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Suspension of all research requiring use of surgical masks, surgical gowns, and N95 respirators

Dear Colleagues,

Your efforts to modify your research activities in support of social distancing to decrease community spread of COVID-19 is much appreciated. This is adversely impacting each of our research programs not only at WSU, but at all research institutions globally. Unfortunately, we must now restrict certain types of research activity even further. The shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) has hit our community.

As many of you are aware, PPE critical to public health such as surgical masks, surgical gowns, and N95 respirators are frequently used by WSU researchers. It is important WSU take steps to help ensure availability of this valuable resource.

Accordingly, WSU research activities requiring the use of surgical masks, surgical gowns, and N95 respirators are suspended until further notice, with the exception of COVID-19 related research. Exceptions to this guidance will only be made in extraordinary circumstances. All exceptions must be approved by the department chair and associate dean for research or unit director and vice chancellor for research. Requests for exceptions should be made by email.

Individuals controlling the availability of surgical masks, surgical gowns, and N95 respirators should complete the inventory form. Please contact your chair or supervisor for assistance.

Alternatives to the listed PPE may exist depending on the procedure involved—for example, some animal surgeries could be performed using reusable cloth masks/gowns. This would need to be approved through the Office of the Campus Veterinarian ( Alternative options for PPE required for work with hazardous materials or biohazards should be discussed with the biosafety officer (

Please contact Mike Kluzik, director of the Office of Research Assurances, or me if you have questions.


Chris Keane

Christopher J. Keane
Vice President for Research
Professor of Physics
Washington State University
Lighty Student Services Building Room 286
PO Box 641060
Pullman, WA 99164-1060
509-335-5532 (W) 509-335-0890 (fax)