Dear Colleagues,

I write today with an update on two items: masking indoors and public access to MBL events.


The MBL continues to follow CDC guidance around masking indoors. By way of reminder, this guidance states that even fully vaccinated individuals should wear a mask indoors in public areas of substantial or high transmission of COVID-19 to reduce the risk of being infected with the Delta variant and possibly spreading it to others. Barnstable County, where the MBL is located, is an area with a “high” level of community transmission of COVID-19, according to the most recent CDC data.

Given the “high” level transmission status locally, the MBL’s indoor masking requirement remains in effect until further notice. We will continue to monitor both local transmission levels as well as late fall/early winter surges that may occur as the weather cools and people spend more time indoors.

Public Access to Events

Earlier this month we announced the opening of Falmouth Forum lectures to the public for in-person attendance. Those attending the evening lectures, which are held in the Cornelia Clapp Auditorium at 50% capacity, are required to wear a mask.

Effective immediately, faculty and staff who are organizing seminars or other in-person events may invite non-MBL guests (e.g. colleagues from WHOI or other Woods Hole scientific institutions) provided that the following measures are met:

  • Non-MBL participants must be invited by MBL faculty/staff member and complete a visitor form prior to the event (see instructions here)
  • Event sponsor must ensure that the event venue is not over capacity (note: both Clapp and Speck Auditoriums are at 50% capacity; all other meeting rooms are at pre-COVID capacity); event sponsors should consider using Clapp or Speck for larger events
  • Event sponsor must monitor attendees for indoor mask use during event

The MBL Forward site will be updated to reflect this new information around events. In the meantime, questions regarding public access to events may be directed to

Thank you for your attention to these important details as we work together to continue to expand access to our programming as safely as possible throughout the remainder of the year.

Paul Speer
Chief Operating Officer