Harvard Medical School and Harvard University continue to prioritize, above all, the health and safety of our community. Following guidance from both the CDC and University leadership, HMS has adapted its campus policies in order to bolster our individual and collective health and safety. Information about our current COVID-19 and related policies and procedures is detailed below. Please also refer to the latest University-wide guidance and protocols on the Harvard COVID-19 Information webpage.

Thank you for doing your part to Keep HMS and Harvard Healthy.

At-a-Glance Information

  • Feeling Sick? Stay home, contact your care provider, and use Crimson Clear to report if you have symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have tested positive for COVID-19. Follow guidance from Harvard University Health Services (HUHS).
  • Testing, Exposure & Isolation: Members of the HMS Quad community who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they were exposed are encouraged to confirm their COVID status using a rapid antigen test. Report your positive test result via Crimson Clear and follow guidance from HUHS on testing, exposure, and isolation.
  • Masking: Masks and face coverings are optional in all indoor and outdoor spaces on the HMS, Longwood, and Harvard campuses. Individuals who feel the need to wear a mask for their own protection, or to protect someone close to them, should do so.
    • Please note: The Program in Medical Education continues to require masks in the classroom spaces of the TMEC, including in the learning studios, the amphitheater, and tutorial rooms, given the proximity of students in those settings, the length of time students are interacting in close proximity, and, very importantly, medical and dental students interact with patients both in clinical sessions in TMEC and in the hospitals and clinical sites, where masks are also required.
  • Verifying Vaccination and Boosters: The University is requiring COVID-19 vaccinations for all Harvard community members and COVID-19 boosters for all students. Boosters are strongly encouraged for all faculty, staff, and researchers. See below or click here for additional information on vaccines and boosters, including guidance on how to verify your vaccine and booster.
  • Monitoring Monkeypox: HUHS is monitoring the rise in monkeypox cases, which prompted the World Health Organization and U.S. government to issue health emergency declarations. Click here for additional information from HUHS and read more about the illness on the CDC’s monkeypox webpage and Mass General Brigham’s monkeypox FAQs. Students and other HUHS patients seeking vaccine referral or evaluation for suspected monkeypox infection or exposure should contact HUHS at 617-495-5711 for phone assessment and instructions.

Updated Oct. 12, 2022

Testing & Exposure

Harvard no longer requires surveillance testing for COVID-19, however all individuals with an on-campus presence are encouraged to test before/after travel and when there is increased risk or suspicion about COVID-19 infection. Please note that students who live on campus in Vanderbilt Hall are required to take a rapid antigen test, which is available in Vanderbilt Hall, upon arrival/move-in.

Rapid antigen at-home test kits are readily available at your local pharmacies and through your insurance and provide results in minutes. All Harvard community members are encouraged to obtain antigen test kits and have them accessible in the event that you might need to test. Click here and scroll down for more information about rapid antigen testing.

Members of the HMS Quad community who exhibit symptoms of COVID-19 or believe they were exposed are encouraged to confirm their COVID status using a rapid antigen test. Report your test results with Crimson Clear and follow guidance from HUHS on testing, exposure, and isolation.

PCR testing through Color is no longer available through Harvard, as of Sept. 16, 2022. Individuals will not be able to activate PCR test kits, and will receive an error message noting they are “ineligible” for testing at this time. To find PCR testing options in your vicinity, visit the Massachusetts Find a COVID-19 Test website.

Vaccination and Booster Requirements

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 help protect our community from severe illness, hospitalizations, and enable in-person learning, research, and other activities that are critical to the University’s teaching and learning mission.

Harvard requires all students to be up-to-date on their COVID-19 vaccinations, including the bivalent Omicron-specific COVID-19 booster. Students who are not up-to-date on their COVID vaccine or other required vaccinations will have a hold placed on their enrollment. For Harvard paid-employees, Harvard highly recommends being up-to-date with your COVID vaccinations per CDC definition. Harvard will continue to require and monitor compliance with primary series vaccinations. Documentation can be uploaded via the HUHS Patient Portal.

Click here for information about scheduling a COVID vaccine. Individuals should also visit HUHS for guidance on how to verify their vaccine and booster. For additional details on the vaccination policy, visit HUHS’ vaccine requirement FAQs page.

Travel

Harvard is committed to facilitating travel, which is critical to many of our academic and professional pursuits, under safe conditions. Although health conditions have improved in the U.S. and in many locations around the world, travel still poses risks, and individuals should take appropriate precautions before deciding to travel domestically or internationally.

If you’re planning Harvard-related travel, do your research to determine your requirements, have contingency plans, and be prepared for the possibility of disruptions. Increased transmission, the emergence of new variants, and implementation of border restrictions on short notice may continue to affect your travels.

Click here to review the University’s COVID-19 travel requirements and resources. Please note that the guidance on this webpage applies to Harvard-related travel. It does not apply to personal travel or to affiliates traveling inbound to the Cambridge/Boston area for approved work or for moving into or out of on-campus housing.

HMS Flexwork Initiative

The HMS community has successfully adapted to and identified a continued desire for flexibility in where and how we work. Visit the HMS Flexwork Initiative webpage for more information, including why HMS is committed to flexwork, how HMS defines flexwork, resources for staff and for managers/leaders, and answers to frequently asked questions.