Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance for HSCRB

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and Harvard

In March, the University took preventive measures to limit the number of people interacting, including those in research laboratories. HSCRB labs have been in hibernation mode since then, with only the most essential functions being maintained by designated individuals. In May, the University announced its research laboratory re-entry plan. The department has been working with others across the School and University to prepare for re-entry in fidelity with federal, state, local and University policy and requirements.

Page last updated on Friday, June 5, 2020. We will update this page with new information as it becomes available.

This page provides information relevant to the operations of Harvard’s department of Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology (HSCRB). Please refer to the University’s dedicated coronavirus website for current, reliable information about how the university is working to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Please consider both your own health and safety and that of others in the community, some of whom may be particularly vulnerable to the virus due to immune system compromise or other conditions. This virus affects people differently; you may not always be aware of how it will impact those around you.

Governor Baker’s executive order requires everyone to wear face masks or cloth face coverings in public places where social distancing is not possible. This applies to both indoor and outdoor spaces.

We encourage everyone to review Harvard’s guidance about both international and domestic travel.

If you have a dual role at other Harvard schools,  institutes, or teaching hospitals, we ask that you follow their policies and guidelines if they are more restrictive.

Coronavirus Exposure

Patients with confirmed coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) have experienced symptoms that appear 2-14 days after exposure. If you develop a fever, cough, and difficulty breathing, call your healthcare provider for medical advice. Call them before you arrive at their practice so they are prepared and can help you take steps to prevent the spread of the virus.

If you are concerned that you may have been exposed to coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) and are unsure whether you should self-isolate/quarantine, refer to HUHS guidance. Email health services if you have symptoms or need further advice.

If you have been tested for COVID-19, contact health services even if you do not usually get medical care at HUHS. This will help in assessing the impact of the disease our community.

Research

In March, the University took preventive measures to limit the number of people interacting, including those in research laboratories. HSCRB labs have been in hibernation mode since then, with only the most essential functions being maintained by designated individuals.

On May 14, the University announced its research laboratory re-entry plan. The department has been working with others across the School and University to prepare for re-entry in fidelity with federal, state, local and University policy and requirements.

On May 20, divisional and department leadership met to review proposed lab re-entry plans, and either gave provisional approval or requested revision.

Cleaning Supplies

Harvard Facilities has made cleaning supplies (i.e. disinfectant wipes, surface cleaner spray bottle, paper towels, and a bottle of hand sanitizer) available to building occupants in building common areas. You should find a cleaning kit with these items in conference rooms and near kitchenettes.

Additionally, there are paper towels/Kimtech wipes and trash cans located next to elevators and entryways/exits. You can seek additional paper towels/Kimtech wipes and trash cans from facilities to put near high use areas of the lab or equipment.

Labs are responsible for supplying their own cleaning supplies. The department has placed several large orders to help individual labs, but as the supply chain has made it difficult to acquire these products, we encourage labs to be prepared with supplies needed to decontaminate lab space, especially shared pieces of equipment or shared lab workstations as outlined in their ALRP (e.g. 70% ethanol, 6% bleach, spray bottles with disinfectant, wet wipes, hand sanitizer etc.). Special cleaning supplies for equipment are to be provided by the lab.

Laboratory Operations

Harvard will be permitting a resumption of some university activities including laboratory research. During the ramp-up phases, the university will begin with significantly reduced numbers of people on campus. All labs and cores are to remain at low density (~25% occupancy) for the first phase. The information below focuses on our research community’s planning to restart in the laboratories throughout 2020.

We understand the service interruptions during the pandemic have created many difficulties for many members of our research community and appreciate your patience and understanding while we work to support our HSCRB research community.

HSCRB Laboratory Operations has resumed activity in the following areas:

Parking for Mission-Critical Staff

For designated essential personnel, emergency parking is free through July 31 at the 52 Oxford Street Garage, SEAS Lot, William James Lot, and other locations.

Full details are on the Harvard Transportation and Parking site. Contact Joe Vaughan if you have issues accessing parking.

Flexible Working

HSCRB managers and staff continue to work remotely. If you have not been included as a returning staff member on an Approved Lab Re-entry Plan, you should not visit the buildings.

Students

Harvard University will be open for fall 2020, and specific details are in the process of being planned. Learn more about FAS fall 2020 planning here.

See the University’s learn remotely and teach remotely pages for guidance.

Our department Chairs are dedicated to supporting our community and will be working closely with the Administration Team to help and support community members throughout the course of implementing changes. HSCRB faculty recognize the challenges of this uncertainty, and we are all committed to supporting our students during this unprecedented and stressful situation.

Remote Teaching

Some aspects of in-person teaching may translate more easily to a remote classroom than others.

Questions and Feedback

The FAS Division of Science welcomes all members of our community to submit questions through this dedicated website, and will endeavor to reply within a day.

If you have questions, concerns, or feedback specific to HSCRB, please email hscrb-comms@harvard.edu. Your message will be received by a small group of people so that you can receive a reply as quickly as possible.

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