COVID-19 updates; Omicron booster and flu clinics

Dear Members of the Harvard Chan School Community:

We hope your fall semester is off to a good start and that you had time to relax and recharge this summer. If you haven’t had a chance, please read yesterday’s University message from Giang Nguyen that outlined important health and wellness updates. With COVID-19 still circulating in our local community, it’s important that we continue to follow best practices to keep our campus safe.

Testing

If you have symptoms, take an at-home antigen test and wear a mask if you’re around others. If you test positive, report your result in Crimson Clear and follow isolation guidance.

Please note that Harvard’s on-campus PCR testing through the Color system ends on September 16. Everyone has access to eight free COVID-19 tests per month through their private health insurance. Students and dependents insured through Harvard’s Student Health Program (HUSHP) can obtain tests through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; check the HUSHP website for instructions. For employees and dependents covered under the University’s Express Scripts program, instructions for obtaining tests are outlined here. If you have a different health plan, check with your insurance provider.

Masking

While masking remains optional, we continue to encourage voluntary masking to reduce the risk of transmission. The School continues to provide three-layer “procedure” masks at the Kresge, FXB, Landmark 3, and 90 Smith St. lobbies. KN95 masks are also available upon request at the Kresge and FXB security desks. Please continue to be respectful of others, including wearing masks when requested by instructors.

Vaccine Clinics

To register for spring term, students must be compliant with all vaccine requirements, including the new bivalent Omicron-specific booster and the annual flu shot. HUHS will offer the Omicron booster beginning the week of Sept. 19.

Harvard Chan School will be offering flu shots on October 12, 13, and Nov. 3 from 9:00-11:00 AM in Kresge Cafeteria. In addition, you can get your shot at the Medical School or Dental School in Longwood or at clinics around the University.

Anyone with a Harvard ID can obtain their vaccines free of charge at any of the scheduled clinics at Harvard unless otherwise noted. Please book your appointments online for both the Omicron booster and flu vaccine through the HUHS Patient Portal starting the week of Sept. 19. While walk-ins can be accommodated, scheduling an appointment online is strongly encouraged.

Monkeypox

As of today, more than 350 cases have been reported in Massachusetts. Persons with suspected exposure or infection should contact HUHS at 617-495-5711. You can also contact HUHS for a vaccine referral.

Mental Health and Wellbeing

We encourage everyone to prioritize their overall health and wellbeing as we know the beginning of the academic year can be stressful.  Please refer to the University message for helpful links, including Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAHMS). Harvard Chan School resources are listed below:

Students

Maritza Hernandez, mhernandez@hsph.harvard.edu and Colleen Cronin, ccronin@hsph.harvard.edu in Student Affairs; or Harvard University Counseling and Mental Health Services, 617-495-2042 (after hours number: 617-495-5711).

Faculty and Staff

Jennifer Ivers in Faculty Affairs, ivers@hsph.harvard.edu; Linda Picard in Human Resources, lpicard@hsph.harvard.edu; or Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program, 877-327-4278 (877-EAP-HARV).

Community

Lilu Barbosa in the Office of Diversity and Inclusion, lbarbosa@hsph.harvard.edu.

Harvard Ombuds Office, 617-495-7748, university_ombudsman@harvard.edu: provides confidential forum for students, faculty, and staff whose concerns are affecting their work or studies.

Thank you for your commitment to keeping our campus healthy and safe.

Sincerely,

Jane and Kate

Jane J. Kim
Dean for Academic Affairs
K.T. Li Professor of Health Economics

Katherine Calvin
Executive Dean for Administration