Frequently Asked Questions

The FAQs on this page reflect the University’s current coronavirus policies and resources. We will continue to update our guidance and add to these FAQs as needed. In addition to the University-wide information, you should also review your School and Department-specific FAQs for local guidance:

Arboretum | A.R.T. | Business | College | Dental | Design | Divinity | Education | Extension | FAS | Government | GSAS | HIO | HUH | HUIT | HSCRB | Law | Library | Medical | Public Health | Radcliffe | SEAS & FAS Division of Science

Classes, Coursework, and Clinicals

All of my coursework is online. When can I go back to a classroom?

Our goal is to bring our students, faculty, postdoctoral fellows, and staff back to campus safely, and many complexities and uncertainties remain. Based on current data and projections for COVID-19, many fall courses and programs have moved online, and each school has prepared their own plans for curriculum continuity in Fall 2020. Given the hands-on nature of certain classes and clinical requirements for degree completion, individual Schools are working closely with their faculty and will communicate their specific instruction plans to students. 

Can I attend classes in person if I live nearby?

No. Individual schools have set protocols for certain students to return to campus based on the hands-on nature of  certain  classes  and clinical requirements for degree completion. Those Schools will communicate  their specific instruction plans to students and faculty individually.

Although certain undergraduates have been invited back to campus, their instruction will be remote, and they will need to be prepared for severely limited on-campus activities and interactions.  See Teach Remotely and Learn Remotely for more information.

What if I don't have reliable internet access at home, or my connection is slow?

Check out Harvard University Information Technology's (HUIT) tips for getting online while working or learning remotely, including providers who are offering free or discounted internet and increased data allowances. If you have internet at home, review the tips for improving connection problems.

How will time zone differences be handled?

Across the Schools, faculty members and teaching fellows have been asked to keep in mind the time zones of all students when thinking about class times. Some Schools are extending the academic day, offering multiple time-zone based sessions of certain courses, and offering asynchronous sessions.

If you know you will be in a time zone that will make the regular class time difficult for you to attend, we advise you let the faculty and teaching staff know as soon as possible. This will help them to make alterations to the teaching plan that will best accommodate the geographic spread of the students.

If class meetings are scheduled at a time that you cannot attend, write directly to the faculty and teaching staff to ask about expectations for attendance and alternative options.

How are clinicals and in-person requirements handled?

Schools are working closely with faculty to determine how courses can be completed meaningfully given the current public health crisis. Because of the hands-on nature of certain classes and clinical requirements for degree completion, individual Schools will communicate their specific instruction plans to students and faculty. For questions about specific courses, students should contact the instructor of the course.

Dining and Housing

Also see: Harvard University Housing FAQs and Harvard University Dining COVID-19 Procedures

I am an undergraduate who will be living on campus in the fall. Where can I get more information?

All students living in on-campus housing in the fall must fulfill the Dorm & House Residence Requirements and should see the Harvard College Dean of Students' website for more information regarding housing assignments and academic planning for the upcoming semester.

I am a graduate student who will be living on campus in the fall. Where can I get more information?

All students living in on-campus housing in the fall must fulfill the Dorm & House Residence Requirements.

Please note that Harvard University Housing (HUH) properties are considered off-campus housing. If students are living in an HUH-owned property and are working on campus, they must complete Office & Lab Requirements before returning to work.

I will be living off-campus in the fall and I am not authorized to return to campus. Does the University have resources for me?

Yes. Students and personnel who may be moving to or already living in the area around campus, including in Harvard University Housing properties, but who are not authorized to be on campus for work or for in-person academics, should review the health, travel, event, and campus guidelines on the Off-Campus Residence Requirements page.

What will the dining arrangements be for on-campus students and affiliates?

For the College:

The Harvard University Dining Services (HUDS) will provide dining service at Annenberg Hall and all Houses, for the traditional three meal periods per day. HUDS estimates that meal service will begin with dinner on August 23.

During the first weeks students are on campus, the HUDS team will prepare meals that are pre-packaged and chilled for take-away and reheating later. As always, menus with ingredient and nutrition information will be online and support is in place for individuals with food allergies and special dietary needs.

