Being on Campus During COVID-19

As we continue to support the FAS mission of excellence in teaching and research, the safety and well-being of FAS staff members is our highest priority. From University-level policies to department coordination to individual actions, we all have a role to play in fostering a safe, healthy environment at FAS.

While the University has announced that staff who are still working remotely are authorized to return to campus on Monday, August 2, 2021, this will look different for each department and unit.

Until August 2, most FAS staff will continue to work remotely, while some may be advised that they should plan to be on to campus in order to perform their jobs. Other FAS staff members may need to be on campus for more limited periods of time (to attend a meeting or to retrieve something from the workplace). All FAS staff members and managers planning to be on campus should be aware of the policies and guidelines below.

Harvard is asking staff working remotely and on-campus, who have been vaccinated outside of Harvard, to voluntarily submit a copy of their immunization card to Complete information on the number of vaccinated community members will help us determine policy changes on campus.

Being on Campus During COVID-19

Before Being on Campus

Approval Process for Working on Campus

Managers should review their staff’s roles and responsibilities to determine which employees, if any, need to be on campus for any length of time. If so, the manager needs to complete and submit the FAS Re-Occupancy Planning Form to their local ad dean or unit leader.

All FAS staff, without exception, must receive approval from their local ad dean or unit leader in order to be on campus. FAS Re-Occupancy Planning Forms include a business justification for being on campus, as well as a proposed office schedule, if applicable.

Once approved, employees and managers should review the Being on Campus During COVID-19 Checklists (for employees and for managers/department administrators) for information regarding the necessary steps to take prior to being campus.

All staff members who plan to be on campus should review and sign the FAS Community Commitment, which reviews the COVID-19-related policies and protocols, as well as individual responsibilities for FAS employees.

COVID-19 Awareness Training

All FAS staff members should take the COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training or the Lab COVID-19 Awareness Training, depending on their work setting. These courses provide an overview of basic COVID-19 safety precautions and guidance for all Harvard staff and personnel as required by a Commonwealth of MA order.

COVID-19 Testing

Viral COVID Test

Employees with a regular on-campus presence and who meet the eligibility listed below must get tested prior to being on campus. Individuals should get tested as soon as possible, ideally within 2-3 days prior to or after the date of return to campus, but no later than two weeks after arrival. Regular testing will be required for employees who plan to be on campus for more than four hours per week.

All staff members should ensure they are familiar with the testing requirements that apply. More information on testing, including frequency of regular testing and unobserved testing, is available at the HUHS website and Harvard’s Coronavirus resources website.

Crimson Clear

Every day they plan to be on campus, staff members should use Crimson Clear (or the paper form) to attest that they are symptom-free and have not had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19. This should occur before the employee enters any Harvard facility.

When an individual successfully completes Crimson Clear, they will receive a “clear” pass, valid for 23 hours. If they are not cleared, they will receive follow-up from an HUHS clinician to determine next steps before they can re-enter Harvard facilities.

Working on Campus

Getting to Work

COVID may have changed the way you decide to commute to campus. Please review the Harvard Parking and Transportation website in order to receive up-to-date information about on-campus parking options, public transit options, and more.

Health and Safety at Work

Each FAS staff member plays a necessary role in maintaining health and safety standards. That includes:

  • Wearing a face covering while on campus, in public or in the presence of others. In alignment with state and local guidance, masks can be removed when outdoors if 6-foot distancing is maintained. Community members should have an acceptable face covering on their persons at all times when on campus. More details are available in the University guidance for on-campus activities.
  • Complying with COVID testing policies and other related COVID guidelines and protocols.
  • Taking part in HUHS COVID contact tracing as appropriate.
  • Maintaining physical distance from colleagues where necessary and appropriate, ideally by six feet or more.
  • Washing hands regularly for twenty seconds with soap and water.
  • Staying home when sick.

Managers also have a responsibility to ensure that staff members are working in a safe environment. This can be done by staggering schedules to reduce the number of staff in a workspace, allowing employees to continue to work remotely where appropriate, and finding alternative workspaces to reduce shared contact surfaces. As we work toward an eventual return to campus for FAS staff, please review the Harvard University Guidance for On-Campus Activity for more information.

Additionally, Harvard’s offices of Environmental Health & Safety and Physical Resources have been working to ensure that FAS buildings are appropriately ventilated and that their HVAC/plumbing/etc. systems are functioning safely.

Harvard’s Vaccination Process

The University is following Massachusetts guidelines on vaccine distribution. Please visit COVID-19 Vaccine Information | Harvard University Health Services for more information.

A high vaccination rate in Harvard’s community, particularly among students, will be critical to the University’s plan for a return to full in-person learning, research and other activities in the fall. Harvard will require COVID-19 vaccination for all students who will be on campus this fall. We expect that faculty, staff, and researchers working on campus will make every effort to be vaccinated as well, although it is not currently required. Further guidance regarding vaccination expectations for faculty, staff, and researchers is under consideration and will be provided in the near future. All Harvard community members should take time to plan your vaccine, know what your options are for receiving vaccine, and seek all options available to you. We also recommend that our staff consult with their PCP, local pharmacies, etc. for vaccine appointments. Please note that vaccinated staff must continue to follow existing COVID19 testing protocols and prevention measures.

We are pleased to announce that HUHS will hold COVID vaccine clinics beginning on Friday, May 7 from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., at the Murr Center. Vaccine appointments are open to all students, staff, faculty, researchers, and HUHS patients and can be scheduled through the HUHS patient portal with your Harvard Key.  Additional information including instructions on how to schedule an appointment, dates and times for future vaccine clinics, and FAQs can be found on the HUHS vaccine webpage.

If you have any questions, please contact our FAS Vaccination Coordinator, Jeanette Sanchez Kamieneski at

Being on Campus During COVID-19 Toolkit

If you or your staff plan to be on campus for any length of time, please review the information below and make sure you’re familiar with any related policies, guidelines, and steps needed to keep our community safe.

Additional Resources for Being on Campus