Dear Colleagues,

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues to instruct all individuals who travel out of state to “self-quarantine for 14 days” upon their return to Massachusetts. To date, MBL policies have been following this instruction.

While the safety of our staff and community are always at top of mind and while we continue to discourage any non-essential personal travel outside of Massachusetts, our policies surrounding out-of-state travel must be relevant to the realities of personal situations and the constantly changing nature of and response to COVID-19.

As we listen to and understand requests from our staff, we understand that there are family care responsibilities and other situations which arise and will need to be considered on a case-by-case basis as they relate to the 14-day quarantine period.  As such, we have adjusted policies and guidance, including the Manager’s Guide for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposure, Employee Daily Health Screening Form, and COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy to provide flexibility surrounding quarantine following out of state travel. See Reopening MBL Intranet page to view these policies.

Managers have been instructed to work with their employees to determine if specific personal travel situations require staff to remain off campus for 14 days upon their return or if they can resume normal on-campus activity. Mangers will consider factors such as the purpose of trip, the risk associated with destination (e.g. large crowds), and duration in evaluating travel requests. Guidance for managers has been posted on the intranet.

We continue to ask that all employees who are traveling out of state regardless of length to complete a travel form with information about their trip. This will help the MBL work with the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to limit exposure in the event of a positive test case. In addition, if you do travel, take the appropriate precautions to protect yourself and others by continuing to abide by public health protocols including use of face masks, personal hygiene/hand washing, and social distancing.

The MBL will continue to assess our policies associated with travel in relation to state guidelines and continue to do what is best for the safety of the entire MBL community. If you have any questions, please contact your supervisor.

Paul Speer
Chief Operating Officer