Tag Archives: covid restart

ACS Webinar: Community Protection Strategies in the Covid Era

Thursday, August 13, 2020 at 2-3pm ET

Speakers: Robin Izzo, Princeton University and ACS CHAS; Frankie Wood-Black, Sophic Pursuits
Moderator: Ralph Stuart, Keene State College and ACS CCS

Register for Free! at https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/acs-webinars.html

What You Will Learn

  • Advantages and challenges of using personal protective equipment for community protection 
  • Best practices in physical distancing and peer coaching in the teaching and research settings 
  • Ventilation considerations in managing COVID concerns

Time for Questions and Answers will be included.

Co-produced with: ACS Division of Chemical Health and Safety ACS Committee on Chemical Safety

Returning to the Teaching Lab: CHAS Chat, August 2020

Frankie Wood-Black (00:00:00):

So we have on behalf of the division of chemical health and safety welcome, and I’ll, I’ll introduce myself in just a second, but this is our Chaz chat and we are going to talk today about returning to the teaching laboratory. So we’re going to stay on the teaching laboratory aspect of things. And, and this is really an interactive session. I’m just going to facilitate and host. I’m going to tell you what we’re planning on doing and, and what I have heard from various places in the community

Frankie Wood-Black (00:01:27):

I’m going to give you what we’re planning and remember that that’s today. what we’re planning today is may be very different than what happens by Monday. And, and that is one of the things that that’s going on. But I, my current position is I’m the chair of the engineering, physical science and process technology division at Northern Oklahoma college. And my main office is in Tonkawa Oklahoma. So if you think of Oklahoma city being the center of the state was directly North, just South of the Kansas border. So we are restraint up by 35, just South of the Kansas border. And I’m a counselor for the division of chemical health and safety.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:02:29):

we have found that the chat feature is really good for, for documenting links, links and a variety of things to share information. And it’s a good place to ask questions when everybody’s muted. But when we get to that discussion point, we’ll, you know, if you have a question, please feel free to unmute and ask your question or share, because this is really a sharing cause we all are hearing different best practices. And the idea is to really share those best practices. So just a little bit about Northern. So you can tell where I’m coming from. I’m at a community college where two year institution, we have three campuses. Tonkawa Oklahoma, Enid, Oklahoma, and Stillwater, Oklahoma. We’re actually across the street from Oklahoma state on our Stillwater campus. So we have three campuses. we are a land grant institution, one of the few community colleges that is a land grant, and that does provide us with some special things that we get to do.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:03:41):

We do have a sheep center, we have a ag farm, we’ve got a lot of other things that makes it kind of novel, that we are a two year land grant institution. So to give you an idea of what our chemistry classes are like, they’re taught on all three campuses. We do a general Kim one and a Kim too. We teach concepts of chemistry and this full imagine that we’re actually introducing a new class and that’s chemistry for engineer. And that makes that kind of as a combined Kim one, Kim too, that they get done in one semester. so we teach three, we have three sections of general chemistry on all three campuses. We have one section of general, Kim two on two campuses. And this fall, we have one section of concepts and one section of chemistry for engineers. And we are teaching a traditional online general chemistry, one class as well.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:04:43):

So what that translates to us is that we have 18 face-to-face laboratory sections that we’re going to have to manage when we start back and our, and traditionally our Kim labs max out at 18 students, but each, each laboratory is really, they’re actually very large. We were not really cramped for space, but we typically have six lab benches that are used for, for the, for the labs. So we typically have our students work in groups of two or three, depending on the individual lab section. And we actually have space for roughly 24, but we do not like to go over 18. And that’s where we usually can manage it. We’ll keep that. So our current projected enrollment for this fall is between 200 and 220 students. And in fact, I was at 190 students across all three campuses as of yesterday. So we anticipate that our numbers will go up just a little bit, going forward as we go in the fall.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:05:52):

So what our current plan is is our institution has drafted a syllabus. that’s requiring masks on all the campuses. we will provide one cloth mask to the students and the instructors are actually going to be provided with universal face shields. And the idea there is everybody is concerned from an ADA perspective about teaching with a cloth mask over your face. You would be amazed at how many students and how many people really rely on seeing people’s mouths move in order to understand. it really is important. And so that’s why we’re going to probably have the instructors teach with a universal face shield instead of a cloth mask for understanding purposes, we are in the process. Our division for the chemistry lab is what we’re going to prepare a short introductory video and outlining what we’re calling a red gray rotation. when our group got together, we have four, we have five chemistry instructors across all five across the three campuses.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:07:07):

I teach I’m the fifth one and I teach, I teach as a backup. My primary teaching is in physics and on the campuses, but I have one dedicated instructor on each of the campuses that’s in there. And I have one dedicated laboratory coordinator who also teaches labs. So there’s five of us that went in to making these decisions. And so all our chemistry faculty was included in our decision making as to how we were going to proceed and our labs just to be up front with everybody because we’re to junior college and we’ve got people with all kinds of backgrounds. They’re pretty, we, I think the worst thing that we use is six molar HCL, and we only use it in drop form. So we use it like one or two drops in order to do that. So our labs are extremely safe.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:08:03):

We use essentially sodium bicarbonate. we don’t really fire and broken glass, you know, doing the bugs and brewer lab and broken glass are really our major hazards associated with our labs. And so we we’ve got that from that perspective, but we’re going to do a short video outlining what we’re going to call the red gray rotation, because if you said a and B we’re in it, we’re an educational institution. And if a student gets put in an a group, we don’t want them thinking that they’re going to be a student. So we don’t want them thinking they’re going to be B students because they went in and AB rotation. So we use the school colors to give a, a rotation there that, so there was no contact between one and two or a and B, or we even thought about doing X and Y and thought that wasn’t probably a good one either.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:08:54):

