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October 6, 2021

This message is a continuation of our series intended to help clarify the processes surrounding COVID-related test results and other health-related procedures.

What happens if I am identified as a close contact?

For individuals who may have been exposed to a COVID-positive community member, a Harvard University Health Services contact tracer 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 until your quarantine is over, if applicable
  • Provide you with return to school clearance and instructions

For additional details, please see HUHS’s guidance “If you think you were exposed to COVID-19…”

If I am identified as a close contact, am I required to quarantine? If so, what support will be provided?

 Close contacts who are identified by health officials as fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and symptom-free will not be required to quarantine. Close contacts who do not meet these requirements will need to quarantine. In both instances, close contacts may require additional testing, as directed by HUHS.

If you are required to quarantine, HUHS will conduct health and wellness checks and the HLS Dean of Students Office will provide additional support, including working with you and your faculty members to secure recordings of missed classes. Dorm residents will also be contacted regarding support for the quarantine period. For more information on quarantine procedures and the support services available, please consult the Quarantine and Isolation pages on Harvard University’s COVID-19 website.

Will I be notified if a classmate, fellow dorm resident, faculty member or other instructor tests positive for COVID-19?

If an individual tests positive for COVID-19, HUHS will begin contact tracing and notify close contacts within the Harvard community. You will not be notified of a positive case unless you are found to have been a close contact. If an instructor tests positive, all students in the class will be notified of any changes to course meetings or teaching plans.