Review the HUDS fall planning FAQs for more information.

For the graduate and professional schools, check your School-specific dining websites for details.

Employees and Workforce

Also see: HR's coronavirus workplace policies | HR's updated health plan enhancements | FAD interim payroll, I-9, and NRA processes

Which employees have been asked to return to campus?

A number of faculty, staff, and academic personnel supporting on-campus activities will return to campus. Only those affiliates who are notified directly by their managers will return, and nobody outside these categories, unless directed otherwise by local leadership and managers, is expected to conduct their activities on campus. Accordingly, the majority of Harvard personnel will continue to work remotely through at least the end of the calendar year.

For staff who must work on campus, Harvard is focused on measures that will be most effective, including high-frequency viral testing, enhanced cleaning and ventilation, symptom attestation, correct and consistent use of face coverings, handwashing, and full cooperation with contact tracing, isolation, and quarantine procedures. See Requirements for Offices & Labs and Work Remotely for more information.

If I can’t work remotely, will I still be paid?

Yes. As a general principle, Harvard is committed to sustaining the pay continuity for our dedicated and talented workforce. The University continues to place its highest priority on the health, safety and wellbeing of the Harvard community. Toward that end, and effective immediately, Harvard's workplace policies have been enhanced.

  • People who continue working (remotely or on campus) will be paid as they are normally.
  • For Harvard employees (core staff including administrative/professional, support staff, and service and trade workers) who are well and available to work, but their duties cannot be performed remotely or because of the shifts in population on campus they no longer have work to perform, the University will guarantee their regular pay and benefits beyond June 28, 2020.
    • Additionally, we will expand eligibility for this guarantee of pay and benefits to part-time contingent employees who are less than half time (LHT).
  • For contract employees of Harvard’s 14 major suppliers working in dining, custodial, and security roles, the University will provide financial relief in the form of pay and benefits beginning March 10 and beyond June 28, 2020, if they are well and available for work but displaced from their contract assignments due to the COVID-19 public health emergency and unable to obtain new assignments. The University is working with these suppliers to ensure its financial support will be used for the direct benefit and financial relief of contract food service workers, custodians, and security guards.

See additional enhanced workplace policies on the HR website for full details. Given the rapid changes concerning COVID-19, HR will continue to review and revise the policies as the situation evolves.

Does the guarantee of salary beyond June 28, 2020 cover Harvard paid research assistants, postdocs, fellows, PhD students and research associates?

Yes, all research scholars, including, but not limited to fellows, postdoctoral fellows, research fellows, PhD students, and research associates (referred to as non-faculty academic appointees), who receive payments from Harvard, whether stipend or salary, also are included.

How long will pay and benefits (if applicable) be guaranteed for eligible Harvard-paid non-faculty academic appointees?

Beyond June 28, except for those who were scheduled to terminate, or whose appointments end, sooner. A paid excused absence may be used to ensure pay continuity if work is unable to be performed remotely, up to the regular or standard workweek for the position. The excused absence option will end on the day of a previously scheduled termination or other appointment end date if it is earlier than June 28.

When an hourly staff member is getting a paid, emergency excused absence, are they entitled to a shift differential on that pay, when they normally work hours that entitle them to one?

Yes. If staff members are well and available to work, but are not working because their work cannot be done remotely or because of a curtailment in Harvard operations, then they are eligible for a paid, emergency excused absence. The emergency excused absence pay will include a shift differential if their regular Harvard job was during hours that always or usually entitled them to a shift differential.

Staff members who continue to work hours that entitle them to a shift differential (on-campus or remotely) should continue to be paid a shift differential. However, staff members who continue to work, on campus or remotely, but not during hours that entitle them to a shift differential, will get regular pay. This is true even if, before the COVID-19 emergency, they were working hours that paid a shift differential.

Should I come to work if I’ve had direct or indirect contact with a person diagnosed with or under investigation for COVID-19?

