Health Requirements

Before Arriving on Campus

In order to access the MBL campus, each member of our community is required to complete an online COVID-19 training session and acknowledge via an online attestation form that they will comply with the MBL’s COVID-19 health requirements.

For your safety and the safety of the entire MBL community, we ask that everyone arriving on campus observe a seven-day transition period before coming to campus. This means avoiding unnecessary contacts and following a “stay at home” routine as much as possible before you travel.

 

Training, Acknowledgement and Attestation Regarding COVID-19

Anyone accessing the MBL campus (students, faculty, visiting researchers, postdoctoral researchers, campus visitors, and staff) are required to complete the COVID-19 online training course and attestation form.

The training will be sent to MBL course participants, visiting scientists, and any other campus visitors at the time of registration.

All members of the MBL community are required to complete the online attestation form which acknowledges they have completed the MBL’s COVID-19 Safety Training and will comply with the MBL’s COVID-19 health requirements. The attestation must be completed as an online form, but for reference we have posted a PDF of the attestation on this page. The attestation affirms that the signer will comply with safety precautions, including:

  • COVID-19 Safety Training
  • Health and Wellness
  • Testing, Contact Tracing, Quarantine, and Isolation
  • Accessing MBL Facilities
  • Travel and Guests
  • Ongoing Commitment, Inherent Risk and Non-Compliance

 

Required Health Protocols

The following measures outlined in the MBL’s COVID-19 health requirements help us achieve our goal of providing a safe environment for the entire MBL community. Please remember that we are still in a dynamic COVID-19 environment. These required protocols could change as the public health situation evolves.

Workplace Safety Policy
The Environmental Health and Safety Department support all aspects of safety at the MBL. For any questions, please contact the MBL’s Environmental Health and Safety Office by emailing safety@mbl.edu or the MBL’s Manager Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Eric Jensen at ejensen@mbl.edu.

POL 01.90.01
Effective Date: June 11, 2020
Updated: February 1, 2021

1.0  Policy Purpose
The purpose of the MBL COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy is to ensure all activity including work, research, and training that is authorized to occur on campus is done so as safely as possible.  All organizational components of the MBL must submit reopening plans for approval that must be abided by all campus visitors.  These plans must be consistent with this policy.  No member of the community can access buildings on the MBL campus until they have completed and signed an acknowledgement affirming their understanding and acceptance of this policy and completed the required MBL COVID-19 Safety Training.

2.0  To Whom the Policy Applies
This policy applies to all full or part-time employees, students, visiting faculty and researchers, interns, contractors, visitors, and any other individuals approved to work or be on campus.  Where the policy refers to “staff,” “employees,” or “individuals” it encompasses all individuals who are approved to be on campus.  “Campus” means all MBL-owned facilities and grounds, and other locations where MBL functions, programs, and activities are conducted.

3.0   Policy Statement
Beginning in June 2020, the MBL reopened the campus to the Resident Research Program.  MBL has continued gradually to add more of its Research and Education activities at capacities consistent with the requirements of Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidelines.  The MBL will continue limiting personnel on campus until further notice.

This policy is subject to modification as new regulations, information, and guidance becomes available from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and medical/public health experts at the University of Chicago.

4.0  Principles Governing Work, Research, and Educational Activities on MBL Campus

  • Ensure the safety and well-being of all individuals at MBL through a gradual increase of  on-campus
  • Minimize health risks through training, maintaining low density on-campus arrangements with spatial and temporal workspace location and scheduling, social distancing, daily health self-monitoring for COVID- 19 symptoms, and by following all current and applicable public health guidance.
  • Continue remote work practices for all employees whose responsibilities enable them to do so.
  • Support flexibility for departments and programs to develop plans and approaches specific to their objectives and function in a manner consistent with this
  • Provide clear and consistent guidance that employees, students, faculty, interns, contractors, visitors, and any other individuals on campus can easily and effectively
  • Ensure accessible reporting mechanisms for individuals with health and safety concerns and enforce appropriate consequences for lack of

5.0  General Policy Requirements

All individuals must periodically review information provided by the MBL to keep abreast of current information on continued preparedness, action, and response to COVID-19.  Policies provided by the MBL are based on recommendations from the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA), and the University of Chicago.

5.1  Face Coverings
All individuals approved to be on campus must wear a disposable or cloth mask at all times while in MBL buildings and while transiting outdoors, with narrow exceptions.  Individuals can remove face coverings if they are in a private room/office alone with the door shut, while eating indoors with at least 8 feet of social distance in designated breakrooms, or only in Designated Outdoor Areas where social distancing can be achieved.  Disposable masks are available through the MBL Stockroom. Individuals may use their own masks, provided they meet applicable state guidelines. Refer to the Guidance for Using Masks in MBL Work Areas for additional information.

