Gryphon Scientific Supports COVID-19 Outbreak Response

Gryphon Scientific has been called on by clients from state and local governments and across the federal interagency, including the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Homeland Security, and National Institutes of Health, to support the government’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. This work has included:

    • Helping coordinate components of the federal government response: 
      • Helping coordinate federal government efforts to expand community-based testing for COVID-19. 
    • Performing research and providing expert guidance to support the development of preparedness and response policies: 
      • Supporting the development of federal agency policies and plans for multiple aspects of the COVID-19 response, such as the HHS/ASPR Strategic Plan and the federal interagency COVID-19 Data Collection, Fusion, and Analysis Concept of Operations. As part of these efforts, working with federal stakeholders to capture lessons learned from the response and incorporate them into planning documents to inform future pandemic-focused programming and resource allocation.  
      • Conducting a nationwide survey of clinical laboratories to identify challenges they faced in performing COVID-19 testing, to inform strategies for improving surge diagnostic testing in future public health emergencies. 
      • Advising local governments on social distancing policies.  
    • Facilitating the use of COVID-19 data in research and government decision-making: 
      • Critically evaluating and synthesizing published research and media reports on COVID-19 to inform government decision-making and policy development.  
      • Coordinating the deposition of SARS-CoV-2 surveillance and research data into public databases and scientific communications to increase the accessibility of the data and research findings.  
    • Performing risk assessment and infectious disease modeling: 
      • Contributing to the development of SARS-CoV-2 transmission models by developing evidence-based parameters related to infectivity and health effects.  
      • Developing risk assessment tools to predict country-to-country spread of the virus internationally. 
    • Developing training: 
      • Developing training materials for first responders on how to recognize and mitigate occupational risks from COVID-19, including appropriate usage of personal protective equipment (PPE) and safe work practices.  

We bring our hallmark deep scientific expertise and rigorous, evidence-based approach to understanding and communicating risk to this work. If you are interested to learn more about Gryphon Scientific support for the COVID-19 response, please contact us at [email protected].

Selected Examples of Our COVID-19 Response Support

Helping NIOSH understand occupational hazards related to the COVID-19 pandemic

Gryphon Scientific is supporting the CDC National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) by performing ongoing rapid review of the COVID-19 literature related to occupational health and safety. Gryphon staff screen on average more than 3,000 titles a week to identify publications that address worker safety in the context of COVID-19, encompassing topic areas such as epidemiology, occupational exposure, worker mental health, engineering controls, long-term complications from infection, and efficacy of PPE, among others. In addition, we conduct ongoing surveillance of news reports of workplace violence related to COVID-19. From the resulting literature and news reports, Gryphon staff develop summaries of the most relevant and impactful publications (approximately 40 publications a week) for NIOSH. These summaries enable NIOSH to use the latest COVID-related scientific literature to help them develop technical guidance for worker safety and to inform their research plans to address knowledge gaps.

Developing Training for Essential Workers on Occupational Risks From COVID-19

Gryphon Scientific has developed training materials for essential workers and disaster response volunteers on managing occupational risks from COVID-19 in a variety of formats. We developed a training video series focused on COVID-19 and other respiratory disease risks that first responders routinely face while performing their duties, which includes information on the characteristics of COVID-19, appropriate use of PPE, and safe work practices. Gryphon staff also created the CERT Hero: COVID 101 mobile app, which contains informative videos, knowledge checks, and mock scenarios designed to challenge users to recall and apply pathogen protection measures such as social distancing and handwashing in work-relevant scenarios. The content for our training curricula is based on guidelines published by CDC.

These resources are designed to be accessible training tools to supplement in-person training received by essential workers and disaster response volunteers, helping them protect themselves and their communities. The training videos can be accessed through Gryphon Scientific’s YouTube channel.

Supporting the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance

Since its inception in 2014, Gryphon Scientific served on a team that managed the Data Processing and Coordinating Center (DPCC) for the Centers of Excellence for Influenza Research and Surveillance (CEIRS), a program run by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). The CEIRS program was a multidisciplinary network of academic Centers whose investigators performed research on host immune response, viral pathogenesis, and transmission of influenza and coronaviruses. After SARS-CoV-2 emerged, the CEIRS Network pivoted rapidly to support the pandemic response through genomic surveillance and research. Gryphon worked with DPCC team members to increase the accessibility and usefulness of data generated by CEIRS researchers through scientific communication and data collection and management.

The DPCC team quickly designed and developed a novel resources webpage on the CEIRS public website to share research communications from CEIRS investigators, including publications, social media posts, and information on CEIRS-generated virus isolates and other reagents. The DPCC also facilitated deposition of SARS-CoV-2 sequence and research data into public databases through the development of standardized data submission templates (including data standards) and processes used by CEIRS researchers.

Link to the CEIRS public website