Parts of the Coronavirus




Reviewed 01.20.2021

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, or someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, IMMEDIATELY FOLLOW THESE STEPS.

If you are sick or think you are sick – DO NOT COME TO WORK AT THE CENTER.  See more instructions here

if you are awaiting COVID-19 test results – DO NOT COME TO WORK AT THE CENTER.

  • You should self-quarantine/isolate at home pending test results and follow the advice of your health care provider or a public health professional.  See more instructions here
  • Your supervisor can provide you with instructions regarding how to code your time sheet while you are sick or waiting for test results and not working.  More information is also available here

Return to Pennington Plan

Pennington Biomedical is closely monitoring the coronavirus outbreak in order to maintain the safety, health and well-being of our faculty and staff. As a result of Governor Edwards’ Executive Order to return to a modified Phase 2 response to COVID-19 cases, we returned to a more limited on-campus presence on Wednesday, November 25, 2020 until further notice.

  • All employees currently working from home MUST continue to do so.
  • Employees who had transitioned partially or fully to Phase 3 should make arrangements to work from home as much as possible and work with their supervisors when adjusting workplans and schedules. 
  • Employees responsible for setup and monitoring of lab experiments should limit their time on campus to only the days and times necessary, and otherwise work from home.
  • Employees responsible for campus-wide infrastructure operations should continue to report as directed by their supervisor.
  • In-person meetings should not be happening.
  • All COVID prevention measures must be strictly observed, including the use of face masks and social distancing. NO EXCEPTIONS. 

Employees who have been approved to resume work at the center should follow their approved work plan and screening protocol, and have their temperature checked at the thermal checkpoint on campus designated for the appropriate area.

All classified employees and hourly employees must still log in to Workday to submit time in order to be paid. Supervisors of these employees must approve time for classified and hourly employees through Workday.

Any further questions should be directed to your supervisors or to can be directed to the human resources department at or 225-763-2776.

We continue to work with investigators and staff to maintain important functions, minimize disruption of studies, and complete critical experiments. If you are concerned about a potential issue with an essential supply, please inform your supervisor or Ricky Caro in the Stores Department. All questions and concerns are welcome as we continue to successfully maintain critical business functions.

A comprehensive plan for employee use of campus space in all phases of return to campus was developed following guidance published by the CDC, the Governor’s Office, the Louisiana Department of Health, and other federal and state regulatory agencies, including readiness activities performed PRIOR to the phased return. Those Return to Pennington plan documents are linked below.

Click here to download the 2 page Return to Pennington document.

Click here to download the 16 page Pennington Biomedical Research Center COVID-19 Pandemic - Transition Plan to Resume Normal Operations document.

Thank you for your flexibility and continued cooperation during these rapidly changing and uncertain times.

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act

The Families First Response Act (FFCRA or Act) requires certain employers to provide their employees with paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. These provisions apply from April 1, 2020 through December 31. 2020. Read more…


News, Updates & Resources

Featured News Stories

Study to Tackle Barriers to COVID-19 Testing in Black Communities
November 30th, 2020

Strategies to increase COVID-19 testing in underserved black communities, to be studied by Pennington Biomedical scientists via a federal grant announced today, will also help shape COVID-19 vaccine and treatment distribution plans to citizens living in the vulnerable, high-risk neighborhoods. 

Read more here

Global health study shows COVID-19 lockdown reduced mental health, sleep, exercise
October 23, 2020

A first-of-its-kind global survey shows the initial phase of the COVID-19 lockdown dramatically altered our personal habits, largely for the worse.

Read more here

Updated Guidance on the Definition of a Close Contact

Under prior guidance, the CDC defined a close contact as someone who spent at least 15 consecutive minutes within six feet of an infected person, thus putting the individual at higher risk of contracting the virus. The CDC updated its guidance to define a close contact as: Someone who was within six feet of an infected person for a cumulative total of 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from two days before symptom onset or two days before a positive test for COVID-19 until the time the infected person can leave isolation.

Read more here...

Employee News & Updates

Employee Resources

3 Reasons Why Wearing a Face Mask in Public is a Good Idea

The Centers for Disease Control now recommends that everyone wear a facemask in public.  You can get more details about the CDC mask recommendation on their website.

  1. Not only is wearing a mask in public a good way to help reduce infection spread by those who are sick with COVID-19, with or without symptoms, it could also help healthy individuals avoid high viral dose exposures.

