Dear Harvard College Students,
I hope that you are doing okay despite the unsettling events of the past week.
As our University leaders highlighted in their message earlier today, a surge in COVID-19 cases has led to high numbers here in Massachusetts and across the United States. We are closely monitoring conditions, and as of now we intend to move forward with the residential plans for Spring 2021 as announced on December 1, 2020.
We remain committed to protecting the public health and safety of our community and ensuring academic continuity for all of our students, and we will continue to evaluate our protocols and plans to ensure they are aligned with the latest public health guidance. We will also continue to monitor state and local public health guidance and consider how this guidance might impact travel plans, arrival protocols, and other aspects of campus residential life. While we were at a 25% residential density in the fall, we expect only a modest increase in the spring to about 30% residential density. We ask all students to carefully read and adhere to the required public health protocols. Wherever you are, thank you for adhering to public health measures such as wearing masks, following physical-distancing recommendations, and washing your hands. If you have questions about COVID-19 data on campus, you can visit the Harvard University dashboard.
I know that the changing circumstances related to the pandemic are creating uncertainty and anxiety at an already difficult time. However, we must be responsive to the latest public health guidance and adapt if needed. If conditions change, we will be in touch directly with students who are moving back to campus or who are already living on campus. In addition to communicating by email, we will post updates on the College's Our Path Forward webpage. Information on move-in logistics can be found on the DSO website.
I recognize this time has not been easy for anyone. I appreciate the forbearance our community has shown in adapting to the evolving global health emergency challenges. It has been clear to me throughout the pandemic that our community members care deeply about each other, and I hope we can continue to support each other in the months ahead.
Danoff Dean of Harvard College