June 4, 2020 (Updated August 3)

(This information is subject to change as new state and University guidance emerges)

Reopening Schedule

  • Monday, June 8: Quad-based wet labs are permitted to transition to Phase-1 of the University’s research laboratory reentry plan. This stage includes the reentry of key personnel required to restart research projects.
  • After June 8: Once individual labs conclude Phase-1, they must also complete this checklist in consultation with their department chair and research administrator before transitioning to Phase-2 of their ramp-up plan. This stage includes all research and support personnel in wet labs with approved lab reentry plans.

Lab PIs and Designated COVID-19 Safety Officer Responsibilities

  • PIs and their designated COVID-19 Safety Officers are responsible for ensuring their labs function in a safe manner and in accordance with their approved lab reentry plans. This includes adherence to all the operational items listed below. Substantial changes to lab reentry plans should be approved in advance by department chairs before implementation.
  • Read or print out the Assignment of COVID-19 Safety Officer Responsibilities

Required Training

Daily Health Attestation

  • All individuals who are authorized to be on-site must complete the COVID-19 screening certification on Harvard’s health-reporting website,  Crimson Clear, daily in order to enter campus buildings. Failure to complete this daily attestation will result in denied access to campus.
  • Please complete the daily attestation prior to arriving on campus. This will expedite entry into campus buildings and avoid an unnecessary commute should you be unable to complete the attestation due to symptoms. The clearance pass is valid for 12 hours and may be displayed on your mobile device or printed out.
  • If you are already planning to take a sick day, you should not complete the Crimson Clear attestation that day.
  •  Individuals without HarvardKey credentials (e.g., outside vendors) who require access to labs for business purposes will be able to check back on this page to access a printable attestation form. Printable forms may also be used by persons without access to a device or in the event of technical difficulties. Printed forms will also be available at each HMS entry checkpoint (see Building Access for further details).

Baseline Viral Testing

To protect the health and safety of both those returning to campus as well as essential on-site workers, the University requests that authorized researchers and lab personnel complete a baseline viral test for SARS-COV-2 through a special Harvard University Health Services facility within the first two weeks of returning to a laboratory facility. Harvard University Health Services will administer the test at no cost to the individual or the lab. Personnel authorized to return to lab facilities may check back on this page for details on scheduling a baseline viral test or seek guidance from their manager.

Occupational Health

  • Be mindful of COVID-19 symptoms, which include 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 to 14 days after exposure.
  • If you have symptoms or need further advice, do not come to work. Contact your primary care provider or email Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu.
  • If you do not have symptoms but you’re concerned that you may have been exposed to COVID-19, review the HUHS guide for self-isolation/quarantine.
  • Anyone with flu-like symptoms should not come to work and should contact their primary care provider or HUHS at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu for advice. Your primary care provider or HUHS will help you determine whether to get assessment or treatment. Medical professionals are best equipped to offer advice based on factors such as how direct or indirect an individual’s contact with coronavirus was, recent travel history, an individual’s personal health history and any symptoms that person may be experiencing.
  • For employees who do not receive their care at HUHS: If you’re being tested for COVID-19, or if you’ve received a positive test result for COVID-19, please immediately notify HUHS at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu. We appreciate your help in protecting our entire community. 
  • If you’re concerned about potential exposure to individuals who have been tested or tested positive: Contact investigation and notification is overseen by local Departments of Public Health. Any persons who have had close contact with those individuals in question have been notified by the Department of Public Health in accordance with standard public health principles. If you have not been notified, then you are not deemed to have an increased risk because of exposure to these individuals.

Parking & Transportation

New Commuter Rail Flex Pass and 90-day Expired Ticket Waiver:

  • Starting July 1st, the MBTA will offer a five-day Flex Pass on the Commuter Rail. The pass is part of a pilot program, running between July 1st and September 30th, to address changing travel patterns due to the gradual reopening from COVID-19.
  • 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.
  • Along with this, the MBTA announced a one-time extension of its Commuter Rail ticket expiration policy. On June 22nd, Commuter Rail riders will be allowed to used expired tickets that were valid on March 10th for the next 90 days. For mTicket users, the tickets will be automatically pushed to the app.

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

  • The MBTA returned to normal service levels for most buses, trains and rapid transit. Learn more about fall service changes and check your bus route.

  • These routes run with reduced service: 4, 18, 43, 52, 55, 79, 91, 92, 99, 216, 236, 245, 354, 426, CT2, SL1, and SL2.

  • These routes are suspended: 62, 76, 84, 170, 325, 326, 351, 352, 428, 434, 451, 456, 502, 503, and 505.

  • 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.


  • Effective July 7, non-monthly parkers may park at the rate of $18 per day (reduced from $25 per day), or will have the option to park from 2 p.m. until midnight for $10.
  • 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 for 2020 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 2:00 p.m., $10.00 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 February 2021 at the Van Ness Parking Garage.
    • The Van Ness Parking Garage is easily accessible to and from the HMS/HSDM campus. Parkers will 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 beyond November 2020 is dependent on capacity demands in the garage. Any possible extension will be communicated. 
  • Additional parking options may be available through your department. Please contact your department administrator for more information.
  • For parking related questions please contact the HMS Commuter Services and Parking Office

Building Access

  • HMS buildings can continue to be accessed via three locations only: Goldenson, Building C/TMEC link and the NRB. Those entering will be required to show their Harvard ID and Crimson Clear attestation to the security attendant. This applies to both entering and exiting.
  • Access to buildings not connected to the Quad remains limited to essential personnel, as determined by local departmental leadership.

