FAQs for FAS Managers

  • Q: What do I need to do to facilitate my staff being on campus?
    A: Consider health and safety protocols as you plan for your staff working on campus and utilize planning tools from the FAS Return to Campus Planning page.
  • Q: How many staff members are allowed to be in one office/workspace at a time?
    A: Information about Harvard building resources and guidelines are available on Harvard’s department of Environmental Health & Safety website. Your department may have implemented stricter guidelines on permitted occupancy.
  • Q: Will I be informed about my staff member's vaccination status?
    A: Managers and department administrators will not have access to Harvard staff members' vaccinations statuses. While vaccination is required for all Harvard staff who will be on campus this fall, staff members are asked to verifiy their vacciantion status with HUHS, which keeps individual information secure and confidential.
  • Q: Will I be notified if a direct report receives a positive COVID test?
    A: Not necessarily. If a direct report receives a positive COVID test and you may have been exposed, you will be contacted by HUHS as part of a contact tracing procedure. You will not be informed about the specific identity of the person.

    However, a direct report may decide to notify you that they have received a positive COVID test. Managers should not identify a person who has tested positive or is ill and presumed to have COVID-19, nor should they advise other colleagues of potential exposure. This is considered personal, confidential information.
  • Q: My staff member just told me that they tested positive. What can and can’t I do?
    A: Inform the employee that they cannot return to campus, or, if they inform you in person, ask them to go home. Do not disclose positive test results or the identity of employees who test positive to co-workers, other staff, or individuals who do not need to know. The employee should notify HUHS immediately. HUHS will notify those who have been exposed and provide them with information about what they need to do to quarantine. Employees in quarantine due to a positive test or at the direction of HUHS should use sick time if they are not able to work from home. If you have questions about time entry, returning to work after a positive test, or what to do next, please contact the FAS Leaves Consultant at leaves@fas.harvard.edu.
  • Q: If someone in my department gets COVID, what safety procedures are required for our office and for anyone who might have come in contact with the them?
    A: If someone in your department received a positive COVID test result, HUHS will contact anyone who might have come into contact with the individual as part of contact tracing. All FAS staff members should participate in contact tracing as necessary, in order to ensure the safety of our community.

    You may also wish to reach out to Harvard's offices of Environmental Health & Safety and Physical Resources for guidance related to additional cleaning and other safety procedures.
  • Q: Will FAS provide personal protective equipment and if not, who will pay for the use of personal protective equipment (e.g., masks, gloves, etc.) in FAS?
    A: Departments can order masks directly through WB Mason if they choose to have the available to their staff. FAS approved masks are item # NWLMASK3PLYDIS in WB Mason. FAS Department Administrators should discuss cleaning supply needs with building managers. Your building manager can also provide guidance and resources if you need to make any physical adjustments to your work environment, such as adding dividers between workspaces.
  • Q: Who should I talk to if I have concerns about safely returning staff members to campus?
    A: Reach out to your HR Consultant with any concerns about making sure you and your staff can safely return to work. Building managers can also provide help and guidance, especially for questions related to space, PPE, and other physical resources.
  • Q: Are departments required to follow a specific set of cleaning or hygiene practices?
    A: Information about specific cleaning and hygiene practices can be found on Harvard’s department of Environmental Health & Safety website. Individual space responsibility falls on staff members to take necessary precautions, including cleaning indiviudal spaces or giving colleagues space as appropriate. Managers will also play critical roles in the planning and training of employees on how to adjust to the new dynamic.
  • Q: What if a staff member is unable or unwilling to return to campus?
    A: Reach out to your HR Consultant to discuss potential options for addressing this situation. This could include an alternate schedule, working in a lower-density area, or finding alternate transportation. Resources are available if the employee has child- or elder-care responsibilities that make returning to campus an obstacle.

    If someone is called back to work and is unwilling to return to campus, they may no longer be eligible for the COVID excused absence pay.