So we, we did it. So we decided to do a red gray rotation, and we want the students to see that video before they go in, because we’re going to have to do that in the classroom setting, as well as in the laboratory setting our classrooms because we’re community college, they’re small classrooms. They can hold a max of about 20 those cases. So we know no that we’re not going to be able to put 20 students in that classroom already. And in order to social distance, we’re going to have to do something else. And we’re not going to be able to have all our students in a single class. some classes you will be able to, if the class size is small and they only have six or seven students, or I have a group that’s in the evening that I can use the biggest classroom on campus.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:09:39):

And the biggest bathroom on campus holds 50 people. And I only have 20 students in there. So we will definitely be able to social distance in that, in that group. So we won’t be at, we won’t have a problem with that. So for the students who cannot participate in class at that time, they’re going to have, at least in the lecture side, they’re going to have a, an opportunity to use zoom, to participate in class, in class discussion, but in the labs, we’re going to use a red week and a gray week, so that instead of taking one week to do a traditional lab, we’re going to do, we’re going to have that lab run for two weeks, which means we’re cutting our hands off laboratories and half. we actually talked about how we were going to do that. We met and said for the Kim too, and concepts chemistry, because there’s one only one instructor that’s doing it.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:10:39):

And that same instructor is the lab instructor. We didn’t feel we had to have the consensus as much, but for our general chemistry, we definitely had to have consensus because we all teach general chemistry. We picked the most important labs that we felt that the students would have to do as a hands on experience. and that would include the skills lab, where they have to do a pipette. They have to operate a bureaucrat, they have to light the Bunsen burner. and you know, that one we felt was very, very important. coupled that we had found that were difficult for students to see on video, that we’ve put that in. We really want them to do a titration because we have a lot of students that go straight into industry. And there’s places where we have a lot of processing industries here, as well as, agriculture.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:11:33):

So people are still doing hand titrations. So we want to make sure that our all our Kimberlyn students has had the opportunity to do a titration and not just a virtual titration. So we’ve got, so we’ve picked those labs that we felt were most important, and we’re going to try and front end load them just in case that something goes wrong and the semester is going to change, you know, down the way. And so that’s, that’s what we’re trying to do. We are also in the process of doing some activities that can be done with minimal risk at home. For example, we have a mass mole, laboratory that’s done with nuts, bolts and washers. So you can do limiting reactant with nuts, bolts and washers, and, and that kind of a thing where you’re not necessarily mailing a chemical home or sending a chemical home with the students, they’ve got nuts, bolts and washers, and they’re making widgets. And so that concept can come across without doing that, that we’ve got some really good density labs that we’ve been doing with online physical science for a while. So that would be another one. And then we have a couple of labs that we feel like if you demonstrated it and provided the students data, that the purpose of the lab was really to run through the calculation and interpret the graph and pull that data out, that we could do that as pretty well to give them that

Speaker 3 (00:13:03):

Experience. And then we’ve got that

Frankie Wood-Black (00:13:06):

Some good library, and there are some good laboratory simulations out there for some other ones that you could, you can utilize. So the other half of the labs, we’re going to use that to get our lab experience. We still have some major concerns that we’re trying to work out. one is our physical and configuration of the building is it’s the worst building design ever on our campus. And, and we don’t have a lot of open space in the hallways are our stairways are narrow. So we’re no we’re going to have to have an upstair pace and a downstair case. And we’re still worried about how we’re going to move students in and out of classrooms and laboratories to try to minimize that social distancing or minimize contact and maximize social distancing. And then we still haven’t. We have not heard what’s going to happen if we have to have students that have to be quarantined, and we don’t know what’s going to happen if we close down as after two weeks, because one of the concerns that we all have as everybody’s going to come together, and that 14 days starts at the beginning of the semester, and then we hit labor day.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:14:17):

And the question is, well, we have somebody that turns out to be posted positive within the first two weeks. right now Ponka and Toccoa in the areas where we are, we’re not in a major hotspot for our state, but Oklahoma is one of those States that I’m sure you’ve all seen. They are the best name of the week was getting an Oklahoma to wear a mask is like telling an Oklahoman to go to the storm shelter when the tornado is coming. Cause everybody goes outside to watch the tornado. So we’re, we’re a little bit concerned about that. So that’s our plan. So I’m going to start opening it up to discussion to ask what are some other plans and what are other people doing? Another discussion topic that we would like to bring forward is what precautions are being required at its different institutions, because depending on where you are, the precautions are different. And what are some of the other concerns? And does anybody have some great ideas? So I’m going to stop sharing my screen and we’ll open it up. And then, and I’ll start looking at the chat. I wasn’t looking at the chat as I was doing my presentation there, but, we’re just open to what are other folks doing? Looks like we’ve got somebody that’s providing disposable masks and gloves.

Speaker 4 (00:15:45):

Yeah. That’s in biology. We’re doing SUNY Geneseo, us where I’m from. the SUNY system is governed by our governor. He tends to dictate everything to us, and then the new administration jumps and tries to accomplish it, chemistry. I’m not sure what the chemistry is doing. Physics has already decided to use dividers. either they’re already looking into buying plastic and making dividers for the lab, benches biology. We just expanded the courses we ex you know, the lectures are been doubled up to, you know, have two cores, two, two of the same thing in different rooms. We’ve done the same with labs. We’ve gone from two labs to three labs being simultaneously taught. at least for our freshmen course, that’s our biggest, they tend to drop off pretty quick by the time they’re juniors. So a lot of people can fit into one lab and we just spread them out.

Speaker 4 (00:16:39):

Well, in some cases, we actually split the labs, into two rooms. that’s pretty much how we’re handling it. so far nobody’s staying here past six o’clock at night, but, that’s the biology department. Nobody wants to work on Saturdays and Fridays and they don’t want to go past six or seven. So we’ll see how long that goes. The campus essentially said, all students will bring their own masks, uh they’re to provide their own mass, when they come into class, that’s just part of the way they’re going to work. At this year. We have backup, disposable masks for a student who forgets or something. But the primary thing is students are going to provide that. They’re also going to show up, with some sort of a certificate or something that says they’ve been tested and they are clean of the virus.

