SSRL COVID-19 Updates

We hope you enjoyed the holiday break and had a chance to spend time with friends and family in good health. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 situation across the country and in the Bay Area has gotten substantially worse than it was several weeks ago. While cases are climbing rapidly, the number of hospitalizations is still relatively low; likely due to the effectiveness of vaccinations. As a result of the substantial local transmission rates, SLAC is encouraging everyone who can effectively telework to do so, limiting people on-site at SLAC to those who need to be at SLAC to perform their work.

Consistent with the precautionary reduction to on-site population, please note the following changes at SSRL over the next several weeks:

  • SSRL activities will be limited to 1 person at a time at the beam lines and in most sample preparation lab spaces, so please plan accordingly.
  • Surgical masks or N95/KN95/KF94 masks must be worn during on-site activities.
  • COVID-19 testing is required weekly for on-site activities.
  • Maintain physical distance on site; recommend 6-foot distance from others and avoid eating together while indoors.
    • Indoor social gatherings are not allowed at this time.
  • SLACafe will remain closed through Jan. 28. With minimal on-site population, SLACafe will remain closed, but the Verve coffee shop is open from 7 am to 2 pm Monday to Friday.
  • 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.
  • Users planning to travel to SLAC for SSRL beam time scheduled in January/February 2022 may consider deferring travel either by requesting help for a remote experiment or rescheduling beam time to a later date.
    • Please contact us to discuss what options might be available.
    • Mail-in/remote experiments must be coordinated in advance with beam line staff.
  • Continue to follow COVID-19 guidance, including monitoring for symptoms and following Health Check guidance if symptomatic.


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 2022 (SPEAR3 and beam lines will be down briefly April 6-18 and May 30-June 6, 2022).

  • Access to beam lines (and most lab space) is currently limited to 1 person at a time.
  • 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 Health Check daily before coming to SLAC - Do NOT come to SLAC unless the Health Check indicates you are approved.
  • 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.
  • 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 Gate with photo ID ready.
    • 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.
  • Surgical/N95/KN95/KF94 masks required.
  • COVID-19 PCR testing is required after arrival at SLAC (on Day 1 and again at Day 3-5) and every week thereafter while working onsite at SLAC. 

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

The names of SSRL users expected on-site is provided weekly to SLAC ES&H who gives this to COLOR so users can create an account and complete COVID-19 testing. Follow these instructions (there is no cost for authorized users).

  • 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.
    • Security will normally provide 1-2 testing kits at a time. If you will be at SLAC for less than a week, please only take 1 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.

Find Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource on TwitterFind Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource on YouTubeFind Stanford Synchrotron Radiation Lightsource on Flickr