Return to campus (RTC) General Information and FAQs 


Updated August 31, 2021, 4pm EST 

Harvard University, Department of Economics

Harvard COVID-19 Information 

FAS specific RTC Information 

Social Science Division RTC Information  

Topics covered:  

COVID Testing Health and Wellness Teaching Space / Facilities  General Admin (including Supplies and Mail)  Shared spaces Visitors Food and Events Travel Libraries FAQs Harvard Resources 


In case you missed it: Econ Dept Welcome Back Message August 2021 


COVID Testing 

  • FAS-specific pick up and drop off locations 

  • Please do not stockpile kits; we do not have currently have enough. Take just one or two kits at a time.

  • You should keep in mind your tests are a Biohazardous sample. Do not ask others to drop off test kits for you! (And if anyone asks you to do this for them, please refuse.)  

  • IMPORTANT Note: Answer your cell phones, even if the caller ID is not a number you recognize. Also be sure your voicemail box is not full. This is very important since a medical team of contact tracers may contact you if you or someone else you have come in contact with has a positive COVID test. The university is working on getting the caller ID to show it is from a Harvard line, but again for now please answer. 

Health and Wellness 

Every Day Before Coming to Campus  

  1. Check your Color test results and confirm your last test was negative.    

  2. Assess your health for the day.  If you are not feeling well, stay home and let your manager know.  If you are not well or are unsure, answer the questions on Crimson Clear and HUHS will contact you if you are not cleared.  You do not need to complete Crimson Clear if you feel well. 

  3. Bring a University approved face covering with you to campus or be prepared to obtain one on campus. Econ will provide Harvard approved face masks. Please note: Masks are required indoors regardless of your vaccination status. While on campus, masks are required outdoors for unvaccinated individuals. 


  • Information for FAS Instructional Personnel (faculty, TFs, etc.) about teaching while ill or in quarantine  

  • Adhere to all room capacities when teaching. If you need a larger room, please contact in advance. 

  • Equipment –  

    • All Littauer meeting rooms and classrooms will have computers. Please note that computers in all other FAS teaching spaces have been removed and you will need to have your own device with you for presentations.  

    • Hybrid Meeting equipment will be installed in all Littauer and 1280 meeting rooms and classrooms. If you missed our one of our many training sessions here are a couple of instructional videos for Zoom Room Equipment in Littauer's Classroom:

Littauer Classroom Overview Video
Littauer Media Rack Overview


  • UPDATE 8/30 Masks while teaching 

    • The FAS has decided to prohibit all unmasked teaching, irrespective of the distance between lecturer and students. 

    • Professors, lecturers and other teaching staff may choose to utilize clear face coverings. To request a clear face covering  please contact

Office Hours

  • Instructors may hold office hours remotely if they feel that this will better meet the needs of their students. 

In-person teaching  

  • As Dean Gay mentioned in her March 22, 2021 email, “Our fall plan is predicated on faculty, teaching fellows, and instructional staff being here and ready to teach on campus.” 

  • Instructors may use pre-recorded materials to supplement their in-person teaching (to “flip” their courses), but they should still spend the customary amount of time in the classroom. 

More on Teaching resources: 


  • Effective August 30, 2021, most campus buildings should return to the same pre-COVID access schedule. HOWEVER, we recommend carrying your HUID at all times. 

  • Work orders - work order requests for issues related to office temperature control, cleaning, electrical issues and/or concerns with restrooms  

  • Littauer should be reported here:  

  •  1280 Mass Ave. Contact Trina Ott.  

  • If you would like a personal desktop HEPA unit please place an order here: Submit a Non-Emergency Work Request 

  • Throughout the month of August there will be construction noise in some of the spaces. Building Management will do their best to keep it to a minimum. If you have an important presentation/meeting where you need quiet, please email and we will do our best to schedule around those.  

