Experts Discuss COVID-19 Impacts to the Laboratory

Experts Discuss COVID-19 Impacts to the Laboratory

Lessons learned, one year after COVID

MaryBeth DiDonna

The COVID-19 virus has forever changed our perspective on cleanliness, personal interaction, and our environment.  The thought of a post-pandemic state brings us hope, especially with the growing availability of vaccines. In the meantime, there are things that lab managers and lab planners can do to facilitate a safer return to lab spaces. 

Lab Manager's COVID-19 Summit, held in August 2020, focused on the impacts the pandemic has had on the lab management and lab design industries, how they have responded to this crisis in order to keep lab workers safe, and what it means for labs going forward. The session "COVID-19 Impacts to the Laboratory," delivered by a team from Bala Consulting Engineers, detailed some of the short-term and long-term strategies owners and lab managers can implement to increase the safety of their laboratory. The speakers described the best practices in place for laboratory and cleanroom environments—such as 100 percent outside air systems, high efficiency filters, use of PPE, and controlled access—used to make lab spaces better equipped to operate in a pandemic state. The session provided research developed by Bala, health care, and industry professionals that offered an in-depth look at building systems strategies, coupled with technology and architectural elements, and made recommendations to reduce the risk of exposure within the lab space. 

View the OnDemand broadcast of "COVID-19 Impacts to the Laboratory" here


MaryBeth DiDonna

MaryBeth DiDonna is lab design editor and digital events editor for Lab Manager. Her work for the lab design section of the publication examines the challenges that project teams face when designing or building a new or renovated laboratory, and the communication and collaboration strategies used by architects, engineers, lab planners, and others when working with lab and facility managers to complete a project. She organizes and moderates the webinars and virtual conferences for Lab Manager as well as other LMG brands, helping speakers deliver educational, evergreen content to viewers who wish to optimize their labs and build their leadership skills. 

MaryBeth has a bachelor of arts degree in English from New Jersey City University. Her hobbies include cooking and baking, birdwatching, and travel. She lives with her husband, their young daughter, and three cats in northern New Jersey. She can be reached at: mdidonna@labmanager.com.