Dear Colleagues –

Today, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker issued a statewide emergency order requiring the closure of all non-essential businesses and organizations beginning 12:00 p.m. Tuesday, March 24 effective through 12:00 noon April 7. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has also issued a “stay-at-home” advisory until April 7. Businesses are encouraged to continue operations remotely. View press release here.

The MBL provides essential services such as critical research and animal care, facilities support, and security that will continue under the directive.

Thanks to the intensive efforts of our entire community over the last two weeks, the MBL has already taken numerous actions to reduce our on-campus footprint and move toward a “maintenance-only” mode of physical campus operations. These include transitioning to remote work wherever possible and reducing operations as outlined in last Friday’s all-staff message.

The MBL will comply fully with the new state order and will ensure that our community is prepared to carry it out.

  • Employees should continue to work remotely if possible, as many are doing already. Employees should assume they will work from home through April 7 unless you’ve heard otherwise from your managers.
  • Managers of employees who are in essential functions but who cannot work remotely should have already discussed specific circumstances with their employees.
  • We will allow a grace period of 48 hours effective from the release of this Laball to permit staff to get essential items from their offices that they may need if they have not already done so. After this time, do not come to campus unless your supervisor has given you express permission to do so. All MBL buildings now require an MBL ID card for entry. If you are not identified as an essential on-campus employee by your manager, you are not to enter campus buildings.
  • All non-critical research activities not already suspended should be suspended. Access to labs will be limited to those essential personnel who are required to perform critical research functions. Nipam Patel will provide additional guidance to the faculty.
  • We will also be releasing detailed information this afternoon on the new COVID-19 Paid Time Off (PTO) bank of leave announced in last Friday’s Laball. This will specify the conditions under which this new benefit may be used.

The following “Dos and Don’ts” are intended to help employees understand these directives:


  • Do come to work if your supervisor has told you to do so. You are allowed to come to work if you are supporting an essential operation of the MBL.
  • Do come to campus if your supervisor directs you to do so for a specific or limited purpose, even if you are generally working from home. You are allowed to come to work for this purpose.


  • Do not come to work if you are sick.
  • Do not come to work to engage in research, except to engage in ramp down or continuity work as approved by the Director of Research. Separate, specific guidance will be issued to researchers.
  • Do not come to work solely because your home internet access is inadequate, or because the conditions at your home are otherwise not conducive to working efficiently. Employees and faculty who need equipment or resources to enable them to work from home should address their needs with their supervisor.
  • Following the 48-hour grace period effective from the release of this Laball, do not come to campus because there is something in your office that you would like to retrieve, or because you want to visit with colleagues who must work on campus. You should only be coming to campus if your supervisor has given you express permission to do so. Your supervisor can give you permission to come to campus on a one-time basis or as otherwise necessary.

These steps will undoubtedly bring additional challenges for all of us, including concerns for families, friends, and colleagues. We appreciate your partnership and community approach that the situation requires.

For questions, concerns, or clarifications, please contact your supervisor or Human Resources Department at We will continue to keep you updated on additional changes or modifications to guide compliance with the stay at home order.

Nipam Patel

Paul Speer
Chief Operating Officer