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This page captures updates related to the LNF operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.

3/14/2022: Masking policy update
Following updated U-M recommendations, masking has become optional in most indoor spaces, effective March 14, 2022. Details are at

10/20/2021: LNF distancing requirements lifted for fully vaccinated individuals
Following updated recommendations, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer require to socially distance in the LNF spaces. As a consequence:

  • Lab occupancy reservations are no longer required in any of the LNF spaces.
  • Individuals working together are no longer required to wear training face shields nor create Helpdesk tickets to document those sessions, and groups of more than 2 are allowed.
  • Social distancing is still strongly recommended for individuals who are not fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
  • See COVID-19_Protocols for all details.

6/21/2021: Update on a number of LNF protocols

  • LNF reopening to processing on Sundays
  • Regular weekly store hours resuming, Mon Thu 9:30-10:30am
  • Lab occupancy reservation requirements pilot program expanded and clarification on spaces that require / do not require occupancy reservation
  • Increased occupancy limit in cleanroom gowning room

4/12/2021: Pilot program lifting lab occupancy restrictions in EECS 1480, 1332 and 1336 continues
Following the recent announcement from the U-M Office or Research, we are happy to announce a pilot program where several lab occupancy restrictions and associated space reservation requirements will be lifted. Here are the details of the pilot program:

  • Starts Monday April 12.
  • Space occupancy reservations will no longer be needed in three areas of the LNF: EECS 1480 (all cleanroom expansion space), EECS 1332 (ROBIN CMP/dicing room) and EECS 1336 (CAD room). Space occupancy reservations are still required in all other LNF spaces.
  • 6ft distancing is still mandatory in those spaces.
  • We will allow up to two people in the CAD room.
  • If you are working with another user and may need to be closer than 6ft, the protocol has not changed, including face shields and Helpdesk ticket to be created ahead of time.
  • All other LNF COVID protocols still apply and compliance will be critical in order to move forward.
  • We do understand that the Sunday closure of LNF spaces is impacting users’ productivity, but at this time, it has to remain in place.
  • We will assess this pilot program around the middle of May.

3/12/2021: Daily cleaning steps have been updated
See for more details.

1/27/2021: Stay in place recommendation and restrictions on in-person training until Feb. 7
Washtenaw County Health Department issued a stay in place recommendation for all U-M students from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7 to help slow the spread of COVID-19 - including the more easily transmitted B.1.1.7. variant.
Additional guidance from the Office of the Vice President for Research:
Impact at LNF from Jan. 27 to Feb. 7 for all LNF users (internals and externals):

  1. Any in-person session that requires individuals to be closer than 6ft is suspended, and this applies to both sessions with LNF staff and sessions with other users.
  2. In-person sessions where the individuals can maintain 6ft distancing at all times can continue following COVID-19_Protocols#In-person_lab_usage_and_support the current protocols.
  3. Intake of new laboratory users will continue to the extent possible considering the restrictions above. New/prospective users can proceed through all the online steps listed at but be prepared for delays during the in-person training. If there are any special or urgent circumstances, PIs should contact me so that we can find a solution.- All other COVID-19 protocols remain in place.
  4. In addition, please remember that all researchers (internals and externals) who spend time onsite on campus are encouraged to participate in the weekly testing program:

11/10/2020: Staggered schedule of evaporators is no longer in effect
See COVID-19_Protocols#Staggered_usage_of_evaporators_in_EECS_1440D_no_longer_in_effect_as_of_November_2020 for all details.

11/1/2020: Protocol updates:

  1. Practicing with other users can now resume under special conditions. See COVID-19_Protocols#In-person_lab_usage_and_support for the special protocols to follow if/when two users are practicing or working together in the lab.
  2. Intake of new lab users can now resume. Note that, once again, the procedure had to be adjusted. Details are at, "Onsite usage" section.

8/28/2020: See below for several important updates to the current protocols.

  1. Lab Locations are being increased to allow for a larger number of users to work in the lab while still maintaining the required distancing. Each location can still be used by a single individual (unless it is for transient access under 5 minutes), but there will be more locations available to reserve. The updated list is posted on the COVID protocols wiki page. The changes will be implemented in the scheduler Wednesday 9/2 at 7am.
  2. Cleanroom Gowning Room. Effective immediately, two people are now allowed to be in that space as long as they maintain 6ft distancing. Note that the 2 minutes minimum between successive entries is still in place, though. The 2 minutes rule also applies to entries in ROBIN.
  3. Access Schedule and Shifts. Starting Monday 8/31/2020, users may enter the LNF outside of their shift times. However, they still have to avoid any interactions with researchers from other cohorts outside of the LNF (corridors, atrium, parking lot...), and we strongly recommend that they try to focus their onsite presence around their original shift times whenever possible. There will still be no user access on Sundays (or holidays such as Labor Day 9/7) and during the reinstated lab clean times (see below). All other protocols remain in place to ensure reduced occupancy and required distancing. Note that access to other / individual labs on campus still follows the shift schedule, unless otherwise specified.
  4. Mon/Thu Lab Cleans 8:30-9:30am are resuming. Lab users can no longer be present inside the cleanroom or ROBIN during those times. Unattended processes can run, but users should plan so that they exit before 8:30am or enter after 9:30am.
  5. Equipment Training/Support sessions with LNF Staff are resuming. We are currently developing protocols to do so safely and effectively. If you need any training/support, please create a Helpdesk ticket on the equipment that you need and requests are being addressed case by case as we work through the backlog of related tickets. If your request is time-sensitive, please make sure to provide necessary details. At this time, there is still no user-user practices or mentoring (see 11/1/20 update).

