Coronavirus Information for the HMS Community

  • Community Compact

    As members of the HMS community, each of us has a personal responsibility to support the health, safety, and well-being of others in our community. To address the unique challenges of managing the COVID-19 pandemic and to foster an environment of trust, aligned with our mission and community values, we ask the following of those who are coming to campus:

    • Recognize that access to campus is a privilege that requires advance approval, and access privileges may be revoked if the health and safety guidelines established by HMS and Harvard University are not followed.
    • Follow the established health and safety guidelines when coming to campus, including directives issued by national, state, and local governments, as well as by HMS and Harvard University.
    • Understand that authorization to come to campus requires that you accept certain practices, such as mask-wearing, that may run counter to your personal preferences.
    • Acknowledge that our behavior must set an example of respect for others through honesty, integrity, and accountability.
  • Continued Reopening Plans and Timelines

    Research/Lab Activities

    Thanks to our essential workers and the astute planning of our HMS Lab Ramp-up Committee and Business Continuity Task Force, Quad wet labs were able to partially increase their density beyond minimal essential personnel in June 2020 after most labs dramatically decreased their on-campus personnel in March 2020 in response to the emerging coronavirus. Wet lab facilities are planning for increased density so they are ready when the current 6-foot distancing guidelines are eventually relaxed.

    Planning for the phased reopening of dry labs is also underway. The Department of Biomedical Informatics will return to its space in Countway Library in spring 2021. Planning for the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and the Department of Health Care Policy will commence in summer 2021 for their expected return in late summer or early fall 2021. In addition, on-campus quiet work space at 180 Longwood continues to be available for dry science programs through their department administrators. 

    Our COVID-19 Advisory Team will continue to monitor the School’s safety reporting process, address concerns and issues of noncompliance, and support lab personnel, students, postdocs, PIs, and departments, as well as education programs and administrative units. As a reminder, issues of noncompliance that cannot be addressed at the department level can be submitted anonymously via HMS’ online reporting form (must be logged in to VPN). 

    Education Programs

    First-year medical students began to arrive on campus in January 2021 after starting their fall 2020 term remotely, meeting in person for skill-based didactic programs while most other courses continue to be held remotely. We are working with medical education program leaders to accommodate additional in-person courses this spring and a broader reopening in August.

    Graduate programs continue to be held remotely, with the exception of programs with students working in labs in rotations and select courses and career development programs that have been approved to be held in person this spring and summer. Planning is underway to accommodate both residential and remote courses and in-person research this fall.

    Programs offered through our Office for External Education will remain remote through the end of 2021.

    Administrative Units

    Many HMS staff have been on campus or are returning to campus as essential personnel in support of wet lab research, educational programs, and on-campus activities, and many more will return in the coming months as we increase lab densities and in-person classes. Those offices and units whose work does not require staff to be on campus will be the last to return so that we can accommodate and adapt to these increases.

    HMS thanks both those who have been working on campus or will return in the coming months to support our research, educational programs, and in-person activities and those who have been working remotely and will continue to do so until we are able to safely accommodate broader campus access beginning Sept. 1, 2021. We pride ourselves on inclusive excellence and know that each of you is committed to doing your best, no matter where you work.

    As we continue our simultaneous planning for this next phase of work and the longer-term future of flexible work, we understand that the workplace will look different from how it did prior to the pandemic. Like institutions across the country, we recognize the culture shift toward workplace flexibility and the associated benefits. Planning is underway by department, office, and unit leaders to determine the most appropriate work arrangements based on their specific business needs. Therefore, we recognize there will be variability across and even within each unit depending on the requirements of the work itself and on various interdependencies.

    This planning will be supported by guidance from HMS Human Resources and administrative leadership, as well as by Harvard Human Resources. A toolkit, managers’ guide, and other resources will be shared in May. We understand and appreciate that we are all experimenting and that the pilots for our transition will inform our future. The framework ultimately developed will be informed by the valuable feedback you provided as part of the HMS Remote Work Initiative. There will be more opportunities for feedback in the future.

    It is important to acknowledge that the situation continues to evolve and, therefore, our planning and guidance will adjust accordingly. There will be times when we won’t have the answers and when we have to change decisions and directions. Please know that everyone is doing their very best, and we ask for your continued patience, understanding, and flexibility.

    Campus Resources & Services

    As we invite more students, postdocs, faculty, and staff to campus, we will continue to align campus resources and services accordingly. In January 2021, the newly renovated Countway Library began offering online reservations to students looking for weekday study space. Reservations have now expanded to include Saturdays, and plans are underway to begin increasing capacity in the fall or sooner if possible. On-campus small group study spaces are also now available to students. On-campus quiet work space at 180 Longwood continues to be available for dry science programs through their department administrators. 

    Dining services are available at the Elements and Courtyard Cafés and will continue to expand as needed to support on-campus activities. We continue to monitor and adapt to evolving needs around parking and transportation to and from the Longwood Medical Area. The Joseph B. Martin Conference Center remains closed, and planning will commence this summer for a tentative reopening in January 2022.

  • Campus Access

    Harvard Medical School is currently open only to those who have received authorization to live, work, or learn on campus. This includes faculty, staff, postdocs, and students involved in the priority return of wet lab research and some dry lab research, education programs, and on-campus activities. All other HMS personnel who have been working remotely will continue to do so until we are able to accommodate broader campus access beginning Sept. 1, 2021. For those seeking episodic access to campus buildings, there is an established approval process starting with obtaining advance approval from your local department or unit designee.

    To keep Harvard as healthy as possible, all members of the HMS community who are authorized to be on campus must adhere to Harvard University, state, and federal guidelines to prevent and control and spread of COVID-19. Click here to review the facilities, office, and lab requirements and steps that must be followed before you return and while you are on campus.

    Among these important steps, all Harvard faculty, staff, postdocs, and students must complete the COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training (EHS-C19OSG170) before they can return to campus. Please note that the separate Lab COVID-19 Awareness Training was retired on April 9, 2021. Going forward, lab personnel must complete the additional track on the COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training.

    In addition, individuals must complete the Crimson Clear health attestation before entering any HMS or Harvard facility (see details below). Those who are authorized to be on campus four hours or more per week must also follow the Harvard testing policies and refer to the HMS guidelines outlined below.

    Additionally, those working and living in Vanderbilt Hall or other Harvard on-campus housing must also abide by all dorm and house residence requirements. Any visitors and residents entering Massachusetts must also comply with both the Massachusetts Travel Order and Harvard’s Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy. As these orders and policies are often updated, frequent review of these sites is advised.

    Please follow the guidelines and policies outlined below for returning to campus.

    Health Attestation (Crimson Clear)

    Individuals who are authorized to be in HMS buildings must use Crimson Clear every day they are on campus. Before arriving on campus each day, complete a symptom attestation through the Crimson Clear web page. If you are cleared, you will receive a “clear” pass that is valid for 23 hours. If you are not cleared, a Harvard University Health Services clinician will call you during regular business hours to determine next steps before you can enter a Harvard facility. Those living in Vanderbilt Hall will not be barred from their residence.

    Crimson Clear can also be used to confirm that you are on the eligibility file for COVID-19 testing. Just follow these steps:

    1. Log in to Crimson Clear.
    2. In the upper right corner, select your name and profile.
    3. The COVID Testing Information page will appear with your testing profile information.

    Keeping Harvard Healthy

    Members of the HMS community are asked to reference these resources for reducing the risk and spread of COVID-19, as well as managing fear, anxiety, and stress. Additionally, please adhere to room capacity signs posted inside campus buildings. Visit the Environmental Health & Safety website for current guidelines on gatherings, physical distancing, PPE, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, and more. Face coverings are also required on campus, inside and outside, regardless of vaccination status. We understand this may be frustrating for those who have been vaccinated already, but we prefer this minor inconvenience to the potential risk to and impact on our essential workers and other members of the community who have not yet been vaccinated.

  • Testing

    To keep Harvard healthy, the University has deployed high-frequency viral testing for those community members who are authorized to have a regular presence on campus. Per the Harvard testing policies, the frequency of testing varies—ad hoc, one, two, or three times per week—based on whether individuals live in Vanderbilt Hall, work in residential housing, work elsewhere on campus, or have a regular presence (four hours or more per week) on campus.

    All testing is being conducted through unobserved self-collection. Harvard has partnered with the Broad Institute and Color, a health testing company, to administer the University’s testing procedures, including providing testing kits, managing alerts for regular testing, and delivering test results to individuals.

    Review the important testing eligibility guidelines, frequencies and logistics below.

    Testing Eligibility

    In accordance with University testing policies, COVID-19 testing is available only to HMS students, postdocs, and employees who are authorized by their HMS program, department, or unit to be in campus buildings for four hours or more per week, and to students living in Vanderbilt Hall.

    At present, postdocs and employees who are employed by or have a primary academic appointment at a hospital or affiliated institution are not eligible for Harvard testing. The only current exception to this rule is hospital employees who have been cleared by HMS departments and are included on HMS wet lab personnel lists and plans. In addition, HMS master’s students and PhD students who are approved to work four hours or more per week in a lab that is primarily affiliated with a Harvard hospital can now request to receive testing through Harvard. Medical students can request to receive testing through Harvard via this form. Please note that PhD students and HMS master’s students working in non-hospital labs at HMS or at FAS should continue to access testing through their PI and normal departmental process. In addition, all current HMS students—including medical, master’s, and graduate students—are eligible to test through HMS.

    Those who meet the eligibility requirements will be added to the testing eligibility lists. Testing eligibility data are managed by local department administrators or their designees through the Ramp-Up Lab Personnel (RULP) Database (for HMS wet and dry lab members on Phase-2/Phase-2B plans) or the HMS Campus Access Request (HCAR) Database (for other departments and units). Individuals are then added to the testing eligibility file twice a week, on Wednesdays and Fridays. Therefore, managers need to submit requests by noon on Tuesday or Thursday in order for those requests to be included in the Wednesday or Friday uploads to Color.

    To confirm whether you are on the eligibility file for COVID-19 testing, follow these steps:

    1. Log in to Crimson Clear.
    2. In the upper right corner, select your name and profile.
    3. The COVID Testing Information page will appear with your testing profile information.

    Testing Frequency

    All members of our community who are authorized to live, work, or learn on campus are required to test regularly, regardless of their vaccination status. The frequency of testing varies—either ad hoc, one, two or three times per week—based on whether individuals live in Vanderbilt Hall, work in residential housing, work elsewhere on campus, or have a regular presence (four hours or more per week) on campus. If you have not already done so, please review the University’s testing requirements.

    Specific testing frequencies for HMS populations are outlined here:

    • Group A, 3 days per week: Those living in Vanderbilt Hall or other on-campus congregate housing. Individuals select three days to test each week.
    • Group B, 2 days per week: Students who live off-campus but are required to be on campus for work or in-person academics more than once a week. Faculty/staff who live off-campus but work in Vanderbilt Hall or other on-campus residential buildings (dorms) or have high contact with students and students who are on Phase-2/Phase-2B plans who are on campus more than one day per week. Individuals select two non-consecutive days to test each week.
    • Group C, 1 day per week: Those authorized to be in HMS campus buildings regularly for four or more hours per week but do not live in Vanderbilt Hall or other on-campus housing. Individuals select a consistent day to test each week.
    • Group D, ad hoc: Those authorized to come to campus on an ad-hoc or episodic basis. This group also includes those who come to campus regularly for a period of time but then occasionally work remotely. This group also includes HMS medical, master’s, and graduate students who are not currently living in on-campus housing and who are not required to be on campus more than once a week. Individuals decide which week(s) to test based on the duration of their on-site presence.
    • NA, not eligible: Those who are not/no longer eligible to be tested.

    Please note that given the nature of HMS’ research and education activities, most members of the HMS community who are authorized to be on campus have been added to Group D. Those in Group D who are on campus for four or more hours per week must test during the weeks they are on campus. Individuals in Group D who have not tested in a month since their last test will receive a notification from Color. Harvard cannot change this notification. Individuals can disregard the message from Color only if they have not been on campus for four or more hours in a given week.

    Important reminder: This testing plan is subject to modification if the public health situation indicates changes in community risk.

    Color Account Set-up

    Those eligible for HMS testing must first create a Color accountThis is a critical step as you cannot access a test kit until you have successfully activated your Color account. If you believe you are authorized to be on campus but are denied access to create a Color account, please notify your department or unit administrator since you may not have been entered into the RULP or HCAR databases or your testing eligibility data have not yet been downloaded from the RULP or HCAR databases to HUIT. If you need technical assistance setting up your Color account, email support@color.com.

    During the account registration process, users choose their preferred email to be their login name and the address where they will receive notifications. That address can be a Harvard email address or a personal email address. The system sends a message to that email account, which the user must access in order to proceed with account creation. If that email address does not match any email address sent by Harvard to Color in the eligibility file, the user will be asked to provide their “organization” email address, which is their official Harvard email address. Users need to access their official Harvard email account once to verify their identity, but all future interactions will be via the email address selected by the user.

    Those unsure of their official Harvard email address can check it here. If Color does not recognize your email address, refer to the HUIT Color End User Support FAQ. If that does not help, contact HUIT by either submitting a ticket or emailing ithelp@harvard.edu.

    Test Kit Pick-up

    Test kits can be picked up at the HMS New Research Building on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 a.m. until noon and from 2 to 4 p.m., and on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 6 to 10 a.m. Please use the 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur entrance and be ready to show the attendant your Harvard ID and the Color app displaying your eligibility. Important reminder: Test kits should be picked up on a day when you already plan to be on campus; do not come to campus for the sole purpose of picking up a test kit, with the exception of adhering to Harvard’s Post-Travel COVID Testing and Quarantine Policy.

    Swabbing

    Each testing kit contains information on how to administer the self-test. A helpful self-paced training module is also available in the Harvard Training Portal. Please follow the steps detailed below. Important reminders: Self-swabbing in common spaces is strictly prohibited. Self-swabbing is permitted in restrooms.

    1. Plan to swab the day you will be dropping off your kit.
    2. Activate the tube with your Color account so the tube is identified as yours.
    3. Wash your hands and find a clean place to test.
    4. Use only one tube for each test day.
    5. Be sure to obtain the sample correctly.
    6. Push the cap back onto the tube and make sure it is tightly secured.
    7. Completely seal the bag so your tube doesn’t fall out.

    Test Kit Drop-off

    Completed swabs should be dropped off at a collection point on the ground floor of the HMS New Research Building, located at 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur. You will need to enter a barcode in your Color account so that the test is associated with your account. You may drop off your sample at any time the NRB is open, but for faster turnaround of results it’s best to drop it off by 5 p.m.

