Staying Healthy School

Harvard Chan School is excited to welcome members of the community back to campus in 2021-2022. The health and safety of our community is our paramount concern. We are committed to keeping everyone healthy while ensuring excellence in teaching, learning, and research.

Our return to campus has been planned based on detailed guidance from Harvard University, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and other local, state, and federal officials. As conditions change, it is possible that Harvard University and Harvard Chan School may adjust health and safety requirements. It is important to recognize this uncertainty and prepare to adjust for possible changes ahead.

The information on these pages provides current policies aimed at health and safety. You’ll find details about vaccination, masking, distancing, and testing; guidance on events and gatherings, dining, parking, and public transportation; information on flexwork; and resources to ensure your well-being.

March 2022: Updated Exposure, Quarantine, and Isolation Guidance

Watch a video on how Harvard is keeping its classrooms safe, with Giang Nguyen, executive director of Harvard University Health Services

Quick Links

Verify your vaccine 

All faculty, staff, researchers and instructors must record their vaccination status with Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). Log your vaccine with HUHS here. To confirm that your vaccination status is up to date, log into Crimson Clear.

Mask up 

As of March 14, 2022, Harvard Chan School is now mask-optional. However, we welcome people to wear masks to maintain a safe and healthy campus.  Free, pre-approved, three-layer “procedure masks” are available at entrances to all School buildings and KN95 masks are available upon request from security staff.

We strongly recommend double-masking. Options include wearing two surgical-style masks or wearing a surgical-style mask or cup-style mask such as a School-provided KN-95 layered under a form-fitting fabric mask that can ensure good filtration as well as an effective seal. Guidance from Harvard Environmental Health & Safety can be found here.

Although an N95 mask is appropriate for situations when someone is working in close contact with aerosol-generating procedures, such as dental hygiene and certain medical procedures with unmasked patients, individuals in other situations may choose to provide and wear their own N95 mask. To voluntarily wear an N95 mask, you must complete the Harvard University Respiratory Protection for Voluntary Users training on the Harvard Training Portal. For more information please reference Harvard Environmental Health & Safety Face Coverings: General Use guidelines. If requested, anyone wearing an N95 mask must show their certificate of training completion, which they should print after successfully completing their online Harvard N95 mask training.

Test regularly 

Please test according to your assigned cadence. Visit the University’s Testing & Tracing page for more information, and set up your Color account and your Crimson Clear account for details on your testing cadence and to manage test results. You can pick up and drop off test kits at the entrances to the FXB and Kresge Buildings. You are welcome to test as often as you like.

Pay attention to how you feel

If you feel sick, stay home. If you’ve been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have symptoms, get tested, and please log your symptoms in Crimson Clear.

What to do if you’re a close contact of someone with COVID-19

Although being a close contact doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll develop COVID-19, it’s best to take precautions. Report your exposure and any symptoms to HUHS via Crimson Clear. If you are fully vaccinated and have no symptoms, you may continue to go to work or class, but you should avoid social events and any activities that involve removing your mask around other people. If you develop any symptoms, even mild ones, or if you are not vaccinated, you must stay home and await further guidance from HUHS. Whether you have symptoms or not, it is important that you submit an extra COVID test soon after you learn that you’re a close contact of someone with the disease, and you should test frequently for the next week or so. Learn more here.

What to do if you test positive

If you receive a notification of a positive test, it’s incredibly important to minimize your movement and exposure to others. HUHS will contact you to discuss what it means to be positive and explain next steps. Please note that, as of January 2022, HUHS will no longer be contact tracing and will be communicating exclusively by email (see the HUHS email template).  See Understanding Test Results for more information.

Find new ways to commute 

The University is offering new flexible parking and transit options for employees who are continuing with hybrid work models. Learn about Longwood campus options here.

Get your technology ready

Check out these tips and resources from Harvard University’s Information Technology department on how to reintegrate your phone, computer, and other devices with campus systems. Also, check out the Return Readiness page from Harvard Chan School’s Information Technology (IT) department, which lists services and resources for working onsite, remote, or hybrid. Proactively plan and prepare before working onsite is required. Contact IT today if you have questions or concerns about your equipment and would like assistance in preparing to return.

Did you know you can configure your devices to connect to Harvard’s secure wireless network before you arrive on campus? Simply visit, click “I Have a Harvard Key,” and follow the steps. When you are back on campus and in range of the wireless network your device will connect.

Read HR’s guidance 

Harvard University’s Human Resources department has put together a comprehensive list of answers to common questions about returning to campus.

Countway Library

Countway Library is open to all Harvard University ID holders. Seat reservations are no longer required. Click here to learn more about library hours, policies, and visitor information. Questions? Use the Ask Countway form. And click here to access a collection of COVID-19 information and research.

William H. McDaniel, MD

Dr. Robert H. Shmerling is the former clinical chief of the division of rheumatology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (BIDMC), and is a current member of the corresponding faculty in medicine at Harvard Medical School.

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