Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information and Resources

COVID-19 News & Notifications

Access to DRI’s research campuses remains limited to essential research functions. If not vaccinated, a face covering is required at all times.

DRI communications below contain the most recent information regarding COVID-19 on our Reno and Las Vegas campuses.

Research Campus Operations and COVID-19 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 working with local and state health authorities as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact our state. 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.

NSHE COVID-19 Information Center

NSHE understands and shares the concerns of its students, faculty, staff, and institutions’ communities regarding the outbreak of novel coronavirus (COVID-19). The health and wellbeing of Nevada’s public higher education community continue to be our utmost priority in the midst of this dynamic and evolving situation.

View the Dashboard and Weekly Report of COVID-19 Positive Cases at NSHE Institutions


DRI Research Campus Closures
  • On Wednesday, March 18, 2020 – DRI’s Reno and Las Vegas campuses, as well as our Boulder City location, 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.
  • If necessary, team field work could still be performed safely if personnel are able to maintain distance hygiene: no sharing cars, keep equipment disinfected if multiple users will touch it, consider whether any equipment requires multi-person manipulation, and consider whether the field site itself is amenable to social distancing. See FAQs for more information.

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 is prohibited at this time.

DRI public events that have been postponed or canceled: 

All DRI public events are postponed at this time.

All essential meetings should use DRI’s tele- and video-conferencing options. ​​​​​​​

General 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.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information

In Nevada, the COVID-19 vaccines will be distributed in four Tiers, based on exposure and risk. The Nevada System of Higher Education (NSHE) is coordinating the vaccination process for faculty, staff and students in partnership with the state. Updates about timing, availability, and how to make vaccination appointments will be posted on this page.

Information about Vaccines

Immunize Nevada

Immunize Nevada provides recommended immunization schedules for children, teens, and adults, and continuing education and training for healthcare providers. The website’s COVID-19 section includes questions and answers about the new coronavirus vaccine, safety and the technology behind it.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Visit the CDC website to read about the U.S. COVID-19 Vaccination Program and what to expect at your COVID-19 vaccination visit. The CDC also offers information about the different vaccines and how they work, safety systems and monitoring, and the benefits of getting vaccinated.

State of Nevada Health Response

Nevada has released its COVID-19 Vaccination Playbook, a comprehensive report detailing the planning and statewide implementation of the vaccine program.

Southern Nevada Health District

Additional frequently asked questions are available on the Southern Nevada Health District website.

Washoe County Health District

The Washoe County Health District will distribute the COVID-19 vaccine based on the State of Nevada’s tiered criteria. Additional information from the Washoe County Regional COVID-19 Response Team.


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.
Questions? Contact Us

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 – Most of our faculty and staff are working remotely and we will do our best to respond in a timely manner.

Thank you, DRI Office of External Affairs and Communications