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The health and safety of the entire community, as well as the institution’s commitment to education and research, will continue to guide Harvard University’s and Harvard Law School’s planning process for a phased transition back to campus. HLS understands that community members have many questions about what the return to campus will look like. While many of the answers are still being developed, and public health guidance is expected to continue evolving over the weeks and months ahead, the FAQs below include preliminary answers to many of the most common inquires. Please check back regularly, as the information will be updated and expanded in the weeks ahead.

HLS has adopted the following public health policies related to our on-campus operations.

Last updated on 8/24/21.

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

Health, Safety, and Wellbeing

What public health precautions will I need to take when I return to campus?

As public health guidance continues to change, HLS will provide updates about exactly which requirements will continue to be in force in the fall. At the moment, all Harvard University community members will be required to follow a number of protocols prior to accessing indoor campus spaces. These currently include:

  • Being vaccinated for COVID-19 (exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons)
  • Familiarizing yourself with Harvard University’s forthcoming Emergency Health & Safety guidelines
  • Wearing a University-approved face covering when in common indoor areas at work and traveling between worksites indoors
  • Following social distancing measures and good hygiene practices

Additional detail is available in the questions and answers below. Please note, individuals who are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, who have been exposed to COVID-19, or who tested positive for COVID-19 may not access campus that day.

Will faculty, staff, and students be required to get vaccinated?

Harvard has extended its vaccination requirement to all Harvard community members who will have an on-campus presence this fall. Exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons. As noted by the University, unvaccinated individuals may be subject to additional public health measures (e.g., masking, testing) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. Updates and information regarding the University’s vaccine requirement can be found at the University’s vaccine webpage.

Community members are advised to complete their vaccination and submit verification to HUHS as soon as possible. The University advises any community member who is already vaccinated and has not yet submitted verification of vaccination to HUHS to submit this information immediately because these data will inform additional policy decisions. You can submit a copy of your vaccination card via email to mrecords@huhs.harvard.edu or use one of the encrypted options described on the University’s Verify Your Vaccine webpage. Those who have been vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit such documentation as the information is already on file. Please note that HUHS keeps all individual medical information secure and confidential.

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

Employees will be provided up to four hours of time to be vaccinated 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.

What steps is Harvard taking to ensure the safety of students, faculty, staff?

Harvard is committed to the health, safety, and wellbeing of our community. At HLS, the Facilities Management team is working diligently to support this critical priority and to ready the campus for the coming school year.

Facilities has evaluated our heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems across campus and has implemented a variety of enhancements for improved air filtration and exchange alignment with CDC recommendations. We will be installing ample signage to help guide traffic flow in and out of classrooms, common areas, restrooms, and other locations to avoid congestion and to meet any social distancing guidelines that may be in place. We will also have hand cleanser, sanitizing stations, and masks available throughout all of our buildings. Additionally, there is currently a robust testing program in place at Harvard for those with on-campus presence.

These plans will continue to be updated as the public health situation evolves and more guidance from the CDC, state, and local authorities is available. For more information, please review Harvard’s Plan for a Safe Campus Reopening on the Harvard Coronavirus Webpage and Facilities’ FAQs for HLS Faculty & Staff Authorized to Work on Campus.

If I get vaccinated, should I share this information with Harvard?

Yes. The University advises all Harvard affiliates who have been vaccinated to submit verification of vaccination to HUHS by July 15, as this information will help inform additional University policy decisions. You can submit a copy of your vaccination card to HUHS by email to HUHS Patient Portal or by using one of the encrypted options described on the University’s Verify Your Vaccine webpage. Those who have been vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit such documentation as the information is already on file. Please note that HUHS keeps all individual medical information secure and confidential.

Will I be required to wear a mask during the work day?

Outdoors, fully vaccinated individuals are no longer required to use masks, regardless of distancing. For unvaccinated individuals, outdoor use of masks is only required if they cannot maintain distance from others.

Harvard will continue to require masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, until we can determine the level of COVID vaccination across our community. With confirmation of high vaccination levels, the University expects to issue revised indoor mask-wearing policies. Meanwhile, all community members should carry a mask when coming to campus in the event it becomes necessary to wear it. Individuals may also choose to wear masks in settings where masks are not required.

Learn more about which face coverings to use and when.

Will I be required to social distance during the work day?

As of July 15, the University will no longer 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. Details regarding indoor and outdoor gathering sizes are being reviewed and will be shared soon.

Will we need to complete Crimson Clear attestation each day?

As of May 29, the University no longer requires daily Crimson Clear attestation for everyone coming to campus with the exception of those who work in a healthcare setting or hospital-based research lab. However, you should complete Crimson Clear 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.

Will I need to be tested on a weekly basis if I am coming to campus each week?

