New Argonne site access requirements take effect September 20, 2021
This announcement covers new site access requirements for external users of the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM). An external user is any user who is not an employee of Argonne National Laboratory. Internal users should follow the laboratory employee guidelines.
Argonne continues to implement necessary safety measures to protect our employees and users from the negative impacts of COVID-19 on our personal health and on our scientific mission. Last week, following new White House Executive Orders and the full FDA approval for the Pfizer vaccine, Argonne adopted a new policy that requires all laboratory employees, including internal CNM users, to verify that they are fully vaccinated against COVID-19, and put in place new protocols for external users and visitors to access laboratory sites.
Starting September 20, external users of the CNM will be required to attest to their COVID-19 vaccination status and, if not fully vaccinated, provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test result that is less than 72 hours old before they can enter any Argonne site.
Please note that while Argonne’s policy toward vaccinations is changing, our operational status is not. Argonne and CNM remain in limited operations. Masks continue to be required for everyone, regardless of vaccination status, and six-foot social distancing remains in effect.
Failure by any user to comply with the protocols above will be treated as a safety violation and will be escalated through applicable division management with notification to Worker Safety and Health representatives.
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, so does Argonne’s approach to keeping each other safe and healthy so that we can carry out our critical research. Please make sure to verify the latest processes for site access before making plans to travel to Argonne. We appreciate your continued cooperation.
More details are available within this announcement.
Effective immediately: Face coverings for all people on site
To reduce the risk of being infected with the COVID-19 Delta variant and spreading it to others, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for fully vaccinated people to wear a face covering indoors in public if they are in an area of substantial or high transmission.
Today, the U.S. Department of Energy announced that all people, including those who are vaccinated, must wear face coverings when in DOE buildings and leased spaces in areas of substantial or high community transmission.
DuPage and Will counties, two of the three we monitor as part of Argonne’s region, are experiencing substantial community transmission. As a result, effective Thursday, July 29, 2021, 12 a.m. Central Time, face coverings are again required at all Argonne facilities, regardless of an individual’s vaccination status.
You must wear a face covering in all public and work areas within a building (e.g., shared offices and labs, hallways, elevators, restrooms). Face coverings are required in all face-to-face meetings and at security checkpoints (though security may ask you to lower your face covering to verify identity). Face coverings are also required inside government-owned vehicles when another person is in the vehicle. You may remove your face covering when alone in an enclosed space or when necessary to eat, provided you are six feet away from other people. Face coverings are required outdoors only when you are within six feet of another person.
As a reminder, if you are experiencing any COVID-19-like symptoms, do not come on site, even if you are fully vaccinated. Symptoms, and their intensity, vary greatly from person to person. Though vaccines provide strong protection against severe illness, hospitalization, and death, breakthrough cases may cause mild cases that allow for person-to-person transmission.
Our priority is to keep people safe so Argonne can continue to deliver on its scientific mission through the pandemic.
We appreciate your continued adoption of COVID-19 safety protocols, especially as we adapt them to respond to changing levels of risk.
CNM operations update: June 1, 2021
Argonne National Laboratory remains in Limited Operations. During this operational phase, the Center for Nanoscale Materials’ (CNM) user office has automatically extended the expiration dates of user work approvals (UWAs) for onsite work. Principal Investigators (PIs) are notified when the work is completed using remote operations, or as newer UWAs are activated or identified. Accepted proposals that have not yet begun, as evidenced by a UWA start date, are being kept in a pending status.
Currently, the CNM user program is supporting:
- Mail-in/remote operation/participation for many capabilities. Remote and mail-in access remain a priority
- Remote access to the supercomputing cluster, Carbon, and programs developed by CNM’s Theory and Modeling Group
- Mail-out programs for select samples, depositions, fabrications and other select capabilities
- Projects from Argonne-employee users that cannot be performed remotely and that meet time-sensitive and mission-essential criteria.
- Non-Argonne employee requests that require user presence to conduct experiments at the CNM can be sent through a user’s proposal dashboard. An existing or pending user work approval (UWA) on an allocated proposal is required. Experiments approved for onsite access are limited to three users onsite per UWA. [note this is revised guidance as of June 25, 2021]
As the public health situation improves, Argonne will eventually move to the next stages of operations.
The health and safety of our employees, users, students and visitors remains our top priority. As the public health situation improves, Argonne will eventually move to subsequent phases, which will bring more user activity back onsite. We will continue to monitor and adapt to changing conditions onsite, in the surrounding communities, in our state and nationwide.
Argonne National Laboratory seeks solutions to pressing national problems in science and technology. The nation’s first national laboratory, Argonne conducts leading-edge basic and applied scientific research in virtually every scientific discipline. Argonne researchers work closely with researchers from hundreds of companies, universities, and federal, state and municipal agencies to help them solve their specific problems, advance America’s scientific leadership and prepare the nation for a better future. With employees from more than 60 nations, Argonne is managed by UChicago Argonne, LLC for the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science.
The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Science is the single largest supporter of basic research in the physical sciences in the United States and is working to address some of the most pressing challenges of our time. For more information, visit https://energy.gov/science.