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Genome Canada’s statement on COVID-19

Friday, March 20, 2020

Ottawa, ON

Stemming the spread of COVID-19

Dear friends and colleagues, 

At Genome Canada, our management team is closely monitoring the evolution of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. The situation is fluid and changing daily across the country, and Genome Canada will continue to make adjustments as more is learned about the virus and its impacts on our community and our stakeholders. 

The organization has proactively taken measures to help prevent further spread of the virus, including the implementation of a mandatory work-from-home policy to prioritize the health and well-being of staff and their families. Until further notice, all face-to-face meetings and conferences have been postponed or replaced with virtual options to promote social distancing. In order to stay in touch, we are actively tapping into various video and chat technology options at our disposal.

With regard to funded projects, we are taking action to support the research teams we work with. Specifically: 

  • We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic will likely slow or inhibit the ability of teams to conduct certain research, to complete progress reports, to prepare financial reports, or to publish research results as planned. As such, we will make allowances for delays caused by the pandemic. 
  • We understand that most travel now requires cancellation or postponement. Any travel cancellation/rescheduling costs resulting from the spread of COVID-19 will be considered as eligible Genome Canada project expenditures. We continue to assess what other unanticipated project costs will be considered eligible.
  • We will offer greater flexibility with no-cost extensions for all currently funded research teams should they experience delays due to COVID-19. 
  • We are looking closely at processes for competitions that are now in progress to ensure fairness and equity across all such competitions. 
  • We are working with the regional Genome Centres and any relevant partners to assess current competition deadlines and other key dates.
Flexibility is the key principle we are keeping in mind as we work with our research teams during this difficult time. We are here to support our community, to keep everyone safe, and to keep the research we have the privilege of being involved in moving ahead as much as possible. 

Should you have any further questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to your host institution, the regional Genome Centre through which you are funded, or directly to a member of the Genome Canada Management Team.

Wishing you and your families continued good health, 
Rob Annan
President and CEO