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Harvard Art Museums To Require Vaccination or Negative COVID Test

9.7.21

Quincy Street entrance of the Harvard Art Museums

The Harvard Art Museums

Photograph by Zak Jensen; © President and Fellows of Harvard College. Image courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums.


The Harvard Art Museums

Photograph by Zak Jensen; © President and Fellows of Harvard College. Image courtesy of the Harvard Art Museums.

Today the Harvard Art Museums announced a new public-safety policy, set to take effect September 28, which will require visitors to show proof of vaccination or documentation of a negative COVID-19 test in order to enter. (Already, visitors must wear masks and make advance reservations.) The change comes amid news of a surge of cases on campus: in an email to the Harvard community last Thursday, University Health Services director Giang T. Nguyen said that during the previous seven days Harvard had identified 94 new positive cases among students, faculty, and staff, despite a very high vaccination rate—95 percent of employees and 93 percent of students are fully vaccinated. The highly contagious Delta variant “continues to spread nationally and locally,” Nguyen wrote.

As a result, Harvard will raise the frequency of testing for those living in undergraduate housing from once a week to three times per week. The University also extended its indoor mask mandate to include strength and conditioning facilities. Both Boston and Cambridge have recently reinstated their indoor mask mandates as well. And Crimson Jam, the annual concert and block party organized by the College Events Board, originally scheduled for this week, has been indefinitely postponed.

In the museums’ announcement of the heightened safety policy, which applies to visitors 12 and older, Cabot director Martha Tedeschi said museum officials are “keeping an eye on the evolving public health crisis” and would “continue to implement a multi-layered approach to public health measures.” The Museums are one of the few places on campus now open to the public.

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