You must complete an attestation through Crimson Clear each day before you come to campus for work. If you successfully complete Crimson Clear, you will receive a “clear” pass, valid for 23 hours. If you are not cleared, an HUHS clinician will call you to determine next steps before you can enter a Harvard facility. See Office & Lab Requirements for more information.

If a Harvard community member authorized to be on campus tests positive, Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will begin contact tracing for the greater Harvard community. Anyone with known exposure to a positive case will be required to quarantine and may need additional testing, as these individuals may also be infected. See Contact Tracing for more information.

If you're concerned about potential exposure to non-Harvard individuals who have been tested or tested positive: Contact investigation and notification is overseen by the local Department of Public Health. Any persons who have had close contact with those individuals in question have been notified by the Department of Public Health in accordance with standard public health principles. If you have not been notified, then you are not deemed to have an increased risk because of exposure to these individuals.

Review Harvard University Health Services' (HUHS) guide to determine whether you should self-isolate.  If you're unsure whether to come to work, we encourage you to email HUHS, healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu, for additional guidance. HUHS clinical staff and medical professionals are best equipped to offer advice based on factors such as how direct or indirect the contact was, travel or exposure to travelers, health history, and symptoms.

How do I know if I’m an essential or critical employee?

Your manager will communicate with you about defining the list of essential and critical personnel—those who must be on campus—in the context of this public health crisis. Because Harvard is a 24/7 residential university, many employees must work on campus to provide essential services for residential life, campus health and safety, critical research, the protection of physical and intellectual assets, or the continuity or resumption of academic programs and operations. Please contact your manager if you have any questions about your role, and heed additional guidance from your School or Unit leadership.

HR is working on enhanced measures and policies to support all employees. Review the HR coronavirus workforce policies, talk with your manager about your concerns, and consult with your local HR office.

How is the Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU) helping staff, faculty and students during COVID-19?

HUECU is committed to meeting the needs of its members and the Harvard community during this challenging time. For HUECU members with current HUECU loans, there are payment relief options available, including up to three-month payment deferment for some loans and credit cards. For individuals looking for additional funds, HUECU is offering a 0% emergency loan for HUCTW members. Depending on your unique situation, there may be other options available if you submit a Request for Assistance form.

Can I take advantage of the Harvard University Employees Credit Union (HUECU) emergency loan if I am not an HUECU member?

In order to take advantage of the emergency loan, you must be a HUECU member. However, all Harvard University employees, students and alumni are eligible to become members. Memberships can be opened online, and tutorial videos for using online and mobile banking are available as well. Membership benefits and eligibility extend to member’s families, even if they are not Harvard University employees or students.

I am an HUECU member. Who can I speak with if I have concerns about my finances?

If your concerns are specific to your HUECU account or loans, please contact HUECU Support Center at 617-495-4460 or huecu@harvard.edu.

If you have general concerns, HUECU provides free financial budgeting, credit and COVID-19 counseling to the Harvard University community through their partners at GreenPath Financial Wellness. The call is confidential; help is available in 150 languages and during nights and weekends.

Financial Matters for Students

Also see: Student Health Insurance FAQs

Will my Student Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) work if I am away from the University?

The Student Health Insurance Plan provides coverage for hospitalizations, specialty care, mental health, and prescription medications throughout the United States and abroad. For more information on the Student Health Insurance Plan benefits and coverage, you can view the Harvard University Student Health Program (HUSHP) website or contact HUSHP Member Services at 617-495-2008.

The Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan also provides coverage for mental health inpatient and outpatient services outside of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). Students can find a participating in-network provider by searching the Blue Cross Blue Shield of MA (BCBSMA) Find-A-Doctor website (the network is PPO or EPO) or by calling the BCBSMA Behavioral Health Coordination Line at 877-566-2583. The representatives answering these calls are trained to help you find the right provider based on your concerns and the location where you wish to receive care. Students who waived the Harvard Student Health Insurance Plan should check with their private insurance for questions about their provider network, coverage rules, and potential out-of-pocket costs.

Do I still have to pay the Student Health Fee?

Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will remain open, and services that can be provided by a telephone call will shift to remote delivery for the continuation of many medical services that students can continue to use while away from campus. In-person Urgent Care hours are from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week. Visit the HUHS website for details on this temporary new model of care. We have no current plans to rebate the Student Health Fee at this time.

Will financial aid decisions be reconsidered for Fall 2020 given the emerging economic changes?

We are always open to discussing changes in student circumstances and needs they may have. Consistent with prior years, students should be in touch with their local financial aid offices to discuss any material changes to their individual or family financial status.

I am a graduate student. Will I still receive my stipend?
I am a graduate student worker. Will I continue to be paid?

The University continues to evaluate the shifting administrative landscape during the coronavirus pandemic. Graduate student work, as part of that landscape, is an essential driver of the University’s mission. Where possible, the University expectation is that the work that graduate students are compensated for should continue. If work assignments are not possible to complete using online or distance learning technologies, supervisors are encouraged to find other opportunities for graduate student workers to complete their work commitments, including shifting jobs and job descriptions to alternate assignments in order to fulfill their employment obligations. See the Interim Payrolling Processes During the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency for more information.

Health

What is the University doing to protect the community?

The health and success of our community, on and off campus, is at the forefront of our decision making. Our goal in transitioning to mostly remote teaching, learning, researching, and working is to protect the broader community. By reducing the number of people and opportunities for transmission of the virus on campus, we also make it possible for those who are working on campus to effectively employ social distancing strategies. These are not decisions we made lightly, but ones that we felt were right to slow the potential transmission of the virus and protect vulnerable populations from exposure. All members of the Harvard community are asked to help in these social distancing efforts.

We will continue to make informed decisions based on the latest science and what is best to protect the health of all members of our community while supporting our teaching and research mission.

How can I donate personal protective equipment (PPE) and supplies?

The global Harvard University community has united in its response to the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic—including offers of assistance and donations of supplies and personal protective equipment (PPE) from faculty, researchers, staff, students, alumni, and friends. See PPE and Supply Donations for the latest guidance on how you can support these efforts.

What should I do if I feel sick?

COVID-19 symptoms include fever, cough, difficulty breathing, chills, muscle pain, headache, sore throat, and loss of taste or smell. The wide range of reported symptoms range from mild to severe and appear 2-14 days after exposure.

Anyone with flu-like symptoms should contact their Primary Care Provider or HUHS at healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu for advice. Your Primary Care Provider or HUHS will help you determine whether to get assessment or treatment. Medical professionals are best equipped to offer advice based on factors such as how direct or indirect an individual’s contact with coronavirus was, recent travel history, an individual’s personal health history, and any symptoms that person may be experiencing.

Should I self isolate if I've been in contact with someone being tested for COVID-19 or who has tested positive?

If a Harvard community member authorized to be on campus tests positive: Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) will begin contact tracing for the greater Harvard community. Anyone with known exposure to a positive case will be required to quarantine and may need additional testing, as these individuals may also be infected. See Contact Tracing for more information.

If you're concerned about potential exposure to non-Harvard individuals who are awaiting test results or who have tested positive: Contact investigation and notification is overseen by the local Department of Public Health. Any persons who have had close contact with those individuals in question have been notified by the Department of Public Health in accordance with standard public health principles. If you have not been notified, then you are not deemed to have an increased risk because of exposure to these individuals.

Review Harvard University Health Services' (HUHS) guide to determine whether you should self-isolate.  If you're unsure whether to come to campus, we encourage you to email HUHS, healthservices@huhs.harvard.edu, for additional guidance. HUHS clinical staff and medical professionals are best equipped to offer advice based on factors such as how direct or indirect the contact was, travel or exposure to travelers, health history, and symptoms.

Remember, you must complete an attestation through Crimson Clear each day before you come to campus (or before you leave your room to enter another Harvard facility if you're already living on campus). If you successfully complete Crimson Clear, you will receive a “clear” pass, valid for 23 hours. If you are not cleared, an HUHS clinician will call you to determine next steps before you can enter a Harvard facility. See Office & Lab Requirements for more information.

I’m feeling anxious. Who can I talk to?

