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Covid updates. The bivalent COVID-19 booster is required for on-campus presence.

Last updated December 22, 2022

The following outlines Harvard Extension School’s plans to limit the spread of COVID-19 among the community. The plans are in accordance with the University’s response and we encourage you to also visit the general Harvard University COVID-19 information page.

January Term and Spring Update

Starting with the January 2023 session and the Spring 2023 term, covid vaccination that includes the new bivalent COVID-19 booster is required for any student who is registering for a course with an on-campus presence. Learn more about how upload your vaccination documentation, that now includes the new bivalent COVID-19 booster, in the video and steps outlined below.

COVID-19 Policies and Community Agreement

Overview

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. Anticipating that continued in-person, on-campus instruction would increase the risk of infections in our community, the University acted promptly in March 2020 to “de-densify” its campus and transition to online instruction. Harvard reached this decision after careful (but time-pressed) deliberation, drawing on insights and expertise from public health experts worldwide — including on the Harvard faculty.

As we look ahead, we are planning for several contingency scenarios that would protect the health and safety of our community, preserve our ability to adapt to evolving circumstances, and ensure the continuity of our teaching and research mission. Harvard Extension 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, which may include, among other things, making recourse to online instruction and instituting compulsory testing, tracing, and vaccination programs as required conditions for accessing the Harvard campus or Harvard facilities.

COVID-19 Policy for On-Campus Presence | Submit Documentation within 7 Days

If you will have an on-campus presence (see definition below), Harvard University requires you to submit proof of COVID-19 vaccination (which includes one bivalent booster shot administered after September 1, 2022) unless you can demonstrate that you are eligible for a medical or religious exemption from this requirement.

COVID-19 documentation must be uploaded to the secure Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) Patient Portal.

  • You are required to submit documentation within 7 days of registering for any course with an on-campus presence.
  • You will be dropped from on-campus courses, even after classes begin, if you do not upload your documentation.
  • You are responsible for any expenses that you incur if you fail to comply with the University’s COVID-19 immunization policy and are dropped from courses.

This requirement does NOT apply if you are registered in online-only courses and never plan to come to campus; it ONLY applies if you will be coming to campus.

On-Campus Presence Definition

The COVID-19 immunization requirement applies if you will have any “on-campus presence,” which is defined as any student registered in an:

  • on-campus course
  • on-campus or online course, if you plan to attend class on campus
  • online course with a required on-campus weekend
  • on-campus active learning weekend

This requirement also applies if you are taking online-only courses this academic year, and:

  • wish to obtain or use a class participant library card to gain on-campus access to Harvard libraries.
  • are a degree candidate or premedical program participant and wish to obtain or use your Harvard ID card to access on-campus resources.

Submitting COVID-19 Immunization Documentation

To upload your immunization documentation, you must have your Harvard University Identification number (HUID) and you will need to claim your HarvardKey. You will claim your HarvardKey at key.harvard.edu. If you do not know your HUID, you will find it at the top right corner of your MyDCE account homepage.

Course takers and certificate seekers must be registered for courses before attempting to access the Patient Portal. Admitted degree candidates and premedical program participants can upload COVID-19 immunization documentation at any time and should do so ASAP.

If you have your HUID and you have claimed your HarvardKey and you encounter problems accessing the Patient Portal there may be a delay in your information transferring to the Portal. It may take up to two business days after you’ve claimed your HarvardKey for the Patient Portal to be accessible to you.  For further problems with HarvardKey, contact HUIT (Harvard University Information Technology) (617) 495-7777.

Due to possible delays as described above, it is recommended that you register as early as possible.

Instructions for uploading immunization documentation:

  1. Go to: https://patient.uhs.harvard.edu
  2. Click Log in with your HarvardKey.
  3. On the left-hand side of the window, click on Medical Clearances.
  4. Items Required for Clearance will appear on the right.
  5. Click on the green Update button for each required immunization.
    • Enter the date of the vaccination. Enter dates using MMDDYYYY format.
    • Upload the supporting immunization documentation.
  6. Click Done.
  7. If the upload does not work, your file may be too large. It is suggested that you try to upload in multiple, separate batches.

HUHS medical records staff will review your documentation and code it as “compliant” or “not compliant”. HUHS will not notify you when your documentation is reviewed. You should check the portal frequently for updates, but please don’t call HUHS as they are working diligently to review documentation for the entire Harvard community and cannot respond to calls.

IMPORTANT. If you register in the final days of registration, it is your responsibility to upload COVID-19 immunization documentation in an expedient manner according to the directions above. You run the risk of being dropped after courses begin for non-compliance.

Email Reminders, Confirmation of Compliance, FAQs, and Contact Information

Email reminders. The Harvard Extension School will send frequent email reminders regarding this policy to those students registered in on-campus courses. Please be on the lookout for our emails and check your SPAM folders for our communications. However, it is your responsibility to comply to this critical policy.

Confirmation of compliance. In early November 2022, HUHS will update all students COVID compliance in Patient Portal to account for the newest bivalent booster requirement.  

Once this update is made, you will know that you’ve complied with the policy when you see the COVID immunization requirement in your Patient Portal updated with a green mark indicating “compliant.” The review by HUHS is not instantaneous and may take several business days from the day you upload your document. If you see a red mark indicating “not compliant,” your immediate attention is required to resolve your status and to ensure your compliance prior to the start of Fall Term.

