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Jump to a Section:     Testing and Quarantine Guidelines    Massachusetts Traveler Quarantine Executive Order   Travel FAQs 

In the interest of protecting the health of our campus community during move-in, we recommend that you minimize contact with others for 14 days before you travel and that you get a test 72 hours or less prior to your arrival on campus, if you are able. Do not travel to campus if you test positive or if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.  

Testing and Quarantine Guidelines

To promote the health and safety of the Northeastern community and its surrounding neighborhoods, and prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, the university will require all students to be tested immediately upon arrival at the Boston campus and then immediately enter quarantine. Students will also be required to be tested two more times, on the third and fifth day after the initial test.

Students whose first test comes back negative will be allowed to discontinue their quarantine immediately. After the third test comes back negative, students will be able to fully engage in campus activities, such as attending classes in person. 

Northeastern’s measures will apply to all students for the start of the fall semester, whether they live on or off campus.

“Even before students move into their dorm, their first stop is going to be the testing center,” said David Luzzi, senior vice provost for research and head of the university’s testing operation. “We are doing that because we want to get them their results as soon as possible.”

Testing will take place at the Cabot Physical Education Center on the Boston campus, and will be processed at the Life Sciences Testing Center at Northeastern’s Innovation Campus in Burlington, Massachusetts.

Northeastern’s new COVID-19 requirements build upon, and exceed, a Massachusetts executive order issued last week by Governor Charlie Baker. 

Baker’s executive order exempts travelers who can provide proof of a negative coronavirus test based on samples taken no more than 72 hours prior to their arrival in the commonwealth, as well as travelers from states with low infection rates. 

But to further promote the safety of the entire community in and around the Boston campus, Northeastern’s requirements for students arriving for the fall semester will be more comprehensive. 

The university will require testing and quarantine for every student arriving on campus from all states, even those exempted from the new Massachusetts travel order, as well as students who arrive in the United States from abroad. Every student will be tested three times.

“We are taking the Massachusetts rules and guidelines as a baseline,” Luzzi said. “And beyond that, we’re building a robust, multi-tiered system in place at the university to foster a successful fall semester.”

In accordance with the new Massachusetts rules, and with some exceptions, anyone who arrives in the commonwealth will also need to fill out an online form with details about their travel. This includes parents, relatives, or anybody else helping students during their move back to school for the fall semester. 

After their arrival, during the five days in which they will have their three coronavirus tests, students who live on campus will be able to go outside their rooms—while wearing a mask—for tasks such as picking up food, attending medical appointments, or sharing hall bathrooms and showers. 

“When you get the results of your first test, and they’re obviously negative, you’re allowed to go around campus, be out of your dorm, or be out of your apartment,” Luzzi said. “Now you’re in compliance with the state, but you’re not yet approved to participate in all campus activities. That happens when you have three negative tests, on day one, day three, and day five.”

The period during which students will receive the three tests is a different kind of quarantine to ensure the wellness of everyone at Northeastern—not the same type of isolation students will need to enter if they test positive for the coronavirus, said Madeleine Estabrook, senior vice chancellor of student affairs.

“This truly is required to comply with the rules and take actions that protect our community and our residential population,” she said. “This is not because you have been determined to be exposed [to the coronavirus].” 

Students living on campus who test positive for the coronavirus will be isolated and moved into special on-campus housing units with private bathrooms, Estabrook said. Food will be delivered to them, and they will have case managers and clinical support on a daily basis.

Students who arrive on campus within five days before the start of the semester will have to take their first classes remotely through Hybrid NUflex, Northeastern’s newly introduced platform to integrate virtual and in-person learning and teaching.

“You’re going to have all of those [three] tests negative before you’re able to go into certain buildings, into classrooms,” Estabrook said. “For students who arrive right before classes start, that means you’re going to be doing your classes remotely through NUFlex until such time as you have a third negative test.”

Family members and other people traveling from outside Massachusetts to help students move back into their dormitories and other residences on the Boston campus—and who do not stay in the commonwealth overnight—are also excluded from the Massachusetts travel order. 