MBL will continue to evaluate and update best practices for the use of face masks and will inform all individuals of any updates or changes.  Please contact safety@mbl.edu with questions or concerns about face masks and coverings.

5.2  Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposures
There are three scenarios of increased risk to COVID-19 exposure for those people allowed on the MBL campus. These scenarios represent an individual who: (1) tested positive for COVID-19 (2) has COVID-19 like symptoms but has not been tested or (3) has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person.

As soon as any of the above scenarios occurs, the individual is no longer allowed on campus and must immediately notify their supervisor or MBL point of contact and Human Resources.  MBL will follow the Guide for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposures to handle any potential exposures from the individual to the community and plan for individual’s return to work.  The cleaning of areas potentially impacted is covered in the Guidance for Decontamination of Work Area.

All individuals must notify their supervisor or MBL point of contact and the Human Resources Department if they test positive for COVID-19 or if they are contacted by a medical or public health entity (Massachusetts Department of Public Health) for being identified as having close contact with a COVID-19 positive person.

5.3  Communication Protocol

In efforts to make others aware of coronavirus symptoms, it is critical to be mindful of protocols for communicating confidential health information to othersThe identity of anyone testing positive will be kept confidential.  No personal identifying information can be shared.  It is illegal to disclose the names of individuals and their health conditions in any written documents including emails or texts.

Individuals should immediately inform their supervisor or MBL point of contact and Human Resources via a phone call, text, or email stating that there is urgent information to be discussed.  The individual can contact Human Resources at hr@mbl.edu or Ann Egan, Director of Human Resources at aegan@mbl.edu.  Informing a manager and Human Resources can be done during the evening or on a weekend.  The sooner Human Resources is aware of the situation the sooner appropriate safety precautions can be taken particularly as it relates to contact tracing.

MBL will notify the MBL community of a confirmed positive case for any individual who has been present on the MBL campus while COVID-19 positive and where contact tracing is required.  At the time of notification, contact tracing will be completed and any close contacts will have been identified and notified.

5.4  Personal and Public Health Considerations
All individuals are expected to self-monitor for symptoms and stay home or in your MBL housing if they have; potentially been exposed to COVID-19, have any COVID-19 symptoms, or have traveled to a state not included in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 lower-risk state exemption list.  Individuals are provided with the Mandatory Daily Health Screening Form to access each day prior to participating in any activities on the MBL campus.

MBL policies on non-essential international and domestic travel remain in place.  Please reference the COVID-19 Travel Guidelines for specific details on travel restrictions and requirements.  The MBL has been and will continue to follow the instruction of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts as it relates to out of state travel.

All individuals are responsible for promoting safe hygiene practices, including vigilant hand washing and cleaning of workstations and other lab/office areas, especially common work areas, surfaces, and equipment such as shared printers and copiers.  To promote good hygiene, the MBL has provided hand soap dispensers in hand washing areas throughout MBL which includes laboratories and breakrooms.  For cleaning, individuals should disinfect shared work surface areas at the beginning and end of their shift.  High touch areas such as doorknobs or shared office equipment should be disinfected at a higher frequency.  Surface disinfectants such as Hydrogen Peroxide solutions will be provided by the MBL for individuals to routinely disinfect surfaces.  In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers have been made available at all building entrances, while individual hand sanitizers and wipes are available through the MBL Stockroom.

The MBL’s Environmental Services (EVS) has increased the frequency of cleaning across campus which includes cleaning common high touch areas and bathrooms.

5.5  Workplace Requirements
Physical work locations must limit proximity between individuals to no less than six (6) feet. To accomplish this, the following rules must be strictly adhered to:

    • Workstations must be at least six feet apart and must not include a configuration with two individuals working face to face directly across from each
    • Internal meetings of any size should be carefully considered. When possible, MBL individuals should use remote technology to collaborate instead of meeting in person. In the event that an in-person meeting is necessary, the following must be adhered to: meeting room should not exceed posted maximum occupancy, all individuals including speakers must wear masks at all times, social distancing is required with appropriately spaced seating, and for any meeting larger than 10 persons the meeting must be approved by the MBL’s Chief Operating Officer with an attendance log kept for the meeting.
    • Work teams should be organized with a schedule that promotes social distancing. Where staggered schedules and breaks are in place, the same cohorts of individuals (to the fullest extent possible) should work on the same schedules to further limit each individual’s network of
    • Limit elevator capacity to one person at a time. Leave ample room outside elevator doors for others to exit before approaching the
    • Hand hygiene practices must be diligently adhered to with MBL-provided hand hygiene resources.
    • All work in research or educational laboratories must adhere to their respective Research Resumption Plan (RRP) or their Return to Laboratory Teaching Plan (RLTP) which must clearly state both the density and how individuals are spaced throughout the laboratory area.
    • Signage has been installed across campus to convey policy rules and important information.

