CIDD Town Hall on Safe Return to Work

Notes from the CIDD Town Hall conducted on June 10th, 2020.

3 page document on the Huck Sharepoint with return process summary

  • Only be on campus when running experiments and as needed otherwise
  • Can open conference rooms for overflow workspace if needed (for those who need to be in labs)
  • Need coordination among groups, especially within MSC due to open space and shared resources (ex: autoclaves)
    • There are now shared calendars among PI’s and labs in the MSC (you can ask your PI to be added)
    • Procedures in place and sign-up sheet for when you were in the lab
    • Coordinate with PI(s) of non-Huck equipment shared across labs (ex. qPCR machines)
    • If you’re not sure how to properly clean equipment, ask your PI or Moriah Szpara
  • Movement in MSC
    • Recommendation: Limit your movement and use the most direct route, be aware of personal space of yourself and others
    • Example: (If your office is near the front door, use the front door. But if your lab is further away, use the middle corridor)
    • Contact tracing states that one must be in the same space for >10 minutes to be a potential “contact”
    • Don’t chat in hallways
  • MSC Building reopening date not yet defined, but expected in approximately 2 weeks
  • Encouraging people to eat outside when possible, bring a lunch to avoid fridges/microwaves; no food brought into lab areas for now
  • No limits on when workers can be in MSC, but encourage a “buddy system” at all times
  • Information on cloth masks to be sent out (below)


If you are uncomfortable returning to work or have concerns not addressed today you can reach out to your PI, Beth McGraw, or Michael Uchneat. You can also go to Beth, Mike, or HR if there are items you are uncomfortable about, cannot address with your PI or if your PI will not address these

  • This includes specific concerns like daycare or caretaker needs, individual medical needs and concerns, etc.


Additional resources

Here’s the latest link to the Northwestern study from Mueller et al. (now at v4), that Beth previously sent to the CIDD-listserv, back when the first preprint was highlighted in an NPR news piece. It has quantitative data comparing a number of homemade cloth masks, and documents improvement in efficacy w/ a nylon (i.e. stocking) over-layer. The PDF for this one is also attached below.

I’ve also attached a good & highly readable study testing efficacy of homemade masks, by Davies et al. Though the ’n’ of tested individuals was small, it is a good example of how to think about this. The PDF for this one is also attached below.

For those who want to get into the gritty details (no pun intended)), this is a good literature review from U. of Minnesota:

And here are two more good preprints, with different merits:
Wilson et al, w/ more data quantitating different cloth-mask types:
Liang et al, w/ a meta-analysis & review of other studies on this topic:

Finally, here’s an example from the primary literature of healthcare workers in Vietnam who were asked to wear different mask types. Keep in mind that with this & similar “field” (i.e. hospital / front line) studies, the level of exposure & ambient pathogens in the air is FAR higher than what we expect to be in ambient air in MSC.

Physical Distancing Article from Dr.McGraw:




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