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How Animal Outlook is Responding to COVID-19
March 17, 2020
Animal Outlook is aiming to take proactive measures in response to the uncertainties and growing concerns related to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), which the World Health Organization declared a pandemic on March 11.
Being mindful of the safety and well-being of our staff, volunteers, supporters and the wider community and in an effort to flatten the curve, observe social distancing guidelines, and stop the spread, we’re currently taking the following steps, which may be modified as the situation continues to unfold:
- All non-essential staff travel is restricted through May 15 (and may be further extended)
- All non-virtual AO event planning is on hold through the end of May (see specific event details below)
- All AO on-site participation in independently organized events is cancelled through May 15 (and may be further extended)
- Most AO staff already work remote, and our DC office is limited to essential staff on an as-needed basis. AO is further adjusting to an overall remote working model and actively downsizing our DC office space to reduce overhead costs
- AO maintains a paid time off policy and health care plan for all employees
- AO is offering an additional two weeks of paid time off to staff who may become ill related to COVID-19 or need additional time to care for a close family member suffering from COVID-19.
- Through April 30, AO is offering all staff working 40 hours a week to reduce their hours to 30 per week, with no change in salary or PTO deduction, for family care (children home from school, caretaking of sick family members, etc) or other personal needs. We are committed to offering further flexibility to reduce or change hours as needed.
AO Event Updates:
- MeatOut is March 20: All MeatOut related events organized by Animal Outlook have been cancelled and we’re strongly encouraging volunteers hosting their own independent events to consider following suit. Read more.
- 25th Anniv Celebration in June: We’re shifting our plans for this spring event, which was tentatively scheduled to be held in DC in June. We are exploring the possibility of a virtual gala and/or moving this celebration to the fall.
- DC VegFest in August: given the advanced planning needs and financial commitments required to organize this massive event, we’re postponing our planning process and will explore the possibility of hosting later in the year, possibly October. Read more.
We recognize that many community members may be disappointed about our decision to cancel or postpone these much-anticipated events, but out of an abundance of caution, we must consider public and personal safety a top priority.
We will continue to monitor updates and recommendations from several agencies and encourage you to stay up to date, as well as to take personal safety precautions:
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- World Health Organization (WHO)
- Your local and state agencies
As we continue to navigate through these unchartered waters, we ask for your continued support during these uncertain times. Please know we remain committed to our mission and our organizational sustainability; that’s why we’re prioritizing the safety and well-being of our staff.
Additionally, we have signed on to this public commitment to Lead Boldly on COVID-19.
Please keep yourselves, your families, and our communities safe. This is a crucial time to take necessary steps to flatten the curve and stop the spread. We're all in this together.