March 20, 2020 -- The National Institutes of Health (NIH) has decided to shift all laboratory operations that are not mission critical to a maintenance phase, according to a statement released on March 20.
The shift is effective on Monday, March 23. Mission-critical functions within NIH research laboratories include care of research participants in NIH clinical protocols that are nonelective, research directly on COVID-19, urgent public health research recommended by NIH scientific leadership, work involving significant research investments that could be lost if not continued, and protection of life, property, and resources, including the care of research animals.
During this time, NIH will limit the presence of staff in laboratories supporting noncritical functions.
This announcement follows guidance issued on March 13 that all eligible NIH staff should telework to the maximum extent possible. Staff functions suitable for remote work include, but are not limited to, data analysis, literature reviews, or drafting and review of manuscripts.