April 6, 2020
Web Feature

Stay Home, Stay Safe

COVID-19 spreads mainly from person to person between people in close contact with one another. Staying home, practicing social distancing, and regular handwashing are the best ways to prevent the spread of the virus and speed up the return to normalcy. One of our local medical partners captured it well in this recent public service announcement when they said, “This isn’t going anywhere if you go everywhere.” Please join us in staying home and staying safe.

PNNL Response to COVID-19

Our highest priority is keeping PNNL staff, families, and surrounding communities as safe and healthy as possible during this challenging time while the Laboratory continues to carry out its vital national missions. To that end, we are drawing on the best available scientific information and medical advice from federal, state, and local agencies including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Washington State Department of Health, and the local heath districts where our employees live and work. 

In addition, PNNL supports Washington State Governor Jay Inslee’s “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order announced on March 23. We are doing our part to implement this order, further curtailing operations beyond the prudent actions we’ve already taken. 


On March 17, most of our staff members started teleworking to reduce face-to-face interaction. Fortunately, many can productively fulfill their duties away from our facilities, and those who can must now telework. Only staff required to perform essential functions, including critical research, are entering our facilities. Essential staff include the minimum number needed to maintain safe and secure operations. Those staff are practicing social distancing. Of course, anyone showing signs of illness has been directed to stay at home. 


Visits to the Laboratory have been suspended. If you have a visit scheduled, please contact your host to make alternate plans or reschedule. 


We have postponed or cancelled all public events, including Take Our Kids to Work Day, which was scheduled for April 23.   


We are following U.S. Department of Energy guidance, which allows only mission-critical domestic travel and no international travel. 

PNNL leadership is actively monitoring this rapidly evolving situation. Managers continue to update their staff frequently, as we all work to carry out PNNL’s vital missions and operate the Laboratory safely and effectively. As new developments occur on our campuses, we will share information here. 


As one way to support the Washington State communities in which PNNL operates, Battelle, the contractor that manages and operates the Laboratory, is donating $103,000 to local food banks. The donation is part of Battelle’s philanthropic program and has been directed to feed and meet the needs of neighbors hurting from the economic impacts of COVID-19. Most of the donation will go to Second Harvest in Pasco, which will distribute food and groceries to some of the food banks and meal centers in its network. The balance of the donation will go to Meals on Wheels and the Prosser and Sequim food banks.  

COVID-19 Information Resources

Published: April 6, 2020