Emergency Housing Guidance - Updated July 1, 2020


In residential buildings, face coverings are required prior to entering any common area, including those listed below.  Violations may result in a referral to the Committee on Discipline and/or interim disciplinary measures such as immediate removal from MIT housing.  

  • Lobbies
  • Hallways
  • Elevators
  • Stairwells
  • Dining areas (in use)
  • Laundry rooms
  • Garages 
  • Mailrooms and other indoor common areas

UPDATE: During the summer months (through September 22) face coverings may be temporarily removed while outdoors when physical distance of at least six feet from others can be maintained at all times. This change aligns with an amended Emergency Order from the City of Cambridge. During the summer months masks or cloth face coverings may be temporarily removed when outdoors when a physical distance of at least six feet from others can be maintained at all times. 



MIT’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Office would like to remind you that in the unlikely event of a fire or building evacuation, please follow the evacuation procedures that you have learned during regular fire drill procedures.  However, due to the current COVID-19 public health emergency, and according to guidance for physical distancing by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), it may not be possible to gather together in the designated assembly area for your building.  It is most important that you move away from the building and remain at least 6 feet away from each other.  Please observe the following updates to the building evacuation procedure: 

Building Evacuation Procedure:

  • Maintain a safe distance from others while evacuating the building, CDC suggests maintaining at least 6 feet distance from others.
  • Do not take the elevator.
  • Direct yourselves to the designated assembly locations for your building (indoor or outdoor).  If the space is too crowded, please move away and maintain at least 6 feet from other residents.
  • Do not stand in front of the building entrance.  Firefighters require easy access to the building.
  • Do not stay in the building. If there is inclement weather, take shelter in nearby buildings wherever possible and maintain proper distance.
  • Once the Cambridge Fire Department (CFD) gives the ‘all clear’ to return to your room, ensure to keep 6 feet away from other residents.
  • In an effort to maintain physical distancing, avoid taking the elevator to return to your room.

If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact Division of Student Life (DSL) EHS Program Manager, Alice Ursella, via e-mail at aursella@mit.edu or via phone at (617) 253-4257 or the EHS Office at (617) 452-3477.


  • Minimize close contact with others. MIT Medical advises all community members to maintain good hygiene habits and to practice physical distancing. An article that shares more information about physical distancing may be found here.
  • Visitors. Per the policy already in place, no overnight visitors are permitted in the residence. The policy is now expanded: no daytime visitors or guests from outside your residence hall are permitted in the residence at any time.
    • Visitors include MIT undergraduate students from the other emergency housing residence halls and FSILGs.
    • Residents in on-campus emergency housing are prohibited from visiting FSILG premises until further notice. 
    • The only exception is for friends or family members who are helping undergraduate students move to an off-campus location. Residents should contact Don Camelio at dcamelio@mit.edu to request an exception.
  • Travel. MIT suspended all Institute-sponsored travel, and it is strongly discouraging non-essential international and domestic travel for all community members. Upon return to the residence, a self-quarantine period of two weeks is required in one’s room.
  • Social Events. All gatherings within residence halls have been temporarily suspended until further notice.
  • All Common Areas. Spaces such as multi-purpose rooms, seminar rooms, and small and large enclosed common spaces in our undergraduate residence halls will be closed.
  • Dining. All undergraduates in emergency on-campus housing are automatically enrolled in a no-cost bridge dining plan so they can eat brunch and dinner seven days-a-week. Carry-out brunch (10 am - 2 pm) and carry-out dinner (4 pm - 8 pm) will be available in the dining halls in Baker House, Maseeh Hall, and McCormick Hall. Please note that students can only access dining areas for carry-out in the buildings in which they live. GRAs, graduate students, and house team members in all other residence halls can enter Maseeh dining hall for carry-out meals. To maintain compliance with regulations set by the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, no more than ten students are permitted within the dining hall carry-out line at a time.  Please visit the MIT Dining webpage for more information.  
  • Kitchens. In an effort to maintain the health and safety of residents, students are not permitted to use residence hall kitchens.
  • Elevators and stairwells. If possible, use stairs rather than sharing an elevator.
  • Laundry rooms. Please practice physical distancing while doing laundry in the laundry room, leaving six feet between you and others. Additional information about laundry is available in the housing FAQ.
  • Tailgating. Residents may enter the building only by tapping their valid MIT ID. It is your responsibility to ensure that visitors do not follow you inside.