We recognize the anxiety and emotional strain that these circumstances may place on all of us. As information about Coronavirus unfolds and response plans are implemented, there can be a wide range of thoughts, feelings and reactions. Review Harvard University Health Services' (HUHS) resources for managing anxiety and fear.

Remember that Harvard’s student and employee health plans offer comprehensive coverage for both physical and mental health care. If you'd like to speak with a counselor or a mental health professional, contact Counseling and Mental Health Services (for students) or Harvard’s Employee Assistance Program.

We also support and encourage self-care during these stressful times. Remember that sleep and exercise promote immune system capacity.

Is Harvard University Health Services still open?

HUHS is open, however it has temporarily shifted its operating model to focus on supporting those patients with the most need and minimizing the spread of COVID-19. Urgent Care and Internal Medicine will be open for urgent or essential visits that require in-person exams, but the department asks that you please call ahead. Counseling and Mental Health Services and Behavioral Health will continue to operate, but visits will be by telephone or video conference. Mt. Auburn's Ob/gyn practice at Smith Campus Center will continue to see obstetrics patients, and GYN emergencies as needed. All other clinical services will be available for phone and video consultations, and in-person visits as needed.

This temporary shift will enable HUHS to reduce the density of patients in the waiting rooms, minimize the spread of COVID-19, and focus resources and support on patients who need it most.

Visit the HUHS website for updates on clinical and other services. 

International Students and Scholars

Also see: Harvard International Office's FAQs and Global Support Services' Advice for Travelers

How will online classes affect international students’ I-20 and visa status?

The U.S. government recognizes there are extenuating circumstances because these classes were not intended to be online. The Harvard International Office (HIO) received guidance from the government that they intend to be flexible with the temporary online adaptations to classes in the fall 2020 term, as they were in the spring 2020 term. Provided returning international students can continue to make normal progress in a full course of study as required by federal regulations, students’ legal immigration status is not in jeopardy. They can take their full course load remotely while staying in F-1 status. For those who remained in the U.S. after Harvard closed the campus in March, they can continue to study remotely in the U.S. in the fall as they did in the spring. If they went home, they can stay in their home countries and study remotely from there.

Unfortunately, first-year international students to Harvard are not covered by the government's exception for online courses. This means that newly-entering international students are ineligible for F-1 visas and unable to enter the U.S. at this time; however, they can still study remotely from their home country.

International students and scholars should contact their HIO advisor with any questions or concerns.

I am an international scholar, and I have been invited to start a program at Harvard soon. Should I still come?

You should contact the Harvard department that invited you for your specific guidance. In an effort to slow the spread of the virus, Harvard is limiting the number of students, staff, and academic personnel authorized to be on campus this fall. Individuals outside of the U.S. may be subject to various travel restrictions that make traveling to the U.S. difficult at this time. We are doing everything we can to help them.

Libraries, Museums, and Theaters

Also see: Arnold Arboretum | A.R.T. | Harvard Library | Harvard Museums

Are the libraries open?

Though library buildings remain closed, Harvard Library has resumed some on-campus services, including book pickup, virtual consultations, and fulfilling scanning/digitization requests. See the Harvard Library website for more information, including how to access a wide range of online services and resources and the Library's plan for later phases of reopening.

Are the museums open?

The University's museums, including the Harvard Art Museums and the Harvard Museums of Science and Culture, are currently closed to the public until further notice. We encourage you to explore and utilize the Harvard Art Museums' collections online. Refer to each museum's website for more information on when the museums may be able to re-open.

Parking and Transportation

When will the no charge parking privilege end?

As more members of the Harvard community return to campus, Harvard Transportation Services is transitioning from no-charge parking to the next phase of its plan to support those who commute to and from the University. Through the end of this calendar year, most commuter parking permits will be offered at significantly reduced rates. This temporary reduction from our typical rates will better align parking and public transportation costs, maintain our regulatory agreements with the City of Cambridge, and uphold Harvard’s commitment to sustainability. For more information, visit the Transportation & Parking website. Please note that parking rates and policies are different in the Longwood area; see the Harvard Medical School parking website for details.