Speaker 4 (00:17:25):

But yeah, that one question though, what happens? You just need one in a classroom that becomes 14, then becomes a whole campus in two weeks. They don’t want to even think about that one. Cause they have, I mean, essentially they shut the place down. I mean, that’s kind of a dictate from our governor. If you go over a certain percentage, sorry, we’re closing the place up. And that’s pretty much it essentially that’s the way cool is our top guy here. And he was putting the screws on everybody initially saying, yeah, you’re shutting down and that’s it. We’re staying shut down. And he pretty much got it, got people to do it. I mean, obviously New York was the center of this whole thing on the East coast. And he got us to shut down and except for New York city and that area, which is, I think they’re at level three.

Speaker 4 (00:18:11):

Most of us are at the end of level three may go to level four where they can start opening up restaurants and a few other things. As long as we stay below, I think he said 2% new cases. We stay below that everything is fine. We go to four or five, we shut down and that’ll be it. So we’re planning on starting regularly in August and we’re going to go to Thanksgiving with just two, one day breaks. and then, after Thanksgiving they don’t know. They may just say, okay, everybody stays home for the next two weeks and works online that way. But right now we expect all the students to come back. Some faculty, at least in our department have already said, we’re doing everything online, but you know, with lectures you can do with that with biology labs. I mean the circumstances of our students and where they come from.

Speaker 4 (00:19:06):

I mean, in one way, it’s good that they come here on campus because a lot of kids that live in the big cities can’t do anything in terms of a field work or going out and checking in other backyards for something because half of them don’t have grass or if they do very little, they can’t do much biology in some of the city areas that we found that out real quick. When we tried to go halfway through the last semester and found out they can’t do it because they don’t have anything green. And since it was shut down, they couldn’t go anywhere to find anything green. so at least having them come back on campus, we’re going to have them at least be able to potentially get up to the field and do somethings, but the distance thing. Yeah, the gun spread out in the labs, but the hallways and stuff, they’re wearing masks.

Speaker 4 (00:19:51):

And according to our governor, that’s good enough. If you’re in close vicinity, you wear the mask that makes you safe. You can do whatever you need. And for the faculty, we’re providing all the options that they can choose what they want. They want a face mask and you’re right for classes where the students need to read lips and stuff. they’re providing the clear visors and stuff. And I think what you were saying, we may see that same thing, even those who don’t really need it, they’re probably going to want to see the person talking and not working through a mask. We’re looking at, microphones and portable things that will broadcast to our PA systems that are in the various, lecture halls. So they’re teaching through a mask or whatever. Hopefully they’ll still be able to understand them next person.

Speaker 5 (00:20:41):

Great. Frankie, so this just happened today. I, we decided maybe I decided we’re not checking students into drawers. We’re going to go through the six experiments we’re going to do. And we’re going to put all the equipment out. We’re going to, spray what we can with ethanol in between. And then we’re going to switch out, have like the sets of beakers they need for that experiment. We’re going to switch those out and take them back to the dishwasher and wash them this way. We don’t have to go through at the end of the semester and disinfect, you know, 5,000 drawers, however many we have, because all that stuff’s going to have to be cleaned at the end of the semester, if you let students into the drawers. So people may want to think about providing unique setups for students rather than opening those drawers up to them and just let those drawers stay clean.

Speaker 5 (00:21:35):

that’s seems like an awful lot of work to go to, for the next semester to take everything out and disinfect it. So that’s something we decided might be, very useful. Also. I don’t see the point of shields. and then the people have been talking about putting shields in hoods and that’s, that’s just makes no sense to me. The, the chemistry lab is going to be the safest place for ventilation that anybody can be because our ventilation is so good. And we actually have purged buttons. I’m going to take it back up to 12 air changes per hour while we’re in there. And, cause you know, we reduce it down to six without the purge buttons. And I just think that that really with the ventilation of labs, that’s about the safest, safest place to be. So I don’t think you need the shields myself.

Speaker 5 (00:22:30):

they will wear disposable mask. I ordered 10,000. We’re going to give each student a new mask, every lab period that they throw out. And I thinking about trash cans with red bags, they won’t be biohazard. Maybe there’ll be purple because I want to try to get most of the mask in the one bag into one trash can at the end of the day. maybe some kind of hand sanitizer coming in. I don’t know, before they can get to the sink, we don’t have lab coats. So, we’re not our university doesn’t deal with lab coats cause they haven’t ever wanted to come up with some way to wash them. So, that won’t be an issue for us, but I do want to keep cloth mask and I want to keep them out. I don’t want them using cloth masks. Cause if they get contaminated, then they wear it the rest of the day, they’re breathing in whatever chemicals they might’ve gotten on them. And so I can’t depend on them going home and washing them. So I’m just going to give them a disposable mask for every lab. Anyways, I thought the drawer thing was kind of a neat idea. And we’ll see maybe, maybe I’ll be really sorry. I thought of that. I don’t know. But a couple of things that you brought up Sammy that I am hearing is that there are a couple of labs that they’re talking

Frankie Wood-Black (00:23:46):

About using, an alcohol or almost like a hand sanitizer, if there’s a disinfectant and wiping down the lab benches and actually providing that to the student themselves, to let the standard wipe down the lab bench right there before they get started on the lab. So that’s one thing that I have heard that folks are doing. The other thing is, and this, this was in biology, this was in or science and a couple of our other classes. So if you think of our science, they always deal with the rocks, right? And it’s affecting a rock, a rock is going to be a little on the tough side. So we are doing some UV wands to, to help with, with some of the specimens, you know, that are out there, you know, still having the student’s hand, sanitized, do that kind of thing. and in, in some cases using, cause we do provide gloves in a lot of cases as well, and we use disposable gloves, but want it to just take an extra and using an UV light for, for some of those, those, those specimens, those things that may or may not necessarily be convenient to spray down with something else.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:25:02):

just as a, just as a potential backup. So that was one thing that folks were dealing with. we always do individually. We don’t, we don’t assign lockers at our, at our sites. So we usually have setups and we use a lot of dropper bottles, which makes them easy to sanitize between, between labs for those students. Okay. And as far as this shields, the face shield, we’re not using the face shield did for the students in the labs. They will still have to use their goggles. And, and historically we’ve disinfected the goggles between, between classes. But I think we’re going to provide the option for students to bring their own goggles. And some of it, some campuses they already have to purchase their goggles.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:25:52):

