COVID-19 Best Practices

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COVID-19 Best Practices, FAQs, and Zone-Specific Safety Protocols

This page goes hand-in-hand with the Official COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan. The Official Plan gives broad guidance to ensure that i3 is following all applicable state laws, but may not answer every question. This page is meant as a more informal source of information as it doesn't require a member vote to change. Everyone is encouraged to add to this page so that we can all learn what works best at i3. If anything on this page directly contradicts the Official Plan, follow the Official Plan and let an officer/board member know what the discrepancy is.

If you have a question and it isn't answered here yet, PLEASE ASK. You can ask on the mailing list, on slack, or by getting in touch with the relevant ZoCo for zone-specific questions. This whole situation is super confusing and convoluted even for the people who wrote the rules for i3, so please don't be shy in asking for clarifications when needed. We would much rather answer repeated questions than have people get sick from being in the space.

Before coming to the space

In order to have your key fob reactivated, fill these out ASAP (reactivation may take up to 48 hours):

Each time you visit i3

What can you do at i3 right now?

See Rules 1-3 for the official guidance. Since we can't be classified exactly as a manufacturing facility, educational institute, social club, or community outreach, we're interpreting the executive orders to let us open for the activities that would be happening at a manufacturing facility. Thus, only "necessary in-person manufacturing activities". Now, who says what necessary means? We leave that to members' best judgments. Coming to the space is a non-zero risk, so just use your judgment about what you need to do at the space and what you could reasonably do at home. No one will be policing this - if you're working on stuff and not just hanging out, you're fine. It doesn't matter if you're working on your personal projects, projects for your small business, or projects for COVID-19 response. i3 has never discriminated against members based on what your projects are, and we aren't going to start now.

Is training on equipment allowed? Technically, yes training on equipment is allowed under the executive order. However, there is no real way to do one-on-one in-person training in a way that maintains 6 feet of separation. As per rule 7, face shields are required when working consistently within 3 feet of someone else. Even with both people wearing face shields, there is still a risk of transmitting the virus. Consider alternate ways to become trained - for example could training be done through a video call - either a demonstration by a trainer or walking through the trainee. Finally, keep in mind that zone coordinators and trainers are not obligated to come to the space if they don't feel safe doing so, so be respectful of their boundaries when bringing up the idea of training.

Shared tools

"12. The use of shared tools should be minimized as much as possible"

  • What that means is, bring your own tools and use your own tools, if you have them. if you have your own screwdriver bring it.
  • It will make you move around the space less
  • It will make it so you don't have wait/hope the tool reappears before you use it.
  • Hunting for a tool to ask for it next is discouraged! Plan accordingly for clean up and waiting.

Remote Work

"13. For computer use, remote work should be done as much as possible."

  • For example, if you need to prepare a file to be sent to lasers, 3D printers, or CNC do as much of that work as possible at home
  • If you do need to work on a computer at the space, do as much of the work on your personal laptop/tablet as possible
  • The printers are remotely accessible as long as you are on the network.
  • Some computer workstations may be set up for remote access. Ask the relevant zone coordinator if this is the case and for instructions.

Who can come to the space right now?

  • Current members, and any guests of members
  • Guests
    • The number of guests per member has not explicitly been curbed, however the total number of members + guests must be 10 or below at any given time.
    • All guests must sign the new waiver
    • All guests must fill out the screening checklist and have an entry on the work schedule (the host member can make the calendar entry on their behalf).
    • All guests must understand and follow the COVID-19 rules
    • Members are responsible for making sure their guests are following all rules (as usual)
  • No members of the general public who aren't actively hosted by a member and working on a project are allowed inside
    • This means no tours, no show and tell, no classes, no socializing, no parties, etc
  • Prospective members are welcome to start their onboarding process electronically, but we are not doing any in-person onboarding activities right now.
  • No minors. We just really don't want to deal with that level of liability right now
  • No pets. They're cute, but their purpose at the space is only social, so they aren't allowed. Their cuteness is the very reason that they are potential surface vectors transferees. They may not be able to get sick but they come to and from your home, and touch the surfaces of your home, and the virus can exist on surfaces including the coats of your pets for a few days.
    • Service Animals: Service animals are not pets and are permitted in the space. While they are present it is important to note that no one should be petting the service animals even with the permission with the owner during this time. Regardless of the belief of social distancing the temptation may be strong. RESIST. Please clean any shared surface that they may rest on while you work. (Ie pet bed)

Calendar & Occupancy

"6. Before coming to the space, you must schedule your work time by using the calendar. Staggering of work is strongly encouraged to minimize the number of people in the building at any given time."