5.6  Other Policy Expectations
Social gatherings, formal or informal, in excess of the number of people allowed by the State of Massachusetts are not allowed on campus.  The MBL will not hold any events, conferences, or social functions on campus without approval by the Chief Operating Officer.

Work-related visitors or guests are encouraged to meet virtually. Essential business meetings must be held virtually.  In the circumstance that a meeting cannot be held virtually, visitors must complete a visitation form and must adhere to social distancing and MBL’s policy with Guidance for Using Masks in MBL Work Areas and they must register their visit through the Visitors to the MBL Campus webpage.

6.0  Responsibilities
All individuals to whom this policy applies are responsible for becoming familiar with and following this policy. All individuals are responsible for promoting the understanding of this policy and for taking appropriate steps to ensure compliance.

6.1  Manager Responsibilities

    • Remind individuals to follow COVID-19 Travel Guidelines.
    • Remind individuals that they are required to follow the MBL’s Guidance for Using Masks in MBL Work Areas.
    • Any equipment brought or returned to campus must be cleaned by the individual before or upon return to
    • Remind individuals they must report confirmed COVID-19 or potential exposure to COVID-19 to supervisor or MBL point of contact and Human Resources and no identifying information should be shared in writing.

6.2  MBL Human Resources Department
The MBL will distribute, via an online learning platform, an Attestation Form to all individuals approved to participate in any activity on the MBL campus.  All approved individuals must electronically acknowledge that they have read, understand, and will comply with the COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy and that they have also completed the required MBL COVID-19 Safety Training.

HR will provide individuals with updated information regarding their responsibilities should they test positive for COVID- 19, become symptomatic for COVID- 19, or become exposed to someone with COVID-19. as outlined in the Guide for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposures Policy.

7.0  Consequences for Violating this Policy
All members of the MBL community must follow and take this MBL COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy seriously.  Corrective action will be taken for any individual on campus who does not comply with the MBL COVID-19 Workplace Safety and related policies up to and including dismissal from campus.

8.0  Related Information
This policy is subject to modification as new regulations, information and guidance becomes available from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the University of Chicago.

Anyone who would like to report behaviors inconsistent with or in violation of this policy should contact their MBL point of contact Human Resources, Environmental Health & Safety Manager, or any member of MBL leadership.

9.0  Policy Owner and Contact

9.1  Policy Owner: Chief Operating Officer

Paul Speer, Chief Operating Officer Email: pspeer@mbl.edu

9.2  Subject Matter Contacts:

Overall Policy Questions and Concerns
Human Resources Director, Ann Egan; Email: aegan@mbl.edu

Health and Safety Workplace Guidance
Environmental Health and Safety Manager, Eric Jensen; Email: ejensen@mbl.edu

Facilities and Cleaning Questions and Concerns
Environmental Services Manager, Chad Baptiste; Email: cbaptiste@mbl.edu

Daily Health Screening

As part of MBL’s Reopening Plan and MA State guidance, we ask that each day prior to coming to campus or taking part in MBL activities, you review the following questions.   Although this form is not required to be submitted to MBL, we appreciate your diligence on this task for an added level of safety for you as well as members of the MBL community.

1. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48 hours?

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Diarrhea

Read more here.

Universal Face Coverings

With narrow exceptions, a face mask covering the mouth and nose must be worn at all times while on the MBL campus.  A face mask must:

  • Fit snugly around the nose and chin with no large gaps around the side of the face
  • Be secured with ties, ear loops, or headbands
  • Cloth masks must be made of multiple layers of tightly woven fabric that does not let light pass through when held up to a light source.
  • Not include exhalation valves or vents.

Read more here.

Hygiene

All individuals are responsible for promoting safe hygiene practices, including vigilant hand washing and cleaning of workstations and other lab/office areas, especially common work areas, surfaces, and equipment such as shared printers and copiers.  To promote good hygiene, the MBL has provided hand soap dispensers in hand washing areas throughout MBL which includes laboratories and breakrooms.  For cleaning, individuals should disinfect shared work surface areas at the beginning and end of their shift.  High touch areas such as doorknobs or shared office equipment should be disinfected at a higher frequency.  Surface disinfectants such as Hydrogen Peroxide solutions will be provided by the MBL for individuals to routinely disinfect surfaces.  In addition, hand sanitizer dispensers have been made available at all building entrances, while individual hand sanitizers and wipes are available through the MBL Stockroom.

