Mass Spec COVID safe SOP revised 28 Aug 2020

COVID-safe SOP (MS Facility) Revisied 28 Aug  2020


Bhaskar Godugu is responsible for the MS instruments.  If you have questions about proper use, contact Bhaskar at

  1. Access to the MS facility:

    1. For users housed outside of the Chemistry complex, access will be approved on a case by case basis.  Please email Bhaskar at and carbon copy Pete Chambers to make your request.  We ask that requests are consolidated to the minimum number of users necessary to conduct ongoing research.
    2. All walk-on MS facility instruments in the front room must now be reserved before their use. Scheduling will proceed through FOM, which is available at If you are already trained and do not have access to FOM, please contact Bhaskar.  The MALDI and LCMS- 2020 will be available for users to reserve on this platform.  To reserve the GCMS-2010S, please email Bhaksar, who will block access to the other two instruments during your timeslot due to social distancing requirements.  All users must maintain a distance of 6 feet to assure a safe working lab environment.
    3. Access to the interior (HRMS) room for users will be available based on prior request.  At no time will there be no more than two people at once in the interior room including MS facility staff and allowed users.  All people must maintain a distance of 6 feet to assure a safe working lab environment.
    4. To help with contact tracing, do not use your account to reserve instrument time for another user to physically use the instrument. Also do not let another user use your unused time slot.
    5. Movement within Chevron and Eberly requires the wearing of a face mask.  Upon entering the CIC on the 4th floor of Ashe, you must wash your hands with soap and water in the sink in the x-ray lab.  Please be cognizant of users in both the NMR and X-Ray areas and maintain proper social distance.
    6. After washing your hands, proceed directly through the corridor to the instrument you have reserved.

    7. You should always come into the facility only through the main door. Do not use the door on the other side of the NMR facility (behind Rose’s desk) to enter or to exit.
    8. There should be one (and only one) person per instrument, and you should not come in groups even if working together in the same lab.
    9. If you have not yet used the MS Facility since the COVID protocols, discuss the protocols with Bhaskar, review the SOP and confirm with Bhaskar that you understand and will abide by these precautions.
    10. Day to day MS maintenance is handled and/or coordinated by Bhaskar Godugu, please inform him ( of any issues or concerns with the instruments.


  1. Transporting Samples:

    1. While transporting MS samples to CIC, remember to follow safety protocols that are already in place, such as using secondary containers and using the freight elevator while transporting multiple samples. More info can be found here:
    2. Do not leave any secondary containers in the MS lab while your samples are running or after you are done.
    3. Do not leave any samples in the walk on area, in the hood, or at the MS facility after the experiment is completed.  Only samples for submission should be left behind in the normal area.


  1. Basic requirements for COVID safe usage of the MS facility:

    1. Wear mask at all times while at the MS facility and within the CHemistry Complex.   Please remember that face coverings and masks do not negate the necessity to maintain a 6 feet social distance and it is crucial to follow these rules to establish a safe lab environment.
    2. Safety goggles/glasses will continue to be required while using any of the instruments.  Gloves should be worn during disinfection.
    3. Wash hands with soap and water before use (there is a sink inside the X-ray lab).  The sink is common for all three facilities so please do not forget to maintain a distance of 6 feet.
    4. Disinfect tool before AND after use
      1. Spray provided disinfectant on a paper towel and wipe off the keyboard, mouse, arm rest area of the desk and chair.
      2. Make sure you dispose of paper towel and Kimwipes inside the trash can.
      3. MS instrumentation will be disinfected periodically by MS facility staff
    5. Ensure that area surrounding the equipment is clear, clean, and disinfected.
    6. Wash hands with soap and water after use.


  1. MS Data Access and Processing:

The MS Facility maintains processing software on computers within the laboratory. The large number of different programs and their expense limits the ability of the facility to provide individual users with access to processing software. Users needing to process data should treat the processing computers as normal equipment subject to the same cleaning procedures, distancing protocols, and restrictions listed above. Users are also encouraged to contact the facility director to explore other options.

5. Shutdown:

If the University must shutdown the facility and access to the shared instrumentation, Bhaskar is responsible for blocking access through FOM and shutting down the instruments properly.

New User Training

Potential new users should contact Bhaskar Godugu by email to schedule a training. Do not come to the facility or office without an appointment. Bhaskar will confirm a time with the trainee and reserve the instrument time in advance.

a.  One and only one trainee is allowed per training session. Come alone at the scheduled time.
b.  Per EHS recommendation, a face shield along with a disposable face masks must be worn by both trainer and trainee during the training session, as they might be closer than 6 feet.
c.  Upon entering the CIC, users should wash their hands at the sink in the X-Ray lab (immediately to the right of the entrance).
d.  It is not necessary to bring a sample to the lab. Everything needed for training will be provided by MS staff.
e.  During training, only staff will operate the spectrometer and other equipment. Staff and users should not share the same keyboard and mouse.
f.  Staff will be responsible for disinfecting the training area after use.


COVID shutdown and clean


Cleaning procedure for the Mass Spectrometers after it was found to have been recently used by a person who is diagnosed with a COVID infection.

a.  All users will be notified by email that a given piece of equipment was used by a person who tested positive or is showing symptoms for COVID as required by the University of Pittsburgh

b.  Emergency Operations Center (EOC).

c.  Block scheduling and access to the equipment and the room in which it is located as required by the current EOC guidelines.

d.  Disinfect entirety of the instrument and its surrounding area by wiping every surface down appropriate disinfectant as required by the current EOC guidelines.

e.  All users will be notified by email when the tool is available for use and it will be made available on FOM.