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University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus – Gas Turnoffs in Labs

Dave Turnquist, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus
March 25, 2020

During the COVID-19 lockdowns and campus closures, should we be shutting off services, such as gas, if labs are not being utilized?

“We are keeping our labs open for critical research only.  Critical research is reviewed and approved by senior research faculty leadership.  While everyone thinks their research is critical, not all is considered as such so we have a number of labs that are shut down. 

“We have a number of house gases – gases that are centralized and distributed through piping network to the labs.  Those remain operational and monitored.  Other gases are brought into the lab in cylinders. If a lab is not operational, the valves are simply shut off.  I am maintaining staff in all the buildings, although in a reduced number and capacity.  I feel confident that with the rounds they continue to make in the research areas, keeping the house gases active at the valve in the lab, we are okay.  I am not sure if turning the gases off at the centralized locations is a good idea or not.  I would be concerned about air getting into the system, possibly creating gaps or bubbles.”