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COVID-19 Policies & Protocols Fall 2022

Harvard Law School is excited to welcome members of the HLS community to the 2022-2023 academic year. As has been the case throughout the pandemic, the health and safety of our community is paramount. With this in mind, Harvard University has developed a set of policies and protocols for the Fall 2022 Term, informed by the guidance of medical officials, and federal, state, and local public health experts. Please see details below.  

For more information, please visit the Harvard COVID-19 Information website.  

Vaccination 

Vaccines and boosters are the best defense against severe illness from COVID-19 and are critical components of the University’s multi-layered health and safety measures. Staying up to date with current COVID-19 vaccinations helps protect our community from severe illness and hospitalizations and enables in-person learning, research, and other activities. 

Vaccination Requirement 

Harvard University requires members of the Harvard community to be up-to-date on their COVID vaccinations per  CDC definition. Instructions on how to submit vaccine documentation can be found on this page of Harvard’s COVID-19 website

Students who are not up-to-date on their COVID vaccine, or other required vaccinations, will have a hold placed on their enrollment.  

For our international students: all vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization or U.S. Food and Drug Administration will meet the University’s vaccine requirements.  

For more information on the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, please see Harvard University Health Services’ COVID-19 Vaccine Requirement FAQs

Vaccination Appointments 

Harvard University Health Services continues to offer COVID-19 vaccine appointments and booster clinics. Please log into the Patient Portal to see specific dates and times, and to make an appointment. For more information on HUHS’s upcoming vaccine/booster clinics, please visit the vaccine clinic calendar.  

Reporting Your Vaccination Status 

If you received your vaccination and/or booster through Harvard University Health Services, you do not need to submit any information, as HUHS already has your information on file. 

If you received your vaccination and/or booster through an external site, please submit your vaccination documentation as soon as possible by uploading a photo of your vaccination card via the HUHS Patient Portal

You do not need to be a patient of HUHS to do this. 

For more information on how to submit your verification, please visit Verify Your Vaccination webpage. 

Vaccination Exemptions 

Members of the Harvard community can claim exemptions to the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Students claiming an exemption should complete the Student Vaccine Exemption Form (pdf). Faculty, staff, and researchers wishing to note an exemption to the vaccine requirement can do so through Crimson Clear, which you can access from the Verify Your Vaccination webpage.  

Masking on Campus

Masking is now optional in most indoor spaces on Harvard University’s premises. There are a few circumstances, however, where face coverings are required, including: 

  • In Harvard University Health Services facilities. 
  • In research labs.
  • Any persons that begin exhibiting undiagnosed symptoms of COVID-19 must mask and be tested for COVID-19. They should continue to mask and limit contact with others while awaiting test results. See Testing section below for more information on testing. 
  • In accordance with Harvard University exposure, quarantine, and isolation protocols, individuals who are completing isolation or quarantine should continue to wear masks when indoors for the full 10 days following their positive test or close contact. 

Harvard University community members are encouraged to carry an acceptable face covering with them at all times for situations in which masking may be required. 

Anyone who prefers to wear a mask in any location throughout campus should feel free to do so, and such personal health decisions should be supported and respected by every member of our community. 

Testing 

Antigen testing provides a fast, convenient, and reliable way to determine if symptoms you are experiencing are the result of COVID or to determine your health status if you are concerned about an exposure. Eight free COVID tests per month are available through private health insurance. If you are insured through the Harvard University Student Health Program, you can obtain free rapid home tests through Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. Click here for instructions on securing your tests, so that you will always have a steady supply. (If you have a different health plan, check with your insurance carrier). Additionally, all U.S. residents can secure free tests via the United States Postal Service

Please note that Harvard University no longer requires regular surveillance testing, and that the University’s Color PCR testing program will be discontinued on Friday, September 16. Eligible individuals are welcome—but not required—to use this option until the program ends. More information on COVID-19 testing is located on this page. Additionally, external PCR testing remains available at local pharmacies and health care centers for those who wish to access a PCR test after mid-September. Anyone with symptoms or a known exposure should continue to test. 

Testing Positive, Isolation, and HUHS Support 

If you test positive via an antigen or external test, please report your result using Crimson Clear. You will receive an automatic email to your Harvard email address with details about how and when to isolate, symptom management, how to notify your close contacts, and recommendations for reaching out if you need academic support. Additional guidance will be provided to those living in HLS residence halls. 

Symptoms and Exposure 

Stay home if you feel unwell 

If you are feeling sick: 

  • Stay home unless you must go out 
  • Contact your care provider 
  • Wear a mask in the presence of other people 
  • Take a COVID-19 test 
  • Give your body a chance to rest 

Report positive tests through Crimson Clear 

Anyone who has been exposed to the coronavirus or has tested positive must complete a Self Assessment through Crimson Clear, which will initiate a consultation with Harvard University Health Services. Please wait for guidance from HUHS before returning to campus activity. 

Isolate after a positive rest result 

If you test positive: 

  • It is critical that you follow public health guidance and that you minimize your movement and exposure to others. If you are off campus, do not come to campus for any reason. If you receive a positive result while you are on campus, go home immediately. 
  • Report your positive test result through Crimson Clear, which will initiate a consultation with Harvard University Health Services. Please wait for guidance from HUHS before returning to campus activity. 
  • Infected individuals with no symptoms, or resolving symptoms and no fever, may end strict isolation after 5 full days (isolation ending on day 6). You then need to wear a well-fitting mask for another 5 days. 
  • You should avoid travel during the full 10-day period. 
  • Individuals who test positive should identify and notify their close contacts. Email communication from HUHS following a positive test notification will provide guidance on notifying close contacts. 

What to do if you think you may be a close contact 

After a potential exposure to COVID-19, determine if you meet all 4 criteria of a close contact: 

  • Exposed to someone confirmed to be infected (either notified by an individual who tested positive via a PCR test, or a contact tracer told them to treat themselves as if they had a positive PCR test), and 
  • Interaction was indoors, and 
  • Interaction was close—less than 6 feet away, and 
  • Interaction lasted at least 15 minutes over a 24-hour period 

If you do not meet all four criteria, you are not considered a close contact. No further action is needed. You should continue to practice health and safety measures. 

If you do meet all four criteria, you are considered a close contact. Please do the following for the 10 days following your date of last exposure: 

  • Wear a mask around others for the 10 days following exposure. Harvard encourages the use of high-quality disposable masks, worn in a way that minimizes air gaps around the edges. A surgical-style mask or a cup-style protective mask such as a KN-95, layered under a form-fitting fabric mask, can ensure good filtration as well as an effective seal.  
  • Test on day one and day five following the exposure using an antigen or PCR test. 
  • Self-monitor for COVID symptoms. If you develop symptoms: isolate from others, get tested, and stay home while waiting for the test results. 
  • If negative, you may move about campus without restrictions (with mask around others). 
  • If positive, continue to isolate away from others and await next steps from contact tracing. If you test positive outside Harvard’s testing program, report your positive test through Crimson Clear

Visitors

Invited visitors and guests are welcome to come to campus. As campus buildings are accessible via Harvard University ID only, you will need to meet visitors at the door to let them into our buildings.

Supporting our community’s wellbeing while advancing Harvard’s academic enterprise has been made possible by the commitment of the entire community to the University’s adaptable, multi-layered health and safety measures. By continuing to follow best practices to stay healthy at the University, School, and individual levels, we can all play a role in keeping Harvard healthy.

Visit the Keep Harvard Healthy website