Make Healthy Habits Your Routine
We must continue to practice the healthy habits and behaviors that reduce the risk of transmission. Review the resources below for socializing, masks, vaccination, boosters, testing, exposure guidance, symptom reporting, and hygiene. Together, these measures provide proven protection for our community members and enable us to monitor the public health situation and adjust our guidance as needed.
Keep your close contacts to a minimum. The number of people who are less than 6 feet from you should be as low as possible. Engineer your activities with that in mind. If you need to interact with many people in a single day, keep your mask on, limit each interaction to under 15 minutes, and don’t stand closer than necessary.
Mask indoors and wear your mask properly, fitting securely over your nose, mouth, and chin. Ensure a secure fit around all mask edges. We encourage the use of high-quality disposable masks, worn in a way that minimizes air gaps around the edges. A surgical-style mask or a cup-style protective mask such as KN-95, layered under a form-fitting fabric mask, can ensure good filtration as well as an effective seal. ASTM- or FDA-accepted masks offer greater assurance of filtration quality. Remove your mask only around your household/suite if possible. Use common sense when outdoors. Wear a mask if you’re in a crowd or close to another’s face. If unvaccinated, you’re required to mask outdoors whenever you’re within 6 feet of other people; you must also maintain distance from others when dining indoors.
Eat & drink safely
Dine in small parties of 2-4 people and maintain distance to the extent feasible. Avoid table-hopping. Consider dining consistently with the same people rather than a different group at every meal. Practice “Consume & Cover” — Consume your meal and immediately mask up when done. Use the “Quick Sip Rule” — When drinking, lower your mask, take a sip, and then promptly cover your mouth and nose. If you’re taking your time between bites and sips, put your mask back on. Conversation, checking email, and other activities should be masked, even when you’re in a designated indoor dining area.
Plan smart events
Be creative! Plan events outdoors when possible; events where people split into small groups, rather than uncontrolled mingling; and events that don’t involve eating, drinking, or removal of masks (regardless of vaccine or booster status). Given the surge of COVID-19 cases in our community, all food and beverages offered at indoor events and gatherings must be limited to take-out or grab-n-go until further notice. Learn more about event guidance.
If you must provide group transportation for an activity, do so at reduced capacity to allow more distancing in the vehicle, and make sure everyone wears a mask. Get a COVID-19 test early enough to ensure that you have a result before you leave. This reduces the chance that you might expose other travelers along your journey.
Wear a high-quality mask, and wear it correctly
Indoors, everyone is required to wear a mask, regardless of vaccination or booster status. We encourage the use of high-quality disposable masks, worn in a way that minimizes air gaps around the edges. A surgical-style mask or a cup-style protective mask such as KN-95, layered under a form-fitting fabric mask, can ensure good filtration as well as an effective seal. ASTM- or FDA-accepted masks offer greater assurance of filtration quality.
All community members should carry a mask when coming to campus in case it becomes necessary to wear it. Requiring masks indoors makes our classrooms, labs, offices, and other campus spaces safer for all of us.
Outdoors, fully vaccinated individuals are not required to wear a mask, but use common sense if you’re in a crowd or close to another person’s face. Unvaccinated individuals are required to wear a mask outdoors if you cannot maintain distance from others.
You may also choose to wear a mask in settings where it’s not required.
Get vaccinated and boosted
Campus-wide vaccination and boosters are the best defense against the coronavirus. Harvard is requiring COVID vaccination for all community members and COVID-19 boosters for all eligible community members. This includes students, faculty, staff, and researchers. And consistent with federal guidance, all Harvard employees, including those who are on 100% remote work status, must be fully vaccinated.
If you received the vaccine and/or booster outside of Harvard University Health Services (HUHS), you can submit that information to HUHS through the patient portal.
COVID-19 testing is a key part of the University’s efforts to reduce the spread of coronavirus, limit further mutation of the virus, and ensure our safety measures are working. All affiliates with an on-campus presence, even if infrequent, are required to maintain their assigned testing cadence.
If you’re away from campus for the winter recess, you can disregard your Color notifications and resume testing upon your return. If you are currently outside of the Boston/Cambridge area, get tested prior to your return travel to ensure you are not putting others at risk of infection while in transit.
Understand exposure, quarantine, & isolation guidance
Timely communication is critical. If you test positive, the HUHS Contact Tracing Team will email you to explain next steps, including isolation. And if you’ve been exposed to a COVID-positive person, you may need to quarantine. Check your Harvard email.
Report symptoms, exposure, or a positive non-Harvard COVID test
Stay home if you feel sick. Use Crimson Clear to report if you have symptoms, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, or have tested positive outside of the University’s testing program or HUHS.
Wash your hands often
Use soap and water with 20 seconds of rubbing, or use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Do this before and after touching anything that needs to be touched by other people, and before eating, drinking, or touching your face or face covering.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth.
- Cough/sneeze into a tissue or your sleeve.
- Disinfect frequently-touched objects and surfaces.