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Updated Requirements for COVID-19 Testing

Dear Members of the Harvard Community,

As you are likely aware, COVID-19 infections are rising across the country and locally in Massachusetts, primarily associated with the Delta variant. We have been monitoring the situation closely.

To help limit the spread of COVID-19 in our community, the University will increase its COVID-19 testing cadence requirements, effective Monday, August 9. The updated testing cadences are as follows and apply to all students, faculty, staff, and researchers with any on-campus presence:

  • Fully Vaccinated – once per week
  • Unvaccinated, including for medical/religious exemption – twice per week
  • Note: Residents in Undergraduate Housing were already required to test at these cadences, so this update does not affect their testing requirements.
  • Faculty, staff, and researchers with an infrequent presence on campus are not required to come to campus for the sole purpose of testing. Simply test the next time you are on campus.

The Delta variant is more contagious than other coronavirus variants. While it is unlikely to cause severe illness if you are vaccinated, the Delta variant can still infect vaccinated persons. More frequent testing will help reduce the spread of the coronavirus on campus, help avoid severe illness in high-risk community members, and limit further mutation of the virus.

Campus-wide vaccination is the best weapon against the coronavirus, including the Delta variant. Fully vaccinated persons are very well protected from severe illness and hospitalization. So please get vaccinated, as soon as possible, if you aren’t already.

Additionally, masks work. They are highly effective at protecting ourselves, colleagues, and our loved ones from infections. With that in mind, the University continues to require masks indoors, regardless of vaccination status.

Finally, please remember to use Crimson Clear if you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, if you test positive outside of HUHS, or if you have a known COVID-19 exposure. HUHS will reach out to provide advice and discuss next steps.

Thank you again for your commitment to Keep Harvard Healthy.

Giang T. Nguyen
Executive Director, Harvard University Health Services