COVID-19 Updates: Re-Opening the Economy; Shift-based Operations; Webinar with View from the “Front Lines”

April 21, 2020

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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.

First and foremost, we continue to be grateful for the tireless efforts of the healthcare professionals in Massachusetts and around the world who are working around the clock to mitigate the human toll of the COVID-19 crisis, sometimes in conditions that put them and their families at risk. It is not unnoticed or unappreciated!

Over the past several weeks, LabCentral has instituted what we anticipate will be our strictest policies with regards to limiting access to the building, mandating facial coverings, and promoting social distancing. Due to our residents’ vigilance and adherence to these measures, LabCentral still has no confirmed primary cases of COVID-19 – a record we are working hard to maintain.

The public debate: “re-opening the economy”

Recently, with talk in the media about “re-opening the economy,” we have fielded many questions regarding when LabCentral may take steps to ramp up operations and return to business-as-usual.

As we make decisions for our community, we are actively reviewing and considering the updated guidelines set forth by the CDC, WHO, and Massachusetts’ state and local governments. While we will carefully increase our residents’ on-site activity within our existing framework of COVID-related rules so they can proceed with their important scientific work, we will be far from “business-as-usual” for quite a few months.

Epidemiologists say that until two-thirds to three-fourths of the population has developed immunity against the virus – through infection or through an effective vaccine – we will need to maintain a disciplined regimen of non-pharmaceutical interventions, such as social distancing and density standards.

Focusing on Flexible, Shift-based Operations

The scientific, operational and growth needs of our residents continue to drive our plans and a key priority is to accommodate more of their lab-based needs. Starting in May, we expect to modify our LabCentral staffing structure to increase our total team member count on-site and spread the coverage over a longer workday, and into the weekend. This will provide coverage for our resident companies to build shift structures into their workflows and team presence on-site.

The overall goal is to maintain keeping relative density down, while increasing the ability to have more scientists active in the lab during different “shifts.”

Webinar: A View from the “Front Lines” of the Crisis

LabCentral’s virtual event series – Innovation & Biotech in the Time of COVID-19 – continues this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. ET with the third event: What’s Happening on the Front Lines. In today’s panel we hear from workers on the front-line of the crisis who will detail what they’re facing and how the biotech community can help.

Speakers include:

·       Richard Malley, Senior Physician in Medicinal Division of Infectious Diseases at Boston Children’s Hospital (and scientific founder of Affinivax);

·       Joshua Resnick, Physician at the Department of Emergency Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital, Managing Director at RA Capital Management

·       Hannu Rajaniemi, Co-Founder and CEO of HelixNano

Register here for the webinar and a recording will be available for playback.

Please continue to Stay Safe, Stay Healthy, Stay Home!