The immune system plays a major role in Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis, viral clearance and protection against re-infection . Immune cell dynamics during COVID-19 have been extensively documented in peripheral blood, but remain elusive in the respiratory tract . We performed minimally-invasive nasal curettage and mass cytometry to characterize nasal immune cells of COVID-19 patients during and 5-6 weeks after hospitalization . Contrary to observations in blood, no general T cell depletion at the nasal mucosa could be detected . Instead, we observed increased numbers of nasal granulocytes, monocytes, CD11c+ NK cells and exhausted CD4+ T effector memory cells during acute COVID-19 compared to age-matched healthy controls . These pro-inflammatory responses were found associated with viral load, while neutrophils also negatively correlated with oxygen saturation levels . Cell numbers mostly normalized following convalescence, except for persisting CD127+ granulocytes and activated T cells, including CD38+ CD8+ tissue-resident memory T cells . Moreover, we identified SARS-CoV-2 specific CD8+ T cells in the nasal mucosa in convalescent patients . Thus, COVID-19 has both transient and long-term effects on the immune system in the upper airway.