Policies and Procedures

Indoor Masking

Indoors, everyone is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination status. All community members should carry a mask when coming to campus in case it becomes necessary to wear it.

Outdoors, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask outdoors if they cannot maintain distance from others. Individuals may also choose to wear a mask in settings where masks are not required. For detailed mask guidance, read the FAS Mask Policy.

Regular Testing

COVID-19 testing is a key part of the University’s efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus, limit further mutation of the virus, and ensure our safety measures are working. All community members with an on-campus presence, even if infrequent, are required to maintain their assigned testing cadence. Testing cadences are determined by several factors, including your vaccination status, whether you live on or off campus, and infection rates in the local community. Additional information can be found below:

Crimson Clear

Crimson Clear is used to communicate an individual’s testing cadence and to confirm that vaccination information has been received. Crimson Clear should also be used to report when you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, have a recent exposure to a positive case, or test positive outside of Harvard’s testing program. When you do so, HUHS can follow up to provide you with health guidance.

Isolation after a Positive Test

If you test positive for COVID-19, HUHS will contact you by phone to discuss your isolation requirements and determine your ability to self-isolate. In the time between receiving your positive test result and moving into isolation, it’s incredibly important to minimize your movement and exposure to others.

If you’re moving into isolation housing, you’ll have time to gather the belongings you’ll need for the duration of isolation and bring them to your assigned room, adhering to HUHS’ protocols for a safe move.

If you live off campus, do not come to campus for any reason. If you receive a positive result while you are on campus for the day, you should gather your belongings and go home immediately. You should inform anyone with a need to know (e.g. supervisor).

HUHS will:

  • Conduct an in-depth interview (typically 20-30 minutes)
  • Educate, support, and identify your needs and barriers to self-isolation
  • Connect and refer you to additional resources
  • Ensure your confidentiality
  • Identify your close contacts during your potentially infectious time period; this may include proximal contacts as well as close contacts
  • Check in with you regularly until your isolation is over
  • Provide you with return to work/school clearance and instructions

Isolation usually lasts 10 days but might be longer depending on the specifics of your case. At the end of your isolation period, HUHS will notify you and your School/Unit representative of your release date and time. You will be exempted from campus testing protocols for approximately 90 days, and your contact tracer will inform you of the date you should take your next test.

To reach the contract tracing team, please call 617-496-2288 or email Contact_Tracing_Questions@huhs.harvard.edu.

Contract Tracing for Close Contacts

HUHS has established processes for case investigation and contact tracing. If an individual tests positive, HUHS will begin contact tracing for the greater Harvard community. Anyone with known exposure to a positive case will be expected to work with our contact tracing team.

For individuals who may have been exposed to a COVID-positive community member, HUHS will:

  • Notify you of your exposure
  • Maintain confidentiality for the infected person
  • Educate, support, and identify your needs and barriers to self-quarantine, if applicable
  • Connect and refer you to additional resources
  • Refer you to additional testing as appropriate
  • Check in with you regularly until your quarantine is over, if applicable
  • Provide you with return to work/school clearance and instructions

Fully vaccinated individuals will receive an email and will not need to quarantine provided they are not experiencing symptoms, and they have submitted a copy of their vaccine record to HUHS. Individuals who are not fully vaccinated or who do not have vaccination documentation on file with HUHS will receive a call and will be required to quarantine and may need additional testing, as these individuals may also be infected. Individuals who are experiencing symptoms following an exposure, or are not fully vaccinated, will be required to quarantine or restrict activities for 10 full days (or a time frame determined by contact tracers) and will require additional testing prior to discharge.

In the case of an individual who tests positive and has recently attended class, HUHS will not reach out to the entire class. It is highly unlikely that an entire class would be considered a close contact.