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 within 14 days of arrival.

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.

­­COVID-19 Workplace Safety Policy

POL 01.90.01
Effective Date: June 11, 2020
Updated: August 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.

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

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.
  • Minimize health risks by following all current MBL guidance.
  • 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 determined by weighing 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  Vaccination

All individuals approved to be on campus must upload proof of COVID-19 vaccination onto the MBL’s secure registry portal prior to arriving on campus.

5.2 Requirements for Unvaccinated Individuals

Any individual who does not upload proof of full COVID-19 vaccination for any reason will be required to participate in the MBL’s weekly COVID-19 testing program, wear a mask at all times in any Campus facility with limited exceptions, and potentially follow other mitigation measures. These requirements will apply to all employees who access MBL facilities for any reason and at any frequency, and to all students, faculty, visiting researchers and any other individuals participating in MBL programs.

5.3  Face Coverings

All individuals must keep a face covering available at all times in the event that it is needed regardless of COVID-19 status.

All unvaccinated individuals must 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.

Please contact safety@mbl.edu with questions or concerns about face masks and coverings.

5.4 COVID-19 Testing

All unvaccinated individuals are required to participate in the MBL’s weekly COVID-19 testing program.

5.5 Self-Monitoring

All individuals must conduct a Mandatory Daily Health Screening for COVID-19 symptoms every day before arriving on campus (whether off campus or at MBL), and monitor their health for new symptoms throughout the day.  If the employee experiences any symptoms associated with COVID-19, they must immediately inform their supervisor and Human Resources, and they must not enter any MBL facilities until the criteria are met in 5.7.2 Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms.

5.6 Contact Tracing

All individuals must fully cooperate in MBL’s contact tracing program and in any contact tracing program for local or state public health authorities.

5.7 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.

5.8 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 and is not fully vaccinated.

As soon as any of the above scenarios occurs, the individual is no longer allowed on campus and must immediately notify their supervisor and Human Resources. The employee must follow the guidelines below  for addressing confirmed or suspected COVID-19 exposures to handle any potential exposures from the individual to the community and to plan for their return to work.

All unvaccinated individuals must notify their supervisor or MBL point of contact if they are contacted by a medical or public health entity for COVID-19 exposure.

5.9 Guidance for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposure

Below is guidance for addressing a confirmed or potential positive case of COVID-19 at the MBL, as well as the criteria required for individuals to return to the MBL campus after being confirmed with or having been exposed to COVID-19.

5.9.1 Tested Positive for COVID-19

Any individual who becomes aware that they have tested positive for COVID-19 must not participate in MBL activities or enter any MBL facilities, and if they become aware while they are on campus then they must immediately leave the campus area. The individual should immediately follow the communications notification protocol referenced below of the positive test result.  Anyone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will be asked not to return onto MBL facilities until the following criteria are met:

a. At least 10 days have passed since symptoms first appeared, and

b. At least 1 day (24 hours) have passed since recovery- defined as resolution of fever without the use of fever-reducing medications and improvement in respiratory symptoms (e.g., cough, shortness of breath) and,

c. Proof of a negative COVID PCR test.

5.9.2 Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms

An individual who is exhibiting COVID-19 related symptoms within the past 48 hours (but has not been tested) must not come to work.  If on campus when symptoms begin, they should immediately remove themselves from the MBL activity or facility. The individual may not participate in MBL activities or enter any MBL facilities until the following criteria are met:

a. Consult with healthcare provider and provide Human Resources with a negative COVID-19 test result or a doctor’s written release that the cause of symptoms is not COVID-19 related, or

b. Self-quarantine for 14 days from onset of symptoms

5.9.3 Been Exposed to COVID-19

An individual who has not provided proof of vaccination and has been informed by the MBL, by a medical/public health entity, or by someone else that they have had close contact with a COVID-19 positive person (including family member) will be asked not to participate in MBL activities or enter any MBL facilities.  Individuals may not return into MBL facilities until the following criteria are met:

a. Self-quarantine for 7 days with a negative PCR test taken day 5 or later, or self-quarantine for 10 days showing no symptoms. If during the time of self-isolation, the individual is confirmed positive with COVID-19, the individual cannot return onto MBL campus until confirmed as non-infectious as detailed above in 5.5.1 Tested Positive for COVID-19, or

b. In the case where the contact was presumed COVID-19 positive, but then through testing was confirmed negative, the individual may return to MBL campus.

5.9.4  Close Contacts

CDC guidelines define close contact as someone who was within 6 feet of an infected person for at least 15 minutes or more over a 24-hour period starting from 2 days before illness onset (or, for asymptomatic persons, 2 days prior to positive specimen collection) until the time the patient is isolated.

6.0 Visitors

MBL employees and other registered visitors must not give their MBL ID Card to access any MBL facilities and they must not let unregistered MBL visitors into an MBL facility.

Non-residential visitors to the MBL facilities are restricted to those explicitly invited and hosted by a faculty or staff member. Visitors must complete a visitation form which acknowledges that they have read and will comply by MBL’s Health Policies and Protocols. More information on visitors to campus and the online form can be found on GoForward.mbl.edu.

7.0  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 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 confirmed positive cases on a COVID-19 Dashboard. Contact tracing will be conducted and those in close contact with a positive individual, per CDC guidelines will be contacted directly.

8.0  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.

8.1  Manager Responsibilities

  • Remind individuals that they are required to abide by all general policy requirements outlined above
  • Remind individuals experiencing COVID-19 symptoms that they must immediately leave the campus and follow 5.9.2 guidance above on Exhibiting COVID-19 Symptoms
  • Remind individuals they must report confirmed COVID-19 or potential exposure to COVID-19 if they are not fully vaccinated to their supervisor and Human Resources and no identifying information should be shared in writing.

9.0  MBL Human Resources Department

The MBL will distribute an Attestation Form to all employees and 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.

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 5.9 above for Addressing Confirmed or Suspected COVID-19 Exposures.

10.0  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.

11.0 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.

12.0  Policy Owner and Contact

12.1  Policy Owner: Chief Operating Officer

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

12.2  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

Daily Health Screening

As part of the MBL’s Covid-19 health policies and procedures, 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 indoors.  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.
  • When working with hazardous materials, disposable masks should be used.  Disposable masks are available for purchase in the MBL Stockroom.

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.

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 and is not fully vaccinated.

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.

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 and are not fully vaccinated.

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. In order to be exempt from the mandatory testing program, individuals living in MBL-owned housing can provide their proof of full vaccination at registration upon arrival to campus. 

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