The MBL’s Environmental Services (EVS) has increased the frequency of cleaning across campus which includes cleaning common high touch areas and bathrooms.

Social Distancing

Physical work locations must limit proximity between individuals to no less than six (6) feet. To accomplish this, the following rules must be strictly adhered to:

  • Workstations must be at least six feet apart and must not include a configuration with two individuals working face to face directly across from each
  • Internal meetings of any size should be carefully considered. When possible, MBL individuals should use remote technology to collaborate instead of meeting in person. In the event that an in-person meeting is necessary, the following must be adhered to: meeting room should not exceed posted maximum occupancy, all individuals including speakers must wear masks at all times, social distancing is required with appropriately spaced seating, and for any meeting larger than 10 persons the meeting must be approved by the MBL’s Chief Operating Officer with an attendance log kept for the meeting.
  • Work teams should be organized with a schedule that promotes social distancing. Where staggered schedules and breaks are in place, the same cohorts of individuals (to the fullest extent possible) should work on the same schedules to further limit each individual’s network of
  • Limit elevator capacity to one person at a time. Leave ample room outside elevator doors for others to exit before approaching the
  • Hand hygiene practices must be diligently adhered to with MBL-provided hand hygiene resources.
  • All work in research or educational laboratories must adhere to their respective Research Resumption Plan (RRP) or their Return to Laboratory Teaching Plan (RLTP) which must clearly state both the density and how individuals are spaced throughout the laboratory area.
  • Signage has been installed across campus to convey policy rules and important information.
Self Monitoring

As part of MBL’s Reopening Plan and MA State guidance, we ask that each day prior to coming to campus or taking part in MBL activities, you review the following questions.   Although this form is not required to be submitted to MBL, we appreciate your diligence on this task for an added level of safety for you as well as members of the MBL community.

1. Have you experienced any of the following symptoms in the past 48 hours?

  • Cough
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Fever or chills
  • Fatigue
  • Muscle or body aches
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Congestion or runny nose
  • Diarrhea

If experiencing ANY of the above symptoms, then report this information to your supervisor or MBL point of contact immediately.  These symptoms may be related to COVID-19 and may require you to stay at home or in a designated MBL housing location.   If any of these symptoms continue, please contact your primary care doctor. In some cases, it may be necessary to self-quarantine for 10 days and thus you are not permitted to take part in MBL activities or enter any MBL facilities during that time.  If a doctor confirms that the cause of your symptoms is not COVID-19 related and provides a written release or provides a negative PCR test result to Human Resources; then you are no longer are required to quarantine.

COVID-19 Exposure

There are three scenarios of increased risk to COVID-19 exposure for those people allowed on the MBL campus. These scenarios represent an individual who: (1) tested positive for COVID-19 (2) has COVID-19 like symptoms but has not been tested or (3) has been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person.

As soon as any of the above scenarios occurs, the individual is no longer allowed on campus and must immediately notify their supervisor or MBL point of contact and Human Resources. MBL will follow the Guide for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposures to handle any potential exposures from the individual to the community and plan for individual’s return to work. The cleaning of areas potentially impacted is covered in the Guidance for Decontamination of Work Area.

All individuals must notify their supervisor or MBL point of contact and the Human Resources Department if they test positive for COVID-19 or if they are contacted by a medical or public health entity (Massachusetts Department of Public Health) for being identified as having close contact with a COVID-19 positive person.

COVID-19 Case Reporting

The purpose of this document is to provide guidance to MBL managers to address the protocol for confirmed or potential positive cases of COVID-19 within their department, as well as the criteria required for individuals to return to work after being confirmed with or having been exposed to COVID-19. The protocol applies to any employee with any of the following scenario conditions:

  • Tested Positive for COVID-19, or
  • Exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, or
  • Been exposed to a COVID-19 positive person and are currently asymptomatic

Read more here.

MBL COVID-19 Violation Reporting

If you believe that a required COVID-19 safety policy or practice is not being followed, you should report the incident to your supervisor, MBL contact, or via the MBL anonymous incident reporting form.

MBL Measures for Testing and Contact Tracing

While some of the measures call for our community’s adherence to health and safety requirements, they must be combined with institutional measures to test, trace, isolate, and treat COVID-19 cases that may emerge.

These procedures include provisions for a Mandatory Asymptomatic Testing Program, a Contact Tracing Program, guidelines for isolation and quarantine, and resources for treatment of COVID-19 cases. FAQs are available with further information.

The MBL’s testing approach includes a mandatory surveillance testing program for asymptomatic students and other members of our campus community living in MBL residential housing facilities.

For more information, see our COVID-19 Testing Program page.