Important Information and Instructions for HMS Personnel
**Please note: Due to a large increase in samples received from Cambridge as a result of newly mandated 3x/week Undergraduate testing the HUCL lab has been pushed to capacity impacting results turnaround. Central informed the Longwood Campuses on 9/3 that we will make a return to the Broad test kits beginning on Friday 9/17 – during this time both HUCL and Broad kits will be accepted in the bins but starting Friday 9/17, the desk will only distribute Broad test kits until further notice.**
Any HMS community member on campus must do the following in advance of a planned return or arrival to campus:
Confirm with program, unit or department administrator/manager that you have been entered into the local HMS databases for testing eligibility (HCAR & RULP)
- Those entered by 10am on Tuesday will be eligible to setup their Color account after 8am that Wednesday
- Those entered by 10am on Thursday will be eligible to setup their Color account after 8am that Friday
Prior to Arrival on Campus
- Verify your testing eligibility.
- Login to Crimson Clear and go to “Home”.
- The landing page will list your vaccination reporting and testing profile information.
- Verify that you are listed as eligible with the appropriate cadence based on your individual status as described below. If you find that you are not listed as eligible, or if your cadence is incorrect, please contact your program, unit or department administrator/manager.
- Create your Color account (detailed instructions below). This is a critical step, as testing is required for campus access, and you cannot obtain a test kit until you have successfully activated your Color account and can navigate to the activate kit screen. If you do not complete this step prior to test pick-up the New Research Building (NRB), then you may be delayed in getting a test, which will delay access to campus or clinical environments.
- Consider reviewing the Harvard COVID-19 Safety Awareness Training
- Any person who is symptomatic should contact their physician and not come to campus.
- The HMS campus is considered open to those who are authorized by their program, unit or department to be in HMS campus buildings.
- A Crimson Clear health attestation should only be completed if experiencing symptoms; HUHS will be notified upon completion and will contact you regarding additional steps. While you await contact from HUHS, you should not come to campus.
COVID-19 Viral Testing Frequency
Per the University’s Testing Policy, effective Aug. 9, 2021:
Your required testing cadence will be determined by your vaccination status and whether you live on or off campus, as follows:
- Vaccinated students must test on day of arrival, day 4 or 5 after arrival, and 1 week after arrival. After three consecutive negative arrival tests, tests will occur every week
- Unvaccinated students must test on day of arrival, day 4 or 5 after arrival, and 1 week after arrival. After three consecutive negative arrival tests, tests will occur twice per week. Unvaccinated students should seek vaccination within days of arrival. You can schedule an appointment for a free COVID-19 vaccine in advance. Unvaccinated students should also follow all campus rules for masking and distancing that apply to individuals who are not fully vaccinated.
- International students and scholars must have a negative test 3 or fewer days prior to arrival in the United States. For the latest information, see Harvard University's International Students and Scholars webpage.
- Vaccinated faculty, staff, and trainees returning to campus for the first time should plan to test on the day they return to campus and must then test once per week.
- Unvaccinated faculty, staff, and trainees returning to campus for the first time should plan to test on the day they return to campus and must then test twice per week.
- Faculty, staff, and researchers with an infrequent presence or no presence on campus are not required to come to campus for the sole purpose of testing. Simply test the next time you are on campus.
- Masks must be worn indoors in all Harvard buildings, regardless of your vaccination status.
- Please note that these are minimum testing requirements. Members of the HMS community who wish to test more frequently are welcome to do so.
- Formal quarantine is not required while results are being processed, but HUHS recommends minimizing social activity at least until the first negative test result. If you do not have any symptoms of COVID-19, you may attend educational or administrative activities such as classes and orientation sessions. Please avoid social events (parties/receptions) and avoid dining in proximity with others until you receive your first negative test.
- If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you must self-isolate and notify HUHS via Crimson Clear.
- Individuals’ updated testing cadence requirements are available by logging into Crimson Clear. Going forward, you will also receive regular text and email notifications reminding you of your next testing day.
- Please note that testing cadences are assigned only to those who are authorized to be on campus. Therefore, if you are working remotely or are not yet required to be on campus, you will not be assigned a testing cadence, and your Crimson Clear screen will show that you are not currently eligible for testing.
- If you believe you should be eligible for testing, please reach out to your department or unit administrator.
Creating a Color Account
- Visit www.color.com using your computer or smartphone web browser.
- Click “Sign In” (On a computer this is located top right in blue lettering. On a smartphone, click the three stacked lines on the top left of your screen and then “Sign In” is located at the bottom of the drop-down menu.)
- Go to “Don’t have a color account?”, click on “Create One”, and fill in first name, last name, and email address.
