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Preparing for return to campus

Dear Members of the Harvard Community,
As a result of the inspiring efforts of so many members of our community, the University has been able to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and provide a secure environment for students, faculty, staff, and researchers who have been on campus over the last year. And as more and more of us are vaccinated, we are all optimistic that we will be able to increase activities on campus soon. We write today with some key messages as we approach the end of this academic year and continue to plan for the months that follow.
Authorization to return to campus
As we shared last month, we are targeting Monday, August 2, as the date when our faculty, staff, and researchers will be authorized to return to campus. We want to underscore that there is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to this transition, and this authorization does not mean everyone will be back on campus on day one. Rather, each School and Unit will make their own determinations, and we expect to see a variety of flexible approaches and varying return-to-campus dates based on respective needs and priorities. We are grateful to those who have returned already to support the on-campus student population and activities requiring access to physical resources.
Health and wellbeing
While the availability of vaccinations has increased in recent weeks and certain public health restrictions are being eased, many of us are still managing the demands brought on by the COVID crisis and handling stresses related to uncertainty about vaccine availability and specific plans for returning to campus. As such, it is critical that we all take the opportunity to access available University resources and professionals who are able to provide emotional and physical wellbeing support and work/life resources as we all continue to navigate this stressful time. We encourage everyone to seek out these resources.
Upcoming time to “unplug”
Your resilience through this entire ordeal has been remarkable. In an effort to provide our community members with additional opportunities to “unplug” this summer, the University is providing two additional paid days off in conjunction with upcoming holiday observances—Tuesday, June 1 (following the Memorial Day holiday), and Friday, July 2 (in advance of the Independence Day holiday). If you must work on one or both of these days to support essential operations, your efforts will be acknowledged, and payroll guidance will be forthcoming. We have also previously designated Juneteenth as a University holiday, which will be observed this year on Friday, June 18.
Plan your vaccine
Following up on last Friday’s message, we also want to encourage each of you to plan your vaccine. On Monday, April 19, every adult in the United States will be eligible to be vaccinated. A high vaccination rate in our community is a critical component of the University’s plans for a return to full in-person learning, research, and other activities on campus in the fall. If you haven’t already, please take the time to determine all sources available to you to be vaccinated. You can find more information and resources on the University’s vaccination webpage.
Thank you again for all that you do!
Lawrence S. Bacow
Alan M. Garber
Katie Lapp
Executive Vice President