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As always, the health and safety of our students, faculty, and staff, as we pursue our vital mission of teaching, learning, research, and service, continues to remain paramount. To maintain good public health outcomes during Spring Term 2022, it is important that every member of the HLS community review, understand, and closely follow the University’s updated COVID-19 protocols and expectations and HLS’s related public health policies for our on-campus operations.

While public health guidance is expected to continue to evolve and the University will update its protocols and guidance accordingly, the FAQs below provide answers to many of the most common questions. Please check back regularly, as this information will be updated further as state, local, and University public health requirements change.

Thank you for your patience and flexibility and for doing your part to help safeguard the health of our community and ensure a successful semester for everyone.

You can find additional resources on our 2021-2022 COVID-19 Information page.

Last updated on May 3, 2022.

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Are faculty, staff, and students required to get vaccinated and boosted?

Yes. Harvard University is requiring that every person with an on-campus presence be vaccinated and that they receive a COVID-19 booster. Booster verification is required within 30 days of eligibility.

  • If you have already received a booster, you may submit your information to HUHS through the patient portal (see instructions).

Exemptions for medical or religious reasons will be considered by the University after submission of a formal request and required documentation. As noted by the University, unvaccinated individuals may be subject to additional public health measures above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals.

  • If you already have an approved exemption for the vaccine, you do not need to submit additional information for a booster exemption.

For more information on Harvard’s vaccine and booster requirements, please visit Harvard University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.

Is Harvard University offering COVID-19 boosters?

Yes. HUHS is offering COVID-19 vaccine booster clinics for patients and staff through February. Please see the HUHS booster clinic schedule for more details. You can book an appointment by logging into the HUHS Patient Portal (click on appointments, click schedule an appointment, and select COVID-19 Vaccination).

For vaccine booster appointments elsewhere, whether in or outside of Massachusetts, please see additional scheduling options.

For the latest information on Harvard’s vaccine-related efforts and to stay up to date, please visit Harvard University’s COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.

Is Harvard offering time off to get the vaccine/booster and/or manage for any side effects?

Employees will be provided up to four hours of time to be vaccinated or obtain a booster if they are scheduled for the vaccine during working hours. For time beyond four hours, hourly staff will need to use paid time off. Employees should utilize sick time for absences related to vaccine side effects. As you would with any absence, please notify your manager that you will be away from work. Please contact your HR Business Partner if you have any questions.

Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

As of March 14, general use face coverings are optional in most indoor spaces at Harvard Law School. Limited exceptions include:

  • In Harvard University Health Services facilities
  • Individuals who are completing isolation or quarantine should continue to wear masks when indoors for the full 10 days following their positive test or close contact, according to existing University protocols.

All members of the HLS community are strongly encouraged to carry a mask with them at all times while on campus in case it may be needed unexpectedly.

Can I ask someone I am meeting with to wear a mask if I prefer they do so?

Subject to certain specified exceptions –  including healthcare facilities, public transit, University buses and shuttles, and while completing isolation or quarantine – face coverings are optional in all indoor spaces. Any member of our community who wishes to continue taking advantage of the extra level of personal health protection offered by face coverings is free to do so. You may also express a preference for face coverings when meeting with others, but it is ultimately up to each individual to make their own personal health decision.

Am I required to social distance during the work day?

The University does not currently require that vaccinated persons observe physical distance requirements, either indoors or outdoors. Unvaccinated persons should continue to protect themselves while on campus, by practicing physical distancing when possible.

Do we need to complete Crimson Clear attestation each day?

No. It is not necessary to complete a Crimson Clear attestation each day. However, you should submit a Crimson Clear attestation if you are concerned that you have been exposed to the coronavirus, have tested positive for the coronavirus, or are experiencing symptoms. Harvard University Health Services will then contact you to provide guidance and support. If you are experiencing symptoms, are concerned you have been exposed or have tested positive, you should not visit campus that day.

Am I still required to take regular COVID-19 tests?

Although regular testing is no longer mandatory staff and faculty, the University encourages anyone with symptoms or a known exposure to continue to test. Members of the Harvard community who wish to do so may also continue to test on an optional basis.

Where do I pick up and drop off the test kits?

Test kits and collection bins are available near the Hark South entrance and at the back Langdell entrance (between Langdell and Areeda). Completed tests will be collected at 3 p.m. on weekdays and Sunday mornings at approximately 9:45 a.m. Please ensure your completed test kit is activated and in one of the collection bins at least 15 minutes prior to the designated pick-up times. However, you can drop a completed test kit in a collection bin at any time, and it will be collected during the next scheduled pick up.