  • Vaccine Information

    The three vaccines currently approved for use in the United States—Pfizer-BioNTech, Moderna, and Johnson & Johnson/Janssen (paused as of April 13, 2021)—are highly effective at preventing both infection with, and transmission of, SARS-CoV-2. If you have been vaccinated, your risk of infection is remarkably low even if those around you are unvaccinated. For the few people who become infected with the virus despite being vaccinated, the vaccine helps prevent serious illness. Getting vaccinated yourself may also protect people around you, just as wearing a mask does. Current data suggest that the three U.S.-approved vaccines also work against the common variants that have emerged. 

    Harvard strongly advises COVID vaccination for all members of our community as soon as you are eligible.

    A high vaccination rate in our community, particularly among our students, is a critical component to the University’s plan for a return to full in-person learning, research, and other activities on campus in the fall. Harvard is actively discussing with University leaders and experts multiple strategies to ensure that the community is well protected against the virus, including the possibility that vaccination will be a requirement for returning students and other community members.

    President Biden has announced that every adult in the U.S. will be eligible to be vaccinated as of April 19, 2021. Please make plans to get vaccinated as soon as you are eligible, whether you are in Massachusetts, another state, or another country. Vaccine will be available from multiple sources, including mass vaccination sites in each state, local pharmacies, primary care physicians, and community-based sites. Whether you are located here in Massachusetts or elsewhere, we have more information on where you can receive vaccine on the University’s vaccine webpage

    Please note that Harvard is not in a position to determine your individual vaccine eligibility, especially if you have individual and private medical concerns. Therefore please consult Massachusetts’ phased plan to understand when you are eligible to get the vaccine. Per this plan, all individuals age 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 3, starting April 19, 2021.

    The state continues to send very few vaccine doses to hospitals, health systems, colleges, and universities, including Harvard, and instead directs the bulk of its doses to state-run vaccination clinics. We continue to strongly recommend that you seek vaccination opportunities from all sources available to you to prevent further delay.

    If you are in Massachusetts, you can pre-register for appointments at state-run sites and also find information about other sites, including pharmacies, through the VaxFinder tool. 

    If you are outside Massachusetts, but in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers links to a nationwide VaccineFinder, as well as to your state’s Department of Health.

    If you are currently outside of the United States, please check with your country’s public health agency.

    For the thousands of staff, faculty, students, and researchers who have already been vaccinated, thank you. In order to monitor progress toward full vaccination within our community, please send a clear copy of your completed vaccination card to HUHS at mrecords@huhs.harvard.edu. HUHS keeps this information secure and confidential. People vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit this information, since it is already recorded.

    As of March 15, 2021, those who have been vaccinated are no longer required to quarantine for out of state travel after receiving a single, negative COVID-19 PCR test from any source upon return to the area and without symptoms of COVID-19. If you are a close contact of a positive case, you are expected to work with contact tracing teams, including answering any follow-up calls, but you will be released from any quarantine requirement provided you submit a copy of your CDC vaccination record to the contact tracer.

  • Managing Stress and Anxiety

    Your mental health is important for your overall health and well-being. Here are some available resources:

    • Watch the HMS Coping with Coronavirus web series for help dealing with daily stress, anxiety, and a range of other emotions
    • Reach out to the Ombuds Office, which is available to support HMS, HSDM, and Harvard Chan School faculty, staff, students, and trainees, as well as affiliate institution appointees, with any issue impacting work or studies, including concerns surrounding COVID-19. Ombuds Melissa Brodrick and Justin Neiman are available for Zoom, phone, and Skype appointments. Call 617-432-4041 or email Robin Cheung
    • Review the Harvard University Health Services guide to help manage fear and anxiety.
    • Participate in webinars and remote workshops offered by the Harvard Longwood Campus Office of Employee Development and Wellness.
    • Access the free Coronavirus Sanity Guide, including meditations, podcasts, blog posts, and talks offered by Ten Percent Happier.
    • Contact the Employee Assistance Program to speak with a mental health professional.
  • On-Campus Services

    Dining Services

    Elements Café is open Monday through Friday for deli, grill, and daily specials, along with grab-and-go snacks, salads, fresh fruit, drinks, coffee, and more. Specific hours are as follows:

    • 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.: Continuous Service at Aliquots
    • 8 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Breakfast at Elements
    • 11:15 a.m. – 2 p.m.: Lunch at Elements
    • 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.: Snack at Elements
    • 4:30 p.m. – 6 p.m.: Dinner at Elements

    Courtyard Cafe is open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-2 p.m., for deli, daily specials, grab-and-go snacks, salads, drinks, fresh fruit, coffee and more.

    Please note that the Elements and Courtyard Cafés are seating one guest per table per HMS guidelines. Outdoor seating is now available, and we are exploring an expansion of these options in the near future.

