques according to CDC and CUNY guidelines. All personnel will wash their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before commencing any work, wear gloves where needed, discard gloves and wash hands for at least 20 seconds at the end of the shift, and to wear face coverings at all times during their stay in the lab and in the building.
    • The laboratory personnel must disinfect all computer keyboards, computer mouse, and other equipment after use.

Campus and Laboratory Specific Pre-entry Guidelines:

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

  • Laboratory waste removal will be scheduled with EHSOs. All laboratory waste containers should be empty before lab resumption. This was the case prior to the shutdown.
  • The EHSO will complete a health and safety inspection for the designated lab teaching areas, and report findings to Chair and Dean prior to resumption of teaching 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 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 laboratory personnel including instructors and lab technicians 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. (www.citytech.cuny.edu/health-safety/health-safety.aspx; and www.cuny.edu/research/student-resources/laboratory-safety-manual/)

EHSO will place signage based on COVID-19 guidelines in labs before resumption.

Students will perform only essential laboratory work, which cannot be done remotely. These include wet lab experiments in biology that requires use of reagents, live biological samples, and specialized equipment to collect data. Students and 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 12 students (except where noted) plus two more individuals in a shared lab teaching room. Each student will have 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 lab area, all 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 one lab technician 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.

Chief CLT and Chair will provide to the EHSO a current list of inventories, if needed. EHSO 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 Biology Research Laboratories

Establish Safe Research Guidelines:

Instructors and lab technicians will implement updated lab-specific protocols and training based on COVID-19 lessons learned.

Teaching schedules will be posted within each lab teaching room.

Each instructor and designated lab technician 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 instructor and lab technician will complete the self-audit using CUNY Lab Safety Manual checklists for their research area (www.cuny.edu/research/student-resources/laboratory-safety-manual/)

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

Each instructor and lab technician was provided with the following training and resources web links, in preparation for lab teaching resumption.

Each lab technician 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 lab technicians 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 Teaching

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.