General Admin (Littauer only) 

Front Office – A search is underway to fill our administrative coordinator position. The front office access will be limited until further notice. Inquiries should go to where messages are being monitored M-F.  

  • Police/Fire Department 911 
    • To report crime, fire, or other life safety emergencies. 
  • Harvard University Police Department 617-495-1212 (5-1212) 
    • To report police matters on Harvard’s Campus. 
  • University Operations Center 617-495-5560 (5-5560) 
    • To report emergency & non-emergency building maintenance issues and requests. 


  • All general supplies for the faculty and staff will be relocated in August and can now be found in the former 2nd floor copier room 238.


The 2nd floor copier has been removed from Room 238 and is now located in the former LEAP Lounge Room 227. 


Mail and Package Deliveries  

  • For health and safety reasons, packages will no longer be accepted in the Front Office unless they require a signature.  

  • Faculty and Staff will now find all their mail deliveries in the Mail Room on the ground floor. Faculty may ask their assistant to collect their mail every few days from the mail room and bring it to their office.  

  • When unattended the Mail Room can be accessed using your HUID card. 

Shared spaces 

  • No distancing restrictions are currently in place.  

  • Masks must be worn at all times by vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals. 

  • No eating in shared spaces which are not designated official eating areas.  


Please read the current FAS visitor policy to learn more. Overview here: 

  • Invited Visitors under 7 days are allowed regardless of vaccination or testing status. 

  • Follow CDC recommendations for domestic and international travel. 

  • Monitor their health and not come to campus if they are not feeling well. 

  • Invited Visitors over 7 days *may need to show proof of vaccination status. 

    • Must have an appointment or be added to Harvard’s system as Persons of Interest (POI) as applicable. Temporary Harvard University ID must be issued. 

      • ReviewHarvard COVID-19 training

      • Enroll in the University’s testing program and follow the testing requirements listed below. 

      • Attest to the presence of any COVID-19 symptoms prior to campus activities.  

      • Visitors with COVID-19 symptoms, recent COVID-19 exposure, or a COVID-19 diagnosis, must document a formal attestation using Crimson Clear. 

Testing Requirements for visitors who will be on campus for more than 7 days: 

  • Visitors must adhere to Harvard guidelines for returning travelers as outlined in the Keep Harvard Healthy: Harvard University Guidance for On-Campus Activity

  • Communicate vaccination status as appropriate for the purposes of determining arrival quarantine and testing requirement.  

  • Keep documentation of vaccine readily available in the event of an exposure or other public health need. 

  • Once released from quarantine, testing schedule will be based on program/visit duration and departmental and residential cadence. 

All visitors are required to follow CDC guidance for domestic and international travel. 

While on campus visitors should follow all other local guidelines. 



In general, for invited visitors, the department will not reimburse for travel (airfare, boat, train, car), lodging, or meals. We will keep everyone posted on updates to the local reimbursement policy. *Please connect with Damari for any exception requests.  

Food and Events 

Until further notice all Econ Department food ordering is suspended. This applies to all seminar, workshops, and other events. 


Up-to-date Harvard Travel Guidance information: Harvard University Data 


More information on Library re-openings can be found here:  Harvard Library Return to Campus Fall 2021 

Common FAQs 


Where do I go if I cannot find the information I am looking for? 

Where can I find Covid Tracking Data for the University?  

I am new to the department and need my Harvard ID, where do I go? 

Do I have to use Crimson Clear on a daily basis? 

  • Daily use of Crimson Clear is no longer required for those coming to campus. However, you may now use this application to look up your testing cadence, confirm that your vaccination information has been received, and report if you are feeling unwell. You may also use it to submit a vaccine exemption.  

How do we address concerns of health and safety?  

  • Speak to your manager first  

  • Any unresolved matters can come to department leadership.  

    • Ed Glaeser, Department Chair 

    • Jeff Miron, Director of Graduate and Undergraduate Studies 

    • Damari Rosado, Executive Director  

Who is “policing” the policies? 

