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, optional testing, and masking when appropriate. Please find more information below about our specific policies and procedures, and the latest updates to guidance and protocols on the Harvard Covid-19 Information webpage.

Please note: Harvard requires COVID-19 boosters for all members of our community who are eligible, including students, faculty, researchers and staff.

Individuals who test positive should identify and notify their close contacts. HUHS will no longer be doing this due to the high volume. Email communication from HUHS following a positive test notification will provide guidance on notifying close contacts.

Our ability to remain on campus hinges on our individual and collective participation on three essential, community-wide practices: vaccination, testing, and masking.

  • REQUIRED VACCINATION: Covid vaccines have proven safe and effective—a fundamental line of defense against the pandemic. High levels of vaccination are essential toward protecting our community, which is why the University has mandated vaccination and boosters for anyone planning to enter campus buildings, unless you have submitted an exemption to Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) on medical or religious grounds. Faculty, staff, and students should use the University’s Verify Your Vaccination and Booster webpage to learn how to submit their verification. In order to register for spring term, students must be compliant with all vaccine requirements. This includes the annual flu shot as well as the bivalent Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster. Harvard ID holders are encouraged to schedule an appointment at one of HUHS clinics for both of these vaccines.
  • OPTIONAL COVID TESTING bolsters this first line of defense. To summarize university policy: Members of the GSD community are no longer required to participate in regular testing, and Harvard no longer provides testing kits on campus. Although testing is now optional, we encourage testing when you are experiencing symptoms, or if you have been exposed to somebody who has tested positive for Covid. We encourage those of you located in the US to use the eight free COVID tests available through private health insurance each month. Students and dependents insured through the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) can obtain free rapid home tests through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts; instructions are listed on the HUSHP website. Employees and dependents covered under the University’s Express Scripts program should follow these instructions for ordering free test kits. If you have a different health plan, check with your insurance carrier. Employees, students and affiliates returning to campus are encouraged take a Covid test 24-48 hours prior to entering our buildings. If you test positive, please report your results to Harvard University Health Services via Crimson Clear.
  • MASKING: Masking is optional in GSD buildings for fully vaccinated and boosted individuals only. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated and boosted must continue to wear masks indoors. During class meetings, instructors may opt for everyone attending to wear a mask, if they choose. It is of the utmost importance that everyone in our community feel absolutely welcome to choose to continue wearing a mask indoors or out. Harvard’s Covid website offers an overview of how to choose a protective mask. Surgical masks continue to be available at lobby entrances in GSD buildings. Double masking with a surgical mask as the first layer, covered with a cloth mask, is also very effective.

CLASSES: All GSD classes are meeting in person. Please strive to sit in the same seat in each class, if possible, to make contact tracing, which is now the responsibility of each individual, as easy as possible.

EVENTS are 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. Members of the Harvard community and the general public may attend in person, so long as they are fully vaccinated, including a booster shot, and present proof of vaccination on arrival.

VISITORS: Our buildings are open to the Harvard community and members of the public. All non-HUID visitors must follow Harvard vaccination requirements. Upon arrival, all non-HUID visitors to the GSD will be required to check in at Gund Hall’s Quincy Street entrance, where a security guard will review their photo ID.

Visitor access will be restricted to Gund lobby unless the visitor has been invited to the GSD by a member of the GSD community. If a visitor is planning to enter a GSD building other than Gund Hall, they must follow all of these steps and still check-in at Gund, and a member of the GSD community must meet them there and accompany them to their destination.

EATING: There are no restrictions on the consumption of food and beverages in GSD buildings. Because of supply-chain complications, however, Chauhaus will not resume operations until the fall 2022 semester. New vending machines with a broader selection of items have recently been added to GSD buildings.

OPENING HOURS: GSD campus buildings are accessible to Harvard University ID holders 24/7, effective for: Gund Hall, 485 Broadway, 7 Sumner, and 40 and 42 Kirkland. (20 Sumner has an independent schedule and generally closes overnight.) Visitor hours are from 8am – 6pm Monday through Friday.

Please check the Frances Loeb Library and Fabrication Laboratory pages for up-to-date information on their opening hours and support services.


Updated 09/19/2022

Information About Covid-19

Life at the GSD