NCCAT COVID-19 Operations

NCCAT is under remote operations. Please note that there will be NO onsite user access until further notice.

Dear NCCAT users,

The National Center for CryoEM Access and Training (NCCAT) will remain closed for on-site access, but open for remote COVID-19 rapid access.

The NYC region is projected to start PhaseI re-opening June 8, 2020. In response to this, NCCAT will start to phase in remote non-COVID-19 research beginning with 25% capacity the month of June. Operationally, we will ramp-up capacity taking guidance from the New York Forward NY State re-opening plan. The Time Allocation Committee (TAC) will be in touch with the spokesperson of awarded proposals to work out scheduling and logistics.

We are committed to doing our best to lessen the impact of these policy changes on your research. You may email nccatuseroffice [at] for further details.

NCCAT operations
June 1, 2020


For answers to common questions we received about our ramp-up please see our FAQ: .

Instrumentation access

GUP, RAP and BAG instrumentation access users will be contacted by the TAC and NCCAT User Office (NUO) to schedule access. We plan on a 25%, 50%, 75% and 100% capacity phase-in for remote access pegged to the NY State metrics, Governor’s phased reopening plan and NYC Mayor’s guidance. 

GUP1, RAP and BAG Krios access will be for Krios ready grids. NCCAT staff will assist with remote data collection. Ahead of your scheduled session, the NUO will arrange for a video conference to work out logistics and answer questions you may have. The GUP1 access category is projected to begin ramp-up mid-June with RAP soon to follow. The BAG program start will be delayed until the summer until we are able to appropriately ramp-up staffing.

GUP2 and BAG Chameleon access will be more measured as there requires greater NCCAT staff on-site presence to assist with Chameleon sample preparation and screening on the Glacios. As with our other instrumentation access categories the NUO will arrange for a video conference ahead of scheduling your session. This access category is projected to begin ramp-up mid-July.

Cross-training access

We will suspend on-site cross-training and on-site workshops until further notice.

TP1 and TP2 awardees will receive remote training where possible. The NUO will contact you to draft a customized cross-training program. We have made strides to expand our distance learning program, which will serve as a foundation for this remote cross-training plan. Some of our planned modules will be dependent on your home institutional resources.

We plan to re-schedule our on-site workshops for next year and regularly incorporate remote workshops or tutorials as part of our distance learning initiatives.

General hygiene practices at NYSBC

Until further notice, there is no on-site user access to NCCAT or NYSBC. There is restricted onsite access to staff and vendors.

NYSBC COVID-19 policies:

  • All people going to the center must be pre-registered with the center and the security guard
  • Affiliates, visitors, and contractors are not permitted onsite if they have any COVID-19 symptoms. The guard will ask to confirm that they do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.
  • Inform us when you are onsite and when you leave as we need to practice social distancing and keep the numbers of staff/vendors on-site to a minimum
  • To the extent practicable, affiliates, visitors, and contractors should stay at least six feet away from staff members unless they have provided evidence of their COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Affiliates, visitors, and contractors must wear a KN95 or N95 mask while onsite. A KN95 or N95 mask will be provided by NYSBC if necessary. This requirement can be waived if visitors provide a CDC vaccination card or show their New York State Excelsior Pass showing proof of COVID-19 vaccination.
  • Use hand sanitizer upon entering the Center
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially:

     Each time you enter NYSBC
     After going to the bathroom, before eating, and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

  • Use hand sanitizers and wipes after touching common surfaces; throw out wipes right after using
  • Do not touch your eyes, nose, or mouth
  • Cough or sneeze into elbow or tissue (to be disposed of immediately)
  • No handshaking
  • Use gloves when handling common reagents (e.g. buffers, enzymes, etc.) and immediately dispose of used gloves
  • Keep interior doors open to the extent practicable
  • Try to avoid touching door handles and other surfaces
  • Clean benches and common areas frequently with 70% isopropyl alcohol
  • In your work area, before anything else, use disinfectant to wipe down any surfaces you will be touching, computer keyboard, bench top, etc.
  • Kitchen and NCCAT kitchen area are closed and may be accessed only to use the refrigerator (bring your own thermos for coffee, tea, etc.)

     Use sanitizing wipes to wipe down refrigerator before and after use.

  • Use sanitizing wipes to wipe down water coolers before and after use
  • Use only designated bathrooms

     One lobby bathroom has been designated for use by security staff
     One NCCAT bathroom has been designated for use by outside contractors
     Use sanitizing wipes to wipe down bathroom before and after use

  • Upon leaving, wipe down those same surfaces