Core Facility Managers held within the "Trends in Microscopy - German BioImaging Spring School" a spontaneous workshop to discuss precautions of imaging core facilities to prevent COVID19 infection of staff and users. The outcome of this workshop has been summarized in recommendations by German BioImaging and been updated on 18th of March 2020 in the following way:
Core facilities are shared scientific infrastructures. Users come from different departments or institutions to operate the same equipment and take advantage of scientific services provided by a limited number of facility staff. In this setting, transmission of the SARS-CoV- 2 virus between individuals or from contaminated surfaces is facilitated. Therefore, core facilities deserve special attention from the research institutions ́ higher management. As a group of experienced core facility leaders, we strongly recommend ceasing all operations in core facilities, with highest priority to those requiring personal interaction, and urge our colleagues to convince their institutions to follow this advice. Closure of the facility is the only measure that ensures users and staff safety. Even in regions with a low number of known infections, the time to act is now.
The guidelines described below should help imaging core managers to protect themselves and their users a) if running the facility is made mandatory despite the current emergency, and b) for resuming operations in a post peak situation as safely as possible.
Thank you very much to the contributors:
- Steffen Dietzel, Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich
- Hans Fried, German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) in Bonn
- Angela Naumann, University of Freiburg
- Roland Nitschke, University of Freiburg
- Pawel Pasierbeck, IMBA Institute of Molecular Biotechnology in Vienna
- Jan Peychl, MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
- Britta Schroth-Diez, MPI of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics
- Martin Stoeckl, University of Konstanz
- Stefan Terjung, European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Heidelberg
- Roland Thuenauer, Centre for Structural Systems Biology in Hamburg
- Silke Tulok, Technical University of Dresden