For the safety of the MIT community – faculty, staff, students, researchers, visitors, and vendors/suppliers – we are following new guidelines for access to MIT campus buildings. The process and related requirements apply to all MIT-owned and MIT-leased buildings in Cambridge, MA; Boston (OC11); Haystack Observatory in Westford, MA; and Bates Research & Engineering Center in Middleton, MA.

MIT encourages its community members to work from home when possible. Individuals should work on the physical campus only when absolutely necessary and only if they are designated and authorized for on-campus work.

Please note at this time, MIT buildings are not open for in-person tours, to tourists, or to other casual visitors.


MIT is using two systems to grant and manage access to campus buildings: Covid Access and its companion application, Covid Pass. These applications work together to manage physical building access, as well as the requirements and compliance measures expected of anyone who enters an MIT building. Some buildings, or clusters of buildings, will be accessible only through specific access points that have card readers tied to the Covid Access/Pass system. All normal building exits will remain functional and usable.

Everyone returning to campus and using campus facilities is required to be tested for Covid-19 before returning to work. Once you complete the acknowledgment step in Covid Pass for the first time, the system will direct you to be tested.

Covid Access allows designated individuals in each school, department, lab, and center (DLC) to grant and manage access to campus buildings. Covid Access enables physical access to exterior building doors only. Interior door access is managed by MIT’s gatekeepers using the C-Cure and Genetec systems; however, an MIT ID card must be activated through Covid Access to allow access to internal doors. A list of Covid Access authorizers can be found on the AdminConnect site.

Once someone has been approved to access campus (such as when a supervisor has approved an employee to work on campus), the Covid Access authorizer should add that person to the Covid Access system. Several different allocation types are available in Covid Access, and the Covid Access authorizer should select the type that is most appropriate for the individual who needs access: 

  • Instruction and Administration – Faculty, staff, and full-time/part-time/contract staff who need access to the physical campus for administrative or operational needs (or who do not fit in the other categories below).
  • Lab-Based Research** – Researchers (faculty, staff, graduate students in labs, other MIT appointees or DLC sponsored visitors) who are part of a lab and report to a PI.
  • Non-Laboratory Research – Researchers (faculty, staff, graduate students, other MIT appointees, or other DLC-sponsored visitors) who are part of a non-lab based research group or program and report to a PI or a DLC head.
  • Core Facilities** – Individuals who are part of the staff of designated core facilities and shared resources. Note: Core facility users, such as researchers in a lab, get access through the Lab-Based Research allocation.
  • One-Time Access – Faculty, staff, graduate students, and other MIT appointees who need brief, non-recurring access to campus (one-time access for up to 24 continuous hours). Infrequent but recurring needs should be handled through the Instruction and Administration, Lab-Based Research, or Core Facilities allocation type. One-time access should be granted sparingly.
  • Residents – Residents for the fall semester, including students, house teams, and any immediate family members living with them, will be granted access to Covid Pass before their housing license begins.
  • Vendor/Supplier – Recurring DLC-sponsored vendors and suppliers who need physical access to campus to provide MIT facility services on a recurring basis. Some vendors and suppliers will be allocated to other categories based on the nature of their work on campus (see the Covid Pass section for details). 

** Please note: There is specific guidance and more detailed requirements for the use of the Lab-Based Research and Core Facilities allocation types. If you are part of the research ramp-up, review additional information on the VPR Covid-19 website

Individuals who have been added into Covid Access will receive an email explaining that they have been designated by their supervisor or DLC administrator as someone who should be allowed to visit or access campus and is authorized to move ahead with accessing campus. The email describes next steps and requirements, and provides a link to the Covid Pass application, which is available via a website or a mobile app (iOSAndroid). Within the Covid Pass app, you can view and complete the requirements for accessing campus.

Temporary/term/contract employees (such as consultants or NextSource temporary employees) who perform a job on campus and who interact frequently with students/staff/faculty at MIT locations and in ways that mirror those of an MIT employee generally require recurring physical building access. Individuals in this category should be added into the appropriate allocation type. For example, if an administrative unit has sponsored consultants who need to be on campus, the sponsor should add them to the Instruction and Administration allocation type.

Similarly, some visitors, vendors, and suppliers perform ongoing work that essentially embeds them into campus life and/or involves frequent close-contact interactions, and may be subject to stricter requirements due to their higher-risk engagement with the community. This may include users of core facilities and researchers from the Broad Institute, Draper, Ragon Institute, and Whitehead Institute. An individual who falls into this group of visitors, vendors, and suppliers must have an MIT ID card that is linked to Covid Access/Pass; see below for details.

If you are experiencing technical issues with the Covid Access system or Covid Pass, or if you are an authorizer and need more information the allocation process, email covidapps-help@mit.edu.

