MIT Lincoln Laboratory is open and operating today, with an emphasis on remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hanscom Air Force Base has declared Force Protection Condition Bravo.


Laboratory response to COVID-19

MIT Lincoln Laboratory is closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic and will communicate the appropriate responses, adapt Laboratory policies as needed, and provide resources for the Laboratory community to stay safe. This is a rapidly evolving situation and protecting the health and safety of the MIT community is paramount. We encourage employees to continue to visit the COVID-19 Pandemic website on our intranet.

All employees who are able to work remotely should do so, in coordination with their supervisors. All personnel working at the Laboratory are asked to practice social distancing and follow best practices for preventing the spread of germs. 

Meetings, conferences, and events have been cancelled, postponed, or are being held via tele- or video-conferencing. All outside events and activities scheduled to use Lincoln Laboratory facilities have been canceled. All nonessential business travel has been cancelled.  

MIT Lincoln Laboratory was declared essential for national security and remained open during the Commonwealth of Massachusetts shutdown, originally initiated on March 23, of non-essential businesses. The official Air Force designation is available here.

COVID-19 control and prevention protocols

Lincoln Laboratory complies with Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, and Commonwealth of Massachusetts guidance on infection control and prevention. We expect our employees, visitors, and contractors to comply with this guidance.

The Laboratory requires social distancing (six feet or more) at all times for anything but fleeting contact, and requires wearing a face covering while walking outside, including to and from the parking garage; in common spaces including restrooms, hallways, and the cafeteria; and in work or meeting rooms where there is more than one person present.

The Laboratory has taken aggressive steps to enhance workplace sanitization, including frequent wipe-down of commonly touched surfaces, increased custodial services, disinfection of common spaces twice daily plus weekends, and distribution of supplies to areas throughout the facility. Meeting leaders are instructed to wipe down all high-touch surfaces in conference rooms before and after their meetings.  

All received packages or mail coming into the Laboratory are placed in 24-hour quarantine prior to delivery to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Lincoln Laboratory conducts internal contact tracing if (a) an employee tests positive, (b) an employee exhibits COVID-19 symptoms, or (c) an employee has had close contact with others and is unwell. Contact tracing identifies people, facilities, and parts/materials that may have been exposed to the coronavirus. All close contacts are asked to self-isolate, and all identified rooms, areas, and materials used by the ill person are sanitized or isolated as appropriate.

Laboratory field sites

Lincoln Laboratory’s priority is protecting the health and safety of all employees. Personnel at all field sites and offices staffed by Laboratory personnel should follow the advisories and directives issued to Laboratory personnel in Massachusetts and available at the COVID-19 Pandemic website on our intranet. Also, personnel at field sites and offices should monitor the guidance and policies provided by public health agencies of the states in which they are located.

Visitor information

Starting on September 22, 2020, at 8:00 a.m., only authorized visitors who have a valid COVID Visitor Pass will be able to enter MIT Lincoln Laboratory facilities. Each COVID Visitor Pass is good until midnight and requires an initial acknowledgement of compliance with the requirements for accessing the Laboratory, and a daily health attestation. A new COVID Visitor Pass must be obtained each day a guest visits before entry will be allowed. To access the COVID Visitor Pass app, visit Please see the user guide for more information.

Visitors to the Laboratory must also comply with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts COVID-19 Travel Order, effective August 1, 2020. This order states that all visitors entering Massachusetts, including returning residents, who do not meet an exemption, are required to

  • Complete the Massachusetts Travel Form prior to arrival, unless you are visiting from a lower-risk state designated by the Department of Public Health.
  • Quarantine for 14 days or produce a negative COVID-19 test result that has been administered up to 72-hours prior to your arrival in Massachusetts. If your COVID-19 test result has not been received prior to arrival, visitors and residents must quarantine until they receive a negative test result.

Note that visitors providing support to the Laboratory or any other member of the Defense Industrial Base fall under the exemption for "Workers Providing Critical Infrastructure Services" and thus do not need to fill out the Massachusetts Travel Form and may visit Lincoln Laboratory without first producing a negative test result or completing a 14-day quarantine. Additional information may be found here:

Defense Industrial Base support is defined as

  • Workers who support the essential services required to meet national security commitments to the federal government and U.S. Military, including, but are not limited to, space and aerospace workers, nuclear matters workers, mechanical and software engineers (various disciplines), manufacturing and production workers, IT support, security staff, security personnel, intelligence support, aircraft and weapon system mechanics and maintainers, and sanitary workers who maintain the hygienic viability of necessary facilities.
  • Personnel working for companies, and their subcontractors, who perform under contract or sub-contract to the Department of Defense (DoD) and the Department of Energy (DoE) (on nuclear matters), as well as personnel at government owned/government operated and government-owned/contractor operated facilities, and who provide materials and services to DoE (on nuclear matters) and the DoD, including support for weapon systems, software systems and cybersecurity, defense and intelligence communications, surveillance, sale of U.S. defense articles and services for export to foreign allies and partners (as authorized by the U.S. government), and space systems and other activities in support of our military, intelligence, and space forces. 

