Active MIT Alert

Feb. 27, 2020, 2:12 p.m.

To the members of the MIT community:

We are writing to update you on MIT’s continued response concerning coronavirus (COVID-19).

There remains no current, identified risk to the MIT community, and we continue to communicate regularly with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and state and local departments of public health. We are adhering to the MIT International Travel Risk Policy, all Department of State and CDC travel advisories, as well as public health recommendations, and we will adjust our policies and plans to reflect advisories and recommendations from those agencies.

Because this is a fluid situation, and because protecting the health and safety of the MIT community is paramount, it’s important that everyone adhere to the following guidelines:

  • Register international travel. If you are planning any MIT-sponsored travel outside the United States, we strongly recommend that you register your trip with the Institute. As mentioned previously, members of the MIT community who are engaged in activities in extreme or high risk countries, as designated by the MIT International Travel Risk Policy, and plan to travel there must complete the Institute’s international travel risk acknowledgment form, provided through the registry. Additionally, you must discuss your travel plans and the associated risks — including risks to the community — with your DLC head and MIT’s international safety and security program manager.
  • Closely monitor travel restriction news and be prepared to change your plans. We encourage all potential travelers to continue to monitor MIT Medical’s website for updates on COVID-19, the MIT International Coordinating Committee (ICC) website for associated travel restrictions, and the CDC and Department of State websites for additional helpful information.
  • Don’t travel to heavily affected areas unless absolutely necessary. We strongly discourage any students, faculty, and staff from taking personal trips to heavily affected areas during spring break. We also remind students that they may not take personal trips to high-risk areas while on other MIT-sponsored trips. In addition to the health risks to you and the MIT community, travel restrictions may be put in place preventing you from returning. Please note that MIT has cancelled all on-site MIT activities in China, Hong Kong, and South Korea until the situation improves.
  • Please fill out this registration form if you are returning from COVID-19 affected countries designated on the CDC COVID-19 travel website. Based on the information you provide, MIT Medical will contact you with instructions to address your specific situation, which may include a recommendation to self-isolate. For questions about self-isolation, visit our FAQ.
  • Support is available for the MIT community. Currently, no community members are known to be self-isolating. However, if you are a student returning from an affected area and are self-isolating, email Student support services are standing by to help self-isolating students with food, housing, academics, and emotional support. Non-students should direct questions about accommodations to the human resources (HR) officer for their Department.
  • If you are sick, stay home and self-isolate. This is peak cold and flu season, and staying away from others will help prevent the spread of any illness.

If you are self-isolating and experience flu-like symptoms, immediately call MIT Medical at 617-253-4865. Additionally, please watch for emails from the MIT Alert system. We will use MIT Alert to notify the community about any major public health and/or travel issues that may affect the MIT community.

In closing, we want to, once more, thank everyone who has self-isolated. We know that self-isolation requires sacrifice, and we are grateful for the commitment that individual members of our community have shown to protecting the health of the broader community.

We also want to recognize that members of our community have loved ones or colleagues abroad in the affected areas that they are worried about. Let’s continue to keep this impact of COVID-19 in mind, and offer our fellow community members the support they need during this challenging time.

MIT Emergency Management

Emergency Contacts

MIT phone:
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MIT phone:
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additional contact numbers

About this Page

When an emergency occurs that could threaten the safety of the MIT community or negatively impact Institute operations, this page may be used to provide important information about the incident. This page is owned and maintained by MIT Emergency Management.

Quick Emergency Response Actions


An unsafe situation inside a building or area:

  • Proceed safely to the nearest exit (do not use elevators).
  • If it is safe to do so, assist persons who are unable to leave on their own.
  • Evacuate the building and stay clear of the area
  • Await further instructions or the "all clear" before returning to the building or area.
Fire, chemical spill (indoors), gas leak, flooding


If an unsafe situation occurs outside of your building:

  • Move to an interior space.
  • For severe weather, move to the lowest floor possible.
  • If it is safe to do so, assist persons who are unable to shelter on their own.
  • For earthquakes, shelter indoors and duck, cover, and hold on.
  • Remain sheltered until you receive "all clear."
Examples: Severe weather, tornado, chemical spill (outdoor)

Run, Hide, Fight

If there is a person with a firearm or weapon:

  • RUN, if you are able and it is safe to do so. Get away from the area.
  • If you can't RUN away, HIDE. Close, lock, and barricade all doors. Turn off lights and silence electronics, including cell phones. Remain out of sight and stay silent.
  • If you can't RUN or HIDE and you are in imminent danger, as a last resort option, attempt to FIGHT the intruder. Using improvised weapons, act with physical aggression to incapacitate the attacker.

For incident specific response actions, see the Emergency Response Guide

MIT Alert

The MIT Alert system sends messages to the MIT community informing them about a confirmed emergency and to provide suggested protection actions.

All students and employees are automatically signed up for MIT Alert. In addition, extended community members can sign up for MIT Alert as well.

To find out more, including how to customize your profile or remove yourself, please visit the MIT Alert system page or contact MIT Emergency Management at 617-452-4368 or