Health and Cleaning Protocol

This protocol outlines the university’s enhanced hygiene and cleaning expectations for employees, students, vendors, and visitors in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This protocol has been developed based upon guidance from the CDC and OSHA, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and outlines daily personal hygiene, cleaning, and sanitizing expectations while on campus.

This protocol is subject to modification and updating based upon evolving federal, state, and local health and safety guidance.

Daily Hygiene


Washing your hands thoroughly will support the community in staying safe and healthy. Hands must be washed with soap and warm water for a minimum of 20 seconds, especially and immediately after the following:

If warm water and soap are not available, you may use a hand sanitizer containing a minimum of 60% alcohol content. When applying hand sanitizer, cover the entire surface of the hands, and rub them together until dry. Once your hands are clean, remember to avoid touching your face as much as possible.n>

Workspace disinfection

In addition to enhanced cleaning, everyone is encouraged to wipe down commonly used surfaces in conference rooms and common areas. If you have touched surfaces in conference rooms, common areas, or other work spaces, wipe down the surfaces with cleaning products available in the space.


To limit potential transmission of the virus, it is recommended that you wash your hands before and after eating and wipe down all common surfaces—including tables, chairs, refrigerator handles, and coffee machines— with disinfectant or disinfectant cloths.

Because people will need to remove their masks when they eat or drink, it is important to limit eating and drinking to certain designated areas on campus. Masks should only be taken off when seated in order to eat or drink. Masks must be worn when traveling indoors (for instance while carrying food or beverages to a table). Avoid eating anywhere within the path of travel indoors (lobbies, corridors, etc.)

COVID-19 Campus Face Covering Protocol

Consistent with the latest federal, state, and local guidance related to COVID-19,  Northeastern requires employees, vendors, visitors, and students—both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated with an approved exemption—to wear face coverings/masks while they are in indoor spaces.  Northeastern’s indoor mask mandate will take effect on Friday, August 27 on the Boston campus. Each campus will continue to stay aligned with local guidance, and all campuses will resume indoor mask-wearing no later than September 6.   

All faculty, staff, and students—both vaccinated and unvaccinated with an approved exemption— coming to campus are expected to have their own face covering that is large enough to cover their noses and mouths. Employees who need specialized Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) such as medical-grade masks to perform their work will receive PPE from the university. Face coverings will be available for vendors and visitors who do not have their own face covering.

Everyoneboth vaccinated and unvaccinated individuals with an approved exemption— is still required to wear masks anywhere that city, state, provincial, federal law, or individual businesses require it.

This protocol may be modified and updated in accordance with ongoing guidance from public health authorities.


Mandatory for all members of the Northeastern community.


Whether home-made or commercially manufactured, cloth masks help contain the wearer’s respiratory emissions. They should only be worn for one day, and then properly laundered before reuse.


Commercially manufactured disposable masks are designed to contain the wearer’s respiratory emissions and should be thrown out after single use.

Generally reserved for healthcare workers and workspaces with task-specific hazards.

Medical-grade surgical

These FDA-approved medical-grade surgical mask protects users from larger splashes of liquid and contain the wearer’s respiratory emissions.

N-95 respirator

Protect against airborne particles and aerosols and contain the wearer’s respiratory emissions.

Face Covering Requirements and Exclusions

Face coverings are not intended to replace other measures for preventing illness, including vaccination, maintaining healthy distancing of more than 6 feet of distance from other people if unvaccinated with an approved exemption; washing hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds; avoiding touching eyes, nose, and mouth; and staying home when sick.

Employees who have a medical condition that prevents them from using a face covering should contact Shana Feggins in Human Resources Management: Students who have a medical condition that prevents them from using a face covering should contact Disability Resource Center:

Individuals may remove their face coverings when eating or drinking, and facilitate communication with sign language as necessary, provided healthy distancing is maintained. Employees should also remove their masks if they cannot safely perform their work while wearing a face-covering (for example, while using machinery or equipment that could entangle the mask).

COVID-19 Campus Healthy Distancing Protocol

The purpose of this protocol is to promote the health, safety , and well-being of Northeastern community members by limiting human-to-human contact on campus to help reduce the spread of COVID-19.

Wherever local distancing requirements remain in effect, everyone must continue to observe all campus signage on capacity limits and density restrictions. In areas where local distancing requirements are lifted, the university is following OSHA guidance and is asking unvaccinated visitors and any unvaccinated employees, students, and vendors with an approved exemption to practice healthy distancing by remaining at least six feet apart from others at all times, to the greatest extent possible.

Unvaccinated visitors and any unvaccinated employees, students, and vendors with an approved exemption  should practice healthy distancing in all common areas, workspaces, break rooms, and elevators.

Cleaning and Sanitizing Protocol

Northeastern is committed to providing safe, clean, and sanitized spaces across campus for all students, employees, visitors, and vendors. This policy is subject to modification and updating based upon evolving federal, state, and local health and safety guidance.

Facilities staff members and vendors will disinfect and clean offices and workstations, common areas, and restrooms on a frequent, recurring basis as well as on-demand as needed in accordance with guidance from the CDC and OSHA, as well as the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. Facilities will also maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances, offices and lab suites, and other high-traffic areas.