Testing Requirement:
From August 9th on, all qualified personnel who are working on campus will need to undergo unobserved self-administered testing at the frequency indicated below, based on vaccination status:

Vaccinated – test once a week
Unvaccinated – test twice a week

You do not need to come to campus just to test; test only when you are working on-site (for example, if you are unvaccinated and you are on campus only once during a week, you only need to test once during that week.)  Please see the HMS website below for more information on the self-administered test:


If you have COVID symptoms, please use the self-assessment in CrimsonClear to report them so that HUHS can follow up to determine if you should head to campus. Please also let Marie Bao, Department Director of Research Administrator, know and do not come to campus until you have been cleared by HUHS.  The School now also asks that you avoid coming onto campus only to pick up a test if you are symptomatic, unless you have conferred with HUHS and this is their recommendation. 

Unobserved Testing System:
Color Account Setup
The University has received regulatory approval to transition from observed testing to unobserved, self-administered testing. Harvard has contracted with Color, a health technology and services company, to manage the University’s testing and contact tracing, including providing testing kits, managing alerts for regular testing and delivering test results to individuals.

If you have not already done so, create your Color account using your Harvard email. This is a critical step as you cannot access a test kit until you have successfully activated your Color account. If you need assistance setting up your Color account, email support@color.com. If you are denied access to create a Color account, please notify the department research administrator, Marie Bao, to resolve the issue (if you are a graduate student, please also contact your graduate program head). 

Test Kit Pick Up
Test kits can be picked up in the New Research Building (NRB) in the ground floor lobby at the following times.  There is no strict limit (within reason) for the number of kits you can pick up at a time, but aim for 3-5. You can show your HUID and activate kit screen to obtain a FastPass sticker valid for the academic year.  For subsequent visits, you will then only need to show your sticker to pick up your desired number of kits.

8 am - 12 pm
2 pm - 4 pm

6 am - 10 am

Sample Collection Times
Mon-Fri – First collection around 10am, last collection 2pm
Sat –  Last collection 11am
Sun – Last collection 11am

Please enter through the 77 Avenue Louis Pasteur entrance and be ready to show the attendant your Harvard ID and the Color app displaying your eligibility. Upon receipt of your test kit, you will be asked to exit the building through the double doors closest to the amphitheater.

Please do not administer your test within 6 feet of others OR in any indoor common space shared with others.

Self-Test Administration and Drop-Off
Each testing kit contains information on how to administer the self-test. A helpful self-paced training module is also available in the Harvard Training Portal. Please follow the steps detailed below.

  • Plan to swab the day you will be dropping off your kit.
  • Activate the tube with your Color account so they know it is yours.
  • Wash your hands and find a clean place to test.
  • Use only one tube for each test day.
  • Make sure to obtain the sample correctly.
  • Push the cap back on to the tube and make sure it is tightly secured.
  • Completely seal the bag so the tube doesn’t fall out.

After you have collected your sample, deposit it as soon as possible in the collection bin at the NRB. The collection bin is located in the NRB ground floor lobby near the stairs leading to the first floor and the garage elevators. Prior to depositing your completed test kit into the collection bin, please be sure to type the bar code numbers from your test kit tube into the “activate kit” screen in Color. There will be signs at the bin location to remind you. Bins will be picked up multiple times per day, but not overnight.