So we purchase goggles. So, so they, they bring their own goggles and they’re just going to have to take them home with them. So just a couple of, of, things that zoom related things. if you, I mean, you’re welcome with it’s working out with everyone, just speaking up when they have something that they want to, want to say. but if you click on participants on yours, if you’re in the, if you’re online with zoom, click on participants, you should see at the very bottom, it has the opportunity to raise your hand. And you can that also we’ll pop that up on the screen and bring your name up so you can use that feature as well. I also wanted to mention that if you look at the chat, all the way where you’re, or we’re allowed you to, to fill in the chat, if you look all the way to the right, you’ll see the box with the three dots. And if you click on that, it gives you the option of saving the check, that will save it to wherever you want to save it so that you can look back at this again afterwards, and this is being recorded and, but still, but, just thought you might like to know that as people are taking some notes.

Speaker 2 (00:27:02):

Thank you.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:27:04):

Thank you, Robin. That was great addition. As far as the, the one at discussions that I’ve been seeing, lots of discussions about the cloth masks and or disposable masks, a lot of that is also highly dependent on your particular labs that you’re doing. by S like I indicated for us, we really don’t have hardly anything that we’re using that as a potential exposure to our students. We use dropper bottles for our gen chem, but that’s not to say that if you were doing an organic lab, or if you were doing a biochemistry lab or you’re doing an upper division lab, then those cloth masks are going to be potential hazard. And that is so you’re going to probably everybody that’s one of those cases where we know people are going to have sometimes a lab specific requirements, and sometimes they’re going to have to have it just a general requirement all the way around. and, and the dispose we’ve had, we do provide disposable masks to our biology and our microbiology students already. And so for those labs, that’s not going to necessarily be anything different. but, and we are also a non lab coats, institution for our general chemistry classes. So, cause we don’t manage that. And again, it’s because we have very, you know, we’re dealing with drops of things.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:28:39):

I’ll just say that I know they’ve been in the chat. There have been a couple of mentions of concerns about, about, masks, whether they’re the cotton, whether whether they are cloth or disposable, and, working with flammable materials, level liquids, that sort of a thing. there are, we, we are,

Frankie Wood-Black (00:29:05):

I apologize for my earlier, just as an FYI bulwark announced that they do have fr masks and I just got, I just got an email talking from bulwark that said that they were doing fr mass in terms of flame retardant material. So I, you know, that is a potential for somebody out there, particularly for some research labs that that may be something that they, they want to, to, look into. But there are, there are a couple of companies I know bulwark was the first one, but I would imagine other companies are going to come pretty quick. Now I do know if you, if you do the next style, there, there’s a cool max one. There’s, and I know there are some fr ones because we’ve used those out in the field and refineries for cold weather. And so if you’re allowing those next style type, type lower masks, that might be another option for flame retardancy, but that’s, that’s one of the things that we’re going to add to our safety spiel is that the mass can be a fire hazard just like long hair can be a fire hazard.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:30:27):

when you’re dealing with an open flame

Speaker 6 (00:30:30):

I ORC or clothing. And I apologize, as I was saying before, my dogs, lost their minds, we are, Cintas is, is, is gearing up hopefully by the end of this month to have, you know, the option to rent the, the, either the nomax or other type of fr type of, of, of face masks that we’ll be also looking, looking at.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:31:05):

Well, I mean, going through looking at some of the things that that folks had asked, one is that you really are going to have to change your face, your safety introduction, to include the fact that you’ve, Hey, we know we need to, you know, to remove a mask. If we have to do a safety shower and I wash the situation, that is something that’s going to have to be, to be done. just kind of scanning through through here. We’re pretty lucky in our institution, we have a building, a building person who comes in and he all, he had been doing that for, for quite some time disinfecting labs between labs, so that, you know what I mean, even before this happened, he would come in and wipe down the lab tables before, you know, before anybody came through. So we were, we were pretty, we’ve been pretty lucky in that one. And as far as the disinfectant, I’m not a hundred percent certain, but there is a new article that just came out and chemical and engineering news that talks about the variety of disinfectants and EPA has a list of different, different disinfectants that respond to the various, the various viruses. So if you’re, if you’ve got a question about that, there there’s a good EPA list. And then there’s, there was a recent CNN article on that. so we have a,

Speaker 4 (00:32:53):

Yeah, that’s me, I’m just wondering, put it in the chat as well. So it was UV lamps that you were mentioning, how effective are they? And then also the answer is the duration. Do you take two minutes to go slowly across the bench top, or you just kind of wipe it across, like you would a wipe to actually make sure you kill off everything. I’ve seen a few of them advertised locally, and I’ve seen some from companies now they’re offering them, but no indication that says, you know, how effective they are. And in terms of usage, how slowly do you actually move them across to an object? Like say a rock or some other surface to make sure that UV light is actually killing the material on the, on the stuff. Anybody know?

Frankie Wood-Black (00:33:39):

Well, the ones that we have used in the past, there’s, they’re on a 12 to a 15 minute timer that you’d put the object underneath that lamp for 12 to 15 minute timer. And that was our intent for like the rock specimens. But again, they, I, the idea is there is we’re hoping that students will use gloves to begin with. And then it was just an extra precaution besides the hand sanitizing and all of that, just to have that as a, as an additional backup. So it wasn’t the primary disinfectant that we were using it for just knowing that those were things you just couldn’t wash or wipe down that you wanted to, to kind of provide something else. But we’re looking at a 12 to 15 minute on that.

