COVID-19 Planning

Last updated: March 23, 2020

We must all be committed to practicing interventions that will slow the spread of SARS-CoV2, the virus causing COVID-19. Among the most important are Social Distancing and Hygiene. 

Limit contact with others who may potentially be infected. For this virus, people can be infected and infecting others for a week or more despite still feeling healthy or only very mildly sick. The only real way to limit exposure to contagious people is to limit all exposures.

Work remotely as much as possible. Stay off campus, if possible. Avoid public transportation. Administrative staff are assigned to be working remotely. Our faculty and fellows are working remotely except for clinical activities. Research staff and trainees are minimizing experiments and ramping down research to focus exclusively on activities essential for maintaining research materials or pressing COVID-19 specific experiments.

All meetings are virtual rather than in-person for the time-being. Lindsey Stein can help if you have questions related to virtual meetings ( We have canceled all non-BU speakers. All of our Center-wide conferences are hosted virtually (e.g. Zoom). There should be no reason to gather on campus in person for any reason. Gather virtually.

No travel. All work-related trips should be canceled. No BU-managed funds (such as grants) can be used for travel or conferences. If you travel for personal reasons, then you must self-quarantine 14 days before returning to work.

Lab research is scaled down to managing essential projects and functions, to help slow the spread of infection. Each PI should lead discussions with their lab groups about group-specific plans. This will not affect salaries or stipends, and all should receive their pay as usual. COVID-19 is a pulmonary disease, and we will all do our part to fight this disease. Federal funding is available to support these efforts research opportunities.

Limit personal contacts with others and with potentially contacted surfaces. Optimal spacing between people is reported to be 2 meters (6 feet), but the general idea is that you should refrain from being close together. Avoid handshakes, sharing pens or other small pieces of equipment, railings not needed for stability, etc. Refrain from touching your face as much as possible. Purell or other skin disinfectants are helpful, but the best practice by far is to wash your hands frequently (20 seconds with soap). Soap and water kills this virus.

Most importantly, take care of yourself and others. Use good judgment. Stay connected, ask for help, offer help – we will all be eager to help each other. We are all in this together.

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Helpful info about social distancing and hygiene from MIT

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