COVID-19 testing is a key part of Harvard’s collective efforts to reduce the spread of the virus, limit further mutation, and ensure that the safety protocols we’ve established are meeting their intended goals. The University’s testing plan is subject to modification based on community risk and the broader public health environment.
All Harvard affiliates with any on-campus presence are required to test at their assigned cadence. Testing cadences are determined by several factors, including your vaccination status, whether you live on or off campus, and infection rates in the local community.
Below, you’ll find answers to the following questions:
- How do I set up my Color account and get tested?
- Where do I pick up my test kits?
- How do I self-swab?
- How often do I test?
- Where and when do I drop off my sample?
- What do my test results mean?
- What should I do if I think I’ve been exposed?
- How else can I get tested?
3. To learn more about the steps for self-testing, see the training module “How do I self-swab?” linked below.
Where do I pick up my test kits?
You may have access to a local supply of test kits in your department, unit, or residence. Staff, faculty, and researchers: check with your supervisor. Students: check with your tutor/proctor/resident advisor, or unit or property manager.
You can also check with your School or Unit’s local testing coordinator for test kit pick-up locations.
Anyone living in on-campus undergraduate housing
Undergraduates living off-campus (vaccinated)
Undergraduates living off-campus (unvaccinated)
Graduate students (vaccinated)
Graduate students (unvaccinated)
Faculty, staff, and researchers with a regular on-campus presence (vaccinated)
Faculty, staff, and researchers with a regular on-campus presence (unvaccinated)
Faculty, staff, and researchers with an infrequent on-campus presence less than once per week (vaccinated)
Faculty, staff, and researchers with an infrequent on-campus presence less than once per week (unvaccinated)
Drop-off bins are available at multiple locations across campus to collect unobserved test samples. View the map and click or tap into each location to see last pick-up times. Test kits must only be returned to the designated drop boxes by the individual who tested; they should not be passed onto others or aggregated for group drop-offs.
COVID-19 Testing and Tracing
Data collection and privacy
Learn what data will be collected, how data will be used, and what the University is doing to protect your privacy.
Local testing resources
If you’re not eligible to participate in Harvard’s testing program, other local testing options include the Stop the Spread program (free to Massachusetts residents), the Cambridge Public Health Department program (free to Cambridge residents), and Boston COVID-19 testing sites.
Check with your local health department or your primary care physician to learn about other options.
Note that most insurance plans only cover testing if you have symptoms or known exposure to an infected person.