  • Furniture. No furniture is to be moved into an emergency on-campus housing assignment  or moved out of any room.
  • Room Alterations. No modifications to your room are allowed. This non-exhaustive list includes:
    • No painting of any wall, ceiling or floor surface;
    • No permanent or temporary attachments to the walls;
    • No construction of lofts, desks and other furniture, partitions or other elements;
    • No detachment from the walls of the shelves and other permanent room elements;
    • No modification of the furniture, including painting and adding or detaching any furniture component.
  • Large Items. No large items are to be moved into an emergency on-campus housing assignment; this includes large television screens and monitors, aquariums, plants, equipment of any kind and other items. Building staff may, at their discretion, prohibit a resident from bringing an item into the dorm.


  • Animals. No animals of any kind are allowed into the building except for approved service and emotional support animals.
  • Food. In an effort to create a pest-free living environment, it is strongly recommended that no perishable food be kept in the room.
  • Fire Alarms. Residents are asked to be attentive to fire alarms, sprinkler heads, and other building infrastructure. Do not hang clothes on sprinkler heads, and be careful not to leave sinks running.
  • Smoking. Smoking is prohibited.


  • If you haven’t done so already, please verify the emergency contact information you provided to the Institute. Review and edit your emergency contact information under My Profile in the About Me section at http://atlas.mit.edu.
  • Update your contact information in the MIT Alert system to ensure advisories and critical notifications associated with COVID-19 are sent to your preferred email and phone number. Anyone with a Kerberos ID and cell phone registered with Duo is automatically added to the MIT Alert system. Community members who do not have a Kerberos ID or cell phone number in the Duo system should follow this link to register for MIT Alert notifications.


If you are experiencing flu-like symptoms, call MIT Medical’s COVID-19 hotline at 617-253-4865 to speak with a clinician. They will evaluate your condition and provide further instructions.


Each resident should take steps to protect their health, which also helps safeguard their neighbors’ wellbeing. Take a moment to review MIT Medical’s COVID-19 webpage for helpful information, including self-quarantining and the three best ways to protect yourself and others from COVID-19. This helpful how-to guide from MIT Medical is also a useful resource. 


Essential staff, including campus security, will remain within each residence hall. However, other in-person services—such as those provided by the Division of Student Life—may be limited. Please use online resources or support programs available by phone including:


  • TechMart. MIT’s at-cost grocery store is open in Maseeh Hall’s Flowers Dining Room from 9 am to 3 pm, Monday through Friday. Credit cards, debit cards, TechCASH and cash accepted.
  • The Office of Religious, Spiritual, and Ethical Life is co-sponsoring “ORSEL Take a Breath Together!” each day at 2:50 pm. Community members can join the event by logging into https://at250.mit.edu.
  • DAPER. All indoor DAPER facilities--such as the Z Center and Alumni Wang--are closed. Some outdoor facilities remain open. Students and DAPER members will have FREE access to Wellbeats, an on-demand virtual fitness platform, through April 30. Click here for sign-up information. Wellbeats offers 30 channels and hundreds of virtual fitness classes with something for every age, stage, and ability. The user-friendly filters make it easy to find exactly what you are looking for. Wellbeats meets participants where they are with tutorials, basics, and a variety of other classes up to 50 minutes in length. 


It is important that everyone adhere to these policies for your own wellbeing and for the wellbeing of those around us--other students, faculty, staff, and our Cambridge-area neighbors, especially those who are elderly, immune-compromised, or otherwise vulnerable to COVID-19. Failure to comply with the expectations above may result in a referral to the Committee on Discipline. Interim disciplinary measures—including immediate removal from MIT housing—may also be taken to protect MIT and surrounding community members.  Any damage may also result in the imposition of fees to cover repair.

The Mind and Hand Book is MIT’s guide for student conduct and behavior. The handbook contains standards, guidelines, regulations, and procedures pertaining to academic integrity and non-academic behavior, and policies for all undergraduate and graduate students. Specific information about other housing policies is available on the Housing & Residential Services website.


Email housing policy questions to Housing & Residential Services at residence@mit.edu.