  • Add yourself to the schedule by inviting to a calendar event.
  • The calendar can also be viewed here or by adding it to your calendar app.
  • By viewing the calendar before making arrangements to come into the space, you can find a time when the least number of people are there and thus lower your risk and everyone else at the space's risk.
  • What to title your event: First name and zone you're using would be a good way to communicate where you're going to be in the space. You can also add more details in the description if you want.
  • What if you're coming with a guest: Make an entry for each person who is coming
  • How far in advance to schedule your time: This is a judgment call by the members. However if you plan your work at least 24 hours in advance, it does give other members time to see your work block on the calendar and plan around it.
  • How long should you schedule your work for: Again, it's your call, but the longer you're in the space, the higher the risk is. Do not schedule yourself for a whole day because you aren't sure when you'll make it in. Only schedule yourself for the time you actually expect to spend doing your work and cleaning up.
  • What if I'm at the space and I accidentally stay longer than I was scheduled for: Try not to do that, but if you do, just edit the event so it's accurate. And then next time plan better.
  • Is this calendar public? Yes - it's up on the wiki so it is public. However it isn't the same as our public events calendar. If you are concerned about privacy, don't put your name - just the zone you plan to be using.
  • This calendar is super unwieldy and I hate it: Yeah, it's not the most user-friendly, and it's definitely inconvenient relative to stopping by whenever, but it is necessary. If you have a better system, calendar, or schedule widget thing you want i3 to try, please speak up!

General Occupancy Guidelines

  • The current max occupancy is 10 persons, approximately 25% of our max occupancy.
  • Total occupancy is not as important as zone occupancy. If you are still clumped up around other people in one zone, that is still going to be higher risk than if you were spread out. Some zones have specific limits--see list below.



  • Masks are required, and i3 has limited quantities of disposable masks on hand if you don't have one.
  • Members are encouraged to wear their own mask (as they are required almost everywhere else right now).
  • Members are encouraged to bring in donations of disposable/sterilizable PPE if they can.

Cleaning Supplies

  • i3 will do its best to have a variety of cleaning supplies on hand, however they're hard to come by, so if you have your own, please bring some with you.
  • Before using chemicals to sanitize tools and equipment, consult the zone-specific guidance in the list below.
  • Members can choose to donate to a cleaning fund supply in proportion to what they use to help the space out.
  • Members are encouraged to bring in donations of cleaning supplies

Traffic Patterns & General Navigations

  1. You can avoid touching many shared surfaces like light switches by using your phone to turn on the lights. See HOWTO Turn on the Lights.
  2. The hallway connecting the E-lab, media lab, bathroom, and classroom shall be one-way with traffic moving from the west hallway door, through the classroom, and exiting into the i3 main entrance area.
  3. The “not a hallway” Media Lab shall not be used as a hallway.
  4. When waiting to enter the space or use the bathroom, stand a minimum of 6 feet from the door and other people.
  5. Before going through a closed door members shall either knock or shout in order to coordinate movement.
  6. Whenever possible use feet/hips/back/elbows/shoulders to open doors.
  7. Vinyl/tape floor/walls if you think it would be useful

