COVID Guidance

All faculty, researchers, students, and staff holding a formal affiliation with the Department of Psychology are permitted to access campus buildings as needed. Please take the steps below prior to entry and once on campus to ensure the safety of our community.
Checklist for Return to Campus
  • Confirm your schedule with your supervisor or PI.
  • Submit your vaccine verification to HUHS.
  • Confirm that you have a physical Harvard ID (HUID) card to tap on the card readers at building entryways. See the section below on ID Cards for instructions.
  • Confirm that you have swipe access enabled on your HUID card. Swipe access may only be activated after you have your physical ID card in hand. To request swipe access, ask your lab manager to send your HUID number to Sabrina Joaquim (William James Hall) or Jesselynn Opie (Northwest Labs).
  • Confirm that you have keys to your designated lab or office space. If you do not have keys, contact your lab manager or PI, who can request keys for you via PRESTO.
  • Review COVID testing requirements and plan to test according to the cadence prescribed. All community members with active ID cards will be automatically added to the testing eligibility file. HUHS is assigning testing cadence based on vaccination status. See Testing & Tracing for more information.
  • Create your Color account and participate in the University’s COVID-19 testing program. Check Crimson Clear for your “Color Provisioning Email.” Use the provisioning email to create your Color account.
  • Review the EH&S COVID-19 Resources for relevant and updated requirements and recommendations for on campus activity.
  • Plan your commute to campus. Update your Charlie Card or parking permit at Some parking lots / garages now offer 3-day parking permits. See more from the Parking Office.
  • Allow plenty of extra time for computer and IT issues. Computers that have not been used during COVID may take up to 7 days for updates. Please check your own equipment, as well as any classrooms, conference rooms, or meeting rooms you will use well in advance of when you will need them. Contact for assistance with personal computers, printers, scanners, etc. Contact Educational Support Services (ESS) at with questions or concerns about classrooms.
Once on Campus
  • Do not come to campus if you are ill. While daily health attestations are no longer required, anyone with COVID symptoms should not come to campus and should immediately notify HUHS using Crimson Clear at
  • Wear a mask when indoors. Everyone must wear a mask when indoors. Those who are unvaccinated must also mask when outdoors. Masks are available at the security desk in the lobby of WJH and at test kit pick-up locations in NWL and the Science Center.
  • Social distance if necessary. Social distancing of 6 feet is recommended for unvaccinated individuals, when possible, both indoors and outdoors. Those vaccinated are not required to social distance, but please be mindful of those around you and their preferences for personal space.
  • Complete testing in accordance with your assigned testing cadence.
    • Pick up your test kit. Test kits are available at the security desk in the lobby of WJH, outside NWL 102/104, and in the Science Center outside B11.
    • Collect your sample. We recommend taking your test kit home and collecting your sample there; however, you can also do this on campus when you are alone in a private office, shared office space, or meeting room. Please do not collect your sample in public areas including restrooms or in shared spaces when not alone.
    • Locate the nearest testing collection site you will use to submit your activated test kit. Bins are located all over campus including in the Northwest Building and Science Center. A comprehensive list of drop-off locations is available here.
    • Contact Color Support at if you have technical issues with your Color account.
  • Identify a location for eating and drinking.
    • Vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals may eat and drink when alone in a private office with the door closed.
    • Labs are asked to designate a specific location for eating and drinking, where individuals may eat alone or while maintaining 6-feet of distance from others.
    • As weather permits, please take advantage of outdoor eating spaces. While eating outdoors, vaccinated individuals do not need to socially distance while unvaccinated individuals should maintain 6-foot distance if possible.
    • More information about eating/drinking and what constitutes a designated eating area is available here.
Building Access
  • Buildings are currently open to Harvard affiliates during regular business hours (M-F 9-5).
  • After hours, buildings are locked and accessible only by those holding Harvard ID cards that have been activated with swipe access.
Contact Tracing
  • If you are unsure how to handle a specific situation involving someone who tested positive, please direct questions about contact tracing and what to do in a specific scenario to:
    • 617-496-2288 (Main Contact Tracing Line) or
    • (this is team inbox)
    • Note - even if you know the direct contact info for a specific contact tracer because you worked with them on a different issue, it is best to use the centralized email because the individual contact tracer might not be working at the time you reach out to them, and there could be further delays in follow-up.
  • The Contact Tracing Team monitors the email inbox and voicemail 7 days a week from 8 AM – 12 midnight and will respond to all questions as soon as possible.
  • When emailing, be concise but include all relevant details, including the infected person's identity, exposures of concern, and who you are (along with your mobile # etc).
  • Please do not call the HUHS clinic with question about isolation/quarantine, because the Contact Tracing Team has the most in-depth knowledge of these protocols and is best suited to answer these questions.


