Lilly Eyes 2021 For Return To Full Strength

Lilly Corporate Headquarters

Courtesy Eli Lilly and Company

Eli Lilly and Co., the Indianapolis-based pharmaceutical giant working on several drugs for the novel coronavirus, won’t ask many of its workers back for at least several months—taking a more measured approach than what is recommended by Indiana officials, according to a spokesperson for the company.

As Indiana begins to reopen in phases according to Governor Eric Holcomb’s Back on Track plan, the state’s 12th largest employer is plotting a longer-term course for resuming regular operations. “For office-based workers, it is likely to be a period of several months before we begin to invite back large numbers of employees to our corporate headquarters,” Nicole Hebert, a spokeswoman for the company, told Indianapolis Monthly.

During a town hall, CEO Dave Ricks told employees this morning that the company’s full workforce potentially wouldn’t return until sometime in 2021, according to one person who was in attendance. The company employs 10,706 workers at its Indianapolis headquarters.

“We have seven criteria that must be met before we begin the process of bringing those employees who are currently working from home back to our campuses,” Hebert said. “Those criteria include data that demonstrate that the local environment is under control and that our workplaces have practices in place to prevent the spread of the disease. The timing in a particular location will depend on meeting these criteria.”

Lilly asked workers to begin working from home on March 9. Employees in essential manufacturing jobs have maintained operations.

According to the state’s plan, professional office building employees can resume operations at full capacity on June 4. The pharmaceutical giant that has performed tens of thousands of free drive-thru coronavirus tests for the state.

In an op-ed, Ricks has recommended Indiana increase testing for COVID-19. “We must substantially increase Indiana’s capacity to test for the virus and trace contacts of infected individuals — from between 2,000 to 3,000 tests per day now to 20,000 to 30,000 a day, to effectively isolate potential clusters and rule out COVID infections when someone has symptoms,” Ricks wrote.