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Information on research due to shelter-in-place orders

Category: Research

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This email was sent to department chairs to share with faculty, staff, postdoctoral scholars and students who conduct laboratory research.

As many of you have seen, six Bay Area counties have just announced a shelter-at-home order for all residents beginning at 12:01 a.m., March 17, and lasting until at least April 7. The counties affected are Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, San Francisco, San Mateo, and Santa Clara. The order specifically states that people should shelter at their place of residence with certain exceptions. These exceptions include work in Healthcare operations, broadly defined. They also include Educational Institutions as Essential Business “for purposes of facilitating distance learning or performing essential functions, provided that social distancing of six-feet per person is maintained to the greatest extent possible.”  

We plan to review the order and provide further details of new Stanford guidance, superseding that of March 14, on the definition of essential services and activities as soon as possible. For experimental laboratories, personnel who perform critical procedures, processes or equipment management that require regular personnel attention to maintain laboratory viability (e.g. liquid nitrogen tank filling, animal support, maintaining shared computational equipment) will still be able to access their labs. No others should be going to their laboratory until further guidance is issued. These individuals should already be identified on each lab’s Lab Level Continuity Plan. Lab PIs who have critical activities that they need to continue may wish to update their plans today to facilitate planning. Labs that are closing down for now may find this shutdown checklist helpful. 

We will be in touch soon with more details; for now, we ask everyone to take the County’s guidance. 


Kam Moler, Vice Provost and Dean of Research
Professor of Applied Physics and of Physics

Stacey Bent
Vice Provost of Graduate Education and Postdoctoral Affairs and Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor of Engineering

Tim Stearns
Chair of the Faculty Senate, Frank Lee and Carol Hall Professor and Professor of Genetics