(Updated 25 March 2020)

To meet government guidelines for social distancing, reduced Maximum Room Occupancy levels have been set for ANFF Labs and Offices to ensure users are able to maintain both 1.5m clearance and < 1 person per 4m2

1. The maximum number of people allowed per room is shown here, which will posted at the entrances to each lab

2. Do not enter the lab/office if the room is already at it max occupancy levels.

3. The 1.5m rule continues to apply at all times.

4. Booking tools via Scheduler:  user must be mindful of pre-existing bookings to ensure their booking does not exceed the maximum room occupancy.

(Updated 23 March 2020)

In addition to the new protocols that we have put in place at the ANFF-NSW UNSW clean-rooms, I have two further updates today, following recent announcements by the federal & NSW governments.

1. ANFF-NSW (UNSW) laboratories to remain open until further notice

As you will have seen from the regular updates from UNSW management, all UNSW staff and students who are able to undertake their work while at home are expected to do so.

The ANFF-NSW UNSW clean rooms remain open at this time, with reduced staffing availability, but users must comply with enhanced operational protocols to guard against the spread of COVID-19, as set out in the email (copied below) sent on 18 March.

2. User training is suspended until further notice

As an additional protection to both users and staff, we will be suspending all user training until further notice. This is because after careful analysis of the risks involved it has been decided that it is not possible to safely supervise users without being in close proximity, which is not possible given the social distancing rules that are now in place.

(Updated 18 March 2020)

As you are all aware, UNSW has implemented a range of measures in response to the COVID-19 pandemic (see www.unsw.edu.au/advice-on-unsw-response-to-the-coronavirus). 

Most of the ANFF labs are “gloves on” and “mask on” areas which already provides a good foundation for combating person-to-person transmission of COVID19.  The full “bunny suits” in the white areas strengthen this foundation.  Given the impact levels of COVID19, the following compulsory safety enhancements are targeted to increase the levels of protection:

1. LAB ENTRY PROCEDURES

WASH IN / WASH OUT – The ANFF labs have hand-wash stations at all entry/exit points.  It is now compulsory to wash hands on ENTRY and EXIT to the labs to reduce hand-based transmission routes into the labs.  Posters for upgraded hand washing procedures have been posted at each wash station.

GLOVES FIRST and ALWAYS – Previously gloves went on last.  Now gloves go on first, before other personal protection equipment (PPE).  This measure reduces bare-hand contact to other PPE to reduce hand-based virus transmission routes in the lab.  In addition, no equipment in the lab is to be operated with bare hands, gloves must be worn at all times.

MASKS ALWAYS IN ALL LABS – Currently masks are optional in some labs.   Mask are no longer optional; masks must be worn in all ANFF labs at all times to reduce oral transmission routes in the lab.

NO SHARING GARMENTS – Currently some users have their own cleanroom garments and some share.  From now on cleanroom garments must not be shared to reduce the risk of virus transmission in the lab.  We have current stocks of multi-use, disposable “Tyvek” suits to provide the initial solution. Please contact us for instructions.

CHANGE ALONE – The change room areas are relatively small.  To provide social distancing the change rooms are to be used one person at a time, to increase social distancing. A follow up email will provide more details.

2. FUME CUPBOARD USE

NO SHARING FUME CUPBOARDS – Currently some fume cupboards allow shared use.  Now all fume cupboard use is limited to one person at a time.  This measure is in place to ensure social distancing.

3. ANFF OFFICE ACCESS

ANFF OFFICE – LEVEL 3 RESIDENTS ONLY – To increase social distancing, access to the ANFF office area on Newton Level 3 is limited to residents of the office, except by pre-approved/formal appointment. Access to hotdesks for Raith/WVASE/COMSOL is via TeamViewer only.

TEAMS or ZOOM – To increase social distancing, wherever possible meetings will be held by Zoom or Microsoft Teams.