    Mobile ordering is here through THRIVE: Good Food Fast. Download the app from the App Store or Google Play for quick and contact-free ordering. With Thrive App you can: 

    • Order ahead from where you work and skip the line
    • Limit contact by using the mobile checkout 
    • Choose from the Deli at Courtyard Cafe and the Deli and Grill at Elements Café
    • Order your favorite coffee ahead of time at Aliquots Café

    Parking & Transportation

    New Commuter Rail Flex Pass and Ruggles Station Re-opening:

    • The MBTA continues to offer a 5-day Flex Pass on the Commuter Rail. The pass will remain available until 90 days after MA state of emergency expires.
    • The Flex Pass is good for five round trip tickets that don’t have to be used on consecutive days. It is only available on the mTicket app, and will be 10% cheaper than buying five round trip tickets on separate days. The pass is good for thirty days after purchase.
    • Ruggles Station has re-opened, with a new commuter rail platform allowing an increase in commuter rail trains stopping at Ruggles Station. All inbound trains on the Providence/Stoughton, Needham, and Franklin lines will now stop at Ruggles (rather than backtracking to South Station or Back Bay stations).

    Update on MBTA Bus and Silver Line Services Serving the LMA:

    • The MBTA spring service changes are in effect. Learn more about spring service changes and check your bus route.
    • These routes run with reduced service: 10, 11, 21, 29, 31, 39, 47, 61, 71, 73, 77, 89, 93, 96, 101, 112, 134, 220, 222, 225, 501, 504.
    • These routes are suspended: 18, 52, 55, 68, 79, 212, 221, 465, 710.
    • MASCO shuttles have been operating at a reduced frequency, but will increase as ridership grows. Supplementary service to accommodate shift changes will be added.
    • Please refer to the MASCO website for details on mask wearing, cleaning and disinfecting protocols, physical distancing measures and other advisories.
    • Please let us know your experience on these routes by completing this comment card https://www.masco.org/moving-around-the-lma/mbta-service-feedback.

    Parking

    • Effective July 7, 2020, non-monthly parkers may park at the rate of $18 per day (reduced from $25 per day, Monday through Friday), or will have the option to park from 2 p.m. until midnight for $10 (Monday through Friday).
    • Monthly parking options are as follows:
      • Monthly Permit: $319.00 per month (24/7 monthly permit holders can access their assigned garage or space 24 hours per day, 7 days per week)
      • 3-day Permit: $191.40 per month (3 days of parking per week)
      • 2-day Permit: $127.60 per month (2 days of parking per week)
      • Note: 2-day and 3-day parking options are programmed for specific days of the week on parkers’ IDs. Please contact the HMS Commuter Service and Parking Office to discuss alternative days.
      • If you select one of these monthly options, we strongly recommend using payroll deduction either quarterly, semi-annually, or annually. This will allow you to reduce the cost of your permit by up to 35 percent because the cost will be subtracted from your gross earnings before taxes are applied. The pre-tax limit is $270.00 per month.
    • Daily parking options are as follows:
      • Online daily parking permit (1 full day of parking, weekdays, purchased online via debit or credit card): $18.00/day
      • Reserved daily parking pass (1 day of parking, reserved online and billed internally via 33-digit code): $18.00/day
      • Discounted $10 On-campus afternoon parking (weekdays from 2 p.m. until midnight) in the NRB or Quad garage
      • Prior to coming to campus, parkers must go online to the HU Daily Parking Permit System to purchase their daily permit.
      • Choose the location noting HU NRB or Quad Garage option specific to after 2 p.m., $10 weekday rate.
      • Follow the instructions to make your reservation and process your debit or credit card payment.
      • Print the parking permit and present it to the garage attendant upon arrival at the garage.
      • Parkers using this option must arrive after 2 p.m. and before 7 p.m. (so the attendant can provide the parking card). All daily parking cards expire at midnight.
      • After-hour parking permits are available to HLC employees at the cost of $170 per year.
      • The after-hour parker’s Harvard ID is valid at an assigned garage between 5 p.m. and 5 a.m. Monday through Friday and all day on weekends and Harvard holidays.
    • Daily Parking at Van Ness Garage
      • A $10 per day discounted parking rate (normally $38 per day) has been arranged for HMS/HSDM/HSPH faculty, staff, and students through June 2021 at the Van Ness Parking Garage.
      • The Van Ness Parking Garage is easily accessible to and from the HMS/HSDM campus. Parkers have the option of walking or taking one of three MASCO-operated shuttles. The Landmark, Fenway, and M2 shuttles make frequent stops along Brookline Avenue on their return (southbound) to the Longwood Medical Area. For shuttle stops and schedules, please visit the MASCO Shuttle website and use the TransLoc for real-time shuttle locations.
      • Details about accessing the Van Ness Garage:
        • The entrance to the garage is located at 61 Richard B Ross Way.
        • Pull a ticket from the ticket dispenser upon entering the garage.
        • Retain the dispensed parking ticket and bring it to campus.
        • Upon checking in with HMS Security (located at G/E link, C/E link, or the NRB Security Desk), show the security officer your Van Ness Garage parking ticket.
        • The security officer will then issue a Van Ness Garage chaser ticket.
        • When returning to the garage, use the pedestrian accesses located on Kilmarnock or on Boylston Street (via Target when store open).
        • When driving up to the exit gate at the garage, insert the dispensed parking ticket, then scan the chaser ticket. The rate will automatically reduce to $10.
        • The chaser expires 12 hours after the parking ticket is dispensed. Normal garage parking rates apply after 12 hours.
        • Present your method of payment for the $10 parking fee.
        • Possible extension of this reduced rate is dependent on capacity demands in the garage. Any possible extension will be communicated.
    • For parking-related questions, please contact the HMS Commuter Services and Parking Office.

