SSRL COVID-19 Updates

SSRL management will continue to monitor public health guidance carefully and we will adjust COVID-19 rules accordingly should circumstances change. Note these updates related to distance requirements, vaccination, face covering, and testing:

  • In light of the rapidly declining COVID-19 rates and associated relaxation of COVID mitigation protocols, SSRL expanded its occupancy limit at beam lines to two people simultaneously with allowance for brief support visits by beam line staff introducing a third person on a short-term, transient basis.
  • Users must continue to complete the COVID-19 Health Check daily before traveling and when at SLAC (see details below).
  • Users must bring proof of vaccination for verification by SLAC Security.
    • Exceptions may be made in limited circumstances where an individual is legally entitled to an accommodation, such as disability and medical conditions or because of a sincerely held religious belief, practice, or observance. Those with an exception will be required to show proof of a negative molecular COVID-19 test from no later than the previous 3 days prior to coming onsite.
  • Since April 4, 2022, face coverings are strongly recommended but are no longer required at SSRL beamline experimental stations, labs, offices and other locations around the experimental floor. 
  • Since March 1, 2022 COVID-19 testing is optional for fully vaccinated individuals, but required for unvaccinated individuals who will continue to test twice-weekly.
    • COVID-19 testing is strongly recommended for those traveling to SLAC/SSRL from domestic or international locations (coordinate with the user office).
  • SLACafe is open Monday-Friday 8 am-2:30 pm. The Verve coffee shop is open from 7 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday.


SSRL Operations and Access Update

COVID-19 Testing

SSRL Sample Preparation Labs - COVID-19 Updates

Rapid Access to Support COVID-19 Related Research

COVID-19 Related Resources, News, Links


SSRL Operations and Access Update

The FY2022 SSRL user run resumed in October 2021 and continues through July 29, 2022 (SPEAR3 and beam lines will be down briefly May 30-June 6, 2022).

  • Access to beam lines (and most lab space) is currently limited to 2 person at a time with allowance for brief support visits by beam line staff introducing a third person on a short-term transient basis.
  • Contact beam line staff to discuss SSRL capabilities and research plans as well as to coordinate remote access and sample shipment.
  • Contact the user office for information on beam time and site access.
  • Review SSRL access procedures.
  • Ensure user agreement with your institution.
  • Complete COVID-19 Health Check daily before coming to SLAC - Do NOT come to SLAC unless the Health Check indicates you are approved.
    • If you have a Stanford or SLAC computer account, log into the  Stanford Health Check with your SUNet or SLAC email address.
    • All other external users log into the user portal, click on the tab for the COVID-19 Health Check and complete the questions. 
    • Users concerned about possible close contact exposure and/or experiencing symptoms must follow the instructions in the Health Check regarding contacting SLAC Occupational Health prior to accessing the SLAC site. Do not come onsite if you have been in close contact with a positive case within the last 14 days or if you are ill or experiencing COVID symptoms.
  • All onsite users are required to complete core training which includes:
    • ESH Course 100R - Revised COVID-19 training for Onsite SLAC Employees and Users 
    • Course 219 - ESH Safety Orientation
    • Course 115 - General Employee Radiological Training (GERT)
    • Course CS100 - Cyber Security Training for Lab Users (Also required for Remote Access)
    • SSRL Safety Talk (mandatory training in SSRL Building 120, Monday-Friday at 2 pm)
      • Everyone is required to complete the onsite SSRL Safety Orientation which incorporates COVID Practical Training.
      • After receiving a SLAC ID, proceed to SSRL Building 120 and sign up for this training on the clipboard in the Building 120 lobby.
      • Meet the SSRL Duty Operator (DO) in the lobby shortly before 2 pm to join this mandatory updated weekday training class.
  • Names of users (who have registered on the user portal, are listed on the beam time support request, completed training, and complied with access requirements) will be included on the SLAC Site Access List.
  • To obtain or renew your SLAC ID badge and proximity access, plan to arrive at SLAC Monday-Friday, 7 am-1 pm.
    • Bring proof of vaccination and original photo identification (including passport/visa documents for authorized foreign nationals) for verification by SLAC Security.
    • Upon arrival, stop at the Security Main Gate with photo ID ready to present to Security.
    • Visit the Science and User Support Building (SUSB - Building 058) to check-in at the VUE Center/Badging Office to receive (or renew) a SLAC ID badge and activate proximity access.
  • Face coverings are strongly recommended but not required at SSRL beam line experimental stations, labs, offices and other locations around the experimental floor.

In addition to the SSRL beam lines, several cryo-electron microscopes are operational; see Stanford-SLAC Cryo-EM Center (S2C2) and National Center for Macromolecular Imaging (NCMI).


COVID-19 Testing

COVID-19 testing is optional for vaccinated individuals but is strongly recommended for those traveling to SLAC/SSRL from outside of California (coordinate with the user office so you can pick up test kit upon arrival at SLAC).

  • Take SLAC ID badge to the Security Desk in the SUSB, Building 053 lobby. Scan SLAC ID badge to pick up a COVID-19 test kit.
  • Create your Color account online at:  
    • You can register any email address to receive communications from Color; however, you will be asked to confirm your eligibility by entering the email address you used for the SSRL User Portal (you do not need a Stanford/SLAC email address).
    • The create account is one page and then the next page confirms eligibility (enter your email twice if you're using the same email). To avoid confusion, please do not create more than one account.
    • For COVID testing log-in issues, contact:
  • When you are ready to do the swab testing, activate the kit online by entering the barcode or number on the physical kit at
  • Do the swab test following the instructions in the package or online, in an area away from others.
  • Return completed test kit to the collection box outside of Building 053 or 024.
    • Complete tests on Day 1 and again at Day 3-5; then every week thereafter while working onsite at SLAC. 


SSRL Sample Preparation Labs - COVID-19 Updates

We have limited sample preparation lab space with 1-2 maximum occupancy limits. We try to accommodate as many requests as possible but with current restrictions, arranging lab use is challenging and we may not be able to accomodate all requests. Contact us in advance to inquire if access is possible.

  • To learn about or request access to the SSRL Sample Prep Lab or lab equipment, visit the lab website and click on “Laboratory Access”.
  • Follow the instructions to complete and submit the online user access agreement form.
  • Maximum occupancy in most of the wet labs is currently 1. For more details and how to reserve a lab space, please contact Charlie Tapio ( ) in advance.
  • Users working in a lab with maximum occupancy of 2 must wear N95/KN95 masks. Bring own N95/KN95 masks or obtain from SSRL Safety Officer Matt Padilla (supplies are limited, but more will be ordered).
  • Due to these occupancy limits, we encourage user groups to bring 1-2 members with previous lab training. In-person lab orientation for new users may not be available.


Support COVID-19 Related Research

We welcome Rapid Access proposals for COVID-19 related studies. Please contact us if you have COVID-19 related projects that require access to our techniques or beam lines.

Department of Energy Basic Energy Sciences light sources want to ensure they are doing everything possible to enable research into this virus, vaccines or other treatment. The DOE supports research into structural biology in partnership with the National Institutes of Health, and other partners. This portal collects relevant structural biology resources in a single location, listing their basic characteristics and a point of contact for each.


COVID-19 Related Resources, News and Links

See SLAC Emergency page, SLAC COVID-19 guidelines and procedures, or additional COVID-19 resources from Stanford and SLAC.

With COVID-19 safety protocols in place, SLAC has been able to maintain a safe environment in which to work on site. SSRL will continue to monitor COVID-19 developments and employ a conservative approach to scheduling onsite external users appropriate for the level of the COVID-19 transmission threat.

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