FAS Return to Campus FAQs

Page Last Updated

July 28, 2021

Building safety and space procedures


Q: How will I feel safe in my building and my workspace?

Harvard Environmental Health & Safety has published FAQS around building safety that we encourage you to review for specific guidance.

FAS shared office spaces may be equipped with supplimental portable HEPA units. High touch areas in FAS spaces are regularly cleaned 2 - 3 times throughout the day by custodial teams, and FAS will be working with departments to provide supplimental cleaning supplies for other spaces, such as offices, as needed. 

Q: How frequently will high-touch spaces be cleaned?

In FAS spaces, your building managers will with their custodial supervisors to ensure that all high-touch surfaces within spaces have been identified and added to the regular cleaning and disinfection procedures. All high touch surfaces will be regularly cleaned 2 - 3 times, per day. 

You can also visit the EH&S FAQ on cleaning protocols for more details.

Q: Can I access my office or lab?

Prior to August 2, 2021, FAS continues to limit access to facilities by requiring a Harvard ID Card for entry, and building access logs will be reviewed by Divisional Deans for appropriateness. Before going to your building, you should check with your manager to ensure it is absolutely necessary. If you are an essential employee and need to access these spaces for mission critical work, we urge you to follow social distancing guidance when accessing buildings. 

If you are in an academic division or with the Harvard College Libraries, before going to the office, you or your manager will need to notify your Ad Dean - Science Division: Russ Porter; Arts & Humanities: Mathilda van Es; Social Sciences: Beverly Beatty; Harvard College Libraries: Vaughn Waters.  If you have approval from your manager and your division, follow the steps outlined on the Keeping Harvard Healthy: Facilities, Office & Lab Requirements page and the checklist for FAS employees before coming to campus

Q: When can we return to normal occupancy in buildings? Can we hold indoor meetings?

Harvard is following occupancy and gathering size guidelines that are determined by the State of Massachusetts. Please visit the Campus Access section of the Keep Harvard Healthy site for the most up to date guidelines.

Even as of Summer 2021, no in person meetings, academic seminars or staff meetings should be taking place until August 2, 2021 at the earliest; the University is asking us to remain remote in our work as much as possible.  Please continue to avoid coming to campus unless you are authorized to be working on campus, and if so, keep your gatherings small.

Q: Are there specific guidelines for physical interactions on campus?

Yes, Keep Harvard Healthy has a detailed and frequently updated Guidance for on Campus Activity.

Q: Who is allowed on campus? Can I hold events on campus?

Please review the university guidelines around events on campus to determine if your event meets and adheres to the criteria.  You can also review all campus access protocols on the Keep Harvard Healthy site. FAS has also published the Return to Campus Space Prioritization guide and the Updated FAS Visitor Guidance for Fall 2021 which contains guidelines for on campus visitors.

Q: What is advisable for shared kitchen space?

Eating and drinking may only take place in rooms that have been designated for such use, including rooms that have been repurposed for breaks, mixed-use/common spaces, or events that will include food and beverages. Individuals may also eat and drink in their personal workspace, provided they are alone and are able to maintain six feet of distance from all others. Please ask your manager or Department Administrator, or see the EH&S Room and Space Use Guidance document for more details. 

Q: How do I book space for the fall?

FAS has published guidance on Return to Campus Space Prioritization which contains recommendations for prioritizing space based on teaching and learning needs.

Vaccinations, testing, masking


Q: Are vaccines required for returning to campus?

As previously announced, Harvard will require COVID vaccination for all students who will be on campus this fall. As we work to reach the high levels of vaccination needed to protect our community, we are now extending that vaccination requirement to all Harvard community members, including faculty, staff, and researchers, who will have any on-campus presence. Exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons. Note that unvaccinated individuals may be subject to additional public health measures (such as additional masking requirements and/or additional testing) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. Updates and information regarding the University’s vaccine requirement can be found at the University’s vaccine webpage, and additional details will be added when available.

Community members are advised to complete their vaccination as soon as possible and submit verification of vaccination to HUHS as soon as possible. Any community member who is already vaccinated and has not yet submitted verification of vaccination to HUHS should submit this information immediately because these data will inform additional policy decisions. You can submit a copy of your vaccination card to the HUHS vaccination portal by following the detailed instructions on the University’s Verify your Vaccine webpage. Persons who have been vaccinated by HUHS do not need to submit such documentation, which is already on file there. HUHS keeps individual medical information secure and confidential.

Q: How do I submit verification of my vaccination to HUHS?

