Throughout the pandemic, Harvard University and the GSD have prioritized, above all, the health and safety of our community. Following guidance from both the CDC and Harvard University leadership, the GSD has strategized and adapted its campus policies in order to bolster our individual and collective health and safety. Three pillars scaffold our strategy: required vaccination, regular and ongoing testing, and indoor masking. Please find more information below about our specific policies and procedures.

Please direct any questions about exposure to a student or colleague who has tested positive for COVID-19 to the Contact Tracing Team at HUHS, by email or phone at 617-496-2288. When emailing, please be concise but include all relevant details, including the infected person’s identity; how, when, where, and for how long exposure occurred; and who you are, including your contact information (preferably your mobile number). The Contact Tracing Team monitors email and voicemail 7 days a week from 8am – 12 midnight EST, and will respond to all questions as soon as they are able. Please do not contact other individuals or areas of HUHS. Reaching out to the Contact Tracing Team is the most efficient and fastest way of getting answers to your questions and other valuable guidance.

Key requirements for community safety

We are able to return to campus and to each other thanks largely to three essential, community-wide practices: vaccination, testing, and masking. Our ability to return—and remain—on campus hinges on our individual and collective participation on each of these fronts.

  • Required vaccination. Covid vaccines have proven safe and effective—a fundamental line of defense against the pandemic, including the rise of the Delta variant. High levels of vaccination are essential toward protecting our community, which is why the University has mandated vaccination for anyone planning to enter campus buildings, unless you have submitted an exemption to Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) on medical or religious grounds. As of August 23, 94 percent of Harvard employees and 91 percent of Harvard students had confirmed full vaccination. All members of the GSD community are advised to complete their vaccination as soon as possible, and to submit verification of vaccination to HUHS by August 31; please use the University’s Verify Your Vaccination webpage to learn how to submit your verification. Please note that HUHS is holding vaccine clinics on a weekly basis at its offices (75 Mount Auburn Street); vaccine appointments are open to all students, staff, faculty, researchers, and HUHS patients.
  • Ongoing Covid testing will bolster this first line of defense. To summarize university policy: All Harvard affiliates with any on-campus presence are required to test at their assigned cadence, which you can find by logging into Crimson Clear. University testing offers quick results as well as an integrated, strategic approach to contact tracing and responding to positive cases. Harvard is collaborating with Color, a health testing company, to organize a full-service testing process, including testing kits, reminders, and delivery of results. Test kits are available for pick up from the Gund Hall Quincy Street entrance vestibule at all times; the nearest drop bin location is at the Science Center lobby located at 1 Oxford Street, accessible through 5:00 pm on Sunday, August 29, then daily from 7:00 am to 10:00 pm starting Monday, August 30. For additional drop bin locations and to learn more about the process, please visit Harvard’s testing and tracing.
  • Face masks: Across the University, everyone is now required to mask up while indoors, regardless of vaccination status; outdoors, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask (although it is encouraged if you are in crowded areas), and unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask if they cannot maintain distance from others. Harvard’s Covid website offers an overview of how to choose a protective mask. The GSD will have masks available at each entrance to Gund Hall, of a quality that meets protection guidelines; each Gund entrance will have a stand with masks and a hand sanitizer dispenser, with additional masks available at the Donut in the lobby.
  • As a reminder, access to all campus buildings is restricted to HUID holders only. Visitors (including parents, spouses, and friends who are not Harvard affiliates) will not be able to enter the building with you. Please ensure that you keep your HUID, and a face mask, on you at all times.

What these policies implicate for general campus activities

  • Given that our campus buildings will be accessible only to HUID holders, we cannot allow visitors or members of the general public inside any campus spaces. All of our public program events and conferences will be held virtually this term as we work to maintain as secure a campus as possible. As a reminder: each building entrant must be a HUID holder; a single HUID holder cannot swipe guests into any campus building.
  • Events organized solely for the school’s internal community and that involve only participants and audience members from within the Harvard community will be allowed to happen in person, provided that room capacity limits are not exceeded and all other requirements for entry into GSD campus buildings are met.
  • Given the vital role that indoor masking plays in our safety, consumption of food in meetings or in shared spaces will not be allowed. You can remove your face mask for a quick sip of a beverage and then replace your mask immediately thereafter, but the general policy is that we will all remain masked while indoors.
  • On a related note, while Chauhaus will remain closed for the semester, there are dining options nearby. Science Plaza has a rotating schedule of food trucks that offer quick takeout options, and Harvard University Dining Services has opened a select number of cafes in nearby locations; please check out their directory for hours. Within a few minutes’ walk from the GSD campus are Broadway Marketplace (468 Broadway) and Darwin’s Ltd. (1629 Cambridge Street), and of course Harvard Square has additional options.

 Current procedures for courses and building access

  • All courses other than those listed here will meet virtuallyfor the first two weeks of the semester (Wednesday, September 1 through Wednesday, September 15). Beginning Thursday, September 16, all courses and studios can meet in person according to the schedule and in the assigned rooms. Courses that can meet in person between September 1 and September 15 are:
    • All Studio Courses
    • Introductory Proseminars:
      • PRO-7231 Integrative Frameworks for Technology, Environment and Society I, Herron/Greenwood
      • ADV-9601 MArch II Proseminar, Cohen
      • ADV-9641 Proseminar in Landscape Architecture, Doherty
      • ADV-9671 Proseminar in PUBLICS: Of the Public. In the Public. By the Public, Griffin
      • ADV-9672 Proseminar in MEDIUMS: On Making Culture, Technology, and Art, Sayegh
      • ADV-9673 Proseminar in NARRATIVES: Word and Image as Narrative Structure, Naginski
      • ADV-9674 Proseminar in ECOLOGIES: Interrelated, In-between, Dynamic, Reed
    • Individual and/or cohort meetings for second year MDes cohorts, who have required weekly in-person meetings with their area heads, and first and second year PhD and DDes cohorts.
  • All GSD campus buildings will be accessible ONLY by Harvard University ID holders. For GSD affiliates, GSD campus buildings are accessible from 5:00 am to 2:00 am, seven days per week, effective for: Gund Hall, 485 Broadway, 7 Sumner, and 40 and 42 Kirkland. (20 Sumner has an independent schedule and generally closes overnight.) Harvard affiliates (i.e. non-GSD HUID holders) can access GSD buildings on a schedule mirroring that of the Frances Loeb Library: through September 12, Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm; from September 13, Monday through Thursday, 10:00 am to 10:00 pm, and on Fridays from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, Saturdays from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm, and Sundays from 12:00 pm to 10:00 pm. Special Collections are accessible by appointment only, and hours may differ.


Updated 09/14/2021

Striving toward a return