Return to Campus

Staying healthy at Harvard Chan School

Harvard Chan School is excited to welcome members of the community back to campus in fall 2021. The health and safety of our community is our paramount concern as we start the new semester. 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.

Read a Harvard Gazette article about the University’s multilayered strategy to keep COVID-19 rates low

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 White Vaccine Card and Shot Icon in red circle

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 White face mask icon in red circle

Harvard Chan School requires anyone who enters our buildings to wear a School-provided mask. Be sure it covers both your nose and mouth. Masks are mandated in all Harvard buildings and are an effective way to curb the spread of COVID-19. You’ll find free, pre-approved, three-layer “procedure masks” in dispensers at the entrances to all School buildings. The University worked with its Medical Advisory Group to choose the recommended mask for people to wear while on campus

Members of our community who wish to add an additional cloth mask over our provided “procedure masks” are welcome to do so. The CDC guidance for how to improve mask fit (including double mask recommendations) is a helpful resource.

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 White swab and test tube Icon inside red circle

The University is requiring weekly testing of all vaccinated individuals and twice-weekly testing for anyone who is unvaccinated or not fully vaccinated. 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.

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. See Understanding Test Results.

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.