April 28, 2020
DAPER closes cross-field short-cut due to unauthorized facilities use
Due to the continued use of its outdoor facilities that were closed earlier this month, the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) will lock the gates to the short-cut between Amherst Alley and Vassar Street effective today. Despite extensive guidance from public health authorities and MIT Medical about the need to practice social distancing, people have continued to access Briggs Field through the short-cut entrances and engage in close-contact athletic activities. This raises the risk of Covid-19 transmission and puts MIT community members and our neighbors in the area at risk.
“After consulting with the Campus Space Planning Working Group co-chaired by (Associate Provost) Krystyn Van Vliet and (Vice President for Campus Services and Stewardship) Joe Higgins and with MIT Police, we have decided that these entrances need to be closed,” said G. Anthony Grant, Ph.D., MIT athletic director and DAPER department head. “We know this may pose an inconvenience, but the risk of viral transmission is too high to permit access to the fields.” Anyone seen on the fields will be asked to leave by MIT Police.
“We understand that social distancing is contributing to cabin fever,” Grant added. “However, the rising Covid infection rates and the related death toll in Massachusetts show us that the threat of transmission remains serious.” Community members are strongly encouraged to keep practicing social distancing and to sustain the enhanced hygiene regimen as recommended by MIT Medical.
“I’m grateful to everyone for doing their part to keep themselves and the MIT community safe and healthy during this extraordinary period of campus life,” Grant said.