Guidance for Using Masks in MBL Work Areas

Updated 11/6/20

There are many things that you can do to help protect yourself and others from becoming infected with COVID-19.  People who show no symptoms of illness may still be able to spread COVID-19.  A face mask may help prevent you from spreading COVID-19 to other people.

While inside buildings at MBL, one must wear a face mask.  A face mask must meet the following criteria:

  • Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
  • Be secured with ties or ear loops,
  • Include multiple layers of fabric,
  • Allow for breathing without restriction while covering mouth and nose, and
  • Be able to be laundered and dried without damage or change to shape.

MBL will provide two cloth masks per individual to use at MBL.  Masks may be obtained through the Campus Security Office in Swope (Rooms 100/100A) or by contacting Environmental Health and Safety Manager Eric Jensen at  If preferred and if it meets above criteria, you can wear your own mask at MBL (no bandanas or scarfs).  In laboratory spaces with hazardous material, staff should use only disposable masks which can be tossed in the trash after each use.  Disposable masks are available through the MBL Stockroom.

Everyone is expected to wear a face covering over the nose and the mouth at all times while in MBL buildings and while transiting outdoors, with narrow exceptions. Individuals can remove face coverings if they are in a private room/office alone with the door shut, while eating indoors with at least 8 feet of social distance in designated breakrooms, or only in designated MBL outdoor mask break areas (MBL Intranet access required to view) while maintaining 6 feet of social distancing. Note: mask break areas are for use by employees only.

When putting on and taking off a mask, do not touch the front of it.  You should only handle the ties or ear straps.  Also, you should be careful not to touch your eyes, nose, and mouth when removing.  Immediately wash your hands or use hand sanitizer after touching the mask. You should wash the cloth mask regularly.

The cloth masks can be laundered using warm water and regular laundry detergent in a washing machine.  Alternatively, the mask can be hand washed with soap or hand wash detergent.  After lathering, recommend allowing to sit in hot water for 30 minutes.  Rinse and allow to air dry.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Eric Jensen (EHS Manager) at 508-289-7424 or by email at

See links below for additional information on how to properly wear a cloth face covering or mask.

Advisory Regarding Face Coverings and Cloth Masks (MA Department of Public Health)

Use of Cloth Face Coverings to Help Slow the Spread of COVID-19 (CDC)