    Countway Library

    • In January 2021, the newly renovated Countway Library began offering online reservations to students looking for weekday study space. Reservations have now expanded to include Saturdays, and plans are underway to begin increasing capacity in the fall or sooner if possible.
    • Current hours are Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Reservations are required for student study space.
    • Please use the Ask Countway form if you have questions. And click here to access a collection of COVID-19 information and research.
  • Harvard University Coronavirus Website

  • Additional Disease-Related Resources

  • FAQ

    Vaccines, Testing, Travel, and Quarantine

    Am I eligible to be vaccinated?

    • HMS is not in a position to determine your individual vaccine eligibility, especially if you have individual and private medical concerns. Therefore, please consult Massachusetts’ phased plan to understand when you are eligible to get the vaccine. Per this plan, all individuals age 16 and older are eligible to be vaccinated in Phase 3, starting April 19, 2021.

    Where can I get vaccinated?

    • Once you are eligible to be vaccinated according to the state’s phased plan, we strongly encourage you to seek vaccine from all available sources, including state-run vaccination sites, your primary care physician, community-based sites, and pharmacies. 
    • If you are in Massachusetts you can pre-register for appointments at state-run sites and also find information about other sites, including pharmacies, through the VaxFinder tool. 
    • If you are outside Massachusetts but in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers links to a nationwide VaccineFinder, as well as to your state’s Department of Health.
    • If you are currently outside of the United States, please check with your country’s public health agency.

    Can I get vaccinated at Harvard?

    • The state continues to send very few vaccine doses to hospitals, health systems, colleges, and universities, and instead directs the bulk of its doses to state-run vaccination clinics. We continue to strongly recommend that you seek vaccination opportunities from all sources available to you to prevent further delay. Please visit https://www.maimmunizations.org/ to try to arrange for a vaccination. For additional information on planning for your vaccine, visit the Harvard vaccine information webpage.

    Are members of the Harvard community required to be vaccinated?

    • At this time, it is not a requirement, but Harvard strongly recommends that you receive the vaccine as soon as you are eligible.

    Is Harvard monitoring vaccination status?

    • In order to monitor progress toward full vaccination within our community, please send a legible copy of your completed vaccination card to Harvard University Health Services at mrecords@huhs.harvard.edu. HUHS keeps this information secure and confidential. People vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit this information, since it is already recorded.

    Are members of Quad-based wet labs eligible to be vaccinated like their counterparts in hospital-based wet labs?

    • To understand when you can get the vaccine, please refer to the state’s phased plan for vaccine prioritization and distribution. 

    Will people who live in another state or country part-time (e.g. students, retirees, people with dual citizenship) be able to get the COVID-19 vaccine in Massachusetts?

    • Yes, the Massachusetts COVID-19 vaccination program is intended for individuals who live, work, or study in the Commonwealth.

    When are HMS-based graduate students eligible to be vaccinated?

    • HMS-based graduate students, like all members of the HMS community, should consult the state’s phased plan to determine their personal eligibility.

    How do testing, masking, and physical distancing requirements change once I am vaccinated?

    • Harvard policies and safety protocols remain in place regardless of your vaccination status. Please wear your mask, practice physical distancing, wash your hands, and try to limit your number of contacts. If you are on campus, continue to use the Crimson Clear health attestation daily and participate in the COVID testing program at the assigned frequency. Adherence to these policies is important to protect those in our community who have not yet been vaccinated. Moreover, there have been cases in our community in which vaccinated individuals have subsequently tested positive for COVID-19. We will communicate if and when these testing and other policies change.

    I am working remotely as part of an office or unit whose work does not currently require us to be on campus. Once I have been vaccinated, may I return to campus?

    • Vaccination is not the driver for returning to work on campus. HMS has prioritized the return of wet lab research, education programs, and on-campus activities. Accordingly, many faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are already back on campus, and many more will return in the near future as we increase lab densities and in-person classes.
    • Those offices and units whose work does not require staff to be on campus will be the last to return so we can accommodate and adapt to these density increases. Specific questions about if and when you can return to work on campus should be directed to your manager, who will provide guidance in conjunction with your local unit leader.

    Will Harvard’s guidelines around in-person meetings change to reflect the updated CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated people?

    • Recently, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issued guidance for fully vaccinated individuals, outlining ways they can interact with one another in their private homes. These guidelines do not apply to the workplace, public spaces, or travel. Therefore, Harvard is not yet lifting any restrictions for vaccinated persons in our community, nor are we changing the prohibition on all University-related travel, both international and domestic, at this time. Harvard University will continue to monitor this policy as more of the population gets vaccinated.
    • HMS is working to define spaces on campus that can be reserved for small-group meetings and for curricular and co-curricular activities. These spaces will be managed through existing planning and space reservation systems to ensure appropriate safety measures and cleaning protocols are put in place. Plans are also underway to create more outdoor seating and possible tented spaces on the Quad as the weather improves.

