The National Institutes of Health, located in Bethesda, Maryland, confirmed Tuesday that 28 staff members tested positive for COVID-19.
“NIH will continue to monitor our staff for positive COVID-19 diagnosis and take the necessary steps to contain and mitigate transmissions,” said a statement from NIH. “The standard process that NIH follows if an NIH staff member or other occupant in an NIH facility that is COVID-19 positive is to temporarily close off the affected area for disinfectant cleaning.”
As of Friday, the NIH staff members had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus, are included in the Montgomery County and Maryland state numbers.
Since March 12, the institute has encouraged the maximum amount of staff possible to telework until at least May 1.
It also is only continuing to do work in the laboratories considered mission-critical, which includes care of research participants in NIH clinical protocols that are non-elective, research directly on COVID-19, urgent public health research, work involving significant research investments that could be lost if not continued, and care for research animals.