As we approach the end of the term, Harvard will reduce the number of COVID-19 test kit collection bins across the entire University campus, including here at Harvard Law School. At the end of the day on Monday, May 9, the University will remove the collection bin located in Langdell Hall. And on May 29, the Sunday after commencement, the University will remove the collection bin located in the Harkness Commons.

As of May 30, Harvard will maintain a total of five bins across the University. For members of our community who wish to continue optional COVID-19 testing, the nearest collection bin to the Harvard Law School campus will be located at the Science Center. In addition, bins will also be located at the Smith Campus Center, the main Harvard University Health Services office in the Smith Campus Center, the Science and Engineering Complex in Allston, and the New Research Building in Boston’s Longwood Medical Area. Except for Saturdays, test kits will be collected from each bin at 9 am.

Why do the test kits sometimes look different? 

Harvard utilizes two different labs in its testing procedures, and depending on availability, you may notice that your test kits are not always the same. Both tests are equally effective and include instructions in each kit. Both tests should also be activated and managed through the Color system. If you have questions about test kits or your testing cadence, email hlscovidtestingcompliance@law.harvard.edu.

What happens if I get a positive COVID test result?

  • If you took a COVID test through Harvard’s testing program and a positive result is detected, Color will notify you, HUHS, and the law school.
  • HUHS will then contact you via your Harvard email to share information about what it means to be positive and explain next steps, including isolation and notifying your close contacts. Contact tracers rely on email for most communication, so please check your Harvard email for instructions about next steps.
  • If you receive a positive test result through a non-Harvard test (outside of Color), you should report your positive result through Crimson Clear and return or stay home. If you receive an email from Crimson Clear indicating that you are not authorized to access Harvard facilities, let HR know right away while you await further instructions from HUHS. HR can be reached at hlshr@law.harvard.edu.
  • Please see Harvard’s Exposure, Quarantine, & Isolation page for more information on isolation protocols.

What do I do if I have been notified that I am a close contact or I think I have been exposed to COVID-19?

If you think you were exposed to COVID-19, use the following set of HUHS guidelines to determine whether or not you need to quarantine and other health measures you should take.

Please see Harvard’s Exposure, Quarantine & Isolation page for more information.

Is there someone other than my supervisor or manager that I can talk to about my return to campus?

Yes. Please feel free to reach out to your department’s Human Resources Business Partner to set up time to talk, or email HLS Human Resources at hlshr@law.harvard.edu. Please know that your HR Team is here to support you during these uncertain times.

Who do I contact if I have concerns about returning to campus due to my own, or a member of my household’s, serious health condition and the risk presented by contracting the COVID-19 virus?

If you or a member of your immediate household have health conditions that may affect your ability to return to work on campus, please consult with HR to see if a reasonable accommodation or temporary job modification (such as a temporary change of schedule, location, or duties) is appropriate.

What should I do if I want to report a safety concern?

The Anonymous Reporting Hotline operates 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and is run by an independent, third-party provider. There are two ways to report: toll-free by calling 877- 694-2275 or you can submit a report online.

Before submitting a report, please read about the hotline to better understand the reporting process, including information regarding non-retaliation and confidentiality.

The hotline is meant for reporting of issues in situations where you don’t feel comfortable speaking with a supervisor or other resource. Any concerns may be raised through the hotline including, but not limited to:

  • Academic/research misconduct
  • Bias-related1 incidents
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Environmental health and safety concerns
  • Fraud/theft
  • Human resources concerns
  • Inappropriate patient care
  • Medical, safety, and security concerns
  • Misuse of University resources/assets
  • Philanthropy and Donor Relations
  • Violations of law, regulation, contract, or University policy
  • Suspected abuse or neglect or other inappropriate activity involving minors in Harvard programs (please note: the preferred reporting method is direct via the Harvard University Police Department at (617) 495-1212; additional resources can be found at youthprotection.harvard.edu)

1The term “bias-related” refers to language and/or behaviors which demonstrate a bias against persons because of, but not limited to, others’ actual or perceived: color, race, ethnicity, national origin, veteran status, age, disability, health condition, religion, and/or political beliefs.

Building Operations

Building Operations

Who can access HLS buildings?

