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Reopening Northeastern

Workplace Safety Protocols


The following mandatory onsite workplace safety protocols must be followed by all Northeastern faculty and staff in all university offices, labs and other campus facilities.

icon of a face mask

Face Masks

Face masks or cloth face coverings must be worn at all times inside campus facilities (offices, classrooms, and labs) when in the presence of others. Face coverings must also be worn in common spaces (including reception areas, residential dining halls, Curry Student Center, Snell Library, ISEC, and Marino lounges, etc.) where healthy distancing is difficult to maintain.

A face covering is not a substitute for healthy distancing. It not only protects you, but shows consideration for others, as you may be able to spread COVID-19 even if you do not feel sick. Cloth face coverings should only be worn for one day before being laundered and used again.

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.

Icon of people at a distance

Healthy Distancing

Keeping at least six feet of space between you and others is the best way to avoid being exposed to COVID-19 and to decrease the risk of infecting others. At all times, reduced density protocols require that the maximum capacity of a space be no more than 25 percent of the space’s regular capacity.

To help maintain healthy distancing in workspaces, managers will assess work environments. Please be mindful and compliant with the added measures in place, such as:

      • Visual cues and signage
      • One-way directional signage for large open work spaces with multiple throughways
      • Limiting access to, and use of, common spaces

Managers: work is underway to identify staff in Campus Planning and Facilities who will serve as points of contact for managers. They will be in charge of helping to design and implement plans to alter workplaces in an effort to accommodate healthy distancing. In the meantime, please contact to request assistance in assessing work environments.

Hand washing icon


You should wash your hands frequently and for at least 20 seconds after being in a public place, blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing. If handwashing is not possible, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth, and wash your hands after touching your face.

People with empty desks between them.

Office Work Areas

Faculty and staff should wear a face covering at all times while in a shared work space or meeting room. Seating should be arranged in open office configurations or cubicle arrangements to accommodate a physical distance of six feet between coworkers.

Meeting with a virtual attendee


Refrain from gathering in groups, maintain healthy distancing, and hold meetings in open air, well-ventilated spaces wherever possible. Meetings should also make use of the full range of available communications tools—including Microsoft Teams, Zoom, Canvas and conference calls—to diminish gathering in groups and mitigate the risk of the virus’ transmission.

A break room microwave

Break Rooms

Avoid social gathering in break rooms and wipe all appliances (coffee machine, refrigerator, microwave, water dispenser) and surfaces after individual use.

Hand sanitizer icon


Facilities will disinfect offices and workstations, conference and break rooms, doorknobs, common areas and restrooms on a frequent, recurring basis—as well as on-demand as needed. Disinfection will be in addition to regular nightly cleanings. Facilities will also maintain hand sanitizer stations at major building entrances, offices and lab suites, and other high-traffic areas. Each individual should personally wipe off surfaces after touching them, particularly if they may be touched by others.

Stairwell icon


No more than one or two persons may enter an elevator at a time (please adhere to signage near each elevator). Please use the stairs whenever possible. If using the elevator, wear your mask and avoid touching elevator buttons with your fingers. If using the stairs, avoid touching the handrails, if possible. Wash your hands or use hand sanitizer upon departing the elevator or stairwell. In stairwells, please make room for others to the extent it is possible to maintain social distancing.

Restroom icon


Use of restrooms should be limited to support six feet of healthy distancing between individuals. Wash your hands thoroughly after use to reduce the potential for transmission of the virus.


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