Harvard Business School Moving to Remote Instruction Due to COVID-19

© Greg Hren for Harvard Business School

Harvard Business School (HBS) announced last week that it will transition to remote instruction and will restrict on-campus activities due to increasing COVID-19 positivity rates among its affiliates. HBS was the only one of Harvard University’s 12 degree-granting schools offering in-person instruction this semester.

This message came from outgoing HBS Dean Nitin Nohria and Executive Dean for Administration Angela Crispi, who wrote that they based this decision on various indicators, including five Business School affiliates testing positive the previous Monday, increasing to 24 by Saturday, and the number of Business School affiliates in quarantine rising from 14 to 114 during that same five-day span. They said, “We realize the transition represents a perhaps counterintuitive move, because we have stressed from the beginning – and continue to feel confident – that our classrooms, dining halls, and other on-campus spaces are not the locus of infection in our community. Indeed, as of today, we have no evidence of infection occurring as a result of contact or interaction in these locations.”

The two deans also cited rising cases of COVID-19 and increased hospitalizations in Massachusetts for their decision. They encouraged students to form self-contained social pods for the remainder of the semester and to engage with students outside their pods online. In addition, the deans suggested that MBA students get tested for the virus three times the following week. “We know this makes isolation and quarantine especially difficult: you feel fine. But these steps remain vital to limiting the spread of COVID on our campus. You can be fully asymptomatic and have a high viral load, meaning you are infectious to others,” they said.

For more information on HBS and COVID-19, visit the school’s Web site.

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