Follow the instructions listed below or on the Verify Your Vaccine page to submit your vaccination record using the HUHS secure portal.

Steps to upload your vaccine card:

  1. Go to the HUHS Patient Portal. Login with your HarvardKey
  2. Enter your birthdate, click “Proceed”
  3. On left hand navigation, click on “Medical Clearances”
  4. Under Items Required for Clearance, Click “Update” next to Covid Vaccine
  5. Under COVID-19 Vaccination Card Upload, click “Upload”
  6. Select photo of your vaccination card. Once image preview loads, select “Looks Good”
  7. Under “Doses of Covid-19 Vaccine”, enter the dates and type of vaccine from the dropbox that you received. If you don’t see the manufacturer listed in the dropdown, you should still submit your documentation
  8. Click “Done”
    1. Details of Covid Vaccine should be changed to “Awaiting Review.” Status will still show as “Not Compliant”
    2. Once HUHS has reviewed and confirmed your vaccination, the status will be updated to “Compliant”

Q: How do I check my vaccination status in the HUHS portal?

  1. Go to the HUHS Patient Portal. Login with your HarvardKey
  2. Enter your birthdate, click “Proceed”
  3. On left hand navigation, click on “Medical Clearances”
  4. Scroll down the page. If HUHS has received, reviewed, and confirmed your vaccination, your status will read as “Compliant” and your details will read as “Satisfied”

An image of a compliant vaccination record in the HUHS patient porrtal

Q: There is an error in my vaccination record, or I submitted my record and I do not see my status? Who can I contact?

Please allow five business days for compliance to be fully processed after submitting your vaccine record. If five days have elapsed and you believe there is an error in your record, please contact HUHS at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu, or call the HUHS COVID Resource Connector at (617) 496-3100.

Q: Do I tell my manager that I am vaccinated? Or that I am not vaccinated?

You are not required to tell your manager your vaccination status. However, HUHS requests that you ubmit a copy of your vaccination card to the HUHS vaccination portal by following the detailed instructions on the University’s Verify your Vaccine webpage. HUHS keeps this information secure and confidential. Sharing that you have been vaccinated will help the University understand the level of protection in our community to make decisions about future policies and protocols. For the most up to date guidance vaccine status questions, please visit the Harvard HR FAQs on returning to campus.

Q: Do I have to wear a mask at work?

Yes. All FAS staff members must wear a mask indoors while at work, as required by current Harvard policies. When on campus, masks must be worn indoors when in public and in the presence of others, even if physically distanced, and when in common spaces at Harvard. Additional protective measures may be required in some work environments. FAS provides masks to be worn at while work. For more details, see the FAS Face covering policy

As of May 29, 2021, fully vaccinated persons are no longer required to use masks outdoors, regardless of distancing. For unvaccinated persons, outdoor use of masks is only required if they cannot maintain distance from others. Harvard will continue to require masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status, until we can determine the level of COVID vaccination across our community. With confirmation of high vaccination levels, we expect to issue revised indoor mask-wearing policies. Meanwhile, all community members should carry a mask when coming to campus in the event it becomes necessary to wear it. Individuals may also choose to wear masks in settings where masks are not required.

Q: Who should be tested, and at what frequency? Will I be required to test?

Keep Harvard Healthy has published information around testing, which is determined in part by state and local guidelines. All community members, including those fully vaccinated are expected to follow our testing cadences. You should plan to test when you come back to campus. Testing cadences are determined by the amount of time spent on campus and will be communicated prior to returning to campus.  The university will be providing test kits for those who will be on campus for more than 4 hrs/week.  Visit the Harvard University Health Services Viral Testing page for more details, or watch an overview on how to self-administer a test

Please note: only those who have been officially approved for on campus access are eligible for COVID testing through the University. Do not schedule a test or arrive at one of the testing locations unless you have been asked to work on campus.

Q: What if my child, myself, or other family member has COVID-19-related symptoms, or have been told we must quarantine?

Staff members who are experiencing COVID-related symptoms should stay home and notify their manager. We ask that you use Crimson Clear to report when you are experiencing COVID symptoms, have a recent exposure to a positive case, or test positive outside of our program. Harvard’s temporary policies that allow for expanded and more flexible use of sick time by staff will remain in effect until further notice.

Q: What if a staff member does not follow the Harvard COVID-19 policies and guidelines?

At Harvard/FAS, each employee is expected to meet certain expectations in job performance and conduct. This is clearly stated in the Personnel Manual and the HUCTW contract. Additionally, the University will take disciplinary action against staff who violate federal, state, or local laws. We recognize that the global pandemic has brought on countless new laws, policies, and expectations and that it can be difficult to navigate. However, this does not change the expectation that staff will follow the policies, procedures, and practices of Harvard and/or the employee’s department. Failure to do so will result in disciplinary action, just as it would for any other violation.

Flex work and hybrid work


Q: What if I’m called back to work and don’t feel comfortable returning to campus?

COVID has raised many concerns and changed daily routines for all of us, and this can present a challenge for returning to work. If that’s a concern for you, please reach out to your manager, your HR Consultant, or FAS HR Leaves Consultant Jeanette Sanchez Kamieneski to discuss potential options.

In some instances, it may be possible to modify your work, such as relocation to a more isolated workspace, scheduling adjustments so you aren’t commuting during peak hours, or shifting teams so that coworkers’ work shifts don’t overlap. Resources are also available if you have child- or eldercare responsibilities that make returning to campus an obstacle.

However, if your work requires you to be on campus and alternative arrangements can’t be made, you could a) take personal/vacation days to maintain your pay while taking time off, b) voluntarily reduce your hours, or c) apply for an unpaid personal leave, subject to manager approval. (This may have an effect on your Harvard benefits.)

Q: What guidance is available for setting up and managing flexwork?

First, please review the Harvard HR Flexwork Policies

Harvard HR has developed a Flexwork Toolkit that you can reference as you and your employees discuss flexwork planning.

If you have specific questions related to setting up a flexwork arrangement within your department, contact your HR consultant.

Q: I am getting a lot of questions - where can I go for help? 

We encourage you to leverage the following University-wide resources as a first stop for all COVID-19 related questions and updates. Keep in mind that the information on these websites changes and evolves on a regular basis, given the unfolding circumstances around COVID-19.
-    Harvard Coronavirus Updated HR policies
-    Harvard Coronavirus website 
-    Harvard Coronavirus FAQs   
-    Harvard Coronavirus Workplace Policies

The health and safety of the FAS community is our highest priority, and we want to ensure that FAS managers have the resources and information they need to plan for necessary on campus staffing. To this end, FAS has developed a Being on Campus During COVID-19 Toolkit for FAS managers and department administrators. Managers should refer to the Being on Campus During Covid-19 HR FAQs and the Being on Campus During Covid-19 Manager Checklist

We ask that you use your best judgment about when to escalate questions to your department, divisions, HR consultant, and FAS administration.  

For more specific questions, email: CampusReturn@fas.harvard.edu

Q: Where can I go for help with personal challenges?

Harvard’s Office of Work/Life, as well as the EAP and other resources are working to meet our needs. For both managers and employees, if you have a specific request, please reach out to the  EAP to talk through and explore options. 

You can reach the EAP any time for personal or work-related concerns at 877-EAP-HARV (877-327-4278). Explore this section for specific ways in which the EAP can help. You can also visit the EAP online.

Q: What if I have researchers working with me who are out-of-state or abroad?

If your researchers are currently out-of-state (in a state where Harvard does not conduct business) or overseas, there may be payroll implications starting in mid-September, 2021 (see: Payroll Processes for Summer/Fall 2021 for more details). Please contact Bob Daley, Associate Director of Payroll Services, daley@fas.harvard.edu, for payroll in the United States and Krister Anderson, krister_anderson@harvard.edu, or Blagomira Ovcharova, blagomira_ovcharova@harvard.edu, in Global Support Services for payroll abroad. You will be responsible for any additional fees associated with out-of-state payroll services.

For other faculty or research related question, you can consult the FAS Faculty Affairs Return to Campus FAQs.

Q: Do I need new technology in my conference room to host hybrid meetings?

If departments want to invest their funds in AV technology, all purchases will need to be vetted by the Learning Spaces Steering Committee to ensure: 

  • Appropriate technology is selected that meets departmental needs and integrates with Harvard's network and IT infrastructure
  • Support model is available (ESS staff will not be available to support all spaces)​
  • Appropriate funding is allocated for support, maintenance, repair and future enhancements​

Please fill out the FAS Department AV Purchases form and return to Katherine Gates, kgates@fas.harvard.edu, to start the assessment.

Q: What is the best way to get help with a technology issue?

Visit the HUIT Work Remotely website for more information about available tools and resources for remote work.

Contact the HUIT Service Desk for specific IT questions or concerns: 
Submit a ticket or live chat with HUIT support online: huit.harvard.edu/ithelp
Email: ithelp@harvard.edu
Phone: 617-495-7777

To foster excellence in remote teaching and community engagement among students, the College, GSAS, and HUIT have partnered to provide a streamlined set of technologies and services this fall. With broad input from the FAS community, multiple working groups analyzed a variety of use cases and solutions. Please visit the Fostering Community Connections homepage for available technology tools and resources.



Q: What options do I have for parking on campus?

Please visit Harvard transportation services to review FY21-FY22 parking rates and options, including new flexible parking arrangements such as 3 day permits and daily rates.  

If you have specific questions about your commute, you can discuss your particular commute options with Harvard CommuterChoice. Fill out the CommuterChoice form to start an inquiry.

Q: I am concerned about using the T. How do I cancel my transit pass and switch to parking?

Transportation Services has a tutorial on how to cancel your commuter benefits and sign up for parking. 

Q: Is University-related travel permitted?

Yes, but with restrictions. Visit the Keep Harvard Healthy: Travel Guidance page, review updated Travel and Reimbursement guidance and consult with Harvard Travel Services if university-related travel is required.

FAS Operations


Q: I have reached my vacation maximum, what should I do?

While we recognize that it may be difficult to take vacation days right now given COVID-19, we would encourage staff, especially those with accrued and unused vacation days at the maximum level, to continue to use their vacation days to the extent possible.  While you might not be able to travel currently, and venturing out is limited, time away from an employee’s remote work arrangement is still possible. There are no current plans to change vacation maximums or the way in which vacation days accrue for those with a maximum balance. 

Keep in mind that once a staff member reaches their vacation maximum and no longer accrues vacation days, there is a negative impact on both the staff member and the department if the accrued and unused vacation days are not taken. Staff members lose the chance to rest and to recharge, and there is a negative financial impact for the department which has paid (for vacation time) into the Harvard-wide vacation fund and is not able to obtain credit for vacation time used.  Additional ResourcesHarvard HR: Paid Time

Q: I have a new employee starting next week. What should I do?

It is possible for a new employee to start work despite working remotely. Department administrators can work with FAS Human Resources and HUIT to facilitate remote onboarding, and consult the FAS Onboarding Toolkit.

Q: How are we handling I-9s, invoices, cash receipts, and wires?

Strategic Procurement has developed guidance for invoice and payment processing, expense report processing, and CITI card usage in order to minimize disruption to payment processes. Accounts Payable has closed the Cash Receipts Office until further notice and has issued guidance on processing cash, checks, and credit vouchers during this time. Learn more about these important Accounts Payable guidelines. The SLA has been extended to 5-7 days for processing payments.

The Central Payroll and Nonresident Alien Tax Compliance teams have made operational changes for payroll time entry/approval, paper check distribution, form I-9 collection, nonresident alien onboarding, and glacier tax compliance. See the Office of the Controller website. For information on completing the form I-9, see the Guidance Regarding I-9 Collection During COVID-19 page.

Additional Resources:
AP Operations Guidance
Office of the Controller
Central Payroll and I-9 Guidance
Travel Operations Guidance
Guidance Regarding I-9 Collection during COVID-19

Q: How do I use the Covid-19 activity code?

To help departments track Coronavirus/COVID-19 related costs, we have created a new activity code “799680 – COVID-19 nonrecurring charges” within the chart of accounts. This code is designed to track unusual activities and expenses relating to our response to this incident and can be used for expenses such as travel cancellation fees, non-refundable conference fees, support of distance learning, or costs associated with transitioning students off campus. 

Please keep in mind:

  •     This activity code should NOT be used for charges to sponsored awards.
  •     We recommend that everyone add “COVID-19” to the transaction description to help further track these costs.

Departments should use the unspecified subactivity of 0000 instead of a specific subactivity code. If you use a specific subactivity with the COVID-19 activity code, it will not work. 

If you are using this code in HCOM, Concur, or with PCards, you many need to validate the code. Use the Chart of Accounts Validator tool. Once validated, it will be available for usage within 24 hours of the submitted  validation request. 

Additional Resources:
FAS Finance Chart of Accounts Validator Tool

Q: Are new corporate cards being mailed to home addresses? Where can I go if I have questions about corporate cards?

New corporate cards will be mailed to home addresses as long as the University’s work-from-home advisory remains in place. Applications will only be submitted to Citi during this time if they contain a home address. For questions about Corporate Cards, please visit Harvard Card Services and FAS Card Services.

Contact Harvard Card Services: fad_corporatecard@harvard.edu
Contact FAS Card Services: Joshua Dunn, dunn@fas.harvard.edu

You can also contact Citi Customer Service: 1-800-248-4553 (call collect 1-904-954-7314 when dialing from outside the U.S.).