Speaker 4 (00:34:27):

Yeah, that’s what I was kind of thinking. It’s not a quick wipe. I mean, you’ve got to expose it for some time before it’s going to be effective. And that’s what I wanted to find out for sure. Thanks.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:34:42):

Somebody was asking shared computers in the lab. This is one of those things that I’ve been kind of worried about as well. for us, what we’re probably going to end up doing is anything that would have normally had a computer in the lab. I know our computer lab on the campuses is doing something else for disinfecting their computer labs, that for people that are doing the shared computers, but we’re probably going to the, our students are probably not necessarily going to do those as a hands on lab for us. and if so, we’ve looked at, I know a lot of people have looked at those sheets that you can put over your, computer keyboards. I’ve heard folks that are going to be doing that, and then those can be disposable. and then there are also we’ve, we’ve used in teaching instruction and used it in my teaching classrooms that we do share that we’ve used a, an electronic white to try and help between between instructors going in and using those, those, but I, as a standard practice now, have I, when I go anywhere, I carry a baggy of disinfecting wipes.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:36:03):

And if I am touching a grocery cart, if I’m touching a doorknob, if I am touching anything, I have that almost like a handkerchief in my hand. So that’s my personal practice, that I have been doing to, because I don’t know, who’s touched that surface. I do it with the key pads at, you know, the pin key pads in the grocery store. As soon as I touch when I’m using my disinfecting wipe that I have out of my baggy, I usually have a fresh one with me all the time. And that’s what I’ll be recommending to my students that they ask, is having, is having their little baggie of disinfecting wives. And, and even, and this is even though it’s not the best, you know, I, in a pinch I’ve used baby wipes. So frankly, a short poll like to launch, if you don’t mind go right ahead. All right. Okay. This should be, is it visible to you yet? Yes, it’s visible to me. Alright. So have some responses coming in. Okay.

Speaker 4 (00:37:43):

Still going,

Frankie Wood-Black (00:37:49):

Mary, did you say you were from Genesee?

Speaker 4 (00:37:53):

I’m from Geneseo. It’s a, one of the state we’ve got 64 campuses, quasi independent as part of the state university of New York. It’s something our former governor Rockefeller in the seventies, his site that essentially my impression was to compete with California and to have a statewide, a university system that would open up, you know, campuses to have the majority of the people since the, you know, the, the endowed campus and stuff. They kind of pick the, you know, the, the elite of the lot. And a lot of people didn’t have opportunity to go to college. And so in the seventies, they decided to make a university system for New York state and became the state of New York. Like I said, 64 campuses, but we’re kind of independent of each other in terms of getting budgets and stuff. So that all goes to a central chancellor system and the legislature has to come up with the money eventually. But yeah, we’re a four year undergraduate residential campus, at least at SUNY Geneseo. And we do get people. Yeah.

Speaker 7 (00:39:00):

It’s Geneseo over there by [inaudible]

Speaker 4 (00:39:05):

No, actually we’re West of that. We’re in central New York, South of Rochester, New York, about 30 miles. So we’re just at the edge of the finger lakes on the West side. there’s a few others.

Speaker 7 (00:39:16):

I thought I just drove by your campus. My daughter lives in Fillmore.

Speaker 4 (00:39:20):

Yeah. That’s sort of the other side. I think, we, we got a few places. We got Brockport nearby for Donya and we got Elford, that’s kind of the four colleges in the Western part of New York that I’m assuming system. and we, we work different ways. some catered to, working people. A broad port has a substantial number of students that are essentially out in the real world and are taking part time courses. They get their degree. we pretty much our residential campus. We have very few people that are doing anything other than undergraduate type work, and they’re finished doing it full time. We have a few part time, but most of it’s, full time students.

Speaker 7 (00:40:06):

Does anybody else have any ideas or suggestions that we haven’t talked about that they want to send it out? Hi, how are you? My name is Laura Mylene. I’m in Boston at Northeastern university. I just wanted to comment on, oops, sorry. You can’t see me there. I am. I so I just wanted to comment on, somebody was mentioning, they’re providing mass of their students. And I just want to mention as faculty, I know we all have our own opinions and approaches, but I think it’s important right now for us as faculty to wear mask and to set an example for the students. I’m very concerned that faculty wouldn’t be wearing masks. I think it’s very uncomfortable and unusual. And in order to set the bar for safety in the classroom, we should be wearing mass. so please take that initiative to wear mouse.

Speaker 7 (00:41:08):

this virus does aerosol. So the six feet distance is, very arbitrary. So to protect yourself and your students wearing a mask is important. we require mask on our campus. The students have to provide their own math, but in the teaching labs, we are required to, provide a mass to the students. And my biggest concern for their safety is the time they change their mask. So I am setting up a separate, lab area for them to, to rotate in, to change their mass because that’s the biggest time for exposure that they will have is when they’re actually changing their mass. so I’m using the dropdown plastic that you hang from the ceiling that you see in like a barbershop sort of area. And they will rotate in to change their mask, to the one that we provide. And most of the time I’m also providing, instruction beforehand.

Speaker 7 (00:42:08):

So the students know how to properly wear a mask. so this is a very important point. I just wanted to point that out. That’s because of the aerosol nature of this virus. this six feet distancing is not as important as wearing a mask. And we’re also because we’re a teaching lab and we’re breaking that six feet distancing at certain times. we are providing face shields for the students. so I just wanted to address that question. Somebody had, put in the chat that they’re not sure how to address the changing of the mass. So I’m staggering. My students entering into this changing area to change their mass before they actually go into the lab and they’ll leave all of their equipment, all of their bags and personal belongings in that area. So the only thing that’s coming into the lab is then they’re provided mask and face shield, and they’re a lab notebook.