- You may give a Harvard or personal email address, which will become your login name and the email address where you will receive testing notifications. A verification email will be sent to the email you provide, and you will need to access it to create your account. If you choose a non-Harvard email as your login email, you may be asked to provide your “organization” email address, which you may find by logging into Crimson Clear and checking the email listed as your Color Provisioning email. You will need to be able to access this email to verify your identity, but all future interactions will be with your login email address. Failure to authenticate via your Color Provisioning email may result in delays in getting a test and access to campus or clinical environments.
- After entering your email address and password, click the red “Create Account” button.
- Troubleshooting for account creation errors: Log in to Crimson Clear, go to your “Profile,” and confirm that you are listed as eligible on the COVID Testing Information page. If you are not listed as eligible, contact your department. If you are listed as eligible, contact firstname.lastname@example.org for assistance.
- Once your account is created, you will be prompted to indicate what kind of testing. Click on “I’m interested in COVID-19 testing.”
- When you go to pick up your kit(s), you will be asked to show the Color account “Activate a Kit” screen. You should not click “Activate a Kit” until you have picked up and are ready to administer your test.
- If you need assistance with or have questions about your Color account, visit the Color End User Support FAQ webpage.
Obtaining a Test
- Test kits can be picked up in the New Research Building (NRB) at 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur in the ground floor lobby according to the schedule below. Please note the distribution desk is closed on all Harvard holidays.
- Please enter through the 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur entrance and be ready to provide the attendant your HUID # and be logged into your Color account.
- Show your “Activate Kit” screen in your Color Account. This may be found on your dashboard. If you do not see it, go to the three stacked lines in the top left corner, and click on “Activate Kit.”
- When you are ready to take your test, click on the red “Activate Kit” button.
- Complete the Pre-Test Survey (you will need to complete this every time you take a test)
- Confirm your email, birthdate, and phone number.
- This will bring you to a graphic of the test tube on its side and ask for two barcode #’s. These numbers are found on the light blue card in your test envelope. o Enter the D # where prompted, DO NOT enter any dashes, numbers only.
- Enter the C # where prompted
- Confirm the numbers are correct
- Once activated, you should receive both an email and text message, and you are ready to proceed with test administration.
- You may not administer the test in any public area. You should test in your office, dorm room or other private space (i.e. campus restrooms). If testing outdoors, face away from others and maintain at least 6 feet of distance.
Administering a Test
- Each testing kit contains information on how to administer the self-test.
- A helpful self-paced training module is also available in the Harvard Training Portal.
- Please follow the steps detailed below.
- Swab on the day that you will be dropping off your completed kit.
- Activate the tube with your Color account so they know it is yours.
- Wash your hands and find a clean place to test. Use only one tube each day.
- Make sure to obtain the sample correctly, following the instructions included in your test kit.
- In the case of a HUCL lab test kit with plastic swab and smaller tube: Screw the swab cap, nasal tip down, into the tube and make sure it is closed tightly.
- In the case of a Broad lab test kit with cotton swab and larger tube: Deposit the swab, cotton side down, into the tube and place the vacuum cap on tightly.
- Completely seal the bag so your tube doesn’t fall out prior to depositing it into the collection bins.
Dropping Off a Test
- After taking your test, deposit your sample as soon as possible in the collection bins which have been relocated back to the elevator lobby wall, behind security at the main entrance on the Ground Floor.
- The following schedule is in place for sample collection from the bins noted above:
- Monday-Friday, last pick up not before 2pm.
- Saturday & Sunday, last pick up not before 11am.
- "Last pick up not before" times represent the last time that a test can be dropped to guarantee same-day pick-up. Any test dropped after “last pick up not before” time noted will be collected the following morning.
- Tests collected on Saturday will be tested on Sunday.
- Note that samples are able to be tested up to 54 hours after activation and sampling.
- Prior to depositing your completed test kit, please ensure that you have typed the bar code numbers from your test kit tube into the “activate kit” screen in Color. Failure to complete this step will result in a destroyed sample given that there will be no account to tie the results to.
- A list of all drop-off bin locations can be found here.
You must test according to the frequency determined by your testing cadence, described above. HMS regularly monitors testing and Crimson Clear compliance data. You will get pinged by Color reminding you to test based on your cadence.
NRB TEST KIT PICK-UP SCHEDULE
8 am – 12 noon, and 2 pm – 4 pm
6 am – 10 am
8 am – 12 noon, and 2 pm – 4 pm
6 am-10 am
8 am – 12 noon and 2pm-4pm
Test Distribution Desk Closed and Sample Collection altered on the following Harvard holidays:
- Monday, October 11th - Desk Closed, Single Sample Collection not before 11am
- Thursday, November 11th
- Thursday and Friday, November 25th and 26th
- Friday, December 24th
- Monday-Friday, December 27th-31st (kits required this week should be collected the week prior, sample collection schedule during Winter Recess is yet to be announced by Central but will be updated here for reference in future)
For additional information, please refer to the testing portion of the Returning to Campus webpage.