The public health crisis occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic has caused unprecedented social and economic disruption worldwide, in the United States, and in the Boston/Cambridge area. For the 2021-22 academic year, Harvard Medical School plans to resume in-person instruction to the fullest extent possible, with appropriate measures and conditions in place to protect the health and safety of University students, staff, and faculty and surrounding communities. These measures and conditions include, among other things, the University’s requirement that students (1) provide evidence of vaccination to Harvard University Health Services and (2) participate in compulsory HUHS COVID-19 testing and tracing programs.
Unless they can demonstrate that they are eligible for a medical or religious exemption from these requirements, students who do not provide the HUHS-required documentation of COVID-19 vaccination and/or decline, refuse, or fail to be tested for COVID-19 at the cadence specified for them by HUHS may be placed on an involuntary leave or, at the School’s discretion, may face other consequences including, but not limited to, exclusion from participation in certain School or University activities, an instruction not to enter upon University property, the loss of access to University housing, or denial of registration.
In addition, Harvard Medical School continues to retain the discretion to apply its considered judgment to the question of how best to pursue its educational programs during the COVID-19 crisis. We remain alert to the fact that local conditions and/or public health guidance may shift suddenly and require us to adapt how the school operates. Accordingly, changes in conditions may require us to revert to online instruction (in whole or in part), introduce or modify mask and physical distancing mandates, limit certain activities and services, and/or de-densify classrooms and campus spaces — among other protective measures aimed at protecting the health and safety of our community, preserving our ability to adapt to evolving circumstances, and ensuring the continuity of our teaching and research mission.