Precautionary reduction of activities at the MPSD

March 17, 2020

The MPSD is reducing its operations to a minimum level until further notice to protect its staff, guests and partners during the current public health emergency sparked by the corona virus. There are no confirmed cases of COVID-19 at the MPSD as of yet. The wind-down has been decided as a precaution.

The majority of our staff and guests have worked remotely since yesterday (16 March). Only essential functions and tasks which cannot be executed externally will continue to be handled by a small number of designated staff members on site. Yesterday afternoon, the MPSD’s managing director, Andrea Cavalleri, informed employees of these measures.

The corona virus which causes COVID-19 in humans

Both experimental departments at the Institute have begun to shut down their activities. The MPSD’s campus neighbors, especially DESY and the European XFEL are enforcing similar measures and are shutting down their beam lines. The European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) is due to close its sites in Hamburg and five other locations while the University of Hamburg also plans to reduce its operations.

In recent weeks, MPSD management had already implemented a series of measures to safeguard the health of its staff and guests. These included an embargo on business travel to risk areas and the cancellation of public events at the Institute.

The ramping down of operations coincides with a tightening of government restrictions in Germany. The Institute’s management will continue to monitor developments in this public health emergency and take appropriate measures.

Further information and advice regarding the local and national corona virus situation can be found at https://www.hamburg.de (the official Hamburg information portal, in German) and at the Federal Ministry of Health web site: https://www.bundesgesundheitsministerium.de/en/press/2020/coronavirus.html.

The World Health Organisation has issued comprehensive advice on the protective measures everyone can adopt to limit the spread of the virus: https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019/advice-for-public

For information relating to the MPSD please contact the head of administration, Dagmar Schröder-Huse, via dagmar.schroeder-huse@mpsd.mpg.de (cell phone +49 (0) 171 226 9187), or the Institute’s PR and communications officer, Jenny Witt: jenny.witt@mpsd.mpg.de (cell phone +49 (0) 175 702 3930).

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