COVID-19 Considerations

Important updates to COVID-19 precautions and use of the A1R+ Confocal:

  1. The BOC is now able to train new users on the confocal! New users must create an iLab account (see this link for more details on registering an iLab account) and reserve a two hour timeslot anytime M-F between 9 AM and 5 PM.
  2. There are now multiple tutorial videos primarily aimed at using the confocal, but also relevant for using NIS-Elements generally. You can find the videos on the main BOC website here.
  3. The BOC is once again open all day Sunday through Saturday for trained users.
  4. Same-day reservations are available once again. A 15-minute buffer will be added to each reservation to give previous users time to vacate the microscope room.

The BOC has reopened. Please read the usage guidelines below before making a reservation.


The A1R+ confocal microscope has been moved from 5415 BSB to B1414B BSB (accessible through floor G on the BSB elevators or the side entrance of BSB between the main Biochemistry building and the BSB). 


Map of new BOC location (N-SIM is still temporarily located in 4251 BSB):



COVID-19 changes to instrument scheduling and use:

Changes to BOC reservation scheduling:

All reservations will need to be approved by the BOC manager. The BOC manager will add a 15-minute maintenance block following each reservation to provide enough time for the previous user to clean and vacate the equipment room before the next user.

Changes to BOC facilities use:

The BOC will abide by space requirements outlined in the university’s Phase 1 Reboot ( Specifically, only one user will be allowed in BOC equipment rooms at any time. A minimum safe distance of 6 feet between people throughout the Biochemical Sciences Building will continue to be observed. Per university guidelines, a face mask is required to work in the BOC.

Sanitation of the instruments will be conducted by users and the BOC manager. At the end of each reservation, users must disinfect all used surfaces using EtOH applied to Kimwipes. Disinfection materials will be provided by the BOC. For most microscopes, the most-used components should be given special attention:

– Stage controls (both on the microscope proper and on the stage controller adjacent to each instrument)
– Oculars
– Computer keyboard, mouse, and monitor

Objectives must still be cleaned with Sparkle on optical lens tissue (not Kimwipes!). Please contact the BOC manager if there are any questions or concerns about equipment sanitation. The BOC manager will routinely enter equipment rooms when they are vacant to clean and sanitize all equipment.

Changes to microscope troubleshooting:

Instrument assistance and troubleshooting will be handled through remote desktop. When a user requires assistance, they should call the BOC office phone (608-263-2436). If the manager has stepped out, the user should email the BOC manager at Remote desktop troubleshooting will be handled through either Microsoft Teams or Zoom.

If the issue can not be resolved through remote desktop, the user will be asked to vacate the room while the BOC manager troubleshoots the issue in person.

Changes to microscope training:

Training has resumed on the confocal, but not for the SIM or STORM.