Subject to the exceptions for special arrangements discussed below, access to Harvard Law School buildings, including the HLS Library, remains limited to HLS and Harvard community members. All faculty, staff, students, and HLS visiting scholars/researchers will have access to HLS buildings via Harvard University ID card readers. Please contact the Facilities Management Office at 617-495-5521 or facmgmt@law.harvard.edu should you have any difficulties with building access.

Special arrangements can be made for visitors. Please see the visitor policy and procedures for more information.

May members of the general public come to campus?

In an effort to reduce the number of non-community members on campus at this time, HLS buildings are currently closed to the general public.

Special arrangements can be made for visitors. Please see the visitor policy and procedures for more information.

Where can I eat and drink on campus?

Harvard University has phased out its limitations on eating and drinking so food consumption is no longer restricted to designated eating areas. Eating is not permitted in classrooms when classes are in session, however, though quick sips are allowed.

Unvaccinated attendees should take steps to protect themselves when eating and drinking by remaining physically distanced from others when possible.

Where are the hand sanitizer stations located?

The Facilities Management Office will maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances and other high-traffic areas.

What steps has HLS taken with its HVAC systems?

The Facilities Management team has evaluated our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems across campus and has implemented a variety of enhancements in alignment with CDC recommendations for improved air filtration and exchange. All HVAC system filters have been replaced with higher efficiency filters and systems have been adjusted where possible to provide the maximum amount of outside (fresh) air. Departments are also encouraged to open any operable windows in their work areas, as weather conditions allow.

Events

Events

What policies and guidelines apply for reserving spaces for events through EMS?

When reserving spaces for events, students, faculty, and staff should:

  • Book judiciously: In order to allow for maximum use by the entire community, please book only the spaces on the dates and times you absolutely need. Excessive booking will not only hinder the ability of others to book space, but may result in a denial of the request.
  • Follow COVID-19 safety protocols: Those planning and attending indoor events must abide by all University and HLS public health policies. Please see the Events & Gatherings Policies for more information.
  • Plan ahead when incorporating a meal component: Meals may be offered as part of an event or meeting, but event organizers should consider providing a socially distanced seating section for those who prefer to keep their distance while eating.
  • Exercise diligence with outside catering: While Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) catering service (which provides hot and cold food, beverages and set-ups directly from the Hark kitchens and is bookable through EMS) is our strongly preferred vendor, food deliveries from outside restaurants or services may be delivered, but only on the following conditions:
    • Deliveries: Due to traffic conditions and space constraints on Massachusetts Avenue and Everett Street, all outside restaurant and food service deliveries must be made to the parking lot at 28 Everett Street (behind the Gropius Complex between Perkins and Richards Halls). Recipients of those orders must meet the delivery drivers there promptly; the drivers are not authorized to enter HLS buildings.
    • Table set-ups and utensils: When utilizing outside food service, table(s) should be ordered through EMS to ensure there is a place to set up the food and beverages and to ensure our Facilities team is aware of the booking to assist with post-event cleaning. It is important that outside catering orders include all necessary utensils, serving dishes, napkins, etc., as HUDS is not required to provide those items for meals provided by off-campus vendors.
    • Clean up: Event organizers are responsible for the removal of any remaining food items following the event.

For more information, please visit the Events Scheduling and Support website.

Can I serve food at my event?

Yes. Faculty, staff, and students may serve food during on-campus events and gatherings and may do so in spaces other than the areas previously designated for eating and drinking. Meals may also now be served in concert with event programming, rather than being held separately. Event organizers should consider providing a socially distanced seating section for those who prefer to keep their distance while eating.

May HLS funding be used for meal-related events off-campus? (Updated)

Yes. HLS funds may now be used for off-campus events held indoors at restaurants or other venues with the understanding that all participants must adhere to local public health policies and food service must take place after the business portion of any gathering has concluded.

HLS nonetheless continues to strongly encourage community members to organize and host events and plan meals on campus as often as possible because we have a highly vaccinated population and environmental safety controls in place in our spaces, and because some members of our community may not feel as safe engaging in off-campus events as they would if the events were taking place on campus. Please be considerate of your colleagues’ comfort levels and thoughtful in your planning of off-campus events in indoor locations.

Yes. Faculty, staff, and student organizations may once again use HLS funds to sponsor events and activities at indoor restaurants and other off-campus indoor venues.

May I use the extended lunch hour to host events?

Yes. However, any event hosted on campus during the lunch hour should be limited to 30 to 45 minutes to allow time after the event ends for lunch pick up (if applicable) and to clear and clean the room before the next instructional period begins.

May I bring in guest speakers for my departmental events?

Yes. Although access to HLS buildings will generally be limited to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus at this time, visitors and guests hosted by individuals, departments, and student organizations are welcome on campus, provided that all of the campus safety requirements outlined below are strictly followed.

Prior to Arrival

Event organizers, departments, and individual hosts are responsible for sending visitors this notification, which outlines Harvard University and HLS’s safety protocols and expectations for their visit.

By virtue of their decision to attend any of our on-campus events or activities, visitors attest and agree to the following:

  • I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO and have received my booster (if eligible); or
  • I qualify for exemption based upon age, a medical contraindication, or firmly held religious belief.

HLS guidelines also encourage visitors to:

  • Take a COVID test within 24 hours before coming to campus; and
  • Refrain from coming to campus if they receive a positive COVID test result or if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, chills, muscle/body aches, sore throat, new cough, congested or runny nose, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, or any gastrointestinal symptoms).
  • All visitors are also expected to report a positive COVID-19 test result or clinician diagnosis to HUHS via email at clear@huhs.harvard.edu immediately if they have been on campus within 48 hours of symptom onset or receive a positive COVID-19 test result.

May I use school funds to host official visitors? (Updated)

Yes, as long as all visitor procedures and public health requirements are met. Please see the Visitor Policy for information.

Teaching and Working

Teaching and Working

Do I have to maintain physical distancing in meetings taking place in my office?

There are no physical distancing requirements for vaccinated individuals. Unvaccinated individuals are encouraged to take extra precautions, however, such as masking and practicing physical distancing when possible.

May I have guest speakers in my classes?

Yes. Although access to HLS buildings will generally be limited to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus at this time, visitors and guests hosted by individuals, departments, and student organizations are welcome on campus, provided that all of the campus safety requirements outlined below are strictly followed.

Prior to Arrival

Event organizers, departments, and individual hosts are responsible for sending visitors this notification, which outlines Harvard University and HLS’s safety protocols and expectations for their visit.

By virtue of their decision to attend any of our on-campus events or activities, visitors attest and agree to the following:

  • I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO and have received my booster (if eligible); or
  • I qualify for exemption based upon age, a medical contraindication, or firmly held religious belief.

HLS guidelines also require that visitors:

  • Take a COVID test within 24 hours before coming to campus; and
  • Refrain from coming to campus if they receive a positive COVID test result or if they are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19 (e.g., fever, chills, muscle/body aches, sore throat, new cough, congested or runny nose, fatigue, headache, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, loss of taste or smell, or any gastrointestinal symptoms).
  • Inform visitors that they are expected to report a positive COVID-19 test result or clinician diagnosis to HUHS via email at clear@huhs.harvard.edu immediately if they have been on campus within 48 hours of symptom onset or receive a positive COVID-19 test result.

If you are considering hosting a guest speaker remotely, LXT can provide support in a variety of ways, including by advising on optimal tech set-up, doing practice runs, training TFs or other staff members who may be in the classroom to support the event itself and, if scheduling permits, offering LXA (Learning Experience Associate) help during the event itself.

Parking & Transportation

Parking & Transportation

Is the parking office offering new parking options to accommodate flexwork schedules?

Please visit the Commuting and Transportation webpage for more information regarding parking. For information regarding commuting and transportation, please contact CommuterChoice by emailing commuterchoice@harvard.edu or calling 617-384-7433

 I used to take public transportation to work. I’m not sure if I will feel comfortable taking public transit when I return to work. What should I do?

The MBTA has a number of resources including Crowding Information for Riders and other ways in which riders can ride safer. For the most current coronavirus updates in relation to the MBTA’s changes to services and operations, please visit their Coronavirus Updates page. Additionally, you always have the option to opt-out of an upcoming month of using transit, or switch from transit to a parking permit.

Information Technology

Information Technology

What if I have issues with my computer when I return to the office?

If you have any issues with your computer when you return to the office, please reach out to ITS at 617-495-0722 or via the HLS Services Hub.

Work/Life with Return to Campus

Work/Life with Return to Campus

I have a child or elder care obligation that may impact my return to campus, what should I do?

We recognize the transition of returning to work on campus may pose challenges in caring for children, elders, or other adults. Harvard provides several benefits to support a healthy work/life balance. Please review your back-up care options for children, elders, and other adults. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact your Human Resources Business Partner to discuss your options.

Resources