Northeastern relaxes some restrictions on residence hall guest policy, indoor dining

Photo by Ruby Wallau/Northeastern University

Northeastern is easing some of the social restrictions on its Boston campus that have been in place since spring in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

A plan to lift some restrictions on student housing, indoor dining, common areas, and student clubs and organizations, was shared with the university community on Friday, Oct. 16 by Kenneth Henderson, chancellor and senior vice president for learning.

The decision to ease some on-campus rules halfway into the fall term was informed by the low numbers of positive tests thus far, as well as the university community’s demonstrated commitment to following the health and safety protocols on campus and everyone doing their part to “Protect the Pack.”

The university has completed more than 250,000 COVID-19 tests. To date, the percentage of positive tests on a weekly basis at Northeastern is 0.05 percent. Students will continue to get tested every three days. Faculty, staff and contract employees regularly on campus will continue to get tested twice per week. The strict protocols for wearing masks indoors and outdoors, and healthy distancing will remain the same. The university will maintain its rigorous cleaning and sanitization protocols across campus.

“We’re proud of how vigilant our students have been to help keep our community safe thus far,” says Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor for student affairs. “We understand the restrictions in place have made this semester feel very different from what we’re used to, and hope that easing some policies will give students additional opportunities to make connections and engage as we move into the second half of the semester.”

Here are the changes that will go into effect on Oct. 16

  • Easing the no visitor or guest policy, the university will now permit students living in university housing to have one guest in their unit at a time, as long as the guest lives in the same building. While a guest is present, all residents and the guest must wear a mask or face covering and keep a safe distance.
  • Indoor dining will be offered at International Village, Stetson East, Stetson West, Churchill Hall, Curry Student Center, and Boston Symphony Hall. In between meal times, each location will be closed and thoroughly cleaned.
  • Lounges and common areas in residential areas will be available to students as long as they are abiding by posted signage, wearing masks or face coverings, and maintaining a safe distance. Music rooms and gaming tables will remain closed.
  • Student clubs and organizations will be able to reserve space for in-person meetings in the Curry Student Center and elsewhere. Rules on physical distancing, mask-wearing, and prohibiting food in enclosed spaces will continue to be enforced.
  • Clubs and organizations will also be permitted to resume in-person tabling outdoors, but must reserve a space online.

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