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CIRMMT COVID-19 Lab Booking Guide

Following new restrictions from the Government of Québec, CIRMMT has determined:

- Research with human participants, including performers, is suspended until at least October 28. 

- Research without human participants that cannot be carried out remotely and that has been previously approved may continue.

- No in-person research with human participants is allowed on campus or off campus.

Please note that CIRMMT members are not considered visitors and therefore may continue coming to CIRMMT if they have a booking (lab or equipment).


As of July 27, 2020, CIRMMT labs will progressively reopen. To ensure the safety of our members as well as that of McGill staff, certain restrictions have been put into place. These restrictions follow Government directives and instructions from McGill's Central Administration. 

Please check the information below and make sure you are aware of all necessary procedures before coming to CIRMMT. 

Please note:

  • CIRMMT's reopening is based on McGill's guidelines. For the most up to date information, please visit McGill's Research Ramp-up.
  • Only research that cannot be done remotely will be allowed on campus, i.e., any work that can be done on your laptop such as data post-analysis will have to be carried out elsewhere for the moment.
  • Research involving participants is now permitted at CIRMMT, as of September 21, 2020.


  • The 6 laboratories located on the 8th floor of the Wirth Music building will reopen as of July 27, 2020. 
  • Until further notice, we can accommodate ONLY 1 RESEARCHER PER LAB. 
  • The labs will be accessible only to those members who have received basic training (orientation workshop) and who have already used the facilities in the past.  
  • As of September 21, 2020, RESEARCH WITH HUMAN PARTICIPANTS IS ALLOWED. For more details, see the appropriate section below. 
  • To facilitate our operations, each laboratory can be booked by one CIRMMT member for a duration of 1 WEEK AT A TIME (from Monday 14:00 to Friday 17:00): make sure to book a lab and all the equipment required in the same booking.  
  • Access to the labs will be staggered on the first day (Monday), so that you can receive detailed instruction, one by one: the exact arrival time will be communicated once your booking is approved. 
  • Labs will be quarantined during weekends (do not forget anything inside!); disinfection, tear-down and setup of the equipment will be done by CIRMMT technicians on Monday mornings.  
  • Labs will only be accessible during building hours (7:30AM - 10:30PM): no evening session or overnight experiments in the labs please! Security guards will be on duty and check that no one stays in the building after hours, unless permission to do so is requested in advance. 
  • As usual, each booking will have to be approved and we encourage you to write to booking[at] for any question you might have about the details pertaining to your research, setup, etc.  
  • To ensure everyone’s safety, it will not be possible to sit, relax or eat in the corridor, nor to access our beloved espresso machine. And we remind you that it is not permitted to eat or drink in the labs either: meals need to be taken outside of the building. 
  • Please also note that there will be no one at CIRMMT’s reception – any administrative queries must continue to be sent by email. For general queries, please write to reception[at]


  • For use in the labs, the usual procedure is in place (book the equipment at the same time as the lab, so that the tech team can review your request and help you get the most appropriate equipment for your research).
  • For use outside of the labs, we are also following usual procedures, augmented by recommendations and guidelines for cleaning/disinfection whenever necessary. 


Access to the labs

  • Everyone will enter Strathcona/Wirth via Strathcona main entrance (the ‘old’ building);  
  • Everyone exits via Wirth main entrance (the ‘new’ building).  
  • Stairways will be one-directional.  
  • Four persons per elevator; one person in each corner facing the corner.  
  • There will be signage.  
  • Strathcona/Wirth will have agents at the door ensuring people are wearing masks and distancing appropriately. Failure to observe such directives may result in the revocation of access. 

Mandatory COVID self-assessment form/email required for every visit

Every member (professor, student, technician) needs to submit a COVID form every day they go to campus, sending an email to covid[at] The COVID-19 Self-assessment form will check the following information: 

  1. 1. Do you have any of the following symptoms: cough that is new or that has gotten worse, fever, difficulty breathing or breathlessness, sudden loss of sense of smell or taste?
  2. 2. Do you have at least one symptoms in two of the following three categories?
        • Category 1. Ear-Nose-Throat symptoms: sore throat
        • Category 2. General symptoms: intense fatigue, substantial loss of appetite, generalized muscle pain not linked to physical exertion
        • Category 3. Gastrointestinal symptoms: vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain
      1. 3. Have you been out of the country in the last two weeks? 
      2. 4. Have you been in contact with someone who has COVID-19? 

      If your answer is Yes to any of these questions, we will ask you NOT to come to the CIRMMT laboratories.  

