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This message is the first in a series of five messages that are intended to help clarify the processes surrounding COVID-related test results and what you can expect.

Message 1: What happens if I get a positive COVID test result through the University’s Color system?

  • If you took a COVID test through the University’s Color system and a positive result is detected, Color will notify you, HUHS, and the Law School.
  • HUHS will reach out to talk with you about your health situation, provide instructions, and begin its contact tracing efforts. HUHS will also reach out to all those deemed to be close contacts, and will conduct health and wellness checks throughout your isolation period.
  • An HLS staff member will be in touch to discuss specifics for supporting you during your isolation period.
    • If you are on campus, we will talk to you about relocation if needed, and we will help with food and supplies.
    • If you are off campus and would benefit from a supply package (medicines, cleaning supplies, etc.), we can have one sent to your local address.
    • If you are feeling well, you should request audio recordings of your classes via the HLS Services Hub (if you are not feeling well enough to make those entries, DOS will arrange for audio recordings on your behalf).
    • You will also be responsible for notifying your professors of your absence period—DOS will provide language so that you do not need to craft a specific message for each class.

We do not recommend testing outside of the University’s Color system, unless necessary; however, if you do get a positive test from anything other than the Color system, go to Crimson Clear to report your test result and await further instruction from HUHS contact tracers.  If you receive an email from Crimson Clear indicating that you are not authorized to access Harvard facilities, let DOS know right away while you await a call from HUHS.

The next message will cover what to do if you are feeling ill.  The third message will describe what to do and how we help if you are a close contact being monitored or a close contact required to quarantine. The fourth message will be about what happens if your faculty member tests positive. Finally, we will recap the latest guidance and recommendations from HUHS to help keep you and the community healthy.


Jessica Soban
Dean for Student Services