  2. Wearing a mask may help you break the habit of touching your nose or mouth, where virus transmission can occur.

  3. Wearing a mask in public is a way that Pennington Biomedical employees show our belief and resolve to promote public health behaviors that protect all our citizens, especially those with chronic diseases such as obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. Post your mask picture on Facebook or Twitter, Tag @PBRCNews, and we will retweet and share your handiwork!

Don’t have a mask yet? The CDC has you covered with this video tutorial.

Preventive Steps Pennington Biomedical Is Taking

Pennington Biomedical has also added seventeen (17) touchless hand sanitizers throughout the Center that are wall-mounted in immediate proximity to many elevators on campus. Dispensers are filled with a gel that is at least 70% alcohol, as recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control.

Twenty (20) additional freestanding hand sanitizing stations have been placed across campus.

Custodial services support staff are cleaning all bathrooms in the Center every night of the week. They have also increased their frequency of cleaning commonly touched surfaces such as stairwell bannisters.

  • If you notice any issues with bathroom cleanliness, or soap dispensers not being filled, please email or call the Facilities department so we can monitor our support services staff procedures.

We strongly discourage any non-essential meetings or events of 25 people or more.

If You Suspect You Are Ill

Frequently Asked Questions and Possible Scenarios

This information serves as general guidelines and is for informational purposes only. Decisions concerning quarantine and notification can and will be made on a case by case basis considering multiple factors and potential exposures.

All information below is based on current guidance from the Centers for Disease Control COVID-19 website:

COVID-19 affects different people in different ways. People with COVID-19 have had a wide range of symptoms– from no symptoms to severe illness.

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

Symptoms may appear 2-14 days after exposure to the coronavirus. People with these symptoms may have COVID-19:

  • Fever (100.4°F) or chills
  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Sore throat
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What should you do if you have any of these symptoms?

  • If you are at home, STAY HOME.
  • Notify both your supervisor and Infection Control (Celeste Waguespack immediately.
  • If you are at work, you may be asked to go home
  • Testing can be done through your Primary Care Provider, through a local urgent care, or ER.
  • Human Resources director and your supervisor (if not already notified) will be notified of the situation.
    • Notification will be important to determine your eligibility for special leave related to your quarantine

You have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 symptoms, or someone with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, now what?

Notify your supervisor and Infection Control (Celeste Waguespack immediately.

  • Your exposure will be evaluated based on CDC criteria.
  • If you are deemed to have had a high-risk exposure, you will be asked to stay home for up to 14 days after the last exposure to the person with COVID-19 and to maintain social distance (at least 6 feet) from others during this time. Infection control will discuss number of quarantine days with each individual directly. More general CDC guidance is here.
  • You should check your temperature twice a day and watch for cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19 as listed above, during quarantine.
  • You should avoid contact with people at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 during the quarantine.
  • You must monitor for symptoms until 14 days after the exposure regardless of quarantine length. If any new symptoms develop, you must immediately self-isolate and contact Infection Control immediately.

Infection control will notify the Human Resources director and your supervisor (if not already notified) of the situation.

Someone in the building tested positive for COVID-19.

  • PBRC infection control will contact you should your exposure be deemed high risk in accordance with the CDC and LDH guidelines.
  • While it is important to know if you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, privacy laws prevent identifying that individual by name.
  • If you were directly exposed to someone with COVID-19, you may receive a phone call from the Louisiana Department of Health contact tracing.
    • The call will come from the Louisiana Department of Health at this number: 877-766-2130

What steps should you take to avoid spreading COVID-19?

  • Stay home except to get medical care
  • Get rest and stay hydrated
  • Monitor your symptoms and notify your doctor with any worsening symptoms
  • As much as possible, stay in a specific room and away from other people and pets in your home. (If you need to be around other people or animals in or outside of the home, wear a cloth face covering.)
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal household items
  • Clean and disinfect all “high-touch” surfaces daily

Travel Restrictions – Key Take-Aways

(See Full Details of Travel Restrictions Related to COVID-19 Outbreak in Section Below)

The U S State Department is advising against all International Travel until further notice. Go to Website link below for more information:

All approved Pennington Biomedical Research Center-related international travel must be re-approved through the High-Risk Travel process.

All NON-ESSENTIAL international travel is prohibited until further notice.

  • Questions about international travel should be directed to Monica Mougeot in Fiscal Operations ( and travelers should work with their coordinators and/or business managers to recoup expenses for canceled trips.
  • If you are currently abroad on Center-sponsored business and the area is elevated in status, you may be required to return to the U.S.
  • Anyone who returns or arrives at Pennington Biomedical from a location with a CDC level 3 travel warning for COVID-19 (, must self-isolate for 14 days and must be asymptomatic before returning to work

All NON-ESSENTIAL domestic air travel is also prohibited until further notice.

