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Harvard Guidance in response to Massachusetts Phased Re-Opening

Dear Harvard faculty and staff members,

Earlier today, Governor Baker outlined the transition to the first of a four-phase approach to re-opening the state. We write today to clarify what this means for the University’s plans and our workforce.

Phase 1 of the Governor’s plan—”limited industries resume operations with severe restrictions”—begins this week. For those of us in higher education, there is no immediate change to our status today. While the Governor’s plan allows for a limited re-opening of general office space as part of Phase 1, all faculty and staff who are currently working remotely will continue to do so until further notice. We continue to assess our remote work environment in order to ensure that you have the access to the tools and resources you need to be successful.

Beginning May 25, under the Governor’s plan, we can begin to resume operations in our science laboratory facilities with very stringent requirements. The reopening of our laboratories as part of the state’s Phase 1 plan will be guided by the re-entry plan released last week by the University Laboratory Reopening Committee. The Harvard faculty and staff who might be eligible to return to the laboratories will be contacted by School leaders and managers with more details in the coming days and weeks.

Informed by guidance from leading public health experts, all Schools and Units are developing plans to safely bring students, faculty, and staff back to campus as rapidly as conditions allow. Our approach will be phased and deliberate, resuming the most critical academic functions first and working to eventually restore the full range of activities.

As the public health situation evolves and our workplace policies are updated, we will provide frequent updates via the Harvard Coronavirus page. Thank you, once again, in these difficult circumstances, for your ongoing work to support the University’s teaching and research mission.


Alan M. Garber AB ’77, PhD ’82, MD

Katie Lapp
Executive Vice President