Dear Members of the Harvard Community:
As we continue to plan for the start of the fall semester and the return of more of our faculty, staff, researchers, and students in the weeks ahead, I want to share some reminders and updates.
First, please remember that vaccination against COVID-19 is required by July 15. This applies to all students, faculty, staff, and postdoctoral fellows who will spend any time on Harvard’s campus this fall. If you have begun your vaccination series but not completed it (i.e., you have had only one dose of a two-dose vaccine), please submit information about what has been completed so we know that your vaccination is in process.
How to Verify Your Vaccination
Thank you to every member of our community who has already verified their COVID vaccination by submitting it to Harvard University Health Services (HUHS). If you haven’t submitted your verification yet, please visit the Verify Your Vaccination webpage and follow the instructions. If you received your vaccine through HUHS, you do not need to submit any information, as HUHS already has your information on file. HUHS keeps individual medical information secure and confidential.
As of July 6, we have full vaccination information for more than 30,000 community members. However, there are many who have not yet submitted verification and have not met the University requirement for doing so. A high vaccination rate is critical as we bring more students, faculty, and staff back to campus, and it will influence campus decisions about our safety guidelines.
Members of the Harvard community can claim exemptions to the vaccination requirement for medical or religious reasons. Students claiming an exemption should complete the Student Vaccine Exemption Form. Faculty, staff, and researchers wishing to note an exemption to the vaccine requirement can do so through Crimson Clear (see below), which you can access from the Verify Your Vaccination webpage. Unvaccinated persons (regardless of the reason) will be subject to additional public health measures, including extra testing, above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals.
For our international students, all vaccines authorized by the World Health Organization (WHO) or U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will meet the University’s vaccine requirements. For those international students who are not able to receive an authorized vaccine prior to arrival on campus, HUHS will provide opportunities for vaccination (see below).
International students who arrive on campus not fully vaccinated will NOT be barred from move-in or classroom activity, and will NOT need a 14-day quarantine, assuming they have no COVID symptoms and no known recent exposure to a person who tested positive. Testing is required prior to international departure and upon arrival to campus. Instructions and protocols for international students who will arrive not fully vaccinated are available on the For International Students and Scholars page.
Getting Vaccinated through HUHS
Harvard University Health Services offers vaccinations by appointment. To schedule a vaccination appointment before arrival on campus please see the information on the COVID-19 Vaccine Information page.
Updated Testing Requirements
COVID testing will remain a part of the University’s ongoing efforts to track and limit the coronavirus within our community. New testing frequency requirements take effect on July 28. Your required testing cadence will be determined by factors including whether you live on or off campus, your vaccination status, and infection rates in the local community.
Updated testing cadences are:Residents in Undergraduate Housing
- Vaccinated – once per week
- Unvaccinated – twice per week
Residents in Graduate Housing
- Vaccinated – every other week
- Unvaccinated – once per week
All other students and employees with any on-campus presence
- Vaccinated – every other week
- Unvaccinated – once per week
Beginning July 28, each member of the Harvard community can find their updated testing cadence requirement by logging into Crimson Clear. Going forward, you will also receive regular text and email notifications reminding you of your next testing day. More information and detail on the testing requirements is available on the University’s Testing and Tracing webpage.
Updated Distancing Requirements on Campus
As of July 15 the University will no longer require that vaccinated persons observe physical distance requirements, either indoors or outdoors. Unvaccinated persons are still required to maintain physical distancing indoors. As more of our campus community become fully vaccinated, we expect that we will be able to further relax restrictions, including revisiting the indoor mask policy, which remains in place for everyone regardless of vaccination status.
Enhancements to Crimson Clear
Daily use of Crimson Clear is no longer required for those coming to campus. However, the University is now able to use the application to communicate an individual’s testing cadence and to confirm that vaccination information has been received. It can also be used for community members to submit a vaccine exemption. In addition, we ask that you use Crimson Clear to report when you are experiencing COVID symptoms, have a recent exposure to a positive case, or test positive outside of our program. When you do so, HUHS can follow up to provide you with health guidance.
Like all of you, I am looking forward to more of our community working, learning, and living on campus, and the continued increase in on-campus activities.
While the virus continues to have limited presence in our area, it is important that we have in place protocols that will help ensure the health and wellbeing of every member of our community, including community members whose immune systems prevent a full protective response to the vaccine. We must also be aware of the risk posed by the Delta variant, which is spreading rapidly among unvaccinated persons and might mutate further. We appreciate everyone’s commitment to the requirements and protocols that we have in place and will continue to adapt as needed.
We will continue to update you in the weeks ahead as we near the start of the fall semester. And, if you have not done so already, plan your vaccine and verify your vaccination with HUHS.
Giang T. Nguyen
Executive Director, Harvard University Health Services