For those who utilize public transportation, the University still offers a 50% subsidy for MBTA passes as well as a number of other transit benefits. The MBTA’s Ride Safer program includes hand sanitizer dispensers throughout the system, requires all passengers to wear face coverings, and even provides real-time crowding information on busier routes. MBTA vehicles and stations are also thoroughly cleaned and disinfected on a routine basis.

I extended my annual parking permit this spring but was notified recently that I will be working remotely until the fall. Will I still receive a credit?

Extended permits are now good through February 28, 2021. Please continue to display your FY20 hang tag when on campus. Your parking facility access is still valid. You will be able to utilize the annual parking permit renewal system when it opens mid-September. New permits will be delivered in January 2021 and valid through June 30, 2021.

Payroll deductions ended in June 2020. New deductions will resume in March 2021. Extended permit holders will only be charged for four months of parking in FY21. This eight-month suspension of fees will help offset payroll deductions this past spring and reduced presence on campus this upcoming fall semester.

Extended permit holders who don’t expect to return to campus until March 2021 or beyond should fill out this parking permit online form and then mail your hang tag to: Harvard Campus Service Center, 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Suite 807, Cambridge, MA 02138.

Your permit and access will be cancelled. A 3.5 months credit will be applied to your new permit. If you have limited internet access, you can contact the Campus Service Center at (617) 496-7827.

I'm an employee and would like to start driving to work instead of taking public transit. Can I cancel my MBTA pass and get a parking permit?

If you currently have a transit order and would like to switch to an annual parking permit, please follow these simple steps.

When is the deadline to update my October transit order?

The October transit pass ordering deadline is September 4. You have until September 4 to order, opt out, or cancel your October transit election. Visit Harvard's Commuter Choice website to do so, and review their guide to update your order.

I don't know when I'll be returning to work. How should I manage my transit elections?

Undoubtedly, the situation is constantly evolving. In accordance with University Coronavirus policies, employees should refer to their school's or department's guidance regarding remote work in order to assess future transit needs.

I cancelled my Harvard parking permit this spring but need to resume parking. What should I do?

If you cancelled your annual parking permit, deductions have been stopped and refunds have been issued, if applicable. Parking facility access has been turned off. You will need to reapply for a parking permit when you return to campus. Please submit your request a minimum of two weeks prior to your return date if you wish to have your new hang tag mailed to your home address.

Is the Harvard Shuttle still running?

The University is currently offering on-demand shuttle service, which can be accessed through Harvard's van service iOS app and Android app during the weekday hours of 10 am to 4 pm. All riders are required to wear a face covering and maintain appropriate distances while onboard. Learn more about the on-demand van service.

Research and Labs

Also see: SEAS & FAS Division of Science FAQs | HMS FAQs | HSCRB FAQs

Can graduate students and postdocs return to labs?

Graduate students and postdocs should consult with their supervisors for specifics on lab operations, continuity of research activities, the re-entry plan for science labs, and the requirements for a safe return to labs.

Effective March 10, all graduate students began transitioning to remote work wherever possible, and many labs began to ramp down operations the week of March 16 to sustain only essential operations. Some lab access was permitted only for the most critical needs, including for those working on research directly related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Beginning May 25, the University announced a phased, low density reopening of research labs.

My job is mainly bench-based work and requires me to be in the lab. Will I get paid, even though I have to do work that isn’t in my job description?

Please see the Work Remotely page for information about pay.

How are we dealing with issues of compliance with federal funding and other sponsored research concerns?

University personnel are in touch with the major funding agencies and have posted FAQs on the University Office for Sponsored Programs website. If you need more information or assistance, contact your School or unit’s sponsored research team.

Can I conduct research that involves physical experimentation at home?

Remote research using computers for data driven analytics, social behavior type studies that can be conducted by audio/video conferencing, etc. is allowable. The University cannot approve the use of private residence for research purposes. Such work at home raises a number of health and safety, and potential building and fire code related concerns that are subject to routine health and safety inspections and mitigation measure at the university laboratories and cannot be verified in a residential setting. These potential hazards include but are not limited to occupancy rating of the building (e.g. residential vs. research), electrical hazard associated with the use of the equipment (e.g. personnel safety, overload of circuitry, etc.), presence of untrained individuals in the research area, etc., none of which have been assessed by university.

