From: Nipam Patel, Director and Paul Speer, Chief Operating Officer

Since June, the MBL has been steadily lifting COVID-19 restrictions and mitigation measures. Continuing this process, today we are announcing that the MBL expects every employee to get fully vaccinated against COVID-19 unless they cannot do so because of a medical or religious reason.

The MBL will use a secure online registry to confirm employee vaccination status. Employees should upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccination in the MBL registry by August 9. Our goal is a campus-wide vaccination rate that is as close to 100% as possible. Although the MBL is not currently making any changes to its indoor mask policy, this registry is the first step toward moving to a mask optional indoor environment.

When we transition to a mask optional environment, any MBL employee working on campus or at an MBL facility who does not upload proof of their COVID-19 vaccination will be required to participate in the MBL’s weekly COVID-19 testing program, wear a mask when in MBL buildings (except when in a private office/room with the door shut or when eating/drinking with six feet social distance), and potentially follow other mitigation measures. These requirements will apply to employees who access MBL facilities for any reason and at any frequency. MBL employees who are still in the process of getting vaccinated will be required to follow mitigation procedures until they are fully vaccinated (two weeks or more have passed since receiving both shots or via a single-dose version).

In consultation with the University of Chicago and based on expert guidance, we have determined that widespread COVID-19 vaccination is the best way to contribute to greater immunity, reduce the likelihood of sudden clusters of COVID-19 on campus, minimize the risk imposed by new variants, and help protect members of our community who are at the highest risk of developing serious illness from the virus.

In the coming week, we will share further details on the vaccination requirement and related procedures, and information about how to upload proof of vaccination status, how to fulfill the weekly testing requirement, and the requirements for non-employees who will be on campus. Additionally, we will post FAQs to the MBL Forward website to address some common questions.

Thank you for your ongoing commitment to the health and safety of our community.