All visitors must comply with the Laboratory’s social distancing policy (stay 6 feet away from others except for fleeting contact) and face covering policy (a face covering must be worn when walking outside, in common areas, and in rooms where there is more than one person present).

The Laboratory may screen arriving visitors for elevated temperature through the use of thermal screening systems that measure skin temperature. Those who are assessed as possibly having an elevated temperature may be asked to measure their temperature with a handheld thermometer. If the temperature measured by the thermometer exceeds a health-based threshold, visitors may be denied entry.

Please be aware that building access for visitors is now only available through the S-Building main entry.   

Medical information

When and how you should self-report

The Laboratory is following CDC and state guidance for when you should self-report possible exposure to the coronavirus. Guidance will likely evolve (see CDC website for the most up-to-date guidance), but these are the current recommendations for when and how to report:

If you (or a member of your household) are experiencing COVID-19-like symptoms (fever, cough, difficulty breathing), you should

  • Stay at home* and self-isolate until advised otherwise.
  • Self-report to [email protected] and wait for reply.
  • Contact your medical provider and call the MIT Medical COVID-19 Hotline at 617-253-4865. (All people should call the MIT Medical Hotline, regardless of their plan.)

If you (or a member of your household) have traveled internationally in the last 14 days OR arrived in Massachusetts from another state (except for lower-risk states**) OR have had close, sustained contact with a person diagnosed (confirmed or presumptive) with COVID-19, you should

  • Stay at home and self-isolate for 14 days OR request a COVID-19 test from MIT Medical 5 to 7 days after travel
  • Self-report to [email protected] and wait for reply.
  • Notify supervisor via email or phone.
  • Work remotely, if possible.

**If travel to/from those states is completed by commercial carrier (e.g., aircraft, train, bus), please follow the bulleted actions. 

If you are feeling sick, but the symptoms do not align with COVID-19 (e.g., symptoms that indicate a sore throat or cold), you should

  • Stay at home* and self-isolate until advised otherwise.
  • Self-report to [email protected] and wait for reply.
  • Notify supervisor via email or phone.
  • Work remotely, if possible.

If you (or a member of your household) have had fleeting contact with a person diagnosed (confirmed or presumptive) with COVID-19, you should

  • Be aware that self-reporting and self-isolation are not required.
  • Work remotely, if possible.
  • Continue self-observation (remain alert for symptoms) and practice social distancing.

*If at work when symptoms begin, notify your supervisor via phone or email and leave the Laboratory immediately.

A presumptive diagnosis is an initial positive test for the virus by a public health lab that has not been confirmed by the CDC.

Additional guidance from MIT Medical

Self-isolation / medical quarantine

If you meet the criteria for self-reporting, you should follow all recommended steps, including self-isolation.  

If you are in self-isolation
  • Do not come into work and avoid going out in public, to avoid spreading the disease further.  
  • Call your supervisor if you need to retrieve items from work, so that we can arrange for delivery.
  • Continue to work from home, if you feel well enough and are equipped.
  • Self-isolation ends after 14 days without symptoms, or sooner if instructed by a medical professional. If symptoms develop during self-isolation, notify your medical provider and follow their instructions.

Please Note: Your medical professional (including MIT Medical) will not share health information with the Laboratory, so it is important that you contact your supervisor and/or HR to report that you are self-isolating.

Medical quarantine

If you have been diagnosed with presumptive or confirmed COVID-19

  • Follow the quarantine guidance of your medical provider.
  • Do not return to work until you have received written permission from your medical provider.

Steps to prevent illness

Know How it Spreads
  • There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
  • The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
  • The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person, between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet), and through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
Take Steps to Protect Yourself
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
  • If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid Close Contact
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  • Put distance between yourself and other people if COVID-19 is spreading in your community. This is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick (older adults and people who have serious chronic medical conditions).

MIT Credit Union

Check the MITFCU site for closures and other details during COVID-19 pandemic.

More resources

MIT Campus
Massachusetts Public Health
Johns Hopkins University
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)
World Health Organization (WHO)

This web page is your resource for up-to-date information about Laboratory status and closures during severe weather conditions and emergencies.

Laboratory status is also available via the following methods:

Banner: A red alert banner will appear at the top of this website for any closures or special statements.
Telephone: 781-981-8100 (after 5:30 a.m.)

Note: Any announcement about Laboratory status will specifically refer to Lincoln Laboratory. Announcements that only refer to MIT affect the campus only. Announcements that refer to Hanscom Air Force Base affect the base only.

This information is updated daily at 5:30 a.m.