Office COVID-19 Protocol

At this moment the M&O office is operating. We are fortunate to have a spacious office where there are inherently large social distances, and personnel can choose to work from home whenever they feel it helps the overall situation.

We developed our own office Coronavirus fighting procedures based on CDC guidelines and the best information we could find until we receive more direction from authorities. The most interesting part was the contact analysis, something we were trained on many years ago when we worked on evidence collection in the Staten Island ferry disaster.

We post our procedures here to further the debate on this subject and welcome comments.

The procedures make mention of the Raytek. A Raytek is an infrared thermometer that is widely used in surveying and troubleshooting applications. They are not meant to be fever thermometers. But since we did not have a surface thermometer in the office and could not find one, we used the Raytek to take everybody’s temperature. There was quite a bit of variation in the temperatures, but out of the data noise we could pick out elevated temperatures in one of our employees. He went home (and had a common cold).



1. Maintain social distance where you can.

2. As often as possible, but at least twice a day sterilize the Keurig handle.

3. Clean your own coffee mugs.

4. Put away the shared food jars and bags for the time being.

5. Don’t bring in food to share.

6. Twice a day sterilize all the door handles in use in the office including the outside doors, galley cabinets, and fridge.

7. Twice a day sterilize the printer interfaces.

8. Twice a day sterilize bathroom handles and fixtures.

9. Leave office doors open as much as possible (to avoid door handle use).

10. Split the conference room use. Travelers; David, Pierce, etc. will use the small conference room. Non travelers will use the large conference room.

11. Sterilize the phones, chair arm rests, and table tops in the conference room twice a day

12. Don’t use other people’s computers, phones, or personal devices unless they have been Lysol sprayed, or wash hands after use.

13. Tape over the latches on the main bathroom doors so the doors can be pushed open with elbow or shoulder when going in. Flip light switches with your elbow.

14. It is imperative that everybody washes their hands after all bathroom use (20 seconds with soap). It is not you; it is related to keeping any potential viruses in the bathroom.

15. Dry hands with paper towel and use the paper towel to open the door and chuck towel when the door is open. If you do this without soaping for 20 seconds, you end up spreading the virus on the door handle. So, use soap. Make sure there is plenty of hand soap.

16. Anytime you have been out of the office, first go to bathroom and wash your hands.

17. If you don’t feel well in the morning, fully evaluate your condition. There is a cold running around, but make sure it is a cold and not something else. Coronavirus symptoms are fever, cough, shortness of breath. If you have a fever stay home. The hold your breath test is not official, but as an engineer I think it has merit. (Hold your breath as long as you can, exhale and if you end up coughing you may want to check your temp, etc.)

18. Acquire a contact thermometer for the office so somebody can check if they don’t feel well. Pending availability of a contact thermometer, use the Raytek.

19. Let’s reduce person to person contact. No in office contact sports, and Vulcan greetings only.

20. We end up passing lots of files between us. The best way to prevent spread is to not touch your face when you have handled files. Wash hands before you do face stuff.

21. Place Purell around office, if we can get it. Remember, proper hand washing is actually more effective.

22. The Coronavirus dies on surfaces anywhere between 1/2 to 3 days. That means that in the morning the office is more sterile than at 5 pm. After the weekend it is pretty much completely sterile.

23. Avoid public transportation commuting.

Please provide further suggestions if you have them.