PhenoSwitch maintains its operations (COVID-19)

Posted by Hugo Gagnon Ph.D. on March 18, 2020

Situation update : 03/18/2020

In the wake of the recent evolution of the situation concerning COVID-19, it seems important to PhenoSwitch’s team and me to communicate with you and to reassure you regarding our operations. 

All of our activities are continuing. Our government is taking  serious actions to slow the spread of the virus and mitigate the risk for our fellow citizens. We take those actions seriously and we have also applied different measures to further assure the security of our personnel and their familyWe are in a pretty small town and have the luxury of not being in a too crowded region, so keeping a safe distance between people is easier to do. Here is a list of additional precautions we now take to continue our operations in the safest way possible:

Workplace safety measures 

  • Personnel has been instructed to take more care than usual to hand washing. 
  • We put in place a mandatory daily cleaning and disinfection of workplace (download our procedure here, we encourage you to do the same!) 
  • We encourage remote work and already had measured in place for flexible work hours. 
  • Employees refrain from taking public transportation as much as possible if they need to get to work. 
  • Employees who are commuting are already taking more care than usual, using hours that are less crowded. 
  • All employees are obliged to stay at home when observing COVID-19-like symptoms and only return to work after a minimum 14 day waiting period.  
  • Business trips and travels are completely suspended until further notice.  
  • Shaking hands is prohibited.  
  • Meetings with customers are held via internet/conferencing, etc. 
  • We limit access to our facility to only necessary people.  

 How this affects our operation: Very low impact 

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 Workforce:  

  • Project managers will work from home. We try to keep a minimal workforce in place in our office. With a rotation between personnel.  
  • We have backup personnel for the wet lab and project manager are ready to take over if needed.  

 How this affects our operationLow impact.  

We always have been all set for remote monitoring and data sharing. This is how we run the weekends without being there. Our project managers have to take care of their family with the fact that daycare and school are closed for at least two weeks. Expect minor delay in communication and a few days' delay to produce final data reports.  

 Operational planning:   

  • All meetings (daily follow-ups, weekly planning’s) will be held remotely, using video conference. 
  • We are stocking up in essential material to run the lab to have a minimal inventory of material that may get more difficult to obtain. 
  • We have adapted all our schedule to accommodate flexible work hours and remote work. 

Risk assessment 

While we cannot 100% predict how the situation evolves, we can say that right now, we are in a safe zone with the ability to operate without problems. Our government is taking good decisions to flatten the curve, keep the population safe, maintain response capabilities, while maintaining economy active.  

Principal risks at the moment: 

  • Difficulties or delays to get supply 
  • Higher response time due to unusual work hours 
  • Government (local or external) decisions that would require to lower the rate of our activities. 

 

Written by Hugo Gagnon Ph.D.

Jean-Philippe Couture
I'm CEO and co-founder of PhenoSwitch Bioscience. Coming from a small town named Riviere-du-Loup, which apparently has one of the most beautiful sunsets, I moved to Sherbrooke to play football and start my biochemistry B.Sc. and Pharmacology (M. Sc.) degrees. I taunted the mass spectrometer during my co-guardianship in Biochemistry (Ph.D. Université de Sherbrooke) and life science (Ph.D. Université Lille 1). Amazed by how mass spectrometry could drive projects, highly inspired by former French colleagues involved in the startup of Imabiotech and looking to do things differently, I jumped with my former Ph.D. mentor into entrepreneurship. I am behind the knowledge and the know-how of innovative LC-MS/MS services offered at PhenoSwitch. Team work, thinking outside the box, project seed driver and a strong willing to make things move forward characterize me. Enjoys sports and manual labor, I am fortunate enough to have a lovely family to bring me back to earth when again I am thinking about Science!

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