Dear Colleagues,

I am writing to update you on steps to protect the health and wellness of the MBL community and to ensure we are prepared for a range of contingencies related to the Coronavirus (COVID-19). We are continuing to closely monitor developments in coordination with the University of Chicago. We are also relying on information provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (MADPH).

The current risk to people in the U.S. is low. However, as you have probably heard, CDC experts say they expect more cases in the U.S. with the possibility that this will become a pandemic.

Updated Travel Guidelines

This week, the CDC raised its coronavirus-related travel advisories for a number of countries, and issued its highest warning for South Korea – Level 3: Avoid Nonessential Travel. As a result, the MBL strongly discourages travel to South Korea, in addition to our existing guidelines discouraging travel to mainland China and Hong Kong. Advisories for other countries may continue to change, and we will provide updates on this. A good source for information on this and other related topics can be found on the University of Chicago’s coronavirus updates website. The MBL advises travelers to check carefully on the status of COVID-19 alerts and precautions at all destinations, including layovers.

Ongoing Preparations

The MBL’s Incident Management team is developing a response plan to cover this rapidly developing situation and we will communicate key aspects with MBL staff on a regular basis. All of our work will be guided by authoritative sources in the CDC and MADPH and will be done in coordination with the University of Chicago.

Staff are encouraged to reach out to Ann Egan, Director of Human Resources, (; x7622) with any questions or concerns.

Paul Speer PhD
Chief Operating Officer
Marine Biological Laboratory