Dear Colleagues –
Planning for spring and summer programs continues in earnest. In consultation with the University of Chicago, our working group is putting plans, guidelines, policies, and processes in place so that we can welcome back nearly 50% of our normal capacity this spring and summer. We have reconfigured space capacities across campus including laboratories, classrooms, break rooms, meeting, residential, and dining spaces to ensure compliance with social distancing and other COVID-19 health-related requirements by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Final preparations are being made for the March 21 arrival of UChicago undergraduates enrolled in the MBL’s Spring Quarter courses along with the 2021 Advanced Research Training Courses which kick off April 28 with the Analytical and Quantitative Light Microscopy (AQLM) course.
To help all members of the community—from staff, to course faculty and students, to Whitman investigators—easily find the COVID-19 information they need, the MBL has launched a new website at goforward.mbl.edu. This site contains guidance, policies, and resources and organizes the information in a user-friendly format.
All COVID-19 related information that was previously on the MBL Intranet and MBL website has been migrated to the MBL Forward page along with new content specific to visiting program participants, including information on a Mandatory Asymptomatic Testing Program for those living in MBL housing. We ask staff to use goforward.mbl.edu as an ongoing resource and direct visiting faculty or students you may be working with to it.
As the pandemic continues to evolve and vaccine rollout progresses in the coming weeks and months, Federal and Commonwealth of Massachusetts travel and quarantine guidance is likely to change. For example, earlier this week the Commonwealth of Massachusetts adjusted its Travel Order announcing that fully vaccinated individuals are now exempt from Massachusetts quarantine requirements.
The MBL will continue to follow all Commonwealth of Massachusetts regulations and develop our guidance in close consultation with experts at the University of Chicago and UChicago Medicine. We will be hosting a Town Hall update on spring/summer planning for resident faculty and staff in the coming weeks. An announcement and invitation will be forthcoming.
As always, thank you for adapting to these challenges, and for your dedication to safeguarding our community while continuing to advance MBL’s mission.
Chief Operating Officer