    What is Harvard’s travel policy and will it be relaxed?

    • For now, all University-related travel, both international and domestic, remains prohibited until further notice. This policy applies to all Harvard community members, even if you have been fully vaccinated. We also strongly discourage personal travel, both international and domestic. Under limited circumstances, eligible individuals may continue to petition for Harvard-related travel.
    • We are closely monitoring CDC guidance, global incidence rates, and the feasibility of travel, and we will update the criteria to petition as conditions warrant. Our goal remains to enable critical research activity while keeping travel to a minimum to protect our community and the communities to which we travel.
    • Should you choose to travel out of state for personal reasons, the University has revised its policy to recognize that some individuals may be fully vaccinated. After travel, fully vaccinated persons may return to campus activity with a single negative PCR test from any source. Keep in mind that the CDC continues to discourage any travel.

    Continued Reopening and Remote Work

    What is the timing for the reopening of dry labs?

    • Planning for a phased reopening of dry labs is underway. The Department of Biomedical Informatics will return to its space in Countway Library in spring 2021. Planning for the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine and the Department of Health Care Policy will commence in summer 2021 for their expected return in late summer or early fall 2021. In addition, on-campus quiet work space at 180 Longwood continues to be available for dry science programs through their department administrators. 

    What is the timeframe for administrative staff to return to campus? 

    • Many HMS staff have been on campus or are returning to campus as essential personnel in support of wet lab research, educational programs, and on-campus activities, and many more will return in the coming months as we increase lab activity and in-person classes. Those offices and units who have been working remotely and whose work does not require them to be on campus will continue to do so until we are able to safely accommodate broader campus access beginning Sept. 1, 2021. We pride ourselves on inclusive excellence and know that each of you is committed to doing your best, no matter where you work.

    Can staff continue working from home? What are the guidelines for future remote work?

    • As we continue our simultaneous planning for this next phase of work and the longer-term future of flexible work, we understand that the workplace will look different from how it did prior to the pandemic. Like institutions across the country, we recognize the culture shift toward workplace flexibility and the associated benefits. Planning is underway by department, office, and unit leaders to determine the most appropriate work arrangements based on their specific business needs. Therefore, we recognize there will be variability across and even within each unit depending on the requirements of the work itself and on various interdependencies.
    • This planning will be supported by guidance from HMS Human Resources and administrative leadership, as well as by Harvard Human Resources. A toolkit, managers’ guide, and other resources will be shared in May. We understand and appreciate that we are all experimenting and that the pilots for our transition will inform our future. The framework ultimately developed will be informed by the valuable feedback you provided as part of the HMS Remote Work Initiative. There will be more opportunities for feedback in the future. Your unit leader will share details as soon as these are ready.

    Do I have to return to campus if I am not comfortable doing so?

    • Like institutions across the country, we recognize the culture shift toward workplace flexibility and the associated benefits. Planning is underway by department, office, and unit leaders to determine the most appropriate work arrangements based on their specific business needs. Therefore, we recognize there will be variability across and even within each unit depending on the requirements of the work itself and on various interdependencies.
    • This planning will be supported by guidance from HMS Human Resources and administrative leadership, as well as by Harvard Human Resources. A toolkit, managers’ guide, and other resources will be shared in May. We understand and appreciate that we are all experimenting and that the pilots for our transition will inform our future. The framework ultimately developed will be informed by the valuable feedback you provided as part of the HMS Remote Work Initiative. There will be more opportunities for feedback in the future. Your unit leader will share details as soon as these are ready.
    • If you have questions or concerns about your return-to-work plans, please reach out to your manager or to your Human Resources contact.
    • Harvard University implements exploration of possible workplace reasonable accommodations for faculty and staff with disabilities who request them under the guidelines of the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act or other applicable disability law. Individuals wishing to initiate the interactive reasonable accommodation process or receive further information should contact their Human Resources contact and/or Leave of Absence Specialist.
    • Should you experience anxiety, you can find health and well-being resources on the Harvard coronavirus and HMS coronavirus websites.

    Can I return to work on campus once I have been vaccinated?

    • Vaccination is not the driver for returning to work on campus. HMS has prioritized the return of wet lab research, education programs, and on-campus activities. Accordingly, many faculty, staff, postdocs, and students are already back on campus, and many more will return in the near future as we increase lab densities and in-person classes.
    • Those offices and units whose work does not require staff to be on campus will be the last to return so we can accommodate and adapt to these density increases. Specific questions about if and when you can return to work on campus should be directed to your manager, who will provide guidance in conjunction with your local unit leader.

    Should we expect to return to the same designated space we had prior to the pandemic?

    • Yes, you should expect to return to the same designated space you had pre-pandemic unless you hear otherwise from your manager or unit/department leader.

    Is HMS planning to shrink its overall footprint? If so, how will this affect leased spaces?

