Skip to content

An update on COVID-19 and Monkeypox – Fall 2022

Vaccinations and Boosters

Vaccines and boosters continue to be the best defense against severe illness from COVID-19. Please make sure you are up to date on all vaccinations required by Harvard. You can find information about how to submit required documentation on the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) website here.

Masking on Campus

Masking continues to be optional on Harvard’s campus with a few exceptions, including health care settings and labs. Please continue to carry a mask with you to ensure you have one available when needed. Anyone who prefers to continue wearing a mask indoors should do so, and such personal health decisions should be supported and respected by every member of our community.

COVID-19 Testing for the Fall Semester

The University will discontinue the Color PCR testing program on Friday, September 16. For those who wish to continue testing regularly or to test because they have developed potential symptoms, eight free antigen tests per month are available through private health insurance. Students who receive their health insurance through the University can click here for instructions on securing tests. (If you have a different health plan, check with your insurance carrier). In addition, all U.S. residents can secure free tests via the United States Postal Service. External PCR testing remains available at local pharmacies and health care centers for those who wish to access a PCR test after mid-September. 

Testing Positive and Isolating to Protect the Community

If you test positive for COVID-19, please report your result through Crimson Clear. You will receive an automatic email to your Harvard email address with details about how and when to isolate, how to manage symptoms, and how to notify your close contacts. You can find more information about testing, exposure, isolation, and quarantine procedures on the HUHS website here. In brief, if you test positive, you should expect to isolate for a minimum of five days. More specifically:

  • After you receive your positive test result, it’s incredibly important to minimize your movement and exposure to others by returning or staying home and wearing a well-fitting mask at all times when in the presence of others.
  • If you have no symptoms or your symptoms are resolving and you have been fever-free for more than 24 hours, HUHS may discharge you from isolation on day 6. For the continued safety of the community, you must wear a mask at all times on campus until day 11.
  • If on day 5 or later you are still experiencing significant respiratory symptoms, you continue to have a fever, or any other symptoms have not improved, then you must continue to isolate and inform HUHS.

Dining on Campus

Last year’s restrictions related to eating indoors or during meetings have been lifted, except for those community members who have tested positive for COVID-19, have completed their isolation period, and have returned to campus life, but who remain in their required five-day masking period.

Visitors on Campus

Invited visitors and guests are once again welcome to come to campus without restriction. As campus buildings will remain accessible via Harvard University ID card (HUID) only, you will need to make arrangements to meet visitors at the door to let them into our buildings. We anticipate making some exceptions to the secured doors for large, institutional events, but for the foreseeable future, our buildings will otherwise require HUID card access.

Additional Information

Should you have any questions or need additional information about the University’s COVID protocols, please visit the Keep Harvard Healthy website.  

Because epidemiological conditions may change over time, recommendations may change as well, so please be sure to keep up with University and Law School guidance. Thank you for doing your part to keep Harvard healthy.

Update on Monkeypox

As with its response to COVID-19, the University will continue to monitor the situation and implement health and safety measures to protect our community. Preparations are underway at the University to support any contact tracing and isolation efforts that may be needed at any point.

Again, please be sure to read about the University’s response to monkeypox in the message sent out by Dr. Nguyen. More information on the illness can be found on: