Harvard officials today notified students and staff that the school will require them to show proof of a Covid-19 booster for the spring semester.
However, unlike other schools, which began announcing booster requirements, Harvard did not set a specific deadline for the shots, but said it would do so in early January. In the meantime, though, President Lawrence Bacow and other officials urged students and staff who are eligible for boosters to get them as soon as possible, not for the school's sake, but for their own protection.
In their e-mail, the officials added:
Our preliminary analysis indicates the Omicron variant is likely already present in COVID-19 cases we are seeing on campus. Individuals are not routinely notified of their variant status because public health guidelines are the same regardless of the variant involved.
Knowing that the Omicron variant is likely present among our community members should inform your behavior. It is critical that you take steps to reduce your risk of contracting and transmitting COVID-19 by masking, minimizing contact, distancing, and testing.
Boston public-health officials just yesterday announced the first confirmed cases of the omicron variant in Boston residents.
Because the pandemic continues to exist, Harvard added it will be extending its Covid-19-related work rules through April 1. Among other things, these let workers go over their allotted sick-leave time by up to 14 days - and 10 days of "dependent well care" to care for children or other dependents whose schooling or care have been disrupted due to the pandemic.
Area colleges showing rise in Covid-19 cases, although still at levels below surrounding communities.