The global spread of COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has caused unprecedented disruptions to our personal and professional lives. Just in the past few days, the World Health Organization has declared COVID-19 a pandemic, and a national state of emergency has been declared in the United States, with some countries declaring national lockdowns to prevent further spread of the virus. Schools and other public facilities have closed, with the general population advised to practice social distancing. In our own industry, most conferences and group events scheduled for the coming months have been cancelled or postponed until much later in the year.
Winterfeldt IP Group highly values in-person collaboration with our clients, industry colleagues, and internal team. However, in this time of crisis, the health and safety of our team members, other colleagues, and the public at large must take precedence. Thus, in light of the progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in keeping with public health recommendations, Winterfeldt IP Group will be shifting to primarily remote work as of the week of March 16, 2020.
As we had communicated last week, we are fully equipped to provide both our legal guidance and our legal support functions through a remote team. All of our team members will remain in their designated roles and will be available during business hours, and attorneys and members of our management team will remain accessible during extended hours spanning the times when our global clients conduct business. Our office phone numbers will remain in operation, and we will be reachable through all of our usual remote communication methods, including email, telephone calls and group conference calls, videoconferencing, and texting. We have also touched base with the vendors that provide our technical infrastructure and auxiliary services, and have received assurances that no disruptions are anticipated.
Please note that, for the time being, our Washington, DC office will continue to house a smaller support staff in order to attend to any client needs in connection with hard copy materials that cannot be handled digitally. This will ensure seamless coverage of all of our client matters, while allowing us to observe social distancing protocols. We hope to be able to return to in-person work by around April 1, 2020, but will be continuing to track public health recommendations and may update this timeline accordingly.
We understand that many of you are facing significant complications during this time of uncertainty, particularly with the trajectory of the pandemic as yet unknown. Please be assured that the full Winterfeldt IP Group team and I are here to support you seamlessly, and to ensure that the continued protection of your valuable intellectual property does not need to be one of your concerns. While we are all adjusting to major changes to our daily routines and activities, please be assured that Winterfeldt IP Group will continue to provide you with thoughtful and business-minded legal advice paired with a top-quality client service experience.
The Winterfeldt IP Group team and I look forward to seeing you in person again as soon as we are able to resume our usual robust schedule of travel, conferences and other industry events. In the meantime, we are here to help you navigate through any additional legal and business challenges that COVID-19 may present. Please reach out if I may offer any guidance or support in connection with adjusting your business practices and procedures to account for this new landscape of socially distanced, increasingly remote work.
I wish you, your colleagues and loved ones much health, strength and calm, and to closing the social distance once circumstances permit.