COVID-19 Testing During January Term

December 29, 2021

Dear Harvard Law School Students,

I am writing to follow up on the emails you received from the University and HLS earlier in the break about online learning during January Term, and to provide additional information about testing during that period.

While we expect that the vast majority of our community will not be on campus again until the beginning of the spring semester, the University’s COVID-19 testing system will continue to be available to members of the HLS community throughout the remainder of winter break and all of January Term (with the exception of December 31 and January 1). Anyone accessing campus (including dorm residents who have been approved for dorm access) during the remote period, must comply with regular testing requirements for any week in which they plan to spend any time on campus. Other community members are permitted to come to campus briefly to pick up and drop off test kits. Anyone receiving a positive result from a test taken outside the Harvard system (e.g. an at-home rapid antigen test or a PCR from another lab or clinic) must report it through Crimson Clear. Please carefully read the additional details below.

Who must continue to test during January Term?

Anyone accessing campus (including dorm residents who have been approved for dorm access) must continue to test at their regular cadence, which is currently once per week. However, the frequency of testing is subject to change as the public health situation evolves, so everyone authorized to be on campus should monitor their email closely in the days and weeks ahead for updates.

Beyond those accessing campus, who else is allowed to test?

In short, every member of the HLS community is allowed to test. While those authorized to be on campus must continue to test, every member of our community may choose to continue to test. That is, any student is permitted to come to campus briefly for the sole purpose of picking up and dropping off test kits.

Will individuals not required to test continue to receive Color notifications?

Yes. Everyone will continue to receive Color notification reminders. Anyone not authorized to be on campus and therefore not required to test may ignore them until returning to campus. Anyone accessing campus should follow the notifications as they have all year.

Where can I pick up and deposit COVID-19 test kits?

Similar to the fall, test kits and collection bins will continue to be available near the Hark South entrance, and an additional collection bin will be positioned at the back Langdell entrance (between Langdell and Areeda). During this remote period, individuals should not linger or congregate indoors while on campus for testing. Review a calendar with testing dates and locations.

When is testing available? What is the last daily drop-off time?

Tests will continue to be processed throughout the remainder of winter break and during all of January Term (with the exception of December 31 and January 1). The last drop-off time each day between today and January 2 is 10 am. Beginning January 2, final drop-off times will revert to the normal schedule of 3 pm on weekdays and 10 am on weekends and holidays (including Martin Luther King Jr. Day on January 17). Review a calendar with testing dates and locations.

What are expected turnaround times for test results?

Turnaround times are one to three days depending on lab capacity.

What happens if I test positive with a Color test?

If you receive a positive Color test result, you will be emailed by the Harvard University Health Services nurses with detailed instructions regarding your isolation period.  As guidance about isolation periods is evolving, you must strictly follow the instructions given to you by HUHS, which may differ from what you are reading in the news. 

What if I receive a positive test through a system other than Color?

Anyone who receives a positive test result through any system other than through Color (e.g. an at-home rapid antigen test or a PCR from another lab or clinic) must report the result through Crimson Clear. This is true of every member of the HLS community, no matter how far from campus they might be. This information will help the University track community cases and know who should be in the Color system when they return.

We hope this information is helpful. Thank you for your continued efforts to keep the Harvard Law School community healthy and safe.

Best,

Jessica Soban
Dean for Student Services