Face Coverings

  • Harvard-issued masks must be worn at all times while in campus buildings.
  • Harvard-issued disposable masks will be provided for all HMS community members, contractors and visitors each day. These blue surgical masks will be distributed at masking stations at these three access points and should be used for one day only.
  • To avoid delays and queues at building entry points, please complete the Crimson Clear attestation prior to arrival.
  • Please wait until you have arrived at your destination before you remove your own commuting face covering and put on your Harvard-issued mask.
  • Harvard-issued masks should be discarded in a trash receptacle in your lab area before you leave for the day, at which time you should also put on your own commuting mask to exit the building.
  • A new mask will be provided the next time you come to campus.
  • Labs are responsible for purchasing and providing their own masks if these masks are used as PPE for research purposes. 

Cleaning Procedures, Supplies & Ventilation

  • Cleaning and disinfecting of Quad buildings by custodial staff will occur seven days per week.
  • Restrooms in corridors and common spaces will be routinely cleaned twice per six-hour use from 8 a.m. through 9 p.m. and again overnight. High-touch surfaces within restrooms will be disinfected once every two hours from 8 a.m. through 9 p.m. Additionally, restrooms that reside inside the contiguous portion of the lab are currently being reviewed for cleaning options and details will be available soon.
  • Showers will not be cleaned and should not be used except in emergencies. Cleaning supply kits will be available in the restrooms for users.
  • Elevators will be cleaned once overnight, between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. High-touch surfaces, including the button panel, will be disinfected once per hour from 6 a.m. through 10 p.m. Cleaning supply kits will be available in the elevators.
  • Stairwells will be cleaned once overnight, between 10:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. Railings and door handles will be disinfected once every four hours.
  • Kitchens and kitchenettes will be cleaned twice every eight hours between 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m. Cleaning supply kits will be available in the kitchens for users.
  • High-touch surfaces in corridors (e.g., ice machine handles, door handles and water bottle stations) will be cleaned twice per eight hours between 6 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.
  • Laboratory ventilation audits have been completed, and ventilation is functioning as required. As a reminder, laboratory supply is 100 percent fresh air. A handful of restroom exhausts are not functioning properly and will either be repaired or the restroom will have to be closed. In addition, the Courtyard Café air supply is being programmed to allow for the maximum amount of fresh air.
  • Cleaning frequency and guidelines will vary for wet lab spaces, offices, computational spaces and conference rooms, depending on location and configuration. Please consult your departmental administrator for details.
  • Janitorial services will be altering cleaning procedures for lab spaces to increase physical distancing. Please consult your departmental administrator for details and instructions.

Building Signage, Physical Distancing & Personal Hygiene

  • HMS is making all necessary adjustments to adhere to the physical-distancing guidelines issued by the CDC. All work that can successfully be done remotely should continue to be done remotely.
  • Signage will be installed throughout campus by June 8 to reinforce face covering, physical distancing, and personal hygiene guidance.
  • To adhere to physical distancing guidelines, HMS has applied a general approach of one person per individual room and/or physical barrier or one person per lab bay when there are multiple open conjoining bays.
  • Hand sanitizer is in short supply, but HMS will continue to source and procure to the best of its ability.
  • Per the policies laid out in the lab reentry plans, whenever possible researchers should be assigned a particular workstation. For shared workstations, only one researcher should work at a given workstation at a time, with disinfection of equipment and surfaces performed between users.
  • All restrooms will be posted with maximum occupancy signage and instructions for using multistall restrooms.
  • The use of showers is prohibited except in emergencies.
  • All elevators will be posted with maximum occupancy signage. A distance of 6 feet should be maintained in queues for elevator arrival with floor spacing marked by signage. Travel from floor to floor should be accomplished using the stairwells and not the elevator, whenever possible.
  • Stairwells should be utilized in single file, in accordance with signage indicating that users should stay to the right.
  • Outdoor seating has been rearranged to accommodate social distancing guidelines and is available in the following locations: Countway plaza, Quad promenade, Building C/TMEC/Mudd courtyard, Building C courtyard, NRB waterfall and the NRB Zen garden.
  • Harvard-issued masks may be worn in transit to these locations and upon return to campus buildings.

Joint Appointments

  • If faculty have joint appointments at HMS and an affiliated hospital, they should follow the protocols and guidelines issued for the location where their lab is physically located. 

Personnel Considerations

  • HMS Human Resources continues to be aligned with the Harvard University Human Resources Enhanced Workplace Policies related to COVID-19. Contact your HR Consultant with any HR-related questions.
  • Union employees should consult their contracts for details on work policies and benefits.

Concerns and Questions

  • For concerns and questions that cannot be addressed by your lab-designated COVID-19 safety officer, PI, research operations manager, department director of research administration or department chair, please use the Harvard Anonymous Reporting Hotline or call 877-694-2275.
  • For a confidential conversation about any issue affecting work or studies, please contact the Ombuds Office.
  • Additional information on health and well-being can be found on the Harvard Health & Wellbeing website.


A reopening FAQ will be available soon to address the questions that have been raised during HMS Town Hall meetings, as well as results from the survey and listening sessions initiated by the HMS Lab Ramp-up Committee