However, as an added health and safety measure, only students will be allowed to enter residence halls. 

Anyone else helping them move in will need to stay within the area where they unload their vehicles. At that point, university employees will help the students move into their rooms.

“In a way, it’s like taking someone to the airport, where you can’t get through that gate, but there’s a time and a space where you hug and say your goodbyes,” Estabrook said. “This is an unexpected change, but it’s truly required to comply with the rules and take actions that protect our community and our residential population.” 

 

Massachusetts Traveler Quarantine Executive Order

Governor Baker’s Traveler Quarantine Order, Executive Summary (July 24, 2020)

Effective August 1, 2020, all travelers to Massachusetts are required to comply with a mandatory 14-day quarantine, with some notable exceptions outlined below.

The order applies both to Massachusetts residents returning from out-of-State travel and those who come to Massachusetts for personal or business travel.

Students and families entering Massachusetts to begin the academic year must comply with the travel rules and mandatory 14-day quarantine unless specifically exempted.

Exemptions are as follows:

  1. Travelers coming to Massachusetts from “COVID-19 lower-risk states” are not subject to the 14-day quarantine requirement. This includes students entering Massachusetts to being the academic year at a college or university, as well as parents, guardians, or other family members accompanying such students.
    The list of lower-risk states, which may change over time, may be found HERE.
  2. Travelers who have received a negative result from a COVID-19 test obtained not longer than 72 hours before arrival in Massachusetts.
  3. Parents, guardians, or family members who accompany a student to drop off the student to begin the academic term, and do not stay overnight, and immediately leave the campus and state.
  4. A traveler who is required to quarantine will be released from the obligation to continue quarantining upon proof of a negative test that was administered after the person’s arrival in Massachusetts. Travelers may temporarily break quarantine to receive such testing.

Tests that are acceptable to satisfy the 72-hour test rule are limited to the following:

  • A negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts.
  • A negative result from an antigen test must be confirmed by a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular (PCR) SARS-CoV2 test on a sample obtained 72 hours or less prior to arrival in Massachusetts.
  • Results of antibody (serology) tests are not accepted for this exemption.

All travelers or Massachusetts residents, including those who have taken a test within 72 hours, and those who arrive from any place other than a lower-risk State must complete and submit the on-line Massachusetts Travel Form, whether they are arriving in Massachusetts by airplane, bus, train, automobile, or any other means. Travelers from a lower-risk state do NOT need to complete the form. All international students should visit the Office of Global Services website for more information.

The Massachusetts Travel Form may be found HERE.

 

 

Travel FAQs

To promote the health and safety of the Northeastern community and its surrounding neighborhoods, and prevent the transmission of the coronavirus, the university will require all students (whether they live on or off campus) to be tested immediately upon arrival at the Boston campus and then immediately enter quarantine. Students will also be required to be tested two more times, on the third and fifth day after the initial test.

Students whose first test comes back negative will be allowed to discontinue their quarantine immediately. After the third test comes back negative, students will be able to fully engage in campus activities, such as attending classes in person.

Northeastern’s new COVID-19 requirements build upon, and exceed, a Massachusetts executive order issued last week by Governor Charlie Baker.

Do I need to schedule my first test in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler during move-in, or is it automatically scheduled for me?

You will need to schedule all of your tests yourself, including your arrival test. Testing dates become available to schedule appointments seven days in advance in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler . For example, students who are moving in on Saturday, August 29 should access the scheduler on Saturday, August 22, and so on. If your move-in date is not yet available in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler, please visit the Scheduler seven days before your move-in date to schedule your test as soon as possible. After your initial test on arrival, the COVID-19 Test Scheduler will begin providing email notifications for when your next test should be. This will remind you to schedule them yourself and you can choose a time that works best for you.

When I’m scheduling my test, how much time should I allow for testing before my move-in time?

