The following letter was sent to the MIT Community on February 27. [Corrected version]
To the members of the MIT community:
We are writing to update you on MIT’s continued response concerning coronavirus (COVID-19).
There remains no current, identified risk to the MIT community, and we continue to communicate regularly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local departments of public health. We are adhering to the MIT International Travel Risk Policy, all Department of State and CDC travel advisories, as well as public health recommendations, and we will adjust our policies and plans to reflect advisories and recommendations from those agencies.
Because this is a fluid situation, and because protecting the health and safety of the MIT community is paramount, it’s important that everyone adhere to the following guidelines:
- Register international travel. If you are planning any MIT-sponsored travel outside the United States, we strongly recommend that you register your trip with the Institute. As mentioned previously, members of the MIT community who are engaged in activities in extreme or high risk countries, as designated by the MIT International Travel Risk Policy, and plan to travel there must complete the Institute’s international travel risk acknowledgment form, provided through the registry. Additionally, you must discuss your travel plans and the associated risks — including risks to the community — with your DLC head and MIT’s international safety and security program manager.
- Closely monitor travel restriction news and be prepared to change your plans. We encourage all potential travelers to continue to monitor MIT Medical’s website for updates on COVID-19, the MIT International Coordinating Committee (ICC) website for associated travel restrictions, and the CDC and Department of State websites for additional helpful information.
- Don’t travel to heavily affected areas unless absolutely necessary. We strongly discourage any students, faculty, and staff from taking personal trips to heavily affected areas during spring break. We also remind students that they may not take personal trips to high-risk areas while on other MIT-sponsored trips. In addition to the health risks to you and the MIT community, travel restrictions may be put in place preventing you from returning. Please note that MIT has cancelled all on-site MIT activities in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea until the situation improves.
- Please fill out this registration form if you are returning from any COVID-19 affected countries designated on the CDC COVID-19 travel website. Based on the information you provide, MIT Medical will contact you with instructions to address your specific situation, which may include self-isolation. For questions about self-isolation, visit our FAQ.
- Support is available for the MIT community. Currently, no community members are known to be self-isolating. However, if you are a student returning from an affected area and are self-isolating, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Student support services are standing by to help self-isolating students with food, housing, academics, and emotional support. Non-students should direct questions about accommodations to the human resources (HR) officer for their Department.
- If you are sick, stay home and self-isolate. This is peak cold and flu season, and staying away from others will help prevent the spread of any illness.
- If you are self-isolating and experience flu-like symptoms, immediately call MIT Medical at 617-253-4865. Additionally, please watch for emails from the MIT Alert system. We will use MIT Alert to notify the community about any major public health and/or travel issues that may affect the MIT community.
In closing, we want to, once more, thank everyone who has self-isolated. We know that self-isolation requires sacrifice, and we are grateful for the commitment that individual members of our community have shown to protecting the health of the broader community.
We also want to recognize that members of our community have loved ones or colleagues abroad in the affected areas that they are worried about. Let’s continue to keep this impact of COVID-19 in mind, and offer our fellow community members the support they need during this challenging time.
MIT Emergency Management