  • We are all members of the Harvard community, and we ask that everyone keep each other and yourselves healthy. Wearing masks and following other policies is part of our honor-system.  

What if someone is not wearing their mask? 

  • If you are comfortable, just let them know; they may have simply forgotten it.  

  • We should be kind and show patience to one another.  

What if I have concerns about returning to campus for particular health reasons?  

I am now on campus and my computer or other tech devices are not connecting to the network, who do I contact? 

May visitors come into the front office with special considerations?   

  • In general visitors should not need to access the front office unless they are given specific instructions. Building Ops is working with HUMS to redirect package deliveries to mailroom. 

Am I able to use the shared refrigerators in order to bring my breakfast or lunch? 

  • Yes.  

  • Please remember to remove all items by each Friday because all items will be tossed at the end of the week to ensure additional cleanliness. 

Can I eat or snack at my desk? 

  • Yes, however you may only do so if you are not in common or shared. Users of shared spaces should be eating elsewhere. Outdoor eating is permitted with proper precautions. The department has secured a tent for Econ’s general use in the backyard of Littauer.  

What are the sanitizing procedures for our spaces?  

  • All high touch areas will be cleaned 2x daily by facilities management. 

– restrooms 

– refrigerators (handles, shelves) and microwaves 

– door handles in common areas 

– stair rails 

– elevators 

When I first arrive on campus where will I find PPE supplies and testing kits?  

  • For Littauer: Lobby 

  • If test kits are out of stock in Littauer you can always grab a few at the Science Center. They keep a supply right next to the drop bins you will use to leave your test sample. 

  • Reception space for 1280 

Where do people eat if you are sharing a space? 

  • People may eat only in designated eating areas of campus buildings 

  • People may eat in individual offices 

  • Department members may use the tent when you would like to eat outside in inclement weather, if it is not in use for a class.  

How many people should be in the Littauer kitchen/refrigerator areas? 

  • Limit to two people at a time for 3rd floor, one individual at a time on 2nd floor 

Are there people limits in the Grad and undergrad lounges? 

  • There are no distancing requirements in shared spaces, only capacity limits and masks should be worn.  

I am vaccinated, am I required to wear a mask? 

  • Yes, while in shared spaces and common areas. 

I am not comfortable traveling to and from campus via public transportation, what do I do? 

  • The parking program now allows for three-day passes at the individuals expense 

  • UBER/LYFT at the expense of the individual and not reimbursable via university funds 

Where can I get additional test kits?  

  • You are able to pick up new kits once you drop off your first test at the Science Center. 

  • It is recommended that you take a few (2 or 3) kits to keep in your desk at the time you do your drop off.  

What happens if I forget to test?  

  • The Color system will remind you. Don’t panic, just test the next time you are on campus. 

Who do I contact if I would like a desktop HEPA unit but did not receive one yet? 

I am in an individual office, and I am not wearing my mask, can I leave my door open? 

  • In general, you should try to keep your door closed, however, if the door needs to be opened, please remember to put your mask on right away if someone approaches to come in. 

I am in a cubicle setting, am I required to wear my mask at all times? 

  • Yes, you should always wear your mask unless taking a drink which you can briefly take off and put it back on.  

May I talk to all my suite mates and just agree we are fine taking off our masks? 

  • We discourage you from doing this, especially over the first two weeks you are in the office and need to clear testing. Some folks are very concerned and do not feel comfortable saying no or feeling like they need to give a reason.  

Is there equipment available in Littauer classrooms and meeting rooms for hybrid meetings?  

  • Yes, all Littauer meeting spaces will be equipped with Zoom-compatible Logitech MeetUp cameras and a viewing screen for remote speakers. 

General Resources 

We recognize this can be an anxious and stressful time for many of you. If you would like to talk to someone privately, please reach out to:  

Harvard General Resources 

HUHS Resources 

Faculty and Staff Manager’s Resources