During the week of March 16, 2020, ORNL with DOE’s concurrence transitioned ~75% of staff from on-campus to work-from-home status to minimize the potential for community spread of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. This action has extended beyond the original 6-week timeline and continued through mid-May 2020. As of June 26, 2020, ~65% of ORNL staff continue to work from home. For the SFA, we have continued to work by revising our planned laboratory- and field-scale research activities and are focusing on completing existing publications. During this period, the SFA team members have published 15 manuscripts with an additional 12 currently under review.
The transition to work from home has interrupted or suspended a number of short- and long-term Critical Interfaces SFA field and laboratory activities, and as of June 26, 2020, it is unclear when ORNL will return to normal operations. As a result, a number of key project milestones are being deferred to FY21. For example, our plan to perform multiple conservative and reactive tracer experiments this summer and fall will be deferred to FY21 because of (1) travel restrictions for key collaborators and (2) a combination of the number of people required to perform the activity and the need to physically distance during execution. The deferral of this activity will ultimately impact our ability to parameterize ATS and fulfill several project objectives for Themes 1, 2, and 3. In mid-May a limited number of laboratory- and fieldscale activities were initiated under the Phase I return to campus. These activities require more time to perform safely, especially for tasks that are typically executed more efficiently with additional staff members. The current situation will continue to impact our progress and planning for the triennial renewal, which would be occurring this summer and fall. A select number of these impacted milestones that are critical for achieving project goals include:
File last modified: Thursday, October 22, 2020