Frankie Wood-Black (00:43:16):

Yeah, art, the intent on our campus about the instructors wearing mask is that we will be wearing masks all the time and the last, unless it becomes an issue for students hearing us. And then the instructor is likely to be more than six feet away from the student, given the way our classrooms are configured. They’re probably going to be more like eight feet away. and that’s when they would use the universal face shield instead instead of the mass. But, all in fact, most of our faculty want to be wearing a mask and we’re not seeing, we’re not seeing too much of the, of a pushback on the faculty perspective. Other than we do know that we have some instructors that have a thicker foreign accent for us and our students already kind of gripe about that particular understanding of it. And we’re afraid that if without being able to see lips, although we’re looking at the ones that are now cut with a Mylar piece so that you can see the lips with the mask,

Speaker 7 (00:44:27):

I think Jody has her hand raised. Thanks. I appreciate everybody

Speaker 6 (00:44:32):

Organizing this and sharing all the questions, many questions and, and, and potential solutions. thank you too, for highlighting the importance of role modeling. It really struck me as you were talking about all of this Frankie about the safety training that we might have a really silver lining here to highlight the shift, the safety community’s been talking about from the rules based paradigm to really kind of thinking through, okay, what are the risks? What are the hazards? How do I balance? You know, I’ve got this face mask on, but I’ve got gloves on. And I really think that we can take some extended time. I hope we can take some extended time with, with the training of the safety training and getting people to understand the various risks that we’re balancing here. so I’m wondering actually, if anyone else, besides Frankie’s thought through what they might do for the safety training and, getting people oriented to the introduction of whatever new safety protocols. Well, I know Sammy has my money. Did you have, our university is taking kind of a universal, approach in that everybody has had to go through COVID training just to get on campus. They have single entry points to the buildings, and you have to have completed that training, about social that’s the thing and hand watching and masks and all that prior to even entering the building. And they’re going to continue that for the fall because we have a decreased capacity on campus.

Speaker 4 (00:46:13):

Yes, we’ve done the same thing. The entire New York state campuses, all the campuses you don’t come on while taking the training. You don’t come on without being tested, proven that you are clear of the disease and the minutes show signs, you get quarantined with testing. We don’t have testing, but we do have, you have to go through the training before you’ll come on campus, but they’re not going to test every student.

Speaker 6 (00:46:41):

And we’ve developed a training that’s specific to people working in lab, being people in laboratories, as well as the general training.

Speaker 4 (00:46:51):

I have to get the wrong test where the campus isn’t doing it.

Speaker 6 (00:46:54):

So, so Robin, could you talk a little bit more maybe about what’s in that training that others might adapt and adopt? here again, there’s, there’s so many different quote unquote rules that we might follow and that the changing, I’m sure it’s, I’m sure it’s a work in progress, but maybe there’s some things we can help you wrestle with. so in the training, specifically for the people working that are in the laboratories, it, it, it talks about, certainly all of the social distancing things, but it also talks about sharing equipment, how to share equipment, if you have to use any specialized equipment. And, it, you know, it talks about, it talks about the, the use of, of, of masks. And in our case, we require them to remove their, their dispo, their, their, their cloth face covering or whatever face covering they had on when they came into the lab, and replace it with a disposable one.

Speaker 6 (00:47:54):

and there there’s, I’m trying to think of all the things that are in there. There’s, there’s just, there’s a lot in there. It’s really, it’s not specific to teaching labs. I should say it is really more for, it was geared both for the teaching labs and the research labs. So it also gets into things like using cold, using a cold room or, or, a place like that and what to do in that situation. There’s quite a bit there. if anyone, if you send an email to me with your email address, I can, set you up with a special, a special account so that you could log in and go through our training. It’s about a 20, it takes about 20 minutes to go through the training, but 18 to 20 minutes to go through the training.

Speaker 6 (00:48:40):

I saw a couple of questions that I do want to address that ran the track. One was about temperatures and whether or not they’re going to record people’s temperature. we live in Oklahoma and just walking across campus can elevate your temperature today. It’s pretty bad, even though it’s only 92 degrees, it’s got 101, he didn’t ask. And, and so we are worried more about the false positives and the logistics of going between classrooms and buildings and trying to monitor temperatures. So we’re really not going to monitor temperatures. and then I did see somebody indicated about the, the problem is if you’re asymptomatic, you’re not going to catch it with a temperature probe anyway. And we are seeing here in our area, we’ve had a lot of asymptomatic folks. So that’s, that’s, that’s one of the issues that we had the other is, is there guidance after someone tests positive? I haven’t heard good guidance yet. I don’t, if somebody has got some, I would love to hear it myself

Speaker 2 (00:49:51):

Guidance in what way?

Speaker 6 (00:49:54):

After somebody tests positive. So, you know, if somebody tests positive, it’s just really depends on, on how your institution is managing, the contact tracing and that sort of a thing. So it could be that your institution is doing the contact tracing themselves. It could be that you’re relying on a local health department, to do that. but, you know, because of privacy issues and all of that, you know, someone would the you’d learn about a student testing positive. We might’ve been in that space through the contact tracing, through that contact tracing, exercise and the, you know, generally, if the question is who were you within six feet of for more than 10 minutes, or had had physical contact with. So in most teaching situations, you can pretty much avoid the 10 minutes at six feet. but if you didn’t, then, you know, that’s, that’s the person who is the close contact. And so it’s through whoever is doing your contact racing. At least that’s how I was working at, at, at Princeton. I don’t know if anyone else wants to say anything more about that. I do know. I think it’s a CIMA, that’s that has put out some guidelines and they were fixed. They were getting ready to put out some more guidelines. I know they put out guidelines for returning to research laboratories, and I know they have been working on guidelines for teaching laboratories. I’ve not seen the final product yet. Is anybody aware? I didn’t see one of our, our normal contacts that that’s been working on that group, on, in, in the list of attendees today,

