Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for Harvard Chan Community

This page has been created as a resource for information about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak. It will be updated regularly. For university-wide updates and guidance about the virus, go to the Harvard University Coronavirus (COVID-19) website.

Do you need to self-isolate for COVID-19? A helpful guide from Harvard University Health Services.


Fall teaching guidance, 7/6/21

Harvard Chan School is planning for education to be in-person this fall. This message offers information on expectations for instructors.
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Fall 2021 Plans for Education, 3/29/21

This message provides details on planning for Fall 2021 at the Harvard Chan School, when educational activities will be in person as much as possible.
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Return-to-campus planning, 3/22/21

With the rollout of vaccines across the country, Harvard Chan School will begin the process of returning to campus in the coming months.
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Both Harvard Chan School and Harvard University have been keeping members of the community up to date via email messages.

Academic continuity

Our primary goal is to ensure that students complete their courses. We are adapting as many courses as possible to an online environment. Faculty can find guidance on how to use Zoom, Canvas, and other online collaboration technologies supported by our IT Department here. In addition, Harvard’s new Teach Remotely site is filled with useful information. We will continue to provide support for all students who are working remotely.

Zoom Training

The IT department is offering special training sessions to learn best practices, available tools, and how to get support while teaching and working remotely. Learn more and register here.

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Health and wellbeing/Social distancing

The coronavirus outbreak is one of the biggest public health challenges we will face in our lifetimes. Although much remains unknown about COVID-19’s epidemiology and impact, we are planning for all contingencies, including cases on our campus and in our communities. Moving to virtual instruction is one of the ways we hope to slow down the spread of the virus and protect our community. Another is practicing social distancing. Accordingly, we have transitioned fully to video- and teleconferencing options wherever possible, such as Zoom, for teaching, learning, and working.

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Preventative hygiene

It is essential that we all practice and promote good hygiene (vigorously washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; not touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; coughing/sneezing into a tissue or the crook of your elbow). These are basic, but effective methods to help limit transmission.

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Those of you who are traveling or contemplating travel, please check the Harvard coronavirus website for the latest travel guidance.

Mental health

We realize that some members of our community may be worried about the effects of isolation as this situation unfolds.

Students who are experiencing distress and seeking support may contact Colleen Cronin in Student Affairs at 617-432-1542 or, or Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services at 617-495-2042 (617-495-5711 after hours).

Faculty and staff members may contact Linda Picard in Human Resources at, Jennifer Ivers in Faculty Affairs at, or Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program at 877-327-4278 (877-EAP-HARV).

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Additional resources

The Ombuds Office serves Harvard Medical School, Harvard School of Dental Medicine, and Harvard Chan School. The office provides highly confidential, impartial and independent services to faculty, staff, students, trainees and affiliate institution appointees to help identify issues, goals, and potential options available to help manage or resolve concerns. ANY issue may be brought to the Ombuds Office, including anything related to COVID-19. Ombuds Melissa Brodrick and Justin Neiman are available for Zoom, phone and Skype appointments. Call 617-432-4041 or email