Policies and Procedures

Masking

Masking on campus is now optional in most indoor spaces on Harvard’s campus. Masks will continue to be required in certain settings, such as healthcare facilities. Anyone completing isolation or quarantine should continue to wear masks for the full 10 days, according to existing protocols. Because anyone may unexpectedly need to enter a space where masks are still required, it is also advisable to carry a mask at all times.

All instructors have the option of teaching without a mask, regardless of room size. In keeping with University policy, the FAS has granted instructors discretion to require masking in their classrooms. For all students, masks will be optional in the classroom unless they are required by the instructor. Students are expected to comply if asked by their instructors to mask in the classroom.

If you feel the need to continue wearing a mask for your own protection, or the protection of someone close to you, you should do so. Wearing a high-quality mask that fits securely over the face without air gaps is an effective way to reduce your own risk. Visit the University’s COVID-19 website for more information on masking.

Testing

Guided by public health officials and experts, Harvard is no longer requiring routine testing for COVID-19. However, all affiliates have the option of testing if they wish, by taking a self-administered test and submitting it via Color. Anyone with symptoms or known exposure should also continue to test and follow HUHS  guidance. The University’s testing plan is subject to modification based on community risk and the broader public health environment.

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.

If you live on campus, you will stay in your room or temporary space for the duration of your isolation period. Details about the residential isolation model are available here.

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:

  • Provide you with detailed instructions on isolation
  • Offer you contact information for phone and email to answer any questions you may have
  • Check in with you during isolation
  • Clear you to return to campus at the conclusion of your isolation

Isolation usually lasts 5 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

Once you test positive for COVID-19, you must identify and notify close contacts as soon as possible. With your help, your close contacts can be made aware of their exposure so they can take steps to test, mask, monitor for symptoms, and quarantine if applicable.

Think back to your infectious period: This is considered the 48 hours prior to your test kit activation date. A close contact is someone who was within 6 feet of you indoors for 15 minutes or more during a 24-hour period. If they do not meet all these criteria, they are not considered a close contact, and you do not need to notify them. If they do meet all the criteria, they are a close contact, and you should notify them of their exposure.

Close contacts should review the exposure guidance and quarantine requirements and follow the applicable guidance to help decrease the risk of spreading COVID-19. Specifically:

Individuals who are fully vaccinated and boosted will not be required to quarantine provided they have submitted proof of vaccination and booster to HUHS and are not experiencing symptoms.

Individuals who have not received their booster shot must now quarantine for 5 days when they are exposed.

If you are unvaccinated and receive a notification to quarantine, it’s incredibly important to minimize your movement and exposure to others. HUHS will notify you about your quarantine requirements and your ability to self-quarantine.

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.

HUHS contact tracers are an available resource to close contacts to:

  • Educate, support, and identify close contacts’ needs and barriers to self-quarantine, if applicable
  • Connect and refer close contacts to additional resources
  • Refer close contacts to additional testing as appropriate
  • Provide close contacts with return to work/school clearance and instructions (only if requested)