Service Contractors & Vendors

This guidance is being provided to the Harvard community to help answer frequently asked questions (FAQs) related to service contractors that are working on-site, and to assist each school/unit to communicate and ensure adherence to relevant Harvard University COVID-19 safety protocols.

Hiring managers should familiarize themselves with Harvard University expectations for general EH&S compliance and COVID-19 requirements and communicate them to any service contractors working on campus by sharing the following documents prior to starting work on-site:

  • COVID-19 Service Contractor Checklist describes current COVID-19-specific requirements for service contractors and vendors working on-site.

  • Service Contractor Safety Guide describes general Harvard University EH&S compliance and safety expectations for service contractors on campus and is referenced either explicitly or implicitly in Harvard University’s contracting templates.

Please note that construction or renovation projects may have separate requirements. Visit COVID-19 Construction Support for more information on policies and procedures for construction projects.



Audience: Building/Laboratory/Vendor Managers

CD Number: CD087B

List of vendors that can perform enhanced COVID-19 cleaning.

Updated September 22, 2021

Audience: Staff Hiring/Managing Service Contractors

CD Number: CD057A

This guidance can be shared with service contractors/vendors to inform them of critical COVID-19 safety precautions and safe work practices.

This checklist is intended for any service contractor coming to Harvard University’s campuses. School/unit hiring managers should provide this checklist to their service contractors to help ensure their understanding and adherence with Harvard University COVID-19 safety protocols.

Frequently Asked Questions: Staff Hiring Vendors/Staff Managing Service Contractors

The following questions are being asked and answered across Harvard University.

Please email additional questions to Kat Kaminski at

How do I manage service contractors who deliver services on campus or work on campus for prolonged periods?

Follow the COVID-19 best practices listed to communicate expectations by sharing the Service Contractor Safety Guide and the COVID-19 Service Contractor Checklist with your service contractor.

“Embedded vendors” who are routinely on-campus should also be set up with a Harvard University Identification card (HUID) and complete the required COVID-19 testing if they will be on-site routinely.

See Should my contractor be included in the COVID-19 viral testing program?

Who is responsible for ensuring that service contractors coming on campus implement COVID-19 safety practices?

Any person (school/unit) bringing and/or scheduling on-site work with a service contractor is responsible for overseeing the contractor's work while on campus, including:

  • Communicating Harvard University guidance and expectations to that service contractor.
  • Overseeing the service contractor’s work to ensure their compliance with Harvard University policies.

Service contractors are responsible for the safety of their staff and for ensuring that they are in compliance with any applicable regulations.

What if a service contractor that was working on-site tested positive for COVID-19?

If the contractor is actively on site, they should be instructed to immediately leave the workplace.

If a service contractor is presumed or confirmed positive for COVID-19, the service contractors should notify their Harvard University contact as well as the required notifications in Section 7 of the COVID-19 Service Contractor Checklist.

Contact your custodial service contractor to arrange for enhanced cleaning in the common spaces or shared workspaces used by the diagnosed service contractor. This will include cleaning and disinfection of high touch-surfaces in those areas.

Are service contactors working on campus required to be vaccinated?

Yes, as of July 15, 2021, vaccinations are required for all Harvard University community members, including faculty, staff, and researchers, who will have any on-campus presence.

Embedded vendors with an HUID and a regular on campus presence are also expected to comply with Harvard University’s vaccination requirement.

Exceptions will be provided for medical or religious reasons.

Visit Verify Your Vaccination for Information on how to securely notify Harvard University Health Services (HUHS) of your vaccination status. Embedded vendors must verify their vaccination with HUHS by July 15, 2021.

Note that unvaccinated individuals may be subject to additional public health measures above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals (e.g., face covering, COVID-19 testing).

Are there access restrictions for services contractors due to COVID-19?

What are the requirements for service contractors working on renovation projects?

Those working on projects may have to follow both Harvard University’s policies and the policies of the general contractor that is in charge of the site. Contact EH&S Project Support Services for further guidance.

Isolated Projects

E.g., the entire site is under the care, custody, and control of the general contractor.