All personal international travel is strongly discouraged.

  • We strongly recommend against travel to cities and countries where the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading.
  • If you do travel to countries with a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory, you can only return to Pennington Biomedical, a university campus, facility or activity after 14 days from the date of departure from that country and if you have no symptoms.
  • You should also make every attempt to return with enough lead time to self-isolate prior to when your Center responsibilities begin.

Travel Restrictions – Full Details

International Travel Restrictions due to COVID-19 Outbreak

The number one priority of Pennington Biomedical is the health and welfare of its faculty, postdocs, staff and students. With this in mind, we continue to work closely with local, state and federal health officials to monitor developments related to the Novel Coronavirus, known as COVID-19. After careful consideration, and with the health of our academic community top of mind, effective immediately we are restricting international travel of all personnel. Anyone traveling or planning to travel outside the United States for Center business or academic purposes, including research or grant activity, service projects, internships, conferences, presentations, teaching or training, should be aware of the restrictions outlined in this memo.

Center Sponsored and Sanctioned Travel

Pennington Biomedical employees who have previously been approved for any international travel, or who plan to travel prior to August 17, 2020, must have travel re-approved through the High-Risk Travel process. Travel to countries with Level 3 or Level 4 travel advisories will not be approved. At this point, travel to other countries will be approved, but it’s important to keep in mind the global scenario is rapidly evolving and therefore may result in a change in approval status. It’s also possible that domestic cities may introduce heightened travel advisories. All university-sponsored travel must be approved via a Spend Authorization prior to departure or the Center will not be responsible for the reimbursement of expenses. Questions about international travel should be directed to Monica Mougeot in Fiscal Operations (, and travelers should work with their coordinators and/or business managers to recoup expenses for canceled trips.

If you are currently abroad on Center-sponsored business, you should be aware of the travel status in your area and any accompanying travel advisories. Should the area be elevated in status, you will be required to return to the U.S. For further travel information if this situation arises, contact Monica Mougeot ( Employees who are returning from any country or region that has been designated with Level 3 or 4 travel advisories are prohibited from returning to Pennington and any and all university campuses, facilities, and activities during a 14-day period from the date of departure from that country, and not return to the Center unless they are asymptomatic for that period. As required by the Presidential Directive addendum to PM 13, employees and students must present a release to return to work from their personal physician.

If you have returned from an area where COVID-19 is spreading, you should monitor yourself for symptoms for 14 days and take your temperature twice a day. If you develop even a mild cough or low-grade fever (i.e., a temperature of 100⁰ F or more), please stay home and self-isolate. This means avoiding close contact (six feet or nearer) with other people, including family members. We also advise contacting your healthcare provider or the local public health department and giving them details of your recent travel and symptoms.

Personal Travel

We strongly recommend against travel to cities and countries where the COVID-19 outbreak is spreading. If you do travel to countries with a Level 3 or 4 travel advisory, you can only return to Pennington, a university campus, facility or activity after 14 days from the date of departure from that country and if you have no symptoms. You should also make every attempt to return with enough lead time to self-isolate prior to when your Center responsibilities begin.

We are working with LSU on all policies and policy statements, and are adhering to the travel advisories enacted by the U.S. Department of State (DOS) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). All travelers should be aware of the potential associated risks of disruptions to reentry to the United States, including delayed travel plans and possible quarantine. Check the CDC and DOS websites for the most up-to-date information about travel to other countries.

Please be sure to follow the LSU directives specified in the following documents for international travel for the foreseeable future. These are living documents that are subject to change, as this situation is fluid, so please review them often if you are traveling internationally:

We recognize the impact these measures may have on many of you, but at the same time, we are committed to ensuring the health and safety of our broader campus community. Thanks for your understanding, and we will continue to provide updates as new developments occur.

Using the PBRC Remote Desktop Environment

In order to facilitate the ability of employees to work remotely, Computing Services has made adjustments to scale our server hardware to meet the growing needs of remote workers. We have also created a resource page with information about setting up your remote workspace, using remote resources, and connecting and collaborating effectively. The page can be found at

Please remember that PBRC’s Remote Desktop Environment ( is a limited resource and should be used only if accessing services which are only available onsite at PBRC. Once you’ve completed your work within remote, make sure to click the orange log off icon on your desktop, doing so will free up resources allowing others to connect.

If you have any technical issues or questions please contact the PBRC Help Desk at or 225-763-2586.