Dear Colleagues,

As the MBL develops re-opening plans I wanted to reiterate the importance of wearing masks. Per Governor Baker’s order effective May 6, 2020 face masks or cloth face coverings are required in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.

At the MBL, all staff and contractors must wear a face mask at all times indoors including in laboratory spaces, breakrooms, bathrooms, hallways, and outdoors when it is difficult to maintain a social distance of six feet from others. Masks are not required in enclosed office spaces occupied by one individual or in outdoor areas where social distancing can be achieved.

The MBL will provide two cloth masks per individual to use at MBL. Masks may be obtained through the Campus Security Office in Swope (Rooms 100/100A) or by contacting Environmental Health and Safety Manager Eric Jensen at Please note, the MBL has sourced new cloth masks that will replace the masks originally available. Individuals who received the “first generation” masks but found them ill-fitting are eligible to receive two new masks.

In laboratory spaces with hazardous material, staff should use only disposable masks which can be tossed in the trash after each use.  Disposable masks are available through the MBL Stockroom.

If preferred and if it meets the following criteria, you can wear your own mask at MBL (no bandanas or scarfs). There is no plan to “approve” masks not provided by MBL, but unacceptable masks, if worn, will be called out.

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction while covering mouth and nose, and
  • Be able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape.

The Guidance for Using Masks in MBL Work Areas has been updated to reflect and clarify these points.

We will continue to evaluate and update best practices for mask use and will share any updates or changes with you. In the meantime, please contact with questions or concerns.

Paul Speer
Chief Operating Officer