Speaker 6 (00:51:52):

We will certainly, I know that once that, that guidance gets puts out, I know that the division will post that on, on our, on our webpage or through the Div CHAS list. and if you are, if you aren’t a member of the did CHAS list, that will make a plug for that. Cause that’s where a lot of the, the information has been going through. And the Facebook for teaching online chemistry has been an excellent source of information about how folks are dealing with liability issues, how they’re dealing with sending home or sending out lab materials. there’s that that’s been a really good discussion group as well. Dr. Singh has his hand up, or I, I thought he just popped in

Speaker 8 (00:52:42):

Hit open. How are you? So I’m Sharon Singh. I am from the Carnegie Mellon university, it’s in his department. So as we were talking about the safety training for the research group, we had implemented is safety training called pandemic safety officer for all the departments and the research groups. So all the research labs who want to open, they need to grow, go through a review process with ENS facility management, as well as their department head office. So once they go through that system, they need to identify one pandemic safety officer as a primary and one as a secondary. And that training that has around 30 slides. But in that training, we are covering what the COVID-19 diseases, what silences symptoms, CDC, and OSHA guidelines, what are the minimum requirements, roles, and responsibilities, and the best safety practices. And half of the training covers that help people can maintain the physical distancing, how they should be doing the hand washing, if anybody’s sick, what they should do, what are the sanitation and disinfection process?

Speaker 8 (00:53:55):

Our facility management is doing temperature checks, how they can conduct meeting and fishtail coverings. University connecting Melbourne is purchasing more than 60,000 facial carvings, for the community. And we are providing two per person, regardless that is a faculty staff or the students, and what are the return to onsite work plan. So we are covering all that information in the training, which are, which we are doing for the pandemic safety officers for the students. We had put together a online training, which has, I think around 15 or 16 slides. And mainly that will cover the minimum requirement and little bit more information, which is more related to the research labs or what they should be doing in the end, those teaching or the research lab. So this is what we are doing, but if anybody has any more questions, I’ll be happy to answer that that’ll come

Speaker 6 (00:55:00):

And in the Facebook or in the chat, we listed that strategies for teaching chemistry, and it is a private group, but they do, they do approve pretty quickly. Well, we are getting close to our time. any last good ideas, good comments that somebody’s just been burning to say that we haven’t recognized because I’ve got over five pages of folks that are here. So I know we haven’t necessarily been able to capture everybody, but the chat is, and again, as Robin indicated, if you want to save the chat, you can save it on, on your own device by using the little three buttons.

Speaker 6 (00:55:55):

I just wanted to add, because this has come up in a lot of conversations that I’ve been involved in or regarding how to adjust our new world for science education and research. And I just want to remind us that, yes, we are trying our best to maintain safety as it relates to COVID, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the everyday safety things we need to pay attention to. cause I’ve heard and seen people make of things to do, to provide COVID safety, but that then leaves us vulnerable to other safety things. So in your planning and your discussions and putting forth suggestions, we still have to be mindful of those everyday safety measures. We still have to pay attention to in our different lab spaces, teaching or research.

Speaker 6 (00:56:50):

Totally agree. And actually, to be honest, we’ve actually started talking yesterday about that. This might be a good time because all of a sudden people are more aware that this might be a good time to hit the reset button and that, that we can get people to actually listen and think through their actions on certain, certain activities and certain things. cause we’ve heard, you know, people have talked about doing something inside a hood and then the questions about face philosophies and air exchanges and all of that has come up. But the whole idea behind what are you wearing? How often are you dealing with washing and touching things? We already know, people will put gloves on touch the chem lab table and then rub their eyes because they’ve got a Goggle fog up or their glasses fog up. And, and that is, it’s a perfect time to start addressing those safety risks, all the way around.

Speaker 2 (00:57:52):


Speaker 6 (00:58:00):

Okay. there was a, I noticed in the chat, there was a question about, you know, what happens if there’s a case and would you shut your whole lab down? Do you need to do special cleaning again, it really depends on that. The situation, in most cases you may not be finding out about this until the person has tested positive at which point this probably too much time as combined where, before, you know, we’re, we’re doing any additional special cleaning may not really be, helpful at all. And then you’d have to, it really depends on the, on the situation. Again, they look for that, the test that they’re always at, they’re going to be asking is the six feet with intent and, and 10 minutes, if that student cannot identify who they were. and within that, that six feet for 10 minutes, then it’s possible that they will have to reach out to more, to they, they may need to, have more people, actually quarantined for those that for that 14 days. So it really just depends on, when you’re, when the notification happens and a lot of other, a lot of other, it really depends on that situation. A lot of other elements

Frankie Wood-Black (00:59:29):

And I did see, even though we haven’t talked about it, the fogging problem. Yeah. the fogging problems all the way around, it’s a, been a problem in the past because even then he safety goggles, they’re going to fog. We do have anti-fogging wipes that we have in the packets for students, but it’s a, it’s, it’s a perpetual problem. And we will always have that in the chat. I put a link to our FAQ page where we talk about, where we talk about face coverings and we address that issue of fogging and some tips for things that you can do, for, for, to prevent that fogging as well. Well, I have, it’s precisely five o’clock Eastern time, four o’clock central time. We want to thank everybody for participating. I know this is, it was a chat and I really appreciate everybody coming in and chatting either on, in the chat box or coming together.

Frankie Wood-Black (01:00:30):

I got some great ideas. I’ve got some notes to take back to my lab already. It’s like, Oh yeah, I forgot about that one. And, and we will have this Robyn, when do we normally get this posted? I know it goes to Ralph, but we will get this posted the recording posted by, hopefully by tomorrow I’ll, I’ll send it to Ralph tomorrow and then he’ll post it just as soon as you can. Alright, well thank you all. And I will hang on until everybody else signs off so that I can catch the last of the chat. And, we appreciate your attendance. Thank you everyone. And hope you come to the next chat.

