As part of the University’s plan for a safe reopening, a limited number of researchers and lab personnel have been authorized to return to campus beginning as early as June 8th. Below are the steps that individuals returning to campus must take prior to entering Harvard facilities in order to enable the safety of those returning and essential on-site staff.

Step 1: Complete the required workplace training

Before returning to research facilities, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires personnel to complete COVID-19 training, available at the Harvard Training Portal. Completion of the training is required before proceeding to Step 2.

More information about the training can be found on the EH&S website.

Step 2: Use Crimson Clear every day you are working on campus

Crimson Clear is an easy-to-use website for Harvard community members to attest they are symptom-free and have not had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 before entering a Harvard facility. Authorized lab personnel will be required to complete their attestation each day before arriving on campus and accessing facilities; each cleared attestation is valid for 23 hours. Only individuals who have been authorized to return to campus should complete a Crimson Clear attestation.

The website is compatible with all smartphone and computer operating systems. Personnel who are cleared will be provided with a digital or hard copy clearance for access to their pre-determined facilities for 12 hours. Personnel who are not cleared will not be allowed in Harvard facilities in order to enable the safety of the entire workforce and should stay home. Harvard University Health Services will receive an automatic notification if an individual is not cleared, and a clinical staff member will follow up by phone to assess and discuss next steps.

Individuals without HarvardKey credentials (e.g., outside vendors) who require access to labs for business purposes may complete a printable attestation form. Printable forms may also be used by persons without access to a device or in the event of technical difficulties.

To learn more about Crimson Clear, visit the FAQ page. For technical support, the HUIT IT Help Desk is available at 617-495-7777 and at

Step 3: Get a baseline viral test

Lab personnel are asked to take a baseline viral test for SARS-CoV-2 through a special Harvard University Health Services facility. The test should be taken as soon as possible, ideally within 2-3 days prior to or after the date of return to campus, but no later than two weeks after arrival. Harvard University Health Services will administer the test at no cost to the individual.

Lab personnel  authorized to return to Harvard facilities may schedule an appointment via Harvard University Health Services' COVID-19 Testing Registration FormTo learn more about scheduling a test, testing protocols, and receiving results, visit HUHS' Testing Information webpage

Step 4: Review your lab's reopening plan

In addition to reviewing personal safety measures, returning personnel should be in touch with their Principal Investigator (PI) to review safety protocols put in place for the labs in which they will be working. Every laboratory has put in place a plan following the guidelines of the University’s Research Laboratory Re-Entry Plan which has been approved by their respective Academic, Executive, and Human Resources Deans, as well as University leadership.

These plans include preparation of every workspace, including proper signage and social distancing indicators, and appointing a COVID-19 safety officer to oversee safety measures are practiced. Each building has also been prepared by checking HVAC systems, preparing for distribution of University-approved face coverings, and designating entrances and exits.

Below are links to school-based information for returning to labs:

Step 5: Return to campus and stay informed

Lab personnel who have been asked to return to in-person work will find a campus that is continuing to be modified as a result of Covid-19. Prior to returning to campus facilities for the first time workers should make themselves aware of new parking and transit protocols, and anyone who has been outside of Massachusetts should read Harvard University Health Services' frequently asked questions on travelling out of state.

Finally, personnel should continue to stay informed of new policy as the University works to ensure the health and safety of the community during this rapidly evolving situation. University leaders will continue to keep all lab personnel and staff informed via messages to the community, and personnel should be in touch with local leadership for more specific guidance. 

Harvard University Health Services will provide regular updates as well as frequently asked questions on their return to campus updates page.