The following letter was sent to faculty, staff, and postdocs today by Acting Deputy Executive Vice President Tony Sharon and Vice President for Human Resources Ramona Allen.
Dear faculty, staff, and postdoc colleagues:
We write to share important information about new steps we are taking to meet the challenge of Covid-19 for MIT’s faculty, staff, and postdocs. In the current climate, the health and well-being of our entire community — including each of you — is at the forefront of our thinking.
To ensure the safety of our full community, MIT is moving quickly to promote and enable social distancing. So far, we have drawn down the number of people on campus by curtailing large events and reducing the student population in communal living spaces.
These decisions were designed to make MIT safer for everyone — and today we announce several important new steps. The goal is to protect the health, safety, and well-being of our community while allowing core Institute operations to continue as best we can.
Beginning tomorrow, and until we communicate otherwise, all MIT employees who can work from home should make arrangements with their supervisors to do so. Of course, any employee who is sick should stay home. All of these policies are intended to keep sick or potentially sick people away from campus, so that it will remain safer for those who must continue to report to campus for their jobs.
For these employees whose work cannot be done remotely, we encourage implementation of social distancing and other best practices, and development of individualized workplans that minimize close contact by limiting time on campus to what is necessary; conducting meetings virtually; or implementing other creative strategies to reduce the density of employees on campus. We should all be especially attentive to employees who may be at a higher risk for Covid-19.
We have heard clearly that many employees are concerned about taking public transportation to work. Starting tomorrow, and until we communicate otherwise, all MIT parking facilities will be free and open for employees who must report to campus for their jobs. Employees will need their MIT ID cards to access parking facilities.
MIT’s previously communicated policies on travel and visitors remain in effect. Regarding events, we are further modifying our guidance of last week, as recommended by public health experts: Going forward, all events and meetings with more than 25 attendees should be canceled, postponed, or conducted in virtual form.
Given the facts we have right now, MIT intends to remain open, even with fewer of us on campus. This business continuity means that your pay and benefits will continue uninterrupted.
If you have specific questions on any of the above, please send an email to [email protected] Further details and resources will be posted in the coming days to MIT’s Covid-19 Response website. Finally, MIT MyLife Services is available, both in-person and virtually, to support MIT employees facing anxiety related to Covid-19.
We know many of you are directly involved in addressing this great challenge for our community, whether you are helping students cope with the logistics of leaving campus, dealing with health questions from individuals, or striving to put a class online for the first time.
We are enormously grateful for the dedication, high standards, and caring of everyone who works at MIT. Each of you is essential to MIT’s mission — and never more so than in this intense and difficult time. We are committed to doing everything we can to help keep you safe. Thank you for all the ways in which you look after your MIT community — and each other.
Acting Deputy Executive Vice President
Vice President for Human Resources
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