Frankie Wood-Black (01:01:30):

You guys did amazing. Yeah. Thanks Amber. I can’t wait to see the recording and I’m going to share it with, with my safety officer. What’s the name of the diversity group that, that, that WCC is done and, and minority affairs. I can’t remember their name cause I’m trying to find out who’s the current head diversity and inclusion advisory board and it’s Natalie de Franco. Okay. Thank you. You would know. Oh, I think respect is in there now the inclusion and respect advisory board. All right, great. That then helps that, that helps. So he was SUNY Geneseo. That’s the place I worked at for a couple of years. You do you know it far from, Franklinville? No Farmersville. Where are you? Audrey’s in Fillmore Fillmore, but Franklin Bill’s right there. I mean, you have to go through Fillmore to get to electric. Yep. I mean, all my pictures this summer or the Genesee river.

July 9 CHAS Chat: Virtual Chemistry Teaching Labs

On July 9, 2020, Sammye Sigmann of Appalachian State University led a CHAS Chat discussion of resources for teaching chemistry labs in virtual or blended formats. The next CHAS chat on teaching labs under Covid conditions is scheduled for July 23 from 3 to 4 PM Central Daylight Time and will be on Back in the Lab Again – Managing In-Person Teaching Labs in the era of Social Distancing led by Frankie Wood-Black.

The powerpoint file Sammye used to lead the July 9 discussion is available to download. Answers to some of the questions asked in the chat session are available below. The video Sammye showed that provides an Introduction to the Laboratory Space is available on Youtube.

You can download the video we recorded of the session here. A rough transcript of the discussion is available to CHAS members to review; contact Ralph Stuart, the CHAS membership chair, at membership@dchas.org for more information about accessing this.

Q&A from the chat

From  Neal Langerman : Sammye – in the pre-pandemic world, what out of pocket expenses did a student incur for a semester of lab? How does this compare w/ the $40 fee?

While we dropped this platform due to changing our textbook, in the past we had used Hayden McNeil’s Sapling to deliver quizzes to students in lab. If I am remembering correctly, it was ~$25 per semester.  This company is good about allowing students a year to use their paid subscription in case they drop the course. They are doing this with the simulations as well.

We have not asked, but is some institutions, they may cover the costs.  I know that some places are covering the cost of kits.

From  Aliana Lungu : Anyone can share resources for intro Organic Chemistry Labs (techniques, etc.)? Thank you!

There should be some in the spreadsheet at the first link on slide 13 of the ppt.

From  Connie Fox : We’ve discussed virtual labs – what about managing in-person teaching labs with associated limitations of distancing and cleaning between sections?

I did mention that we are reducing density by half in our labs – even though technically, we are low density due to fire code at 50 sq ft per student.  Low density on top of high ventilation should actually make labs some of the lower risk spaces. Additionally:

  • Each student will be provided with a disposable mask for each f2f lab week that they put in the trash at the end of lab. Logic being that if their cloth mask is unknowingly contaminated, it will not be immediately washed.  To me, masks are different than their clothes that might be unknowingly contaminated because they are breathing through them.
  • We are reducing movement and shared equipment where possible. We also will put out one balance for 3 students to keep congestion in the balance room down. There will be more reagent bottles to use.  Possibly we will go to gloves on all experiments. We are fortunate to have tabletop ventilation which will help with congestion at the fume hoods.
  • No partner experiments.
  • I am not exactly sure about cleaning between sections.  It may be that the students themselves help with this. I am thinking 70% EtOH in spray bottles.

From  Jennifer Gile : Sammye, thank you for the video, that’s an excellent idea.  Our department is doing videos on using the balance, pouring acids, etc. We’re hoping this helps when students come face to face. 

The more I think about using videos as prelab assignments, the better I like it!

From  Jennifer Gile : My department asked two questions for this webinar:

How can we make socially distanced labs flow better? 

I think that some of the idea in the question on managing in person labs speak to this question.

How can we make virtual labs more authentic? 

I like the idea of combining delivery methods – Maybe student watch a video of a person titrating and then go to the simulation software.  If you are able to do synchronous delivery during a set lab time the instructor could actually do the titration while the students watch.  That way they could ask questions.

We did touch on this a bit when there was discussion about course delivery requiring more work for students.  I think that is just how it is going to have to be.

Web References from June 18 Chat

White Paper on Ventilation and Covid protection : https://taylorengineers.com/taylor-engineering-covid-19-whitepaper

Reports on ventilation impact on Covid spread : https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them

Covid management in a maker space : http://news.mit.edu/2020/building-framework-remote-making-0617

Article on face shield use as protective equipment : https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2765525

Laboratory Disinfection guidance from the American Biosafety Association (ABSA): https://absa.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/200330ABSA-COVID_19_FAQs_for_Disinfection.pdf

The ACS Committee on Professional Training is soliciting feedback on its statement about Proposal to Adjust ACS Guidelines for Approved Programs: A response to COVID-19: https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/about/governance/committees/training.html

In addition, Robin shared several examples of Princeton’s approach to Covid management in labs. For more information:

Lab Restart Protocol Discussion – June 18, 2020

On June 18, CHAS hosted its first interactive discussion for its membership. Over 130 people attended to hear about plans for reopening academic labs in light of the Covid 19 Pandemic. Discussion primarily focused on protocols for social distancing, community protective equipment, and disinfection practices in the research lab setting, although the challenges of the teaching lab in the “new normal” were raised as well. Future discussions will address the teaching lab setting more explicitly.

The Zoom session was recorded and can be downloaded here in video format. URLs shared in the chat for many related resources can be found here.

For people who prefer to browse a readable version of the discussion, a lightly edited browsable transcript of the session is available for Division members. Contact Ralph Stuart at membership@dchas.org for access to this transcript.

Questions and comments about the session can be directed to the Division’s chair, Robin Izzo of Princeton University at rmizzo@princeton.edu.