MIT community members who have been approved to access campus buildings will use the Covid Pass application to complete one-time and daily requirements for entering campus buildings. Covid Pass is the application used to manage the requirements for accessing campus. A mobile version of Covid Pass (MIT Atlas) is available for iOS and Android.

Once individuals have been added into Covid Access by an authorized Covid Access administrator, they (and their supervisor) will receive an email with instructions for next steps, including how to access Covid Pass. In general, the process to receive and maintain building access is dependent on completing specified requirements – including an acknowledgement form, a daily health attestation, and (for some) training and testing –  which are determined by the individual’s affiliation with the Institute. An individual who does not meet the requirements will not have access to campus.

The requirements for each type of community member are:

Compliance with MIT policiesTrainingCovid-19 testDaily attestationState and local policies
Instruction and AdministrationYesYesYesYesYes
Lab-Based ResearchYesYesYesYesYes
Non-Laboratory ResearchYesYesYesYesYes
Core FacilitiesYesYesYesYesYes
One-Time AccessYesNoNoYesYes
ResidentsYesYesYesYesYes
Vendor/SupplierYesNoNoYesYes

Authorizers of Covid Access have the ability to grant one-time access to a faculty or staff member or a student who needs to visit campus for a very brief period of time – specifically, someone who only needs up to a single day’s access (e.g., picking up files or other belongings that were left when campus was implementing ramp-down measures). The one-time access allocation does not include infrequent but recurring access. Recurring access for ongoing administrative, operational, or research activities, even if it’s infrequent, should be handled through the appropriate allocation type.

Please note that individuals who are authorized for one-time access will need to go through the Covid Pass app, where they will (1) sign a form acknowledging the requirements for returning to campus and (2) complete a daily health attestation. Testing and training are not required for one-time access. For this reason, one-time access authorization should be provided sparingly by all Covid Access authorizers.

Human research subjects will have their own process and requirements and should contact the person organizing their visits for specific information. Principal investigators can read more about compliance on the COUHES website.

Covid Access authorizers are also responsible for adding vendors and suppliers into the Covid Access system. For the purposes of the Covid Access system, a vendor or supplier in this category should meet both criteria:

  • Is neither a student nor an employee or appointee of MIT.
  • Has been invited by a DLC to provide services that require physical access to MIT buildings.

Vendors and suppliers who are authorized by MIT to have unescorted, recurring physical building access must have an MIT ID card. The ID card must be linked to Covid Access/Pass, which will prompt daily health attestations that are valid for 24 hours.

The Covid Access authorizer should ask vendors and suppliers if they already have a valid MIT ID number and MIT ID card. If yes, these individuals can be added to the vendor/supplier allocation type. Once their name is added into Covid Access, they will receive an email with instructions for how to use Covid Pass .

If a vendor or supplier does not have a valid MIT ID number and MIT ID card:

  • The Covid Access authorizer should select “+ New DLC Sponsored” to initiate the process to create an MIT ID number and a Kerberos account for these individuals (note there is a bulk upload option).
  • Once all of the relevant info is added into Covid Access (vendor/supplier name, company, email, mailing address, etc.), the system will generate an email to the individuals explaining next steps for completing the Kerberos account registration process, including how to create a password as well as submit a photo for the MIT ID card.
  • After the vendor or supplier completes the account registration process, the Atlas Service Center will mail an ID card to the individual, unless the sponsor contacts the Center to make special arrangements.

Vendors and suppliers who do not require physical building access (such as those making UPS, FedEx, and lab deliveries) or who need one-time, nonrecurring access that is escorted and will involve minimal engagement with the MIT community (for example, a repair person working alone) do not need to be added into the Covid Access system. Requirements for these vendors and suppliers are:

  1. Comply with MIT policies regarding campus access – the DLC sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the vendor or supplier adheres to MIT Covid-19 policies.
  2. Follow their own employer’s protocols, as well guidance from the CDC and Commonwealth of Massachusetts – the DLC sponsor is responsible for ensuring that the vendor or supplier adheres to local and Commonwealth guidance or orders.

As noted above, some vendors and suppliers should be added to an appropriate allocation type that is not the recurring DLC-sponsored vendor/supplier allocation, due to the nature of their work, and will likely be subject to stricter requirements.

Examples include vendors who:

  • Will have regular interactions with students and research staff or regular access to research core facilities.
  • Are likely to have multiple close-contact human interactions during the campus visitation (for example, dining service providers, custodial contractors, fitness instructors, etc.).
  • Engage in activities that make it challenging to maintain social distance (childcare workers, shuttle bus drivers, contracted healthcare providers, etc.).

If you believe that a vendor/supplier that your DLC would like to sponsor falls into this category, or if you would like to discuss whether your vendor may be required to get tested, please contact Covid_Testing@med.mit.edu to learn more about the testing requirement.