Zone-specific Safety Practices


  • Wipe down the keypad after you use it to get in

Bike Shop

  • See Tool Crib


  • So for the classroom, spacing could be attained if one person sat at a table under the TV, another sat near the pole at a table there, and a third at the wall under the white board or in the corner under the camera if the table is down. Though anyone passing through in this scenario might need to wear a shield to exit out the classroom door, as they'd be within 3 feet of people seated there.
  • There should not be a need to remove chairs. Max is 3 persons, There may be 5 chairs in the room if memory serves right. Some are more or less comfortable for a user. These were also purchased for the classroom. Put up a sign limiting occupancy to 3. As for disinfection of chairs, no bleach. Wipe down with a rag sprayed with disinfectant if needed. Wash hands!
  • Clean the classroom folding tables with cleaner -- soap/water, bleach/water, cans of disinfectant, whichever is available to you and convenient. Best is to do it before you set up to work, and after you have finished before leaving.
  • Use elbow to leave classroom to entrance, single direction
  • Use disinfectant to clean light switches, TV remote
  • Sewing table and iron have instructions listed under the Sewing section (absolutely no bleach!)


  • Tables should only be used if needed and then wiped down immediately after
  • Recommend using vinyl seating (such as stools) for easy wipe downs before and after
  • Fridges, vending machines, and water cooler should not be used
  • Video games/tv/stereo should not be used.


  • No training will be conducted at this time.
  • If you are interested in learning to use the Haas at some point, now is a great time to learn or sharpen your CAD/CAM skills! Email for details and recommendations.
  • Sanitize the controller, doors, work surfaces, and computer area after you use them. Same for hand tools.
  • Do not wipe down machine surfaces with bleach, alcohol, or anything else that may strip the protective coating of oil and cause things to rust.
  • Payment with PayPal is preferred over cash. If using cash just round off amount so you don't have to reach in to make change.

Craft Room

  • Tables: soap/water, cans of disinfectant, whichever is available to you and convenient. Best is to do it before you set up to work, and after you have finished before leaving. NO BLEACH on sewing machines. Further info about sewing equipment is under the Sewing section.
  • Craft tools like paint brushes, scissors etc:
    • If tool has metal or plastic handle, wipe with alcohol or soap/water.
    • If tool has wooden handle or finished wooden handle, clean with soap and water only.
  • When opening/closing containers, searching for supplies in the drawers, or using your craft supply Fridge Card®, WEAR GLOVES.
    • Most of these touchables have labels, and most labels will be damaged, sometimes rendered illegible, by cleaning with soap and water or alcohol.
      • If reusing gloves, put them on first, then wash your hands to make sure your gloves are clean.
  • Room occupancy - 1 person. If someone is painting, sewing may be done in the classroom. If someone is sewing, craft work could be done in the classroom or commons (except if Commons is closed. Also, if using the classroom for craft painting, gluing etc please use paper or something on the tables. Fewer stains for you to clean up when you're done!


  • Remove all but one chair. For the whole room, seriously, it’s just cramped.
  • Whiteboard tables are OK to sanitize. Static mat is OK to sanitize. Hardboard might not react so well, so just keep the static mat scooted up to the edge so the hardboard isn’t a touch surface in the first place.
  • Soldering irons with foam grips? Just sanitize them. If the foam needs replacing when this is all over, so be it, but don’t be timid about being clean. (I expect a lot of things to get corroded. We’ll deal.)
  • Encourage use of paypal for components instead of cash.


  • Remove all chairs
  • Sanitize as needed; the benches could use refinishing at some point anyway.
  • Use new gloves for contact with the fslaser cover; this is acrylic and may be damaged by alcohol based cleaners. Again, though, we can make a new one if needed
  • PayPal only for donations, no cash permitted
  • This may restrict the use of the zone; so be it
  • Leave vent fan on at all times

Injection Molding Zone

  • The zone is closed at this time, however, exceptions can be made. Please contact Thad at to discuss.
  • Many things need to be considered prior to molding a part, i.e. being at i3, so be sure to contact me for discussion if you have a project.


  • Our table top would need to be sanitized with a sanitizer bottle of some sort before and after use.
  • We are a small area but the torch handles, crock pots and any tools used will need to be wiped down after each use!
  • I would like to see 2 people at a time only in our area which was not a huge problem unless we were doing a group project together.
  • 2 people per table should be ok, masks are a must.

