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Laboratory Contingency Plans FAQs

Updated: Dec. 21, 2020

A plan that clearly delineates steps and decisions that will occur with the respect to laboratory activities during an emergency situation.

Yes, if you are the lead principal investigator of a research laboratory.

If you currently do not have a contingency plan and have laboratory activities, now is the time to generate a plan. Directives from the Governor of Virginia can be made at any time and would need to be followed by Virginia Tech laboratories within the timeframe set by the governor. 

Yes, you can contact your department head or other leadership, or Environmental Health and Safety. 

Department head (or designee), and all personnel associated with laboratory activities.

Some activities that can be performed remotely include data analysis, writing journal articles, remote team meetings to discuss future plans, submitting Institutional Biosafety Committee, Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee, or Institutional Review Board protocols for work to be performed when normal operations resume when the pandemic ends.

Your contingency plan should include what must be done should you need to pause those operations if they are not deemed essential, as well as clear instructions for a designated person to proceed with those operations if they are designated as essential.

Contact Greg Canaday, associate director of facilities operations/director of housekeeping at Virginia Tech at

Please send your question to the IBC at or EHS at 540-231-3600 and