Biomedical research does not only take place in the laboratory. While the pandemic caused research operations to be put in emergency mode, the scientists at the Max Delbrück Center for Molecular Medicine in the Helmholtz Association (MDC) published numerous studies, analyzed test data and designed new experiments. Many research groups at the MDC have also taken on a new scientific challenge: to study and better understand Sars-CoV-2. They are participating in global efforts to prevent and combat the virus.
Starting Monday, May 4, scientists who are not involved in coronavirus research can resume work in the laboratories. Staff who are critically needed so as to not jeopardize the success of a study or an experiment or to not delay research projects any longer will be allowed to return to the MDC. The vast majority of staff – those whose presence is not absolutely required – will continue to work remotely from home.
During basis operations, the MDC will implement stringent safety rules and a strict hygiene concept that comply with federal and state regulations. Safe physical distancing of ideally 2 meters, but at least 1.5 meters is mandatory in MDC buildings. Masks must be worn outside of offices and laboratories. New shift and signage systems will reduce density of staff using research facilities and help prevent close contact between employees. There are limits on the number of persons that can be present in the laboratories and offices. Special rules apply to employees who belong to at-risk groups.
Public lectures, on-site seminars and meetings will continue to be prohibited. Such events can only take place digitally. Business trips are also not permitted.