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Announcement | Center for Nanoscale Materials

Current User Facility Access

Proof of vaccination from CNM users, contractors and visitors

On May 13, 2021, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) announced guidance stating that fully vaccinated individuals do not have to wear face coverings indoors or outdoors, nor physically distance. This guidance has been formally incorporated into Argonne policy as of May 26.

Argonne anticipates significant numbers of onsite users in the coming weeks and months, and because of the nature of experimental work, external (non-Argonne staff) users are likely to work in close proximity to Argonne staff and each other. Accordingly, the Center for Nanoscale Materials (CNM) has enacted proof of vaccination requirements for external users, repair contractors, vendors and other visitors.

External users, repair contractors, vendors, and other visitors arriving at the CNM should be prepared to show proof of vaccination to the Point of Contact (POC) for their visit, as identified on their user work approval (UWA) or job safety analysis (JSA) form. 

The review of vaccination proof is defined as follows:

  • Requires only a visual confirmation in-person between the POC and external user/contractor/visitor.
  • Physical proof is presented in the form of a vaccination card or snapshot on a phone.
  • The time at which the proof is provided is at least 14 days after the final vaccine dose.
  • The CNM POC has an operational need to confirm vaccination status in order to maintain COVID protocols, and information will only be shared with management when operationally necessary to enforce COVID protocols.
  • Proof of vaccination will not be recorded, stored, uploaded or transmitted electronically by any CNM or Argonne personnel.

Anyone who is unable to be vaccinated for personal reasons or who fails to show proof of vaccination to the CNM POC upon request will be required to comply with all COVID protocols applicable to an unvaccinated user (e.g., use of a mandatory face mask and social distancing).

Failure by an external user/contractor/visitor to comply with the protocols above shall be treated as a safety violation and escalated through applicable division management with notification to Worker Safety and Health representatives.


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 indefinitely.  

In line with guidance from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and the U.S. Department of Energy, Argonne National Laboratory relaxed some on-site COVID-19 controls, effective Tuesday, June 1, 2021:

  • Fully vaccinated Argonne employees no longer need to wear a face covering or socially distance on site. An individual is fully vaccinated two weeks after their final vaccine dose. 
  • Fully vaccinated CNM users and visitors no longer need to wear a face covering on site. Proof of vaccination may be asked for, from you or your employer, by Argonne management if there is a need to know. 
  • Non-vaccinated employees and CNM users and visitors must continue to wear a face covering and maintain six feet of distance from co-workers while on site.
  • Although social distancing is not required for people who are fully vaccinated, Argonne is still recording the time that people are in close proximity in case an issue arises where contact tracing is necessary. Therefore, wearable proximity devices will continue to be assigned for this purpose until further notice.

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. These requests are reviewed on a case-by-case basis and require approval by the CNM Director. Requests must demonstrate why the experiment cannot be performed remotely and are evaluated against time-sensitive and mission-essential criteria. An existing or pending user work approval (UWA) on an allocated proposal is required. Experiments approved for onsite access are limited to two users onsite per UWA, with preference given to experiments that require only one onsite user.

As the public health situation improves, Argonne will eventually move to the next stages of operations. For a visual representation of our phased approach to normal operations, visit https://​anl​.box​.com/​s​/​i​o​s​r​42​t​12​t​h​5​u​s​9​q​y​3​d​45​f​u​8​j​f​8​ro89p.

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://​ener​gy​.gov/​s​c​ience.