Anyone entering the site (including Harvard University staff) must use the general contractor’s access procedures to enter the site.

Harvard University workers entering the work site, need to comply with the general contractor’s Health and Safety Plan (HASP) and access procedures in addition to Harvard University-specific procedures.

Projects in Existing Harvard University Building and/or with Shared Entrances

Shared entrances: Projects where construction workers must go through an entrance that is not under the general contractor’s control (e.g., inside a portion of the building without a separate, dedicated entrance where Harvard University staff, etc. may interact with the worker without needing to sign in with the general contractor).

Workers must follow Harvard University policies as well as the general contractor’s requirements for work on campus.

If contractors have HUIDs and are interacting with Harvard University staff, contractors need to be vaccinated and may possibly need be added to the Harvard University COVID-19 testing program. These contractors must also wear a mask if working inside.

Day laborers and other contractors on the project who do not have HUIDs should follow general best practices for safety and compliance per their company HASP. They must also wear a mask if working inside.

What are “embedded vendors”?

“Embedded vendors” are those service contractors who support Harvard University on a routine basis, have an HUID, and assign one or more of their staff members to campus for an extended period of time.

Embedded vendors are usually on campus with a frequency similar to Harvard University staff and often interact with the Harvard University community.

Examples of embedded vendors are on-campus employees of Securitas, CW, and JLL.

Crimson Clear/Viral Testing

Are service contractors required to complete the Crimson Clear online form daily before coming on-campus?

No, Crimson Clear is no longer required in most cases. However, all personnel coming on a Harvard University campus, including service contractors and vendors, must continue to monitor their health. If they have any COVID-19 symptoms they are encouraged to stay home.

If a school/unit/building manager continues to require the use of Crimson Clear, the contractor must complete a Crimson Clear form as instructed by their on-campus contact.

If a service contractor has COVID-19 symptoms, a recent COVID-19 exposure, or a COVID-19 diagnosis a formal attestation must be documented using the Crimson Clear online form in order to obtain clearance from HUHS to come on-campus.

Crimson Clear can be filled out via either:

What if a service contractor develops symptoms while on campus?

The person should go home immediately and consult with their primary care physician for guidance if needed.

For more information see What should I do if a service contractor that was working on-site tested positive for COVID-19?

Should service contractors/vendors be included in the viral testing program?

Harvard University faculty, staff, and students as well as embedded vendors with a routine on-campus presence will continue to be required to complete periodic COVID-19 tests for the foreseeable future.

Consult your testing coordinator and/or HUHS for verification and assistance with both:

  • Determining if the vendor should be included in the testing schedule.
  • Getting the vendor set up correctly in the system.

What qualifies as a “routine on campus presence” when determining if a vendor should be part of the COVID-19 testing program?

Prior to July 15, 2021 there was a four hour per week on-campus threshold for determining COVID-19 testing eligibility for service contractors.

As of July 15, 2021 there is new guidance available related to testing groups and assignments. Schools and business units should work with HUHS and their testing coordinator to determine whether a vendor is routinely on campus enough to warrant inclusion in the testing program and based on the school’s return to campus planning.

Do delivery personnel, including those who enter a building to deliver equipment, need to be in the viral testing program?

Delivery personnel who have limited interaction with the Harvard University community do not usually need to be part of the COVID-19 testing program. This need should be determined on a school by school basis.

Any person entering a Harvard University building should comply with the requirements posted on or near the exterior entrances to each building. Persons must remain masked while inside buildings.

Contract Management and Procurement

Should service contractor contracts be amended to require that they comply with these requirements?

Most contracts already require that service contractors comply with Harvard University procedures.

Send the Service Contractor Safety Guide to your service contractors so that they are aware of campus safety and compliance expectations.

Contact your local procurement manager or Strategic Procurement for additional assistance.

How do I view a copy of my service contractor’s contract?

If the contract is managed locally you should contact the procurement group for your school or department.

Harvard University-wide contracts managed by Strategic Procurement are available in the new Buy-to-Pay (B2P) system.

Contact Strategic Procurement if you do not have a procurement department and are looking for additional assistance.