Health and Safety Precautions

October 27, 2020
medical mask and hand sanitizer bottle

Dear Harvard College Residential Students,

I remain grateful to all of you for how we started – and have continued – our unique semester together on campus. While it may seem hard to believe, in just over three weeks most of you will be leaving campus to finish your semester away from here. My note today is to help prepare you for the transition, and to urge you to remain vigilant about your health and safety in the coming weeks. While I know you get a lot of emails, please take a moment to read this.

As you saw in Dr. Nguyen’s message on Monday, transmission levels of the Coronavirus are increasing, especially in Boston, which is now starting to monitor and further restrict activities that were loosened over the past few weeks and months. Why does this matter? You are part of a larger community, and the community we have worked so hard to keep safe is only as strong as the efforts of each member. Here are a few things to keep in mind in the coming days and weeks:

  • Halloween is this weekend, and the election is next week.  We trust that you will make responsible decisions and continue to abide by all the public health guidelines we have put into place as well as the Community Compact you signed. The risks of letting our guard down are many, including but not limited to not being able to travel home for Thanksgiving if you need to isolate/quarantine. Do not host or attend parties on campus and think twice about attending any gatherings off-campus.
  • Continue to complete your Crimson Clear attestation daily, maintain your testing cadence, and run your HEPA filters if applicable.
  • Finalize your travel and move-out plans. This includes the basics like packing and transportation but also includes conversations you might need to have with your suitemates about how you will handle any shared items you have purchased with others, including furniture or electronics.
  • If you are applying to stay until the end of finals or will be here over Winter recess, note that students who plan to live on campus are not allowed to travel during the Thanksgiving holiday break.
  • We know you are eager to gather in groups, and want to do so inside, especially now that the weather is getting colder. We are not able to open indoor gathering space right now, but this is something we continue to work on in addition to the study, athletic, and music spaces we have opened. We ask for your continued patience as we see what is possible.
  • Take care of yourself. The Center for Wellness and Health Promotion has events daily, from meditation to yoga to basic stretching.
We are living through an unusual and fraught time, yet we are doing it together. I am glad to be on this journey with you.

Kind regards,

Katie O'Dair
Dean of Students