As a result of a shelter-in-place order for all residents of six Bay Area counties that goes into effect at midnight tonight, we are standing down the Lab’s research and operations and reducing our onsite staffing level to the minimum number of people needed for critical research, infrastructure, and systems continuity. We will remain in stand-down status until the public health order is lifted.
We can think of this as being similar to a winter holiday standby, when we leave the Lab in a “warm and safe” mode during a long break, with the important exception that people will not be permitted to come on site just to get their work done. This is not the same as a PSPS event because we can expect to have power.
At this time, I am asking that Lab employees, affiliates, users, contractors, and others assist in the safe stand-down of facilities and operations. ALDs and division directors are identifying and will be contacting those who will be permitted on-site during the shelter-in-place period to perform essential functions, either daily or on rotation. Please notify your line management of any special continuity needs and work with them to determine whether you will be required to return to the site tomorrow to assist in the safe stand-down.
For the majority of us, please plan to leave the site today and not return until the shelter-in-place order is lifted, unless otherwise instructed by your supervisor. Please immediately notify all non-employees who you host and that are scheduled to enter the site — users, visitors, contractors, etc. — that they will not be permitted on any of our Lab sites starting tomorrow.
Some critical systems will remain operational during this period. In particular, the Lab will maintain systems that our Nation depends on such as the National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) and ESnet. Lab IT systems, networking, utilities, and other infrastructure systems will be maintained to allow for Lab employees to telework as much as possible.
Supervisors are asked to think creatively about assignments that allow people to continue to contribute to the Lab’s mission from home.
News of this new public health order came suddenly today. We and the CIMG are working to understand all of the implications for our Lab and developing additional guidance. We do not yet have all the answers, or even all of the questions. Please review this Status of Site Services page; they will be added to as we get more information. Watch your email for updates as it becomes available.
I know this sudden change in our operating status, after several shifts in the last few weeks, is stressful and difficult. While this public health emergency presents a challenge for us all, it is also a test of our Lab’s resiliency. I am certain we will learn from this and emerge a stronger Lab and a more collaborative research community.
Thank you for your dedication to the Lab’s mission and for your help in overcoming these challenging circumstances. Most important, please keep yourself and your loved ones safe and healthy. We’ll continue to keep you updated by email, at status.lbl.gov, and on Twitter @LBNLstatus.
Deputy Lab Director for Research
Deputy Lab Director for Operations and Chief Operating Officer