COVID-19 Bulletin #4 – March 21, 2020: Update

Please Note: If you, a member of your team, or a visitor to your company has been presumed positive or has been diagnosed with COVID-19, and has been to a CIC location, please notify us immediately at


I want to thank you all for your incredible patience and support during this difficult time.

CIC is currently “Closed for Normal Business” in Philly and Miami, per government orders. At all other locations, we are in Limited Operations Mode, and no one should be coming in unless they have an essential need to do so.

We anticipate other local governments may institute “shelter-in-place” or similar orders in the near term, in an effort to “flatten the curve,” so please be prepared for this.  In general, public health officials seem to be exempting laboratory research from their closures.

After this weekend we will have preemptively disinfected all CIC centers at least one or more times.  We have no reports of a COVID-19 carrier being in any of our centers following its last disinfection. If/when we do receive information about any presumed or confirmed case, we promptly notify all of our clients in that city.

Even if “closed”, we generally remain accessible to some degree since some of our clients are involved in the COVID-19 response, and we are thus typically categorized as an “essential” or “life sustaining” business.  We currently have, at last count, over a dozen CIC client companies spread across many CIC facilities that are engaged in research that relates to COVID-19. These companies are doing work on COVID-19 antibodies and vaccines, telehealth platforms to manage care, machine learning-based epidemiology, development of personal protective gear, and other areas.  Our mission is to fix the world through innovation, and this is a very timely example of it. Here is a big shout-out to Chimeron Bio, Cherish Health, Harbour Antibodies, Speciality Telehealth Services, Healthsnap, Genosur, Aegle Therapeutics, Tiba Biotech, Revela Biotech, Organicell, XtalPi and SirenMD. If your company is also involved in the COVID-19 response, let us know and we’ll shout it out in our next update.

Ongoing Support for Clients

We know that for many of you, being able to get access to your postal mail is important.  At this point we do have mechanisms in place for everyone who has an essential need to get their mail to do so.  How this interacts with “shelter-in-place” rules may vary from place to place. You will hear about these arrangements from your local CIC team.

Human Connections: One of the challenges we hear most about for those working from home is your reduced level of human connection.  For those of you looking for ways to maintain such connections, consider attending next week’s digital Venture Café gatheringsAn amazing 2,500 people attended last Thursday night’s programming by video!  

You can now join sessions being held at all worldwide locations, and they have a nice tool to show you the session times in your own timezone.  Next week we anticipate online attendance will surpass our typical in-person attendance. Wow. We will send you the programming lineup once it is finalized.  Discovering that Venture Café can work so well in digital mode has been a big bright spot for us during this crisis. Next Thursday’s sessions are not posted yet, but you can check here for them once they are up in a couple of days.

Business connections: If you have a product or service that you would like to let other CIC clients know about, please reach out to us.  Many clients have indicated they want to offer some kind of special deal to other CIC clients during this period where things may be slower.  We’re going to create a central directory of such offers, and will share it back with all of you. If you’d like to participate, please fill out this Google form.

Are there other ways that CIC staff can assist you during this period? Some CIC employees have extra time on their hands and are eager to jump into projects to assist you. Examples of support we may be able to provide include: translation services, proof-reading, photo editing, graphic design, web design, video editing, audio editing, copywriting, writing, social media, photography, and more. If this is of interest, please submit this Google form and we will follow up.  Feel free to also reach out to us if you have a personal challenge you can’t figure out how to address. Can’t get out to get some medicine?  Perhaps a CIC staffer can help.

CIC is hoping that those of you who are at home are finding some quiet time during this crisis.  For those of you seeking to keep your homes safer, here is some of my recent reading on the topic: a new NEJM study shows that if you can manage to keep your living area around 72°F (20°C) and at least at 40% relative humidity, the virus can’t hang around on surfaces in your home longer than 72 hours.  Related to this, a Yale study found that maintaining ~50% relative humidity appears to help your body to fight off viruses much better.  Indeed, a study recently published in SSRN seems to corroborate this, finding that COVID-19 is spreading fastest in places with low humidity.  If your home is dry, consider getting a humidifier. 

How long will this last?  

We will follow the guidance of public health authorities, of course.  One way to estimate the likely duration of this for yourself is to follow the virus-spread data updated every day by the Financial Times (Saturday’s chart is below).  It shows the progression of cases across different countries:


We are told that things are starting to open up again in China, where they recently reported they had their first day with no new cases, nationwide.  In essence, when these curves start to flatten in a given country is when things will likely return to normal. In China, that was 35 days from the point at which there were 10 confirmed cases in the country.  In the US and Europe, some speculate that it may take us a bit longer to get there. The US is currently on day 15. This means that if we were as fast as China, it would be about 20 more days.

I hope you find these updates helpful.  Please let us know your thoughts and ideas about how we can support you better.

Tim Rowe
Founder and CEO

General Boston Cambridge Miami Philadelphia Providence Rotterdam St. Louis Warsaw