Response to COVID-19

We are committed to ensuring the safety, health and welfare of our employees, while to the best of our ability, continuing to deliver our quality innovative services.   At the beginning of the spread in the US (mid March 2020), we recognized the likelihood of rapid spread into our communities.   As a result, we immediately implemented control / protective measures based upon the learnings from the global community.

Key Measures Include:

Our facility is regularly decontaminated, including routinely cleaning and disinfecting frequently touched surfaces, such as workstations, countertops, light switches and doorknobs.   Sharing of tools and equipment is discouraged, where feasible.   We provide disposable disinfecting wipes so that employees can wipe down commonly used surfaces (e.g., doorknobs, keyboards, remote controls, desks, other work tools and equipment) before each use.

We promote etiquette for coughing, sneezing, and handwashing.   We provide tissues, no-touch trash cans, soap and water, and hand sanitizer with at least 70% alcohol.   We encourage employees to not touch their face.   We discourage handshaking and encourage employees to use other noncontact methods of greeting.

Items, like deliveries, coming into the facility are decontaminated.

Facility access is restricted, i.e., we limit admittance to those who have completed a daily health check, are not sick or symptomatic, and who properly wear a suitable face covering (e.g., mask).   Non-essential individuals are only allowed access when absolutely necessary, and there are no other via options. Access is denied for routine deliveries, friends and family.

Daily private in-person or virtual health checks include: symptom and temperature screening.   If an employee becomes sick while at work, they are separated from others and sent home immediately.

Sick or symptomatic employees are stongly encouraged to stay home and contact a physician (as applicable).   Employees are only allowed to return to work after 14 days of no symptoms.

Business travel is restricted, utilizing teleconferencing and video conferencing for meetings, when possible.   All non-essential business travel is prohibited.   Self-quarantining is required following travel to locations with ongoing COVID-19 outbreaks.

We allow employees to stay home to care for sick family members or care for children if schools and childcare close.

Due to the initial limited availability of masks, we designed our own (including a published antiviral treatment*), and provided them to employees and their families (upon request). Commercially available masks that we have treated with the antiviral treatment are now used.

We strongly recommend, that when employees are not at work, they follow CDC recommendations including: wearing of cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain, especially in areas of significant community-based transmission.   It should be noted that wearing a cloth face covering, does not replace the need to practice social distancing.

* Scientific Reference: Quan, F., Rubino, I., Lee, S. et al. Universal and reusable virus deactivation system for respiratory protection. Sci Rep 7, 39956 (2017).