Guidelines for gatherings related to the November election
October 22, 2020
As you know, in order to have access to campus during the pandemic, you are required to participate in the Covid Pass program.
In the days leading up to and following the November 2020 election, Covid Pass participants who live on campus may peacefully and safely gather in groups of no more than 10 Covid Pass holders in designated spaces so long as each remain physically distant, wear face coverings, and have MIT IDs visible.
Some courtyard spaces are large enough to accommodate multiple groups at the same time, but per MIT policy, no more than 25 total individuals are permitted in these spaces, and groups of 10 must have at least 12 feet separating them from other groups.
There are designated outdoor spaces in courtyards and on West Campus for peaceful gatherings of 10 or fewer MIT Covid Pass holders who live on campus. The spaces on Killian Court are first come, first served, and the West Campus spaces may be reserved through the Campus Activities Complex (CAC).
Please note that members of the MIT community volunteering as Institute “ambassadors” and MIT Police will be present in these spaces to assist with promoting public health measures and compliance. These individuals can be a resource to community members if concerns arise about crowd size or other issues.
Virtual or small group options
Safe ways to gather or advocate peacefully include joining virtual protests, making signs and posting on social media, participating in a discussion group either online or in a small group, donating to causes you support, signing petitions, or contacting elected officials. A variety of educational and support opportunities will also be offered by various Institute offices leading up to and following the election.
All community members, whether you are studying or working in person or remotely, from the Greater Cambridge/Boston area, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, or another state or country, are strongly encouraged to take precautions to protect your own health and the health of others by adhering to the below guidance if you decide to participate in demonstrations, marches, protests, or celebrations leading up to or following the November 2020 election. During the Covid-19 global health emergency, gatherings present significant individual and community health risks, and it is up to all of us to take responsibility for mitigating those risks.
Tips to stay well and safe during this time
Before deciding whether to participate in a demonstration, march, protest, or celebration, consider the health of those who are in your household or who you interact with regularly, especially if they are at higher risk for Covid-19 complications. Please note that Covid-19 cases are on the rise in Massachusetts and across the country. If you are sick, or have recently been exposed to someone with Covid-19, stay home.
If you decide to participate in gatherings, we urge you to familiarize yourself with this helpful guidance from MIT Medical and to consider taking the below steps.
- Use the buddy system and ask someone you regularly interact with now, such as a significant other or podmate, to go with you.
- Let another individual know where you are going, and bring plenty of face coverings, hand sanitizer, and water with you.
- Know your rights if you are stopped by police or other law enforcement agencies.
- Ensure that the demonstration, march, protest, or celebration complies with state and local guidelines.
- Wear your face covering at all times, especially when projecting your voice, and do your best to stay at least 6 feet apart from others at all times. Please note that shouting, singing, and chanting can spread viral particles much farther than 6 feet. Consider using signs and noisemakers instead.
- When you return home, change your clothes as soon as possible, shower, and disinfect personal belongings such as your phone or backpack.
- Continue to take care of yourself, mentally, physically, and emotionally.
- If you feel that you were not able to follow the recommended protocols, such as maintaining physical distance, consider a two-week self-quarantine if you are unable to access testing, or consider a one-week self-quarantine and then seek a Covid test at day seven. Please remember that it is possible to transmit SARS-CoV-2 even if you do not have any symptoms.
- If you are an MIT Covid Pass participant, stay current with all testing and health monitoring requirements. If you are not an MIT Covid Pass participant, consider getting tested for Covid-19 seven days after attending events of this nature. If you have symptoms, contact MIT Medical by visiting https://medical.mit.edu/contact or calling Urgent Care at 617-253-1311. If you are not a patient of MIT Medical and/or are not in Covid Pass, our health care professionals will help refer you to test sites being operated by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
REMEMBER THAT, IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE INSTITUTE’S COVID-19 POLICIES, IF YOU FAIL TO COMPLY WITH TESTING AND HEALTH MONITORING REQUIREMENTS, YOU WILL NOT BE ABLE TO ACCESS CAMPUS FACILITIES, INCLUDING YOUR RESIDENCE HALL, UNTIL YOU ARE AGAIN IN COMPLIANCE.