FAQs. More information, including FAQs, can be found under Massachusetts and Harvard University Immunization Regulations.

Who to contact. Have additional questions? Please contact immunizations@extension.harvard.edu.

COVID-19 Community Agreement

Harvard Extension School COVID-19 Community Agreement

In responding to the pandemic, Harvard Extension School is guided by evidence-based public health practices. Because COVID-19 infects individuals by spreading across and within close community networks, it is essential that every one of us in the campus community uphold a shared obligation and commitment to act prudently, safely, and in accordance with public health directives. The community expectations related to COVID-19, outlined below, represent our individual and shared responsibility for safe practices among all members of the Harvard Extension School community.

Harvard Extension School aims to enable student learning and provide a safe place for students to learn and thrive. We recognize the seriousness of the current public health crisis and will work to promote a secure and supportive learning environment for all students.

Note that these expectations may be updated and revised to reflect additional guidance from the city, state, and federal governments if necessary. The University has adopted these expectations to promote the collective well-being of our community, and specifically the students, staff, and faculty during this time period.

  • I will follow University guidance regarding vaccinations, access to campus, physical distancing, masking, testing and tracing, quarantine and isolation, hygiene, and travel.
  • I will share truthful information with Harvard University Health Services. I understand that any information that I share with contact tracers is confidential and will only be shared on a need-to-know basis with the appropriate University members.
  • I understand that violation of any COVID-19 protocol will be considered a serious violation and will be addressed by the Office of Student Affairs (OSA). I acknowledge that failing to adhere to these expectations may result in the revocation of student privileges, including my ability to access the Harvard campus and to participate in the Harvard Extension School experience.
  • These expectations exist not just for my own health, but also to protect and safeguard the health of those around me, including DCE Staff and Facilities personnel and other staff who live or work in our buildings.
  • I acknowledge and accept that these rules and guidelines may change as life on campus and public health guidance across the country evolve. I agree to abide by any new rules and guidelines promulgated by Harvard for application in the campus setting.
  • I understand that I may be withdrawn from Harvard Extension School if the University determines that I am unable to meet the expectations of my course(s) and program.
  • I attest that if I will have a presence on campus, including attending courses on campus or accessing campus resources, I can satisfy one of the following requirements:
    • I am fully vaccinated against COVID-19 using a vaccine authorized by the FDA or WHO and have received a bivalent booster administered after September 1, 2022 (if eligible), or
    • I qualify for exemption based upon age, a medical contraindication, or firmly held religious belief.
  • I understand that I may be required to provide proof of the above in accordance with Massachusetts and Harvard University immunization regulations.
  • I further agree to immediately share with Harvard University Health Services any proof of my vaccination status if I am identified as an exposed person through public health contact tracing efforts.

Guidance for On-Campus Activity

Masking Guidance

  • Masking is optional in all indoor and outdoor spaces on Harvard’s campuses, except in health care facilities such as HUHS and for students who have completed a five-day isolation period. Students who have completed a five-day isolation period must wear a well-fitting mask in all public spaces, including classrooms, for an additional five days.
  • While optional, wearing a high-quality mask that fits securely over the face without air gaps is an effective way to reduce personal risk.

Testing Guidance: Active Learning Weekends and Courses with Required On-Campus Weekends

  • We strongly recommend you complete a rapid antigen test before you travel to campus for your weekend experience.
  • If you test positive, do not come to campus. You should report your positive test result to your on-campus course instructors as soon as possible. You will need to manage your isolation independently based on CDC guidelines. Any medical questions should be directed to your primary care provider.
  • If you are unable to travel to campus due to COVID-19, or once here, you are not able to participate in your weekend meeting, you should withdraw from the course and file an appeal with supporting documentation requesting the course be dropped from your academic record. Courses that are dropped will issue a tuition refund. Examples of supporting documentation include a positive lab test report, a government or travel-related document showing your inability to travel or need to quarantine, or a photo of your take-home test with date stamp or metadata showing when you took the photo.
  • More information on Testing, Exposure, and Isolation can be found on the HUHS website.

Testing Guidance: All Other On-Campus Courses

  • We strongly recommend you complete a rapid antigen test before you travel to campus.
  • If you test positive, do not come to campus. You will need to manage your isolation independently based on CDC guidelines. Any medical questions should be directed to your primary care provider.
  • Refer to your instructor for guidance regarding missed class meetings and alternatives to in-person class activities.
  • More information on Testing, Exposure, and Isolation can be found on the HUHS website.

Symptoms and Exposure

  • If you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, do not come to campus. You should report your symptoms to your on-campus course instructors as soon as possible. Any medical questions should be directed to your primary care provider.

  • More information on Testing, Exposure, and Isolation can be found on the HUHS website.

Classes and Resources

Harvard Extension School Buildings and Operations

  • Harvard Extension School offers email, phone, web conference, and online student service and all departments are fully functional.
  • Visit Contact Us. We are eager to answer your questions!
  • If you plan to visit our offices, please follow our COVID-19 protocols.

Both Your Health and Education Are Paramount to Us

The faculty and staff are working around the clock to continue to offer you the highest quality academic experience. We thank you in advance for your cooperation as we navigate, to the best of our ability, this challenging and unprecedented global public health event.