LabCentral’s Measures in Response to COVID-19 for Our CommunityMarch 10, 2020 | By Johannes Fruehauf
Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this blog belong solely to the individual author, and not to LabCentral or the author’s employer, organization or committee.
By design, LabCentral is a collaborative place of ideas, innovation, meeting, and exchange, but in this current situation, we must be proactive and do what we can to help prevent or slow the spread of COVID-19 through our facilities and the broader Kendall Square community.
Yesterday, we notified our residents asking them to follow the guidelines listed below and work with us during these difficult times. The goal of the measures we are taking is to reduce traffic into LabCentral and the density of people onsite which will lower the risk of transmission and is in addition to the escalated cleaning protocols that we enacted last week.
The following will be in effect at all LabCentral facilities until further notice:
- Work from Home Policy: We are strongly advocating a work from home policy for all residents that do not need to be onsite. The LabCentral team will also be following this guideline so you will see reduced onsite staffing immediately, although the team can be reached remotely.
- Event Cancellation: All LabCentral events will be canceled until further notice.
- Tour Cancellation: All tours of LabCentral facilities will be canceled until further notice.
- Reduced Visitor Access: In order to reduce the risk for all, LabCentral building access will be limited to residents and sponsors with LabCentral badges only. No other vendors or visitors will be allowed onsite starting March 11. Residents have been asked to shift to online meetings using their preferred web conferencing solution (note: Google has made their enterprise-level video collaboration tools free until July).
- Café Options: Food offerings in the cafes will be reduced and limited to individually-wrapped selections. All communal containers of food, mints, etc. will be removed.
In addition, this week we are holding meetings (with online participation options) with senior leaders from resident companies to strategize and talk through considerations for additional measures or protocols. There are currently no known or suspected cases of COVID-19 at any LabCentral locations, but we are also working on determining best practices for notifying the LabCentral community of any infections should they arise, as well as next steps pending any changes to local, state or federal mandates.
In the meantime, please continue to follow the CDC recommended guidelines on handwashing and other preventative measures outlined by local, state and federal health authorities.
Given the fast-moving nature of the virus and its impact, we will review these guidelines regularly and will communicate any changes as needed.
President & Executive Director