News & Politics

The NIH Is Shutting Down All Non-Critical Onsite Operations

Coronavirus-related labs will still be open

Coronavirus 2020

About Coronavirus 2020

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In an email sent to NIH employees Friday, NIH director Francis Collins announced that only “mission-critical functions” will be allowed to continue onsite starting March 23.

“Mission-critical” functions include direct research on COVID-19, care of and labwork for non-elective NIH research participants, urgent public health research, work involving significant research investments that could be lost if not continued, and care of research animals.

Those working on non-critical functions should only access the labs when absolutely necessary for essential maintenance. Only one person is allowed in a non-critical lab at a time.

Employees were encouraged to telework last week. Those who can do their work remotely will continue to do so.

These conditions will likely last through April.

Jane Recker
Assistant Editor

Jane is a Chicago transplant who now calls Cleveland Park her home. Before joining Washingtonian, she wrote for Smithsonian Magazine and the Chicago Sun-Times. She is a graduate of Northwestern University, where she studied journalism and opera.