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COVID-19 March 18, 2020 Update

  • In response to sweeping mandates from State and Regional Governments, many gardens have closed along with other cultural institutions. These closures range from two-weeks to sadly, indefinite. 
    • Essential on-site employees remain at work with social distancing guidelines to maintain facilities 
    • Remote work for those who are able to do so is being performed. The Association’s Telework Policy is linked here as a template.  
    • Temporary layoffs of personnel have been noted but often is stated that some recourse is being provided to furloughed staff wherever possible, including for part-time employees.  
    • There are excellent resources in the Volunteers, Finance and Operations, and many other Professional Communities 
  • Several large and/or rural Arboreta and/or Public-Private Partnerships remain open and many of these have done so with free admission. They are promising no services but offering visitors a place to walk and find respite with appropriate social distancing 
  • Private event, classes, and other event cancellations and postponements are broadly observed regardless of institutional size. Last week’s guidance to avoid large gatherings of no more than 100 people has now been reduced to gatherings of no more than 10 people.  
  • Gardens are urged that when dealing with contracted vendors they look closely for “force majeure” and other language present in their contracts that can be enforced to save some lost expense fees. An example Force Majeure is included in this edition 
  • Campus closures with a switch to online learning has occurred. Most common are those through mid-April and/or after their Spring breaks 
  • There are widespread travel bans to/from specific countries/regions where Coronavirus COVID-19 outbreaks are in pandemic phase (e.g. Europe, China, South Korea, Italy). Specific travel bans and travel advice/recommendations are available at this CDC website.  
  • As predictable for pandemics and invasive spread, there is an exponential rise occurring globally in the number of cases.  This will occur for at least the next 5-7 days, particularly in the US  
  • Over 155 out of 195 Countries Worldwide have COVID-19 Novel Coronavirus. The WHO has declared COVID-19 a global pandemic and the US has declared a National Emergency. An $850B stimulus package is making its way through the US Senate, expected to be signed by the President.