We recommend that you select a time that is no more than 30 minutes prior to your move-in time and no later than 15 minutes before the end of your move-in time. For example, if your move-in time is 3:30pm-4:30pm, you should sign up for a testing time of 3:00pm, 3:15pm, 3:30pm, 3:45pm, 4:00pm, or 4:15pm.

Am I able to schedule a test for the day before?

For students who already live close to our Boston campus—including students who are already living off-campus or living within commuting distance —we recommend that you begin your testing as early as possible. You may schedule your first test the week of August 24, followed by tests on days three and five after your initial test. For students who have plans to arrive prior to their move-in date, either on- or off-campus, you are similarly encouraged to start your testing cadence on your earliest arrival date in Boston. For example, if you are planning to stay overnight in a hotel prior to your move-in date, we strongly encourage you to use that time to get your initial test, to start the one-, three-, five-day testing protocol.

What do I need to do before I arrive for my test?

  1. Complete the Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation form.
  2. Complete the COVID-19 testing consent form.
  3. Complete your Daily Wellness Check before you leave for campus and bring a mobile device to show your results.
  4. Make sure you have your Husky Card. Those of you with a U.S. based-address will be receiving your Husky Card in the mail. If you don’t have your Husky Card in hand, you will need to go pick it up at Curry Student Center West Addition. (Follow the signs for directions!) Remember, you’ll need to wear your Husky Card visibly on a lanyard when you’re on campus. You can bring your own lanyard or pick one up outside of the Cabot Physical Education Center testing site.
  5. Make sure you have your nine-digit Northeastern University ID number. This is available on the Student Hub at me.northeastern.edu and also on your Daily Wellness Check results page.
  6. As always, stay safe! Wear a face mask or face covering, and stay six feet away from others.

What is the testing process on move-in day?

You will arrive at the collection site, show confirmation of your appointment time, and show the results of your Daily Wellness Check. You will receive a temperature check before going into the building. Inside the building, you will confirm your identity and contact information and receive a testing kit with a personal barcoded label, a swab, and a sterile tube. Your identity and contact information may need to be manually entered if it is not already pre-loaded into the check-in system.

Then you will be ushered to a swabbing station. The test is an anterior nasal swab—a less invasive and less uncomfortable but still highly reliable and accurate way of collecting samples. You will place your barcoded label on your tube and then be instructed to self-swab while under direct observation from a qualified health professional. You will insert the swab a half-inch inside the nostril and rotate the swab for approximately 15 seconds. After repeating the swab in both nostrils, you will seal the swab in your sterile tube, place it in a collection box and follow the signage to exit. The test is quick, painless, and should take no more than ten minutes.

You will tap your Husky Card on a card reader to the left of the exit doors. That will tell our Housing staff that you’ve finished your first test and you’re cleared to move into your residence hall. Don’t forget this step, especially if you get your test early!

Will parents be able to go with students to the testing site?

Students will need to go solo so we can keep the density low and keep lines moving fast. We recommend that parents park in Columbus Garage and wait for students to finish the test. Then students can return to the garage and drive to the designated unloading site.

If a student is traveling alone with suitcases and can’t leave their belongings in a parked car, what should they do?

You will receive emailed instructions, or you may look at your building-specific move in page on the Housing Fall Move-In Page. In some cases, you will need to take your things with you to the testing center—another reason we encourage packing light.

What are the testing requirements for students arriving in Boston?

All Northeastern students—from exempt or non-exempt states, domestic or international—will be required to undergo a COVID-19 viral test at Northeastern’s on-campus testing center at Cabot Physical Education Center in Boston. Students living in university housing will be administered a COVID-19 viral test immediately upon arrival. All off-campus students, from exempt or non-exempt states, domestic or international, should arrange to be tested at the Cabot testing center on the day of their arrival. All students will need to be tested on day one (arrival), and on days three and five afterward. Details on how to schedule your test will be shared prior to your arrival on campus.

What are the testing requirements for students who are already living in Massachusetts or who are living on the Boston campus for the Summer 2 semester?

