Michigan labs may reopen

Governor Gretchen Whitmer this week signed Executive Order 2020-90, which allows laboratory research to resume under stringent precautionary measures.
“The reopening of laboratory research in Michigan marks another step toward reopening our economy and getting Michiganders back to work,” Governor Whitmer said. “This partial and incremental reopening will allow my public health team to evaluate the effects of allowing these activities to resume, assess the capacity of the health care system to respond adequately to any increases in infections, and prepare for any increases in patients.”
The Safer at Home order, Executive Order 2020-77, allows some previously suspended work and activities to resume based on an evaluation of public health metrics and an assessment of the statewide risks and benefits. This now includes laboratory research.
Research laboratories (but not laboratories that perform diagnostic testing) must adhere to stringent workplace safeguards, including:
  • Assigning dedicated entry point(s) and/or times into lab buildings
  • Conducting a daily entry screening protocol for workers, contractors, suppliers, and any other individuals entering a worksite, including a questionnaire covering symptoms and suspected or confirmed exposure to people with possible COVID-19 infections, together with, if possible, a temperature screening
  • Creating protocols and/or checklists to conform to the facility’s COVID-19 preparedness and response plan and training workers to adhere to the plan
  • Suspending all non-essential in-person visitors, including visiting scholars and undergraduate students, until further notice
  • Training workers on the proper use of lab protection and personal protective equipment
  • Establishing and implementing a plan for distributing face coverings
  • Creating capacity limits for labs
  • Closing open workspaces, cafeterias and conference rooms
  • Including tape on the floor to mark workspaces for 6-foot distances in labs and create one-way traffic flow where possible
  • Requiring all office and dry lab work to be conducted remotely
  • Minimizing the use of shared lab equipment and shared lab tools and creating protocols for disinfecting lab equipment and lab tools
  • Providing disinfecting wipes and requiring workers to wipe down their workstations at least twice daily
  • Implementing an audit and compliance procedure to ensure cleaning criteria are followed
  • Establishing a clear reporting process for any symptomatic individual or any individual with a confirmed case of COVID-19, including the notification of lab leaders and the maintenance of a central log
  • Cleaning and disinfecting the work site when a worker is sent home with symptoms or with a confirmed case of COVID-19
  • Sending any potentially exposed coworkers’ home if there is a positive case in the facility
“I want to thank Michiganders for doing their part to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and flatten the curve,” Governor Whitmer said. “As we continue to reopen other industries across our state it’s critical to do so with care, patience and vigilance to ensure the progress we’ve made in slowing the spread of this virus is not compromised.”
Information around this outbreak is changing rapidly. The latest information is available at Michigan.gov/Coronavirus and CDC.gov/Coronavirus.
To view Executive Order 2020-90, click the links below:

Leave a Reply