Bison S.A.F.E.: The University's Pandemic Response

Howard University’s pandemic response is built with the goals of Bison S.A.F.E. at heart:

Supporting our community; 

Advocating for at-risk populations; 

Facilitating ethical, culturally sensitive, and inclusive research; and 

Educating the public on best practices for safety. 

Responding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic is a team effort. Do your part by knowing and following the guidelines detailed on this site. 

Overview of COVID-19 Policies


All students, faculty, and staff who will be coming to campus must provide official documentation of vaccination that includes your name, the name of the vaccine received, and the dates of vaccination. This documentation may be provided through either a CDC Vaccination Card, World Health Organization Yellow Book, or official documentation from a medical provider. Please see the Vaccination Protocol page for more information and instructions.

Testing and Masking

Testing is required for individuals who are experiencing symptoms (fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea), as well as a once-per-month selected surveillance screening with PCR testing. Please see Testing, Quarantine, and Contact Tracing Protocol for more information.  

Wearing a mask on campus is optional, but recommended.

Daily Symptoms Check

All members of the Howard University community who plan to be on-campus must complete the daily Bison Safe app daily screening. Download the app here.


How can I reduce the risk of getting COVID-19?

  • Being fully vaccinated and boostered 

  • Maintain at least 3 feet of distance 

  • Maintain good hand hygiene 

  • Wear a mask in public settings 

Do I have to wear a mask on campus?

The campus policy is mask-optional in most spaces. Because certain buildings and classrooms can require masking it is recommended you carry an N95 or KN95 mask with you. 

Do I have to test regularly for COVID-19?

Students who are symptomatic should be tested for covid.  You can test at the Stokes library Monday –Friday 9-12 am and 1-4pm and the Student Health Center.  Those who are asymptomatic and wish to test should do so at the Stokes Library. During the course of the semester, the testing policy may be altered depending on the changes in covid patterns on campus. Testing on the West Campus will be provided in an upcoming schedule. 

What are the COVID-19 Vaccine requirements?

You must be up to date with your COVID vaccinations. The University is requiring full vaccination and a booster. For those recently vaccinated, you will need to upload your booster to medproctor when it is due or a medical hold will automatically be placed on your account preventing registration in the upcoming semesters. 

Can I Waive the COVID-19 Vaccine?

Yes, you can provide an official religious or medical waiver for the vaccination and you will be able to attend class.  However, up to date vaccination is required to live in on-campus housing. 

If I test positive for COVID-19, what is the isolation policy?

For those students that test positive, if you live on campus you will be placed in isolation.  You may get a PCR test after 5 days, if the results are negative you can leave isolation, if the results are positive you will isolate for a total of 10 days.  If you test positive off campus, email your results to

Get the Bison Safe App

An iPhone with the Bison Safe app onscreen.

Bison Safe is the official safety app of Howard University. Through the app, you can schedule COVID testing and complete your daily self-assessment, receive safety alerts, and get instant access to campus safety resources. Students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a daily self-assessment using this app before visiting any campus buildings

New Registration Instructions

Daily Self-Assessment Instructions

Download the Bison Safe App