6/30/20: We are working on a process to allow campus/lab access for external LNF users. If you have an urgent need and did not respond to the May survey, please contact Sandrine Martin
Also, please remember that access to the LNF (and many campus buildings) is done in two separate shift corresponding to distinct cohorts of researchers. The times are set up strictly to ensure that there is no overlap between the groups of people. Not in the lab, not in the building and not even in the parking lot. Plan ahead and give yourself plenty of margin, since processing is slower than normal. Your LNF access device will only work during your shift times.

  • shift: 1 7am - 3pm
  • shift 2: 3:30pm - 11:30pm

6/8/2020: When setting up process services to address the lack of campus access (external users) or lack of in-person training/mentoring, the hourly rate for staff time will be reduced by 40% ($45/hr for academic users, $86/hr for non-academic users).

6/3/2020 Steps needed to reactivate your LNF access once you are cleared to conduct research on campus:
First, please remember that access is restricted to internal users who can work independently (have all the needed tool authorizations) and - since onsite staff presence is limited - have after-hours access to the LNF. If you do not yet have after-hours access, you must first complete the steps listed on the corresponding wiki page Requesting_After_Hours_Access.

  1. Complete the MyLinc COVID-19 training. Please send a copy of the MyLinc certificate to
  2. Review the LNF protocols wiki page
  3. Take the LNF protocols quiz. 100% score is required, please retake the quiz if needed.
  4. Submit your LNF access reactivation request form

5/29/2020 Material from the Friday 5/29 talk on Operations ramp up:

5/17/2020: Following Governor Whitmer's executive order from 5/15 and University directives (see the 5/16 email from Rebecca Cunningham, U-M vice president for research for more details), the LNF is proceeding with the first phase of ramping up. Note that access will initially be extremely limited. Further details will be provided very soon.
Here is a dedicated page with new protocols as they pertain to the current sitution: COVID-19 Protocols

5/11/2020: The LNF is still closed and we do not yet have a specific timeline established for ramping up, but we are actively planning for the reopening phases and needed protocols.
While requirements and guidelines from the State of Michigan and the University of Michigan are still forthcoming, we expect that the research ramp up will be very gradual. During the initial stages of re-opening, only laboratory users who are fully qualified will be allowed in the LNF. We are also considering access limitations and social distancing measures required to keep everybody safe, and to comply with State/University rules.

For further reference, please visit the U-M Office of Research (UMOR) dedicated page on research re-engagement

3/20/2020: The LNF is closed. Updates will be posted here as the situation evolves. Stay healthy everybody.

For more updates, please see the following dedicated pages (updated 4/15/2020)
University of Michigan
U-M College of Engineering
U-M Research Operations page
U-M EHS page
General information and updates about COVID-19, please refer to the CDC

3/18/20 6pm: Considering the escalating COVID-19 situation and following the directions from the University, we are closing the LNF this Friday March 20th.
Depending on hardware details, some equipment will need to be taken offline at noon, others will stay available until 3pm. Please check the scheduler for up to date status. All lab users need to complete their processing by 3pm.
Considering this, the lab will be open tomorrow morning during the normal lab clean time (8:30-9:30am).
Note that access to the building is by MCard only at this point.

3/18/2020: Parking enforcement on north campus is suspended.

  • We are implementing plans to minimize LNF onsite staffing while continuing to support our user community to the best of our abilities. We will have two groups of staff that will be onsite on alternate days (details will be on the staff calendar). On days that staff are working from home, they will be available via Helpdesk ticket, email, phone etc. The split has been developed to minimize disruption with tasks coverage and to avoid having staff sharing offices or nearby desks being onsite on the same days.
  • No more than 2 people should be in the cleanroom gowning area at the same time. Please wait a few minutes if there are already people there when you are about to enter the gowning room.
  • Please do not travel to Ann Arbor if you are not local (Southeast Michigan) and we recommend against new users starting in the LNF at this time. If this causes an issue for your group/project, please let us know so that we can find alternative solutions.
  • Following recommendations from the U-M Office of Research (, we are suggesting that you consider postponing elective activities or experiments that are not time-sensitive. It would also be wise to be prepared for a reduction in operations, and to consider what steps you would follow if your LNF work had to be placed on hold with short notice.

3/12/2020: the LNF operates normally. We have increased cleaning procedures for the areas outside of the cleanroom (shared spaces where people do not wear gloves) and are updating some of our gowning protocols as described below .

  • Additional Cleaning:

Wipes are provided in shared areas (conference room, CAD room, corridor leading to ROBIN).
Daily cleaning has been added in these areas including keyboards, mice, counter spaces, door handles, light switches, chair armrests. Please wipe down face shields before using them at all acid/base benches.

  • Cleanroom Gowning Protocol Updates:

Wash hands before coming to cleanroom entrance
Immediately after entering gowning room, first put a pair of gloves then proceed with the rest of gowning steps
Wipe safety glasses before donning them
Put second pair of gloves when entering the cleanroom
When exiting the cleanroom, put booties in the trash. Do not reuse them.

  • New Cleanroom Garment Bags Protocol:

Bags will no longer be reused from one user to the next.
Starting immediately, please obtain a second name tag and leave it on your bag at all times to prevent multiple users of the same bag.
Once we have sufficient stocks, garment bags will be removed weekly and sent to laundry at the same time as suits.

  • ROBIN Gowning Protocol Updates:

Face masks are recommended if multiple people are working together in close proximity
Immediately after entering the ROBIN gowning area, first put a pair of gloves then proceed with the rest of gowning steps
Wipe safety glasses before donning them
Put second pair of gloves before starting to process

  • New ROBIN Lab Coat Storage:

Niche spaces will no longer used for multiple lab coats or from one user to the next
Niches will be wiped down by LNF staff everytime they are emptied for laundry
When users are de-gowning, they should first wipe down inside of niche before placing lab coat inside
Never put multiple lab coats in single niche