MIT relaxes COVID-19 testing and indoor eating policies

Visitors remain welcome on campus regardless of COVID-19 status

In response to a decrease in the number of positive COVID-19 cases, MIT announced a series of changes to its COVID-19 policy in an email to the MIT community Feb. 9. The email included changes in testing requirements, indoor eating, and masking policies.

The changes come as MIT Medical reported a consistent decrease in positive cases per week since the beginning of IAP, Jan. 3. The rate decreased from a 5.07% positivity rate to a 0.66% rate by the first week of the spring semester.

Massachusetts has also seen a decrease in weekly positivity rates, from 20.44% at the beginning of January to 4.08% at the beginning of February.

Students, residents, and unvaccinated COVID Pass users are now required to test only once per week starting Feb. 21 in lieu of the previous twice-a-week testing policy. For all other community members, testing will become optional. COVID-19 testing operations on campus remain open.

Since Feb. 10, food and drinks have been permitted at MIT-sponsored gatherings and meetings, and a face-covering exemption from last year has returned. Fully vaccinated instructors and presenters are now permitted to remove their masks when speaking at events or classes. 

On Feb. 14, seating at MIT residential dining halls returned to full capacity, and both Bosworth’s Cafe and Steam Cafe in Lobby 7 reopened. 

Additionally, visitors with Tim Tickets and COVID Pass users can now attend indoor athletic events.

Several important MIT COVID-19 policies will still remain in place.

MIT will continue to comply with Cambridge’s indoor mask policies, and daily health attestations will still be a requirement for COVID Pass users. Those who have tested positive for COVID-19 will have a three-month long testing exemption. 

Visitors remain welcome on campus when either being escorted by a COVID Pass holder or using a Tim Ticket. They are not required to have a negative COVID-19 test before visiting campus.

MIT continues to recommend the use of higher-quality masks, which will still be provided at testing drop-off sites and residence halls.