We have been closely following the evolution of the COVID-19 coronavirus since January. I know it’s on your mind, and it’s very much on my mind as well. We’ve set up a Critical Incident Management Group (CIMG) of Lab experts to collect the best information available from evidence-based sources so that we can actively respond as the situation evolves.
As part of our response, we’ve been providing you with regular COVID-19 updates based on guidance from public health officials and medical experts at the federal, state, and local level, and in particular the CDC. You can always find the most recent update here. We are responding to concerns from the Lab community in a series of frequently asked questions. Many of your questions are answered here, and I urge you to review these so that you are as informed as possible.
We are now seeing a steadily increasing number of cases locally. Although the fraction of the Bay Area population diagnosed with the disease is still modest, we face some uncertainty in the coming weeks. We are working with the CIMG to plan our response under whatever scenario we might find ourselves in, with protecting the health and safety of our community as our top priority. We will use the best evidence we can gain from all public health sources, and we are in discussions with our peers at other institutions to learn from them as well.
Thanks to everybody in the Berkeley Lab community for your understanding during this extremely difficult period. This is a time for us to stay focused on safety and managing our stress level. And please remember the importance of inclusion at our laboratory. You are all important to the success of the Lab, so please reach out to a fellow employee to see how they’re doing or to offer support.
Finally, I would like to express my deepest sympathy for what so many people around the world have already gone through. More than 100,000 people have suffered from this disease, and more than 3,000 have died. Many people are grieving for the loss of a family member, while others have lost jobs or income that they need to support their families.