    • Enabling the efficient use of space is one of the guiding principles of our HMS Remote Work Initiative, along with formalizing flexibility, enhancing work-life balance, establishing best practices, redefining culture norms, and supporting the HMS mission. These guiding principles are driving our focus group discussions and ultimately will help steer recommendations for the future vision of remote work at HMS. Many units are already thinking about reducing their footprints on campus. We will continue these conversations toward building a comprehensive plan, but this will be a longer-term strategy and will not happen in the course of the next few months. Therefore, you should expect to return to the same designated space you had pre-pandemic unless you hear otherwise from your manager or unit/department leader.

    What measures are in place to ensure compliance with COVID safety protocols?

    • Our COVID-19 Advisory Team will continue to monitor the School’s safety reporting process, address concerns and issues of noncompliance, and support the designated COVID-19 Safety Officers in our research, education, and administrative departments. As a reminder, issues of noncompliance should be addressed at the department level. Those that cannot be addressed at the department level can be submitted anonymously via HMS’ online reporting form (must be logged in to VPN).

    Will physical distancing guidelines, air exchange rates, etc. be adapted as more people transition back to campus?

    • Our continued transition back to campus will be done in phases to help keep everyone safe, comply with state and University guidelines, manage our finite resources, and accommodate the many complex and concurrent moving pieces. This includes everything from refreshing HVAC systems, flushing potable water lines, and reviewing environmental health and safety protocols to assessing IT needs, determining room capacities, and aligning facilities, custodial, and other campus services.

    Will employees who continue to work remotely receive technology (laptop, monitor, docking station, etc.) and any stipends to accommodate their home workspaces?

    • Employees who are working from home should have the appropriate HMS technology necessary to do their jobs. If you have questions about your technology resources as your working model changes, please contact your manager and your IT representative. Planning is underway at the School and University level to consider equitable models of support for employees in regards to work location.

    If I moved out of state, when will I be required to move back?

    • The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many employees in a variety of ways, and we understand many may still be experiencing fear, anxiety, and stress, as well as evaluating decisions related to how and where they work. Our continued expansion of campus access will be done in phases to help keep everyone safe, comply with state and University guidelines, manage our finite resources, and accommodate the many complex, concurrent, and interdependent moving pieces.
    • Planning is underway by department, office, and unit leaders to determine the most appropriate work arrangements based on their specific business needs. Therefore, we recognize there will be variability across and even within each unit depending on the requirements of the work itself and on various interdependencies. This planning will be supported by guidance from HMS Human Resources and administrative leadership, as well as by Harvard Human Resources. A toolkit, managers’ guide, and other resources will be shared in May. We understand and appreciate that we are all experimenting and that the pilots for our transition will inform our future. The framework ultimately developed will be informed by the valuable feedback you provided as part of the HMS Remote Work Initiative. There will be more opportunities for feedback in the future. Your unit leader will share details as soon as these are ready.
    • It is important for employees to continue to stay up to date on current payroll processing during the COVID-19 public health emergency as it relates to their specific situation. Therefore, we recommend staying in communication with your manager and HR consultant. At this point, once the Massachusetts state of emergency is lifted, employees will need to return to a campus work location or work predominantly in a Harvard-registered state within 90 days in order to remain on Harvard payroll and retain related benefits. Harvard is continuing the plan to register in, withhold taxes, and provide benefits in other New England states and New York when the emergency order expires, with an assessment of other states to follow.
    • Those employees who do not return to a campus work location or continue their work predominantly in a Harvard-registered state may be moved to a third-party payroll provider, dependent on business needs. Harvard will communicate next steps to employees when the public health emergency has been lifted based upon their home address on file with the University. The assumption during the public health emergency is that the home address in PeopleSoft reflects the location (state/country) where employees working remotely are working the majority of their time. 
    • Individuals who left the United States voluntarily or due to the COVID-19 public health emergency—even with the expectation of returning to Massachusetts after the emergency—should return to the United States (or one of the states where Harvard has an established payroll), take an unpaid leave of absence, or be transitioned to a Harvard-affiliated office, local partner, or professional employer organization. 

    Are we able to hire employees who live out of state?

    • New employees working in the United States but temporarily working outside of Massachusetts due to the COVID-19 public health emergency may be hired on the Harvard U.S. PeopleSoft payroll on or until 90 days after the date on which the Governor gives notice that the Massachusetts COVID-19 state of emergency is no longer in effect. These employees will have federal and Massachusetts state taxes withheld.
    • If the job was always intended to be off-campus, outside of Massachusetts or California, then the individual should not be put on the Harvard U.S. payroll, but should be hired through a payrolling agency or other appropriate external payroll entity (e.g., Yoh/AllSource or an individual’s home institution). Additional information on hiring employees in New England and New York will be communicated by the University as more information is available.
    • Individuals being paid with sponsored funding may have additional restrictions around working outside of the United States as well as what may be charged to the award. See Guidance Regarding Individuals Outside the United States Being Paid with Sponsored Funding.
    • Hiring Managers should check with their Human Resources contact prior to communicating with candidates as there may be changes.