Kiln Zone

  • The soft brick that the ceramic kilns and glass kiln is made of is so porous that any kind washing would undermine their structural integrity. How ever, with regular use the high temperature they operate at should more than kill any type of harmful bacteria or virus substances.
  • Raw clay is made plastic by the living bacteria it is made from. Clay is literally decomposed silica based lifeforms. So, much like sour dough bread starter or cheese, sterilization would not be appropriate.
  • As far as work surfaces, floor surfaces and tools, those can all be cleaned with bleach which kills any covid viruses with 5 minutes of concentrated contact.

Laser Cutters

  • When done, spray and wipe down: laser door and handle, focus gauge, exhaust gate handle.
  • Wipe down the laser control panel, power button, mouse, and keyboard with cleaner, but don’t directly spray onto them.
  • Payment with paypal is preferred over cash in the zone box.

Leather Loft

  • No feedback yet, assumed closed


  • Use alcohol wipes to clean the press and type (no soap/Lysol or anything that would leave a residue)
  • Consider using disposable gloves for entire print run (you'd be wearing them anyway to apply solvent)
  • If wearing gloves, use them properly (do not touch the outer surface of the gloves; do not touch your face while wearing them)
  • You can borrow linoleum carving boards and tools for off-site use - please e-mail Ashley Lesser to make arrangements

Machine Shop

  • There are no specific precautions to use this zone right now
  • Cash is fine, or paypal, just please pay for consumables used and items broken. It is really, REALLY easy to just sequester a box of cash for a few days without touching it.
  • Please only wipe down metal handles after you use them, do not apply chemicals or solvents to plastics or other non-metal parts without consulting the zone coordinator.
  • Do NOT wipe down arbitrary surfaces of tools with bleach, alcohol, or anything else that may strip the protective coating of oil and cause things to rust.

Media lab

Working on getting remote access set up with calendar

  • Possibly moving computers to B-Side
  • Printers: Please disinfect surfaces and/or buttons you push after using printers
  • Usage of the Oculus Quest is currently on pause until we come up with a proper way of disinfecting or possibly a calendar system for usage with "decontamination" period between users.


  • Use sewing machines in the craft room (single user) or classroom (up to 3 if they can be spaced 6feet apart)
  • So for the classroom, spacing could be attained if one person sat at a table under the TV, another sat near the pole at a table there, and a third at the wall under the white board or in the corner under the camera if the table is down. Though anyone passing through in this scenario might need to wear a shield to exit out the classroom door, as they'd be within 3 feet of people seated there.
  • As the craft room serves partly as a tool crib of sorts for art supplies that are used elsewhere (knives, pens, paints, glue), a person who is doing embroidery in the craft room could elect to book a spot in the classroom instead, if they felt more comfortable not being in a room that may get visits from supply collectors (just please make sure the classroom table legs are locked in place before setting up the machine -- they have a history of folding)
  • 2-3 chairs usually live in the Craft Room. Users have preferences to chairs. Recommending them to stay, post a sign reminding occupancy limit of one person to the room.
  • Suite B office is a possible temporary option, however note as weather warms up, humidity does affect machines (especially embroidery) and AC is preferred. (But if B becomes an entry door, this may not be a location to settle in.)
  • Common area is deemed too dusty for operation of sewing machines, especially the domestic, computerized ones.
  • Note that sewing equipment (machines, iron and mats) may have different cleaning guidelines - ie, for the most part, no bleach mixes, and no spraying machines… signage indicating acceptable cleaner will be going up on each.
  • Large sewing table in the classroom: the manufacturer of the mat recommends wiping it with soap and water. Please do not use bleach or alcohol products on the table/mat.
  • To that effect, is it possible to get an alcohol based cleaner/wipes? This was recommended for the Husqvarna machines.
  • DO NOT use denatured alcohol on the sewing equipment.

Tool Crib

  • Do not apply chemicals to tools if you don't already know how the materials interact.
    • If you know how things interact, feel free to add a list to this section of how to clean what.

Vinyl shop

  • Clean Table and cutting mat after use. Wipe down any tools used in vinyl zone (picks, knives etc). Wipe down vinyl cutter after use.