Events, Meetings, and Gatherings
  • Meetings, events, and other gatherings, both indoors and outdoors, will be permitted as determined by the University’s On-Campus Activity Guidance. Please consult this evolving guidance throughout the planning process and immediately before your event.
  • The Department of Psychology is not approving campus access for short-term visitors (e.g. guest speakers, workshop participants, non-Harvard colleagues, etc.) for Fall 2021.
  • Any meetings or courses may incorporate remote guest speakers (or audience members) only.
  • Guidance has not yet been set for Spring 2022.
Human Subjects
  • For research resumption involving in-person human subjects, please refer to this guidance from the Committee on the Use of Human Subjects (CUHS).
  • Meet participants at entryways and screen them for COVID-19 symptoms. Doors are still locked and participants will not have swipe access. Labs are responsible for maintaining records of human subjects on campus to enable contact tracing if necessary. Collect paper or electronic screening forms akin to this sample Crimson Clear form.
  • Escort participants to and from labs to provide masks and ensure participants access only those spaces essential to their visit.
ID Cards
  • New members of our community or those who were onboarded remotely during the pandemic are advised to pick up physical ID cards, as these will be needed to access buildings by tapping your HUID on the black card reader near entryways.
  • To obtain your ID card, send a self-portrait with a white background (for your ID card image) to The following day, you can visit the ID Office on the first floor of the Smith Campus Center at 1350 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02138 from 9:00-4:00, Monday through Friday to pick up your card.
  • If you do not have keys, contact your lab manager or PI, who can request keys for you via PRESTO.
  • Regular mail service has resumed.
  • Contact Harvard University Mail Services ( with any questions.
Neuroimaging Facility
  • Sign up for the MRI Safety Class. Researchers must attend the MRI New Researcher Safety Class before gaining access to the Neuroimaging Facility. Email Larry White to sign up for a class. Sign-up for the CBSN mailing list to receive safety class and other CBS Neuroimaging announcements.
  • Request Northwest Labs/Neuroimaging Facility Building Access. Email Caroline West with your HUID number and verify that you have completed all other return to campus checklist steps. (Note: You need to have picked up your HUID from the Campus Service Center in the Smith Center before requesting building access.)
  • November:
    • Thanksgiving Break (Thursday, November 25 and Friday, November 26): No test collection or processing. Test kits must be dropped off by 12:00pm on Wednesday, November 24 to be processed before the holiday. If test kits are dropped off after this deadline, they will expire in the drop off bins, and you will be required to re-test
  • December:
    • Winter Recess (Monday, December 20 – Thursday, December 23 and Monday, December 27 – Thursday, December 30): Test collection and processing will follow the weekend drop off schedule.
    • Christmas Eve and Day Observed (Friday, December 24 and Saturday, December 25): No test collection or processing. Test kits must be dropped off on Thursday, December 23. All tests must be dropped by posted last weekend pickup time to be processed before the holiday. Please refer to the appendix for “Last Pickup Not Before” schedule. If test kits are dropped off after this deadline, they will expire in the drop off bins, and you will be required to re-test.
    • New Year’s Day Observed and New Year’s Day (Friday, December 31 and Saturday, January 1): No test collection or processing. Test kits must be dropped off on Thursday, December 30. All tests must be dropped by posted last weekend pickup time to be processed before the holiday. Please refer to the appendix for “Last Pickup Not Before” schedule. If test kits are dropped off after this deadline, they will expire in the drop off bins, and you will be required to re-test.
  • Vaccination is required for all faculty, staff, students, and researchers with any on-campus presence. Community members are advised to complete their vaccinations as soon as possible and submit their vaccine verification.
  • Information on where you can receive the vaccine can be found on the University’s vaccine webpage.
  • All vaccines authorized for emergency use by the World Health Organization will meet the University’s vaccine requirement.
  • You can read more about the requirement and how to submit documentation on the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) website.
  • If you are unable to access an FDA- or WHO-authorized vaccine before the fall, the University plans to offer vaccination on arrival.
  • Students seeking a medical or religious exemptions from the vaccine requirement should complete the Student Vaccine Exemption Form.
  • Faculty, staff, and researchers wishing to claim an exemption from the vaccine requirement will be able to do so starting in early July. Please check this site for updates.
  • Unvaccinated individuals will be subject to additional public health measures (e.g., masking, testing) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals.
  • The CDC continues to update information regarding COVID-19 vaccine boosters. Information on current eligibility is available on the Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) COVID-19 guidance webpage.
  • While COVID-19 vaccination is required of all students, faculty, staff, and researchers, boosters are currently not required. Booster appointments are readily available at commercial pharmacies for those who are eligible.
Workplace Accommodations
  • Staff who have been asked by a supervisor to return to work are generally expected to return to work.
  • If you have concerns about returning to campus due to a pre-existing health condition or other confidential matter, you may request Workplace Accommodations or contact Krista Lester to discuss your options.