Testing Requirement:
All qualified personnel who are on campus for longer than 4 fours a week (cumulatively) will need to undergo unobserved self-administered testing once a week.  Please see the HMS website below for more information on the self-administered test and testing frequency:


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:
M/ W / F
8 a m - 1 2 p m
2 p m - 4 p m

T / T H
6 a m - 1 0 a m

Starting May 17th, the pick-up hours for your samples have been updated for the summer as below. This schedule will hold through August.

Sample Collection Times
Mon-Fri – First collection around 10am, last collection around 2pm
Sat – 1 morning collection (around  10am)
Sun – No collection

Sample Collection Holidays
Monday May 31st. - Memorial Day
Tuesday June 1st - HMS Unplugs
Friday June 18th - Juneteenth Observed
Friday July 2nd - HMS Unplugs
Monday July 5th - 4th of July Observed

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.