Can I visit my lab if I am not authorized to be on campus?

No. The only personnel who can be on campus are those who have been authorized by their managers.

Technology Support

Also see: Work Remotely | Teach Remotely | Learn Remotely | Library remote teaching resources

What if I don't have reliable internet access at home, or my connection is slow?

Check out Harvard University Information Technology's (HUIT) tips for getting online during the COVID-19 period, including providers who are offering free or discounted internet and increased data allowances. If you have internet at home, review the tips for improving connection problems.

Can Harvard's network and IT systems support the increased demand of online courses?

Harvard University's Information Technology (HUIT) staff have been working around the clock to prepare the tools and resources necessary to support remote teaching and learning. HUIT is working closely with key vendors, including Zoom, to support continuity and stability of services throughout this period of exceptionally high demand from the Harvard community. HUIT is also closely monitoring network infrastructure and is prepared to quickly expand capacity of their support services to meet increased demand.

Where can I get technology help?

If you have any questions, contact the HUIT Service Desk or your local IT support.

Testing

Also see: Color FAQs

I'm living on campus. How often should I get tested?

Anyone living in on-campus housing is required to undergo observed testing three times a week. See the list of on-campus houses and residences to confirm your on-campus building. Then review the Testing & Tracing page to learn how and where to get tested and what to do to prepare for your test.

Please note that Harvard University Housing properties are considered off-campus housing.

I'm living off campus but working, researching, or otherwise authorized to be on campus. How often should I get tested?

We welcome and encourage all essential workers, faculty, academic personnel, staff, and students with a regular campus presence who are not living in dorm-style on campus housing to get repeat tests on a weekly basis. See the Testing & Tracing page to learn how and where to get tested and what to do to prepare for your test.

Where and how can I get tested?

See the Testing & Tracing page to learn where and how to get tested and what to do to prepare for your test.

I'm living off campus. Can I get tested?

Harvard is only providing regular screening testing for students and personnel who are living in on-campus housing, who are authorized to be on campus for work or in-person academics, or who are authorized to have a regular on-campus presence (4 hours or more per week).

Students and personnel who live near campus but do not fall into one of the above categories will not be provided with regular screening testing.

However, if Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) is your healthcare provider and you present at the HUHS clinic with symptoms or you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you may be tested through HUHS.

If HUHS is not your healthcare provider, contact your primary care physician to discuss your testing options.

I'm having an issue using the Color site. How can I get help?

See the Color support FAQs to get answers to your questions or learn how to contact Color or HUIT for assistance.

Travel

Can I travel internationally on a Harvard-related trip?

No. All University-related international travel is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled at this time. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. For the foreseeable future, the global pandemic will continue to affect the safety and feasibility of travel.

Although University-related travel is prohibited for the vast majority, we understand that certain members of our community may need to travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activity. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for these cases, which we expect to be rare. At this time, only faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition to travel.

Should I travel abroad for a personal trip?

Harvard strongly discourages personal international travel until further notice. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19. For the foreseeable future, the global pandemic will continue to affect the safety and feasibility of travel. Review Harvard Global Support Services’ (GSS) international travel guidance for more information.

If you must travel, be aware of the various travel orders and restrictions put in place by state and local governments, including the Massachusetts Travel Order and Harvard’s requirements for returning to offices & labs and dorms & houses. Take precautions to protect yourself and others during your trip: wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash them; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; remain at least six feet from others; and wear a cloth face covering.

I’m currently abroad. Should I leave?

Harvard is not currently asking any affiliates abroad to leave—however, if you’re in a location where you can leave, you need to decide whether you stay or return home.

If you choose to travel, be aware of the various travel orders and restrictions put in place by state and local governments, including the Massachusetts Travel Order and Harvard’s requirements for returning to offices & labs and dorms & houses. Take precautions to protect yourself and others during your trip: wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash them; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; remain at least six feet from others; and wear a cloth face covering.

