As part of the University’s plan for a safe reopening, a limited number of researchers and lab personnel were authorized to return to campus beginning June 8th. Below are the steps that individuals returning to labs must take prior to entering Harvard facilities in order to enable the safety of those returning and essential on-site staff.
Step 1: Complete the required workplace training
Before returning to Harvard facilities, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires individuals to complete COVID-19 training, available on the Harvard Training Portal. You must complete the training before proceeding to Step 2.
Learn more about the training on the EH&S website.
Step 2: Use Crimson Clear every day you are working on campus
Crimson Clear is an easy-to-use website for Harvard community members to attest they are symptom-free and have not had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 before entering a Harvard facility. Authorized lab personnel will be required to complete their attestation each day before arriving on campus and accessing facilities; each cleared attestation is valid for 23 hours. Only individuals who have been authorized to return to campus should complete a Crimson Clear attestation.
The website is compatible with all smartphone and computer operating systems. Personnel who are cleared will be provided with a digital or hard copy clearance for access to their predetermined facilities for 12 hours. Personnel who are not cleared will not be allowed in Harvard facilities in order to enable the safety of the entire workforce and should stay home. Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will receive an automatic notification if an individual is not cleared, and a clinical staff member will follow up by phone to assess and discuss next steps.
Individuals without HarvardKey credentials (e.g., outside vendors) who require access to labs for business purposes may complete a printable attestation form. Printable forms may also be used by persons without access to a device or in the event of technical difficulties.
Step 3: Get regular viral tests
Lab personnel are asked to take a baseline viral test for SARS-CoV-2 through a special HUHS facility. The test should be taken 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. Any essential worker who has not received a baseline test is encouraged to schedule one as soon as possible. HUHS is administering tests at no cost to the individual.
Lab personnel authorized to return to Harvard facilities may schedule an appointment via HUHS' COVID-19 Testing Registration Form. To learn more about scheduling a test, testing protocols, and receiving results, visit HUHS' Testing Information webpage.
After completing a viral test, essential workers, faculty, academic personnel, staff and others with a regular campus presence are encouraged to continue to be tested on a weekly basis. Plans are underway for unobserved, self-collected testing, but until those plans are announced, the weekly testing should be done by appointment. Check back here for more details in the coming weeks including revised testing frequencies for some groups.
Step 4: Review your lab's reopening plan
In addition to reviewing personal safety measures, returning personnel should be in touch with their Principal Investigator (PI) to review safety protocols put in place for the labs in which they will be working. Every laboratory has put in place a plan following the guidelines of the University’s Research Laboratory Re-Entry Plan which has been approved by their respective Academic, Executive, and Human Resources Deans, as well as University leadership.
These plans include preparation of every workspace, including proper signage and social distancing indicators, and appointing a COVID-19 safety officer to oversee safety measures are practiced. Each building has also been prepared by checking HVAC systems, preparing for distribution of University-approved face coverings, and designating entrances and exits.
Below are links to school-based information for returning to labs:
- Harvard Medical School
- Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health
- SEAS & FAS Division of Science Research Programs & Lab Operations
Step 5: Return to campus and stay informed
Lab personnel who have been asked to return to in-person work will find a campus that is continuing to be modified as a result of Covid-19. Prior to returning to campus facilities for the first time workers should make themselves aware of new parking and transit protocols, and anyone who has been outside of Massachusetts should read the Massachusetts Travel Order and review HUHS’ frequently asked questions on travelling out of state.
Finally, personnel should continue to stay informed of new policy as the University works to ensure the health and safety of the community during this rapidly evolving situation. University leaders will continue to keep all lab personnel and staff informed via messages to the community, and personnel should be in touch with local leadership for more specific guidance.
HUHS will provide regular updates as well as frequently asked questions on their return to campus updates page.