Steps for Office Reentry

The vast majority of Harvard faculty, other academic personnel, and staff (collectively, Harvard personnel) will be expected to continue to work remotely through at least the end of the summer. However, there are limited situations where Schools and Units have concluded that on campus work is necessary or allowable. Those Schools and Units have identified the individuals who may work on campus and have submitted plans that establish the prerequisites for these individuals and conditions of the various workspaces. If you are unsure of whether you have been approved to return to campus, please contact your supervisor. On-campus staffing levels will be regularly reviewed and updated as situations warrant.

Below are the steps that School and Unit approved individuals returning to campus must take prior to entering Harvard facilities.

Step 1: Complete the required workplace training

Before returning to Harvard facilities, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts requires individuals to complete COVID-19 training, available on the Harvard Training Portal. You must complete the training before proceeding to Step 2.

Learn more about the training 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 the Harvard community to attest they are symptom-free and have not had recent exposure to someone with COVID-19 before entering a Harvard facility. Harvard personnel authorized to be on campus are 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 Crimson Clear website is compatible with all smartphone and computer operating systems. Faculty and staff who are cleared will be provided with a digital or hard copy clearance for access to their predetermined facilities for 12 hours. To enable the safety of the entire workforce, individuals 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 (HUHS) 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 facilities 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 Crimson Clear FAQ page. For technical support, the HUIT IT Help Desk is available at 617-495-7777 and at

Step 3: Get regular viral tests

Harvard personnel who plan to be on campus for more than four hours per week are asked to take a baseline viral test for SARS-CoV-2 through a special HUHS 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. Any essential worker who has not received a baseline test is encouraged to schedule one as soon as possible. HUHS is administering tests at no cost to the individual.

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

After completing a viral test, essential workers, faculty, academic personnel, staff and others with a regular campus presence are encouraged to continue to be tested on a weekly basis. Plans are underway for unobserved, self-collected testing, but until those plans are announced, the weekly testing should be done by appointment. Check back here for more details in the coming weeks including revised testing frequencies for some groups.

Step 4: Utilize safety measures

Everyone returning to campus has the responsibility and the power to keep Harvard healthy. Please use the safety protocols described in the COVID-19 training to keep yourself and those around you safe, especially those most vulnerable. Protocols include:

  • Universal social distancing
  • Practicing and promoting good, basic hygiene
  • Hand washing and using sanitizer
  • Wearing a cloth face covering
  • Following posted guidance in office spaces

Step 5: Return to campus and stay informed

Harvard 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 the Massachusetts Travel Order and review HUHS’ frequently asked questions on travelling from 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 faculty, other academic personnel, and staff informed via messages to the community, and personnel should be in touch with local leadership for more specific guidance.

HUHS will provide regular updates as well as frequently asked questions on their return to campus updates page.