Week 109: Spring Updates


This week Meyer staff began packing and moving special collections in CHOM. Another Security guard has been stationed inside CHOM to oversee the process. We now have three Securitas personnel in Countway—one at the main entrance, one overseeing the packing of the Meyer truck, and one inside CHOM. It will take the month of May to complete the CHOM packing. L2 was completed last week. The BiblioTemps team will return to packing L1 and also clean up L2 during the month of May.

Optional testing

This week a message was sent out about the new optional COVID testing protocol:

  • April 28 – Non-Residential: Students, faculty, staff, and researchers who do not live in Vanderbilt Hall or other Harvard campus-based residential housing will no longer be required to test for COVID regularly.   
  • May 10 – Residential: Students, faculty, staff, and researchers who live in Vanderbilt Hall or other Harvard campus-based residential housing will no longer be required to test for COVID regularly.

Test kits will continue to be available at the 3 current pickup locations. Collection bin locations remain the same at this time. The Returning to Campus webpage and HMS Testing Guide websites will be updated in the coming days given this and future changes.

Anyone with symptoms or known exposure should continue to test. Those who test positive should notify Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) through Crimson Clear. The transition to optional testing is informed by the guidance of public health officials and the experts who have been advising the University throughout the pandemic. Please read this Gazette Q&A with two of Harvard’s COVID advisers—HMS faculty members Michael Klompas and Paul Biddinger—to learn more about this decision. We understand that members of our community may be concerned about potential exposure to COVID. Please refer to the full email for more information on how to lower your risk and how to protect yourself and others who are at increased risk of COVID complications.

The Legacy of Slavery Report

This week the University released Harvard & the Legacy of Slavery report. The report contains shocking stories about our past, and how Harvard is linked to the institution of slavery. Harvard’s DCE and FAS communities will hold a number of events in the coming months to discuss the report and help process the findings. Members of our community are invited on Monday, May 9th, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. to join the HMS community dialogue moderated by Allan Brandt, the Amalie Moses Kass Professor of the History of Medicine in the Department of Social Medicine, and interim chair of the HMS Department of Global Health and Social Medicine. This event is open to all members of the HMS community. Further details will be available soon. Addressing Harvard’s past is an important step in moving forward.

Performance management

Supervisors will be in touch with you within the next few weeks regarding performance appraisals. The process includes employee and supervisor statements entered into PeopleSoft, as well as a conversation with your supervisor, by the end of June. Recognizing that this has been a difficult and challenging year for all employees, HMS will not be using a rating system in the performance management process this year. I appreciate all the hard work Countway staff have displayed throughout the year.

New alcohol policy for indoor/outdoor events

There is a new alcohol policy for events. The opening team and I met with Ellen Adams from Room Scheduling and Molly Hudson from Campus Planning to go over Security, Custodial, and Facilities services needed for both indoor and outdoor events. In summary, events with alcohol need Security and RA bartending/licensing. A two-week minimum notice is required in order for all parties to prepare. We are seeing more departments wanting to use our library and garden for these kinds of events, so we need to follow protocol. For garden events, please reach out to Yasmina, and for indoor events, please reach out to Luciana. They can assist you with further details and the necessary paperwork needed to host these events.