  • During this time, sharing of welding helmets and gloves is discouraged.
  • Gloves:
    • It’s really a good idea to buy your own gloves. There are countless guides for picking welding gloves out there. Ask on Slack #welding if you want to have a conversation about it.
    • If you must wear shared gloves, it’s recommended to put on disposable gloves under, make sure you don’t touch your face while wearing, and wash your hands thoroughly before and after.
  • Welding Helmets
    • Welding helmets do not provide protection from airborne threats. They are only there to protect from the light radiation hazard from welding.
    • Because of the close-to-the-face nature of welding helmets, shared use is discouraged. They are very difficult to clean properly, because of all the nooks and crannies inside. Spray cleaners are unlikely to do a sufficient job, and can lead to inhaling the chemicals.
    • The best thing is to buy your own face shield. A basic one can be had from harbor Freight or Northern Tools for under $50, sometimes under $30 with discounts and coupons. They tend to be less comfortable and have fewer features, but are considered adequate for hobbyist use. (The nicer ones start around $200, and can go into the thousands. Come to Slack #welding if you’d like to chat about them.)
    • If you must use a shared mask, please do the following:
      • Inform Slack #welding that you are doing so.
      • Label the mask (green tape and sharpie) with your name and the date you used the mask.
      • Don’t use a mask that has been used by someone else within the last 3 days (5 days is safer, up to you what you want to risk.)
  • Other equipment
    • The handles and knobs of the tools you use should be wiped down with appropriate sanitizing tools before and after use. Follow standard hand tool procedures as in the rest of the space.


Any of these actions not performed will result in revocation of tool privileges immediately upon reporting of suspicion of non-cleaning

Any and all questions may be directed towards the Woodshop slack and sent to Thomas Tusano either by slack, email and phone number

  • If a water based cleaner is used on the stainless steel tables of ANY tools, they must be immediately wiped away, and not allowed to rust, If there are new rust spots on the table, report and document them immediately to the zone coordinator. Please take care of any and all stainless or metal tool surfaces.
  • Do Not Use gloves on tools which may catch and drag your hands into them, instead pay attention and think of ALL TOUCH POINTS, on the tool or machine in question.
  • unclog any and all sandpaper as you would normally and be very careful to sanitize all tool touchpoints
  • Read this list, twice, then think of all touch points and read it again.
  • Any and all high touch points on Woodshop tools (Tool handles, on and off switches, any and all parts that do not prevent you from touching them via spinning blades) must be cleaned with and 50/50 mix of denatured alcohol or sanitized before leaving the shop, and all previous necessary cleaning measures go doubly.
  • Sweep Before you leave, AND sanitize the broom
  • Empty and keep empty both the scrap bin and Dust Collection bin, sanitize all touch points involved with these two items.
  • Communal Glues, Sandpapers, resources and consumables will be suspended until further notice, please bring your own if needed, and be courteous about using what is currently left, USE YOUR OWN FIRST and DO NOT share with others if it can be helped.
  • Wipe down any and all clamps
  • In the case of a Sawstop trip, contact the zone coordinator IMMEDIATELY, do not reach into the sawstop, or inspect the cartridge, shut down the saw and let the zone coordinator or channel know so that we may figure out how to coordinate a replacement of the blades and cartridge. That being said, avoid Sawstop trips at ALL COSTS, and make sure the saw will not trigger after sanitation. Please read the manual and contact the coordinator if there are any concerns about operating the Sawstop table saw, and do not use the saw if you have not been previously authorized.
  • To acquire authorization for any new tools, please submit a portfolio of works involving the tool process in question, (Ie, a picture or video) of prior knowledge to the Zone Coordinator for consideration, if you do not have prior knowledge, a new tool authorization will not be granted without evidence of competency.
  • Double check any and all tools, THINK REAL HARD ABOUT IT, and then sanitize them if you have any doubts about having touched it
  • Do not share lumber, and sanitize all touch points
  • Triple Check, Have you cleaned the zone as you would, and sanitized ALL TOUCH POINTS?!?