Coronavirus Information and Resources

For the most current information on the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) please refer to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The Desert Research Institute is closely following the COVID-19 situation and updating our faculty, staff, and students  We continue working with local and state health authorities, and we are following their guidance. The Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has the most up-to-date information about the status of COVID-19 in the United States, prevention measures and what to do if you are feeling ill.  

To remain vigilant and prepared, DRI will continue to align our communication and information sharing with the Washoe County Health District, the Southern Nevada Health District, the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health, and the Nevada System of Higher Education.

DRI Research Campus Closures 

  • As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - DRI's Reno and Las Vegas campuses, as well as our Boulder City location, will be closed to all non-essential research functions.
  • DRI research laboratories with mission-critical projects or experiments and research that cannot be stopped will managed and accessed by lab directors or designated lab support staff, providing that all CDC social distancing (6-feet or more) and proper hygiene protocols are strictly followed.

Work from Home and Travel Recommendations for DRI Faculty and Staff:

  • As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - All DRI Employees must work remotely if possible. 
  • All DRI employee non-essential travel should also be avoided.

Is DRI canceling its public events? 

As of Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - Following the guidelines of Governor Sisolak and the Nevada System of Higher Education, ​​​​​​​DRI and our partners are postponing the following public events this spring: ​​​​​​​

  • Cybersecurity Bootcamp, scheduled for March 16-20
  • Science Cafe Las Vegas, scheduled for April 1
  • Northern Nevada Diversity Summit, scheduled on April 2
  • Science Distilled, scheduled for April 9
  • Brownie Days of Robotics, scheduled for April 18 and May 16
  • Great Basin Archaeology Talks with Great Basin Brewing, originally scheduled for April 30 and May 7
  • "May The Science Be With You" open house on DRI's Las Vegas campus, scheduled for May 1
  • DRI Foundation's Nevada Medal events, originally scheduled for May 20 and 21​ 

Questions from DRI partners and stakeholders during this ongoing situation:

If you have a question about DRI’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak, or a question about ongoing research collaboration, laboratory partnership or service agreement, or potential project with a DRI faculty or staff member please email – This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Most of our faculty and staff are working remotely for the next 30 days and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Thank you, DRI Office of External Affairs and Communications

General Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information


The information below is not intended to be all-encompassing and should not be considered medical or legal advice.

  • Health officials, DRI, and state and local governments remind you that maintaining a sense of calm is of utmost importance at this time. Stay informed with fact-based information from reliable sources, including those listed on this site. Avoid feeding into or fueling speculation or hysteria that is prevalent during such global events.
  • We cannot emphasize strongly enough the value of practicing daily health precautions and proper hygiene, and to follow the information from the sources listed on this site.
  • In all instances, you should consult with a relevant expert for guidance specific to your circumstances. In particular, please consult the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) websites listed below, which provides updated information regarding this topic.

What you need to know (from the CDC) 

What to do if you are sick (from the CDC)

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Call ahead before visiting your doctor
  • Wear a facemask if you are sick
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean all “high-touch” surfaces every day
  • Monitor your symptoms

Stigma and Resilience

In times such as this it is important to maintain perspective and be mindful of each other and the worldwide victims of this virus. DRI’s diverse faculty and staff come from all parts of the world and as always, we must avoid stereotyping or stigmatizing any individuals or groups and treat all people with respect and empathy.

From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding stigma related to COVID-19:

  • Public health emergencies, such as the outbreak of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), are stressful times for people and communities. Fear and anxiety about a disease can lead to social stigma (1) toward people, places, or things.
  • For example, stigma and discrimination can occur when people associate a disease, such as COVID-19, with a population or nationality, even though not everyone in that population or from that region is specifically at risk for the disease. Stigma can also occur after a person has been released from COVID-19 quarantine even though they are not considered a risk for spreading the virus to others.
  • Everyone can help stop stigma related to COVID-19 by knowing the facts and sharing them with others in your community.
  • Stigma affects the emotional or mental health (2) of stigmatized groups and the communities they live in. Stopping stigma is important to making communities and community members resilient (3). See resources on mental health and coping during COVID-19.


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