MacArthur is closely monitoring the changing developments around the COVID-19 pandemic. In the interest of public health, we are taking prudent steps to protect the well-being of staff, visitors to the Foundation when we return to work, and people participating in convenings when they start-up again, while continuing our important work in the world.
We have shared guidance with our staff (from which the information below is drawn), which will affect many of them and visitors to our offices when we reopen, including partners, event participants, and consultants. Foundation-hosted events and business travel will also be affected.
We wanted to share this more broadly, so individuals affected understand our approach. We recognize that other organizations may be taking different approaches based on their needs, philosophy, and risk tolerance. This is an evolving situation, and we will continue to monitor the changing conditions. Our protocols or approach may change depending on the facts. While we will do our best to provide periodic updates, this page may not instantly be up-to-date. Please review updates on the CDC website for more general information regarding the situation.
Until we believe it is safe to do so, we have suspended business travel domestically or internationally for our staff to any location through 2020. We are, however, encouraging the use of video or audio meetings in lieu of in-person meetings in the meantime.
The status, spread, and impact of the COVID-19 pandemic varies by location. State and local authorities are frequently updating their guidance as stay at home orders are being eased throughout the country. We recommend you review CDC guidance on travel in the United States and check the state and local health authorities where you plan to travel to learn about restrictions that may be in place. When we return to work, we will assess the circumstances and whether we will require additional information regarding your personal travel and what steps if any may be required to protect the health of all staff and our community.
Foundation Hosting of Events
The Foundation will not host or sponsor any in-person events given current governmental directives from the Governor of Illinois and Mayor of Chicago (and CDC guidelines) to restrict gatherings. We have asked our staff to forego plans for any Foundation-supported in-person events through 2020. This decision is driven by the intention of doing our part to keep our communities, grantees, and staff safe, while continuing our important work in the world. We are continuing to evaluate government directives and other developments and may make such changes as are appropriate.
Expectations of All Employees and Consultants or Temp Workers
Care and Communication
At this time, we are still working from home. When we return to the office we will be announcing rules to help ensure the safety of our staff, our larger community, and the workplace. The rules will take into account the circumstances then existing and the status of the spread and any government or CDC directives and guidance.
Visitors to the Foundation
Foundation offices are closed, and visitors may not enter Foundation offices.
The Foundation’s top priority is the safety of our staff and their work environment. Our office will remain closed through at least September 8, 2020. As a private foundation devoted to advancing the public good, we can make a slower return to our office than organizations and businesses that require a physical presence to deliver critical services or earn necessary revenue. From a moral perspective, we are called on to do our part to give those businesses and organizations the space and time they need to succeed. Our staying out of the office longer will keep those individuals who are deemed “essential” safer and healthier.
Our staff is working from home with slightly reduced hours each week and occasional “Wellness Days” off to allow staff to better balance personal and family needs with work responsibilities.
When we return to our office, we will adhere to new protocols for the health and safety of our staff. We are considering a number of changes, including limiting the number of staff in the office on any given day and/or reducing the number of days our office will be open; requiring the wearing of masks at work; ensuring social distancing; prohibiting meetings in excess of 10 people; and requiring anyone who feels ill to stay home. Final decisions on these protocols will be made based on the science, government and public health agency directives, and principles we have developed.
If we learn of a case of COVID-19 that impacts one of our workplaces, our goal will be to closely follow public health authority guidance. That guidance may include working with public health authorities to notify those that have been in contact with the affected individual, balancing public health requirements with privacy requirements.
Visit the CDC's website for FAQs, guidance on reopening, use of cloth face coverings, travel advisories and health department resources by state. Or, get up-to-date information on developments, research, and other guidance from the Infectious Diseases Society of America.