COVID testing will remain a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to track and limit the coronavirus within our community. To help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the University will increase its COVID-19 testing cadence requirements, effective Monday, August 9. The updated testing cadences are as follows and apply to all students, faculty, staff, and researchers with any on-campus presence:

  • Fully Vaccinated – once per week
  • Unvaccinated, including for medical/religious exemption – twice per week
  • Note: Residents in Undergraduate Housing were already required to test at these cadences, so this update does not affect their testing requirements.
  • Faculty, staff, and researchers with an infrequent presence on campus are not required to come to campus for the sole purpose of testing. Simply test the next time you are on campus.

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

Test kits are available for pickup in the Hark Concourse Monday through Friday from 10:00am-4:00pm (in the corridor between the Harkness and WCC buildings). Test collection bins are available in the same Hark location, as well as at the back Langdell entrance between Langdell and Areeda. The last pickup from the collection bins is at 3:00pm each weekday and 10:00am on Saturday and Sunday, 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.

If I am vaccinated but come in contact with someone who tests positive, what do I do?

  • According to the COVID-19 Health FAQs, you should review Harvard University Health Services’ guide for self-isolation/quarantine.
  • If you are unsure whether or not to come to campus, email HUHS at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu for additional guidance. HUHS clinical staff and medical professionals are best equipped to offer advice based on factors such as how direct or indirect the contact was, travel or exposure to travelers, health history and symptoms.
  • Please be on the look-out for COVID-19 symptoms including fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. Reported symptoms range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure.

If I believe I have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus, or begin experiencing symptoms, what should I do and who should I tell?

If you are feeling unwell, you should complete the Crimson Clear Attestation on your Color account and follow the guidance provided. If instructed by Harvard University Health Services to quarantine, students should notify the Dean of Students Office at dos@law.harvard.edu, staff should notify their direct supervisor, and faculty should contact Catherine Claypoole, Dean for Academic and Faculty Affairs. It is also important to remain responsive to the HUHS contact tracing team, who will notify all community close contacts and communicate proper protocols directly – explaining their exposure and level of risk and providing guidance, all while maintaining anonymity. Though each individual may choose whether to share their health status with others, it is the responsibility of HUHS, and not the affected individual, to identify, inform and advise close contacts.

Will I be notified if a shared office staff member or teaching team member tests positive for COVID-19?

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will begin contact tracing and notify close contacts within the Harvard community. For more information on HUHS’s contract tracing process, please visit this page on Harvard University’s COVID-19 website.

If I am identified as a close contact, am I required to quarantine?

Close contacts who are identified by health officials as fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and symptom-free will not be required to quarantine. Close contacts who do not meet these requirements will need to quarantine. In both instances, close contacts may require additional testing, as directed by HUHS. For more information on quarantine procedures and the support services available, please consult the Contact Tracing and Quarantine and Isolation pages on Harvard University’s COVID-19 website.

How can I prepare prior to my first day back on campus?

Participate in the Return & Refresh (R&R) Welcome Back Program. Effective Tuesday, July 13th, Harvard Law School’s campus will be opened for limited access to give you an opportunity to check out your space, leave a note for a colleague, and sign our Welcome Back banner.

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 special arrangements discussed below, at this time, access to Harvard Law School buildings, including the HLS Library, is limited to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus amid the ongoing pandemic. All faculty, staff, students, and HLS visiting scholars/researchers will have access to HLS buildings via Harvard University ID card readers.

Special arrangements can be made for official, authorized visitors, which include those whose physical presence is key to critical operations, research, teaching, or related activities—such as clinical clients, someone coming for a late-stage job interview, authorized contractors, guest speakers for classes, or a speaker whose presence on campus will bring distinctive value relative to appearing remotely. Please see the visitor policy and procedures for more information.

Can members of the general public come to campus?

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, HLS buildings are currently closed to the general public, and we are minimizing the number of visitors to campus at this time.

Special arrangements can be made for official, authorized visitors, which include those whose physical presence is key to critical operations, research, teaching, or related activities—such as clinical clients, someone coming for a late-stage job interview, authorized contractors, guest speakers for classes, or a speaker whose presence on campus will bring distinctive value relative to appearing remotely. Please see the visitor policy and procedures for more information.

Because managing access to campus facilities is part of our effort to keep our community healthy, all members of the HLS community are urged not to allow people (other than authorized visitors) without a HUID card access to HLS buildings.

Where can I eat and drink on campus?

At this time, eating and drinking on campus is allowed only in designated areas or outdoors.

