Westgate Response to COVID-19

COVID 19 Update: Phase 2 and Campus Access

Find information about MIT entering phase 2 in the following link

Covid 19 phase 2 information

Covid Pass link

As residents, you will be expected to test at least twice weekly going forward. Our colleagues at MIT Medical are prepared to test members of the community at a high volume, and I am encouraging every resident to visit MIT Medical’s testing trailer located between E23 and the Media Lab today while they are open between 8 AM and 4 PM. Remember to bring your MIT ID card, your MIT ID number, or the COVID Pass app on your phone.

Useful links

The following links will help you find out the most updated information:

  1. MIT Admin COVID-19 (coronavirus) Update
  2. MIT Medical COVID-19 (coronavirus disease 2019) updates
  3. Updated Graduate Housing Policies and Guidelines
  4. Resources for International Students (updates from ISO)
  5. MIT Housing – What Graduate Students Need to Know
  6. CDC – Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Updates from WEC

For any concerns

If you or someone in your family may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19 and are experiencing flu-like symptoms, call MIT Medical’s COVID-19 hotline at 617-253-4865
MIT Medical

For concerns about Graduate residence closure and housing-related questions, please contact gradcovidmoveout@mit.edu. If you have any concerns within the Westgate community, please contact westgate-officers@mit.edu.

Restrictions on common spaces and facilities at Westgate

Common areas that have an enclosed space and environments having a higher risk of transmission will be closed until further notice. These include Lounge (in the high-rise basement), Gym, Kids Playroom (by the Westgate high-rise lobby), and the Play-Ground. Residents will not have access to these locations until further notice.

As a pilot, we are opening the Small Study Lounge in the high-rise basement for residents by reservation only. Please find more details here on making the reservations.

The laundry room usage is restricted to a maximum of 2 families (4 people max. total) in the laundry room at any given time. If there are already 4 people in the laundry room, residents should wait outside until some people leave before entry. Please maintain a distance of at least 6 ft. at all times, when waiting outside and within the laundry room.

Elevators should be used as infrequently as possible. No more than 4 residents can use the elevator at the same time. Please use the stairs as much as possible.

Residents are encouraged not to crowd any area and maintain more than 6 ft distance at all times. Please clean the surfaces you come in contact with before and after for your own safety and the safety of your family and neighbors. Gatherings within Westgate consisting of more than 4 Westgate residents are not permitted until further notice.

Westgate events canceled

All events and group activities at Westgate are canceled until further notice based on the directive of the MIT administration (MIT Covid-19 update, accessed Mar-12-20, 11:48 am).

This means that all classes currently on-going are suspended and all announced classes and events in the future are canceled. We will work with the organizers and participants on how to process the refunds. For any questions, please contact westgate-officers@mit.edu.

Henceforth, all lounge reservations are canceled. No group events are allowed in the lounge until further notice.

No guests and visitors permitted until further notice

In an effort to promote the public health and safety of the entire residential community, no daytime visitors or overnight guests from outside Westgate are permitted in the residence halls, including family and relatives, until further notice. If you are under an extraordinary circumstance, please contact the head-of-house, Naomi Carton at naomic@mit.edu.

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. 

Changes in Tang front desk operation

Effective immediately, a signature will no longer be required when picking up packages at the Tang Front Desk, but the desk will continue to log all packages that are picked up. Please pick up all packages at the same time if your delivery is 1+ boxes. Packages for returns will no longer be accepted, please use an alternative method (US post office, FedEx, UPS) to send returns.

Provide emergency information | Sign-up for MIT Alert

  • Each graduate resident must verify the emergency contact information they provided to the Institute. Review and edit your emergency contact information under My Profile in the About Me section at http://atlas.mit.edu or at WebSIS – Biographic and Emergency Records.
  • 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.

Frequently asked questions

  • The CDC website (accessed Mar-12-20, 12:09 pm) states that dirty laundry from an ill person can be washed with other people’s items.
  • At present, there is minimal risk of transmission through sharing the laundry machines. The laundry rooms are enclosed spaces and we recommend that people do not crowd in the area.
  • Please do not use the laundry room if there are already 4 people inside and leave at least 6-feet distance between you and others. Please wash your hands with soap after using the laundry machines.

  • The elevators are enclosed spaces with low ventilation and therefore is potentially a risky environment. The janitorial staff is doubling up its efforts to sanitize the elevator buttons and other contact surfaces.
  • For your own safety, we recommend that residents use the stairwell rather than sharing the elevator at a time. Do not share an elevator with more than 4 passengers.
  • Please use wash your hands with soap or use a hand sanitizer after using the elevators.

According to the CDC (accessed Mar-13-20, 9:22 am): The (COVID-19) 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.  It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

According to experts in the MIT Environment Health and Safety (EHS) office, it is unlikely that virus contained in respiratory droplets would make its way through the HVAC system, adhere to equipment within the system—which tends to get very hot—then come loose again and survive long enough to get through supply ductwork into another apartment. This assessment is based on the current information provided by the CDC, but there are still many unknowns about this disease and virus.

We do recommend, however, following some key illness prevention recommendations from the CDC (accessed Mar-13-20, 9:30 am):

  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid close contact with people who are sick
  • Cover coughs and sneezes

Several of the campus shuttle services have transitioned to reduced schedules.

  • Tech shuttle will operate from 6:15AM – 7:45PM Monday – Friday.
  • SafeRide fixed-route shuttles will run the Boston All and Cambridge All routes and will operate 6PM – 11PM Sunday - Saturday.
  • SafeRide on-demand services will continue to operate 11PM – 2:30AM Sunday-Wednesday, and 11PM – 3:30AM Thursday – Saturday.
  • Grocery shuttles will continue to operate as usual.
Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market Shuttle*
The Division of Student Life sponsors a shuttle every Sunday and Wednesday during the academic year to transport MIT students to and from Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods Market in Cambridge. The shuttle makes stops at on-campus residences and FSILGs and passes through Kendall Square and Central Square.
*Wednesday service has been recently added!