Review Harvard Global Support Services’ (GSS) international travel guidance for more information.

I'm an employee in one of Harvard's international offices abroad. Can I travel for business?

Harvard's offices abroad are part of our campus community. Staff in those offices should follow the same guidance on international travel that all members of the University are asked to follow: no international travel for University business until further notice. For domestic travel, office staff should follow local health and government travel advisories in the countries where they are based.

The reason that Harvard's guidance applies to staff in offices abroad is, first and foremost, to protect the health and safety of all staff and those in our communities. In addition, the University's effort to reduce travel is part of a broad effort to slow the rate of transmission and be part of the solution to this global pandemic. All members of the Harvard community in the U.S. and abroad are asked to help in this effort.

Although University-related travel is prohibited for the vast majority, we understand that certain members of our community may need to travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activity. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for these cases, which we expect to be rare. At this time, only faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition to travel.

Is it ok to travel within the U.S.?

All University-related domestic travel is prohibited until further notice and should not be planned or scheduled at this time. We also strongly discourage personal travel within the United States. Travel increases your chances of getting and spreading COVID-19.

Although University-related travel is prohibited for the vast majority, we understand that certain members of our community may need to travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activity. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for these cases, which we expect to be rare. At this time, only faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition to travel.

If you have essential personal travel within the U.S., check the state and territorial health department websites for the latest information and restrictions. Take precautions to protect yourself and others during your trip: wash your hands often or use hand sanitizer if you cannot wash them; avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth; remain at least six feet from others; and wear a cloth face covering. Be aware of the various travel orders and restrictions put in place by state and local governments, including the Massachusetts Travel Order and Harvard’s requirements for returning to offices & labs and dorms & houses.

Can I petition to travel?

Although University-related travel is prohibited for the vast majority, we understand that certain members of our community may need to travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activity. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for these cases, which we expect to be rare.

At this time, only faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition to travel. For now, petitioners must meet the criteria in one of the following two categories:

COVID-19 work

  1. The petitioner is a medical, public health, or other professional who will be traveling for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic; and
  2. There are no alternatives to travel.

Critical research activity

  1. The travel is essential to the survival or long-term viability of a research endeavor;
  2. The research is central to the petitioner’s professional work; and
  3. There are no alternatives to travel.

If you believe you meet the criteria outlined in one of the two categories above, download the travel petition form and submit your completed form to the OVPIA at least 14 days prior to your proposed departure.

Prior to completing the form, you must discuss your proposed travel with your department chair or equivalent academic supervisor and obtain their approval.

If your proposed travel is with one or more Harvard affiliates, each person must submit their own petition.

What is University-related travel?

University-related travel includes activities that are part of academic or professional work at Harvard, including research, attendance at a conference, academic study, travel with a student organization or trek, study abroad, or a summer or January internship (or similar volunteer or work experience) if registered at Harvard the following term. A trip is also University-related if Harvard is funding the trip or if it's at the request of a supervisor.

Harvard-related travel does not include personal travel, such as vacations or trips home.

Who determines essential travel?

As applicable, consult with your Harvard School, program, or department leaders and funding sources to determine whether your Harvard-related travel is essential. The Office of the Vice Provost for International Affairs (OVPIA) has established a petition process for travel of the utmost urgency that meets the petition criteria. At this time, only faculty, postdoctoral fellows, doctoral students, and staff may petition to travel for work directly and immediately related to the COVID-19 pandemic or that enables critical research activity.

For personal travel, you may have family or individual obligations that make your personal travel essential.

Visitors

Are visitors allowed on campus?

Harvard’s goal is to reduce the number of people on campus—including visitors—in order to slow the potential transmission of the virus and protect vulnerable populations from exposure.

Are campus tours still offered?

Although all public and private in-person tours of Harvard University have been cancelled until further notice, you can explore Harvard from home through an on-demand virtual tour or sign up for a student-led virtual historical tour.