      FOR MCGILL MEMBERS ONLY: when only coming to CIRMMT, do not complete the online self-assessment form via Minerva. Instead, you MUST complete the self-assessment via the email noted above.

      additional safety protocols

      • Masks: Following the Quebec directive, masks are mandatory when entering and circulating through the building, as well as within CIRMMT’s perimeter. Once you are in your own workspace/laboratory and alone, you may take the mask off.  
      • Hand sanitizers: will be installed on every floor of Strathcona/Wirth by the elevators, in addition to the ones in the lobbies of Strathcona/Wirth. Another hand sanitizer will be installed at the entrance of CIRMMT. 
      • Cleaning: Cleaning staff will clean high-touch surfaces every two hours, and do environmental cleaning nightly. CIRMMT technicians will take care of the equipment that you will borrow for your research. 
      • Disposal of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE): Place used PPE carefully in lined garbage bins for cleaning staff to dispose of. 
      • General safety directives: Before your first access to CIRMMT, make sure to get familiar with these directives: 
      • Non-compliance with safety protocols: If the general directives are not followed, we will follow the procedure in Appendix 2 on this page: 
      • Safety checks: McGill Environmental Health & Safety (EHS) will conduct regular walkthroughs at the start of operations. 
      • Increasing in-person presence: Be aware that we expect a gradual increase of people accessing practice rooms, offices, etc. as we near the fall term. Continue to observe all safety precautions at all times! 

      Research with Human Participants (suspended until at least October 28)

      Due to COVID-19, McGill has stipulated extraordinary regulations regarding research with human participants. We recommend that all members get familiar with such regulations to make the necessary protocol changes in their experiments so that they are ready to resume their research.

      • To comply with McGill procedures, each session in the labs will need to be approved.
      • Members wishing to re-start research with human participants should begin by determining what type of research they will be conducting:
        1. 1. Remote participation
        2. 2. In-person research respecting 2-metre distancing: there is no need to amend your ethics certificate, but you need to adapt or conceive your setup to include all necessary safety measures.
        3. 3. In-person research where 2-metre distancing is not possible: you will need a revised ethics certificate prior to starting your research. 
            • The procedures for each of these scenarios are detailed on McGill's Coronavirus - Help and information page. Please familiarize yourself with these directives put in place by McGill university in order to prepare for your research session in our labs. 
            • Research Ethics Boards will deliberate, as always, the risks and benefits intrinsic to the research itself.
      • In cases 2 & 3 above, please make sure to contact the technical team prior to make any booking to discuss the specifics of your project (booking [AT] we want to make sure that every aspect (access to the building, access to the labs for you and participants, safety protocols, disinfection of equipment, etc.) is properly set.
      • The assessment of risks are guided by two University directives:
      • Two templates of a participation information letter have been made available (see links below). McGill encourages researchers to obtain digital confirmation (typically email) in advance of the research taking place.
      Logistical Procedures:
      • Resarchers:
        • Access to CIRMMT is through the 555 Sherbrooke West (Strathcona building, up the stairs) - not through the usual Wirth building, 527 Sherbrooke West. 
        • Access to the labs is strictly restricted to the researchers involved in the project: you must use your McGill ID card or Lenel card. Participants will need to be escorted from the main entrance to the labs, and led out (all the way!) to the exit of the building, which is on the first floor of the Wirth building (527 Sherbrooke West).
        • McGill researchers will be able to use their ID card, as well as members from other institutions who already have a Lenel card (white magnetic card). If you do not have such a card, please let us know - but keep in mind that you will need a card only if you have a booking in the labs.
        • Principal investigators will be required to provide a letter (see above) to participants explaining the health and safety protocol in place for the study. Participants will be reminded in the letter that they are free to decline to participate or defer participation, and will be asked to acknowledge that they have been informed of the health and safety protocols in place and will follow them.
        • You will be asked to provide your own protective equipment necessary to conduct your research projects.
      • Participants
        • Researchers must collect participants at the entrance of the Strathcona building.
        • Participants are to fill out the forms provided at the Strathcona building entrance by the security guards and/or McGill Safety Ambassadors with their name and contact information, but without revealing their connection to CIRMMT, i.e., they should not inform that they will be taking part in an experiment. This is to respect ethics requirements. No online form should be completed by participants.
      • Everyone who enters the building must put on a mask/face-protection. 
      • To ensure proper renewal of the full quantity of air in the labs (3 times between partcipants), and to give you enough time to disinfect any piece of equipment that needs to be cleaned between participants, you need to leave 30 minutes minimum between each participant. 
      • Neither participants nor researchers should come to CIRMMT if they answer yes to any of the questions in the self-assessment form.
      • If researchers fail to observe the directives for research with human participants, they will be contacted.

      For additional information, don't hesitate to contact us (booking[AT], and monitor McGill's coronavirus webpage