Updated: 4/2/20, 2:30pm

HUHS OPERATIONS AND HOURS

HUHS has temporarily shifted its operating model to focus our resources on supporting those patients who need us most, minimize the spread of COVID-19, and reduce the density of patients in our waiting rooms . 

Until further notice, our department hours have changed and we have implemented screening procedures for all visitors to HUHS. If you do not have a scheduled appointment, we ask that you please call ahead before presenting to HUHS in person. Read on for more information.

When possible, please visit HUHS alone so that we can reduce the density of people in our clinics. When you come for your appointment at HUHS, please come in through the first floor entrance. You will be met by a screener who will:

  • ask you some questions
  • take your temperature
  • give you a mask to wear

You will then be directed to the third floor where you will be seen by a clinician.

We are asking all visitors to exit HUHS through the basement, where there are automatic doors, and therefore lessens the need for you to touch surfaces. 

If you are disabled, and entering HUHS through the basement, please press the buzzer located at the basement entrance to be buzzed in. Please visit the first floor before going to the third floor in order to be screened. 

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Yes. In-person urgent care remains available, 8:00am – 6:00pm, 7 days a week, at Smith Campus Center. Please call HUHS at (617) 495-5711 for guidance BEFORE your visit. 

For assistance between 6:00 pm – 8:00 am, 7 days a week, please call our nurse advice line at (617) 495-5711

Yes. Both Behavioral Health (BH) and Counseling and Mental Health Services (CAMHS) remain available and continue to provide support to patients by telephone. In the upcoming weeks, both BH and CAMHS will offer video therapy options for patients. 

For information about how to book an appointment or get more details about your appointments, visit the Behavioral Health website or the CAMHS website

All scheduled non-urgent appointments and procedures will be deferred or shifted to a virtual appointment for the duration of the Stay-at-Home Advisory in Massachusetts. HUHS will contact you regarding any modifications to upcoming appointments. 

Please note, if you are scheduled for a telephone appointment, please answer calls from "blocked" numbers.

All urgent and essential appointments will remain as scheduled, however, if you are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, please call HUHS at (617) 495-5711 before your visit. For your safety and the safety of others, please do not come to HUHS unless you have been instructed to do so. As always, if you are experiencing a medical emergency please continue to call 911 or go to your closest Emergency Department.

 


CORONAVIRUS DISEASE (COVID-19) QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS

A: Current symptoms reported for patients with COVID-19 have included mild to severe respiratory illness with fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. 

A: This virus probably originally emerged from an animal source but now seems to be spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so. It’s not clear yet how easily COVID-19 spreads from person-to-person. More information about the source and spread of COVID-19 is available on the CDC's Situation Summary: Source and Spread of the Virus.

A: If you're not sure whether or not you need to self-isolate, review this guidanceThis is for people with no fever or respiratory systems and are not healthcare workers. 

A: Currently, there is no vaccine available to protect against COVID-19.

A: There is no specific antiviral treatment recommended for COVID-19 infection. People infected with COVID-19 should receive supportive care to help relieve symptoms.

Learn about COVID-19 Treatment.

A: Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), Environmental Health and Safety (EHS), Global Support Services (GSS), Harvard International Office (HIO), and leadership from across the university are meeting regularly to review the evolving situation and current recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization (WHO). We are closely monitoring the situation, relying upon the CDC and WHO to guide our screening and response protocols, and are taking measures to protect the health and well-being of our campus community. We will continue to provide updates to the Harvard community through the Harvard coronavirus page as we learn more. We would also like to remind the community to practice good hygiene and follow simple measures to lower your risk of getting sick. 

A: It is important for you to practice social distancing, careful hand-washing, and take care of your overall health. 

A: Harvard is following CDC and WHO guidelines on all screening and response protocols. These evidence-based protocols are the national and international standard.

While screening protocols based on these guidelines are in place at airports across the world to identify those who are ill and prevent them from traveling, guidelines from the CDC and WHO do not include screening the general public, or restricting travel within the United States. 

All Harvard affiliates that have arrived or returned to campus from any CDC Level 3 location please complete this health form so that Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) can provide you with assistance and advice if necessary.

If the CDC and WHO issue new guidelines related to coronavirus, HUHS will adjust clinical protocols accordingly. 

A: Symptoms may include fever, cough, and difficulty breathing. If you have these symptoms and traveled to any CDC Level 3 location, please complete this health form. In addition, if you have had close contact with someone showing these symptoms who recently traveled to CDC Level 3 location, it is important to seek advice from a health care provider. 

Anyone with flu-like symptoms should call HUHS at 617-495-5711 (24/7) for advice. Please let us know if you recently traveled. We will help you determine whether to get assessment or treatment. Other Harvard community members who do not receive their care at HUHS should contact their Primary Care Provider.

A: If someone you know has flu-like symptoms, you can encourage them to consult with HUHS by calling 617-495-5711 (24/7).

We also advise taking many of the same precautions recommended when protecting oneself against the flu. 

 A: Masks are only recommended for those with symptoms (fever, cough, shortness of breath, runny nose), to reduce the spread to others. The evidence regarding using masks for prevention is mixed. The CDC and leading public health authorities are not currently recommending masks for prevention of this virus. We understand that many individuals are concerned about exposures outside of HUHS. Again, the best prevention that we know of is good personal hygiene habits

Many of us may see individuals moving about campus with face masks. While HUHS is currently not recommending widespread use of masks for asymptomatic people outside the clinical setting, we should remember that it is a social norm in many countries to wear a face mask during cold and flu season, and in situations where air quality is of concern. Please know that the wearing of a mask by any member of the community is not a signal of infectiousness nor an invitation for stigmatization. We strongly encourage everyone in the Harvard community to help to reinforce this sentiment.

  • Make your attendees aware of simple measures that will help to lower risk and prevent spread of any virus
  • Provide easy access to handwashing facilities
  • Ensure alcohol-based sanitizers are readily available to all participants

Alongside these prevention measures, remind attendees of the symptoms of coronavirus, which include cough, fever and difficulty breathing, and a travel history to any CDC Level 3 location. 

Should anyone have symptoms, we strongly recommend they seek medical advice. While your conference participants are unlikely to have access to our services here at HUHS (if they are not a formal member of the Harvard community with a Harvard ID) they can still call us at 617-495-5711 for advice whether to pursue medical care related to the coronavirus. If we do receive a call from somebody with symptoms and a recent travel history to a CDC Level 3 location, we will suggest that they seek sevices and will help them navigate where to go. 

A: At this time, diagnostic testing for COVID-19 can be conducted only through the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and the CDC. At this time, HUHS is not providing testing, independent of these agencies. Your healthcare provider will work with these agencies to gather laboratory specimens that will be sent for possible testing.

A: Because of poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely very low risk of spread from products or packaging that are shipped over a period of days or weeks at ambient temperatures. Coronaviruses are generally thought to be spread most often by respiratory droplets. 

If you've read through the Q&A above and you still have questions, please be sure to contact us at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu.  


Visit https://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus for more information about COVID-19 at Harvard. The site is regularly updated and serves as a centralized location for information, guidance, and resources on coronavirus for the Harvard community.

Visit https://www.harvard.edu/coronavirus/communication-resources to acess communication resources. Harvard encourages the use and distribution of these communication resources, including fact sheets and posters