Testing is required for all students, even those who are already living in Massachusetts. All students will need to have three negative tests before fully resuming campus activities for the fall term. We will share more information on the dates and availability of testing for these students as it becomes available.

What kind of activities are permitted between a student’s first negative test and their third negative test?

Students are required to have three initial negative tests before they can fully take part in campus activities, including going to in-person classes. Students are required to quarantine until they receive their first negative test result. For students in university housing, this means they are permitted to go out to pick up food, get testing or medical care, or use shared hall bathrooms or showers, but must otherwise stay in their room until they receive a negative result from the test. After the first negative test, they can leave their room to resume additional activities, including package pick-up at the mail room, storage pick-up at off-site locations, and grocery shopping. Please stay close to campus and continue to wear a face mask, keep a healthy distance, and minimize contact with others. Please do not plan any activities that would prevent you from completing the rest of your testing requirements. After the third negative test, students can resume full campus activities including in-person class attendance and using facilities like Marino Recreation Center.

If a student gets a COVID-19 test in their home city before they arrive in Massachusetts, are they exempt from quarantine?

Northeastern students are free to get a test in their home city but will still be required to get tested and enter quarantine when they arrive at Northeastern. Students whose first test comes back negative will be allowed to discontinue their quarantine immediately. After the third test comes back negative, students will be able to fully engage in campus activities, such as attending classes in person.

Should N.U.in Boston students follow the guidance for students living in university housing?

Yes, N.U.in Boston students should follow the guidance above for students living in university housing. They will be tested on arrival, then move into university housing and go immediately into quarantine.

What are the quarantine guidelines for students living in off-campus housing?

After receiving their first test at Northeastern’s Cabot testing center, students will be responsible to follow state guidance and to quarantine in their off-campus housing until they receive a negative result from their first test. Once they get a negative test result, their quarantine is lifted. They can be out on campus with masks but are still restricted from fully resuming campus activities.  Every student will be tested on days one (arrival), three, and five. Students will need to have three negative tests before attending class and fully resuming campus activities. Some students may have to begin their classes remotely.

Is there a cost to the testing?

There is no cost to testing through Northeastern’s testing center.

What if a student living in university housing tests positive?

If a student living in university housing tests positive, they will be moved immediately into Northeastern’s designated wellness rooms for care. A Northeastern case manager will be in touch throughout the isolation period.

What if an off-campus student tests positive?

If an off-campus student tests positive, they will need to return to their off-campus housing until they can be released from home isolation in accordance with public health guidelines. A Northeastern case manager will be in touch throughout the isolation period.

Will family members be able to help their students move into student housing?

As an added health and safety measure, only students will be allowed in the residence halls. For families traveling from both exempt and non-exempt states, family members will be asked to drop off their student at a designated unloading station and then depart. Our staff will help your student move into their residence hall and will be close at hand throughout the move-in process to help your student make a smooth transition to campus.

Will family members be able to use Northeastern’s testing site?

Northeastern’s on-campus testing facility is only available to Northeastern students, faculty, and staff. If family members are planning to stay in Massachusetts overnight, we encourage them to get a test in their home city before they depart for Massachusetts. The state will accept a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular test. Antibody tests will not be accepted. You should bring proof of the negative test result in the form of a dated, printed lab result or a digital copy of the same.

Should family members get a COVID-19 test in their home city before they arrive in Massachusetts?

Family members can be tested in their home city no more than 72 hours before their arrival in Massachusetts and would be exempt from the state quarantine’s order once they receive a negative test result. We encourage parents and family members to pursue this option and get tested in their home city before they travel to Boston. The state will accept a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular test. Antibody tests will not be accepted. You should bring proof of the negative test result in the form of a dated, printed lab result or a digital copy of the same.

Can family members get a test in Boston after they arrive?

The order states that travelers may temporarily break quarantine to receive testing and then are required to immediately continue quarantining until receiving a negative test result. Check these interactive maps to find COVID-19 testing sites in Boston and testing sites in Massachusetts. Some sites will allow you to call ahead to schedule an appointment. The state will accept a negative result from an FDA EUA-approved molecular test. Antibody tests will not be accepted.

Where can I find out more about Northeastern’s testing plans and testing center?

Our Testing FAQs share more details on the type of test, how it’s administered and analyzed, and other general information on Northeastern’s testing plans.

Is the suspension on university travel still in effect?

On June 17, Northeastern announced it would lift its suspension on non-essential university travel, effective on July 1, 2020.

What is university travel?

University travel refers to academic or business travel undertaken by Northeastern staff, administrators, and students that is authorized, funded, coordinated, or administered by Northeastern University. This includes, but is not limited to, teaching, research, consulting, co-op, study abroad or study away, service, administrative work, field studies, volunteer work, performances, and athletic contests.

How long will this temporary travel policy be in effect?

As the COVID-19 situation evolves, we will continually reevaluate the enhanced procedures.  Northeastern will make an announcement by August 15 regarding whether the temporary policy will be continued, adjusted, or discontinued.

What are the current guidelines for all faculty, staff, administrators, and students who wish to travel across international borders as part of university sponsored travel?

Effective July 1, for travel across international borders, travelers must adhere to the following:

  • Faculty and staff must obtain approval of their Dean or their designee or unit Vice President/Senior Vice Provost/Senior Vice Chancellor
  • Students must obtain the approval of the office overseeing the university-sponsored program (GEO, co-op, etc.)
  • All travelers must agree to abide by local, state, regional, and university restrictions
  • All travelers must register their travel with the university
  • Faculty, staff, and administrators must complete an Acknowledgment of Risk Form
  • Student travelers must complete the Individual Petition for Student International Travel, which includes both the acknowledgement of risk form and a petition, which must be approved by the Global Safety and Security Assessment Committee

What are the current guidelines for all faculty, staff, administrators, and students who wish to travel within the U.S. or within their home countries as part of university sponsored travel?

Effective July 1, all faculty, staff, administrators, and students who wish to travel within the U.S. or within their home countries, must adhere to the following:

  • Faculty and staff must obtain approval of their Dean or their designee or unit Vice President/Senior Vice Provost/Senior Vice Chancellor
  • Students must obtain the approval of the office overseeing the university-sponsored program (GEO, co-op, etc.)
  • All travelers must agree to abide by local, state, regional, and university restrictions
  • All travelers must register their travel with the university
  • All travelers must complete an Acknowledgement of Risk form:
    • Students 
    • Faculty, staff, and administrators
    • For co-op students, the new Acknowledgment of Risk form takes the place of the current Self-Assessment Form. Those that completed the self-assessment form do not need to complete the acknowledgment form

I plan to travel abroad on a personal trip. Should I let the university know?

Northeastern has resources to help students, faculty and staff if they need assistance while traveling abroad. If you plan to travel anywhere in the world for either personal or an approved university-sponsored trip, please register your travel through the NU Travel Registry and use the self-report health form. Once registered, you will have access to information, resources, and notifications specific to your travel destination.

What if I need urgent assistance while traveling abroad?

If you need urgent assistance while abroad, please contact the Northeastern Travel Support Network at +1.857.214.5332 .

Available to all Northeastern University students, staff, and students, the Travel Support Network hosts the university’s new and improved Travel Registry and offers a range of support services, including urgent and emergency medical assistance for travelers outside the US on university travel.

Travelers will find the Travel Support Network to be easy to access and use. It can be accessed in the following ways:

  • Via a web browser, visit “My Travel Plans” in the myNortheastern portal or directly via GardaWorld Travel Security portal.  Users should enter their Northeastern email and then will be taken to a Northeastern log in screen to sign in with their myNortheastern username and password.
  • Via the mobile App, download the mobile app by searching “GardaWorld Travel Security” in the App Store or Google Play Store. The new app allows you to register travel directly within the application.
  • Via Phone/email while traveling for university business, