Update on Restricted E14/E15 Access (March 17, 2020)


Andy Ryan

Andy Ryan

Dear colleagues, 

TL;DR: We wanted to let you know that the Lab will be inaccessible after midnight on Tuesday, March 17, per Dean Sarkis’ email and the Institute’s request to reduce building density. The very, very few exemptions for access after Tuesday have been reviewed and granted by the EC. We know this is a significant disruption. If you’ve got questions or concerns, please email

All ML updates are posted here (bookmark this!):
, and Institute updates are here:


At midnight on Tuesday, March 17, the Media Lab buildings (E14-E15) will be closed to all staff, faculty, students, and visitors. The building will remain closed until further notice. All of MIT is being asked to reduce building access as much as possible, so the Media Lab is not alone in adapting to this challenge. Only individuals who have been granted an exemption by the Executive Committee will be allowed in the building—ID card access will not work for anyone else. The Covid19 Team is helping to build an access protocol for this skeleton crew that will keep them healthy, keep our ML home safe, and keep all of us accountable while we physically distance ourselves.

We’re asking everyone to take this protocol seriously. It has been put into place to make sure the sacrifices our entire community is making are worth it. Fewer than 30 people in total from ACT, CBA, CMS-W, the Center for Advanced Urbanism, ML Facilities and NeCSys, and a handful of people from ML research groups who have critical experiments already in process or are working directly on COVID-19 solutions will be allowed in E14/E15 at any one time. These individuals are not authorized to let anyone else in, and they are not authorized to do anything else while at the Lab—not running other people’s experiments, not watering plants.

Thanks for your patience as we adjust over the next few days to our new normal—for however long it may last. We know everyone’s inboxes are full, and you will have questions. The  Covidcom team is hosting an open Zoom Room for the next hour March 17, 10a-11a) to chat access to the Lab.

You can reach out any time to share any concerns, comments, special requests, shoutouts with the Covidcom team at We’ll keep you updated here, on Slack, and on
, and don’t forget to check for the Institute’s updates here:

In solidarity,

Covidcom team

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