Guidance for Decontamination of Work Area

As we continue to perform research and essential duties across the MBL Campus, we all must do our part to keep our work areas clean and disinfected as possible cases of COVID-19 may arise.

In training for Bloodborne Pathogens, I describe the approach of “Universal Precautions”.  Under Universal Precaution we assume that observed blood (individual with a wound) is contaminated with an infectious disease and appropriate PPE and decontamination procedures are to be used.  Unfortunately, we cannot see COVID-19 on surfaces, but we can take actions to sterilize our areas as though WE or SOMEONE in our group may be asymptomatic.

All work areas shared by multiple individuals must immediately start (or continue) performing the following good hygiene techniques:

  1.  Wash hands for 20 seconds with soap and water or using hand sanitizer with > 70% alcohol prior to entering work area.
  2.  Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with hands.  If you do, repeat hand washing.
  3.  Multiple times during each shift, wipe down areas (benches, workstations, door handles, refrigerator handles etc) with area determined disinfectant:
  4. Cleaning Solution
    > 70% ethanol
    > 70% isopropyl alcohol
    10% bleach solution
    Hydrogen Peroxide disinfectant
    Provided By
    Environmental Services


  5.   All paper towels/wipes should immediately go into trash

In the event an individual is known or presumed to be infected with COVID-19 as alerted by MBL Human Resources, the following steps will be implemented for the designated areas:

  1.  Immediately all individuals will be removed from the shared work areas which includes associate breakroom and bathroom.
  2.  There will be no admittance to these work areas for a minimum of 24 hours (critical animal care areas) and minimum of 3 days for non-critical work areas.
  3.  MBL Safety Office will provide Tyvek suits, gloves and safety goggles along with cleaning supplies and instructions to individuals in laboratory area.   For critical areas, masks will be provided.
  4. Cleaning with disinfectant will include all work surfaces, handles, computer stations, screens, shelves, and equipment (microwave, refrigerators, centrifuges, vortexers, pipettes etc.)  Specified cleaning solutions for animal care areas:
  5. Cleaning Solution
    Hydrogen Peroxide
    > 70% ethanol
    > 70% Alcohol or Peroxide
    Animal Care Areas
    MRC Tank Rooms, cuttlefish, zebrafish
    NXR, Axolotls
    Bay Paul, Ecosystems, lamprey


  6. Non-laboratory areas (breakrooms and bathrooms) will be cleaned by facility staff.  Facility staff will mop with appropriate disinfectant all floor areas within the laboratory.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Eric Jensen (EHS Manager) at 508-289-7424 or by email at

For additional guidance, visit the following website: