A message from Dean Douglas Elmendorf

To the HKS Community:

Following a series of positive test results and further discussions with the University’s experts, we are tightening our COVID protocols further. Please:

  • If you are a student, submit a COVID test TWICE PER WEEK until further notice, beginning TODAY if you are on campus. If you are a student and have a medical or religious exemption from vaccination, increase your testing to three times per week. If you are a staff member, faculty member, or fellow, continue to submit a COVID test on your normal schedule; you can choose to submit a test more often if you prefer.
  • If you are a student, DO NOT PARTICIPATE UNMASKED in large, indoor group activities.
  • To eat inside at HKS, you must SIT ALONE at a table in a designated dining area.
  • WEAR A MASK whenever you are inside HKS—except if you are actively drinking or eating.
  • If you test positive, be fully honest and give complete answers to the contact tracer who calls you. This is important in enabling us to understand what is happening and stop transmission.
  • Do not come to campus if you are not feeling well. If you attended any off-campus parties, particularly the ones that were the source of last week’s outbreak, and develop COVID symptoms, report your symptoms and exposures in Crimson Clear and to the Harvard University Health Services staffer who will call you, submit a COVID test immediately, and stay away from campus until HUHS says otherwise.

As I wrote on Friday, we do not know of any COVID transmission in our classes; instead, transmission is occurring in social settings where people are not wearing masks. The increase in testing and new rules on eating alone are aimed at stopping any further spread.

When conditions improve, we will relax these restrictions. But if conditions worsen, we will take other steps to contain risk—potentially losing our chance to learn and work in person. 

Let us protect each other and our shared goals.