Designated eating areas are listed here and visible on this map:

  • 2nd floor WCC Harkness Dining Rooms
  • 1st floor WCC Harkness Fireside Lounge and Gameroom
  • 1st floor WCC: The Pub
  • 2nd floor WCC: Student Organization Workroom
  • Jarvis Tent
  • Any outdoor areas

In accordance with University guidance, we will be allowing a “quick sip” exception in HLS classrooms, the library, and other non-designated eating areas. Masks must be promptly replaced. As a reminder, no consumption of food of any sort is permitted in classrooms, the library, or in other indoor areas that have not been designated as eating areas.

May I eat and drink in my personal workspace?

An individual may also eat and drink in their personal workspace (e.g. cubicle) if they remain at least 6 feet from other persons and face coverings are promptly donned when approached by anyone.

May I take a sip of a drink in the classrooms or the library?

Yes. While teachers and students will be wearing masks in classrooms, in accordance with University guidance, we will be allowing a “quick sip” exception in classrooms and in the library. Masks must be promptly replaced. As a reminder, no consumption of food of any sort is permitted in classrooms or the library.

Where are the hand sanitizer locations in my building?

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

Can I provide a meal at my school-sponsored event?

Yes. Grab-and-go meals may be offered as part of an event or meeting, but attendees must pick up their meals at the conclusion of the event and take them to a designated eating area.

Can HLS funding be used for events and meals off-campus?

Off-campus events hosted by faculty, staff, or student organizations may involve meals paid for with HLS funds as long as they are in outdoor settings. At this time, funding cannot be used if meals are consumed indoors at restaurants or other venues. Further guidance on use of HLS funds for off-campus events and meals will be shared later in September.

Can 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.

How can I book the HLS tent for my events?

Information on reserving the tent and other spaces will be available when the event booking system opens later this fall. We understand that many in our community are interested in planning fall semester events. The facilities team and others are exploring a variety of creative options, including outdoor spaces, as we factor current public health protocols and plan for a range of events and activities.

Can I bring in guest speakers for my departmental events?

Although access to HLS buildings will be limited this fall to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus, special arrangements can be made for authorized visitors, including guest speakers whose presence on campus would bring distinctive value relative to appearing remotely.

All visitors must have an HLS host, who will be responsible for completing the steps necessary for visitor authorization. The host is also responsible for the visitor’s compliance with HLS’s health protocols and visitor procedures, including notifying the visitor of the University’s “COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training: Protection/Prevention Practices” and “Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy.”

At least two business days prior to a visitor’s arrival, the host must complete the HLS Visitors Questionnaire, through which they will share information such as their name and contact information, the visitor’s name and contact information, and the date, time, length and purpose of the visit. After completing the form, the host will be provided with a checklist of steps they and their visitor must take to be in compliance with the University and HLS visitor policies. In an emergency, a shorter notice period may be allowed.

Visitors are encouraged to receive a COVID-19 test on the day of arrival through a local health clinic or pharmacy at their own expense and report their result to their host. Additional policies related to the clinical program are under development and will be shared soon.

Can I use school funds to host official visitors?

 Yes, as long as all visitor procedures and public health requirements are met.

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. All meeting attendees should be masked, however. Unvaccinated individuals are also being encouraged to take extra precautions, including practicing physical distancing when possible.

Can I have guest speakers in my classes?

Although access to HLS buildings will be limited this fall to HLS and Harvard community members in order to reduce the number of guests and non-community members on campus, special arrangements can be made for authorized visitors, including guest speakers whose presence on campus would bring distinctive value relative to appearing remotely.

All visitors must have an HLS host, who will be responsible for completing the steps necessary for visitor authorization. In the case of faculty members inviting guest speakers, the faculty member is responsible for the visitor’s compliance with HLS’s health protocols and visitor procedures, including notifying the visitor of the University’s “COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training: Protection/Prevention Practices” and “Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy.”

At least two business days prior to a visitor’s arrival, the faculty member must complete the HLS Visitors Questionnaire, through which they will share information such as their name and contact information, the speaker’s name and contact information, and the date, time, length and purpose of the visit. After completing the form, the host will be provided with a checklist of steps they and their visitor must take to be in compliance with the University and HLS visitor policies. In an emergency, a shorter notice period may be allowed.

If remote classroom presentation is possible, 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

Will the parking office offer 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

Do I need to bring HLS IT equipment currently in my home back to the office?

Only bring equipment back if you need to supplement your current HLS office setup, otherwise you can continue to use this equipment at home as long as you are an HLS employee.

I received a laptop while working remotely. Will my desktop still be at my desk when I return to the office?

If you received a laptop while working remotely due to the COVID lockdown, ITS has removed the desktop from your office and you should expect to bring the laptop to your work location each day.

Will my computer work properly when I return to the office?

Over the summer, ITS will be visiting every desk to turn on any computers that are currently in HLS buildings to test and update them. 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