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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance

Updated March 26, 2020

Brookings continues to closely monitor the increase in COVID-19 cases and other institutional responses to the virus. Accordingly, Brookings staff will continue mandatory telework until at least Friday, April 24. Brookings leadership will continue to monitor the situation and regularly evaluate the need for continued telework beyond April 24.

Please visit our Events page for further details on virtual events and webinars.

Updated March 12, 2020

Brookings continues to closely monitor the increase in COVID-19 cases and other institutional responses to the virus. Accordingly, Brookings staff will begin mandatory telework at 5:00pm on Friday, March 13. Telework will remain in effect through at least the end of the day on Friday, April 3. Brookings leadership will continue to monitor the situation and regularly evaluate the need for continued telework beyond April 3.

All public events are canceled or postponed until after April 3. Please visit our Events page for further details on individual events.

The self-quarantine requirements from our March 9 guidance remain in effect through at least April 3, with the addition of Massachusetts to the list.

We strongly believe institutions like Brookings serve a vital role in times of crisis by informing the public, advising policymakers, and providing nonpartisan, fact-based analysis and policy recommendations. While on this adjusted status Brookings will continue our scholarship and publications, and looks forward to helping the United States and global community confront, combat, and contain the worst effects of COVID-19.

Updated March 9, 2020

The Brookings Institution continues to closely monitor the ongoing outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our first priority is the safety and health of our workforce and community. As an organization that is proud to convene and engage with a wide range of experts and audiences, we at Brookings believe we have a special obligation to proactively share the steps we are taking to protect our workforce and visitors.

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread over the past several weeks Brookings has undertaken a number of measures to limit work-related travel to affected areas, intensify our cleaning procedures, and prepare for a number of future scenarios.

Following the diagnoses of individuals in Maryland and Washington DC with coronavirus (COVID-19), Brookings is taking further steps to protect our community and proactively share information with the public regarding our operating status. The below is based on guidance that was shared with all Brookings staff and scholars on the morning of Monday, March 9.

As of Monday, March 9, the Brookings campus in Washington, DC is postponing all planned events or moving them to webcast-only. Audiences should please visit for the latest status of individual events. The Brookings cafeteria is also restricted to Brookings staff and resident affiliates only.

As of Tuesday, March 10 the Brookings campus in Washington, DC is

  • Continuing optional telework for all employees;
  • Restricting internal meetings to under ten guests;
  • Implementing a number of restrictions on both domestic and international travel.

The above restrictions are effective through March 31. Brookings leadership will continue to evaluate the rapidly-evolving situation and communicate any updates as efficiently and transparently as possible. In the meantime, we encourage you to review the CDC’s reporting on states with outbreaks, FAQs, and travel advisories.

We appreciate that other organizations may be taking different approaches with their guidance based on their unique workforces and objectives. The situation is evolving rapidly and Brookings leadership is closely monitoring both expert guidance and issues being raised by our staff and guests. Please note this guidance may change quickly in response to developing events, and that while we will strive to keep this page updated there may be gaps before we can share more information publicly about our internal protocols.

Further details for Brookings Washington Campus*


Effective March 9 through March 31, Brookings will either make all events virtual/webcast or postpone them to a later date TBD.

If an event is changed from in-person to virtual/webcast, please be sure to visit the event page for details on how to engage with presenters via social media during the webcast. Your participation is important and we will strive to make all virtual events as inclusive and engaging as possible given our current circumstances.


Effective March 10, Brookings is requiring the cancellation/rescheduling of all travel (domestic and international) for Brookings business through March 31st.

Internal Meetings

Effective March 10, internal meetings will be limited to 10 people or fewer. This includes Brookings-only brownbag lunches, staff meetings, and round tables, as well as those featuring external guests. Brookings is also encouraging staff to schedule internal meetings to take place by phone or videoconferencing.

Quarantine Protocol

Effective March 10, anyone returning either from Brookings travel or personal travel or residing with someone who returns from the following locations must self-quarantine for a period of 14 days.

  • International Locations
    • China
    • Italy
    • South Korea
    • Iran
    • Japan
  • Domestic Locations
    • Washington State
    • California
    • New York

This list will be updated as the situation develops. For Brookings employees and resident affiliates, self-quarantine is defined as “a directive to avoid Brookings’s campus and have no intentional in-person interaction with Brookings personnel.”

In the meantime, staff should monitor the CDC’s reporting on states with outbreaks and avoid specific areas where outbreaks are taking place (including transit through them). Brookings may ask staff to self-quarantine if they have visited or transited through these locations.

External Visitors

Brookings staff are responsible for verifying that any guests they are inviting to our Washington campus have not traveled to a location on our self-quarantine list in the last 14 days.


For now Brookings is continuing our optional telework policy currently available to all non-essential staff. Brookings staff are undertaking measures to prepare for mandatory telework if deemed necessary by Brookings leadership.

*Brookings campuses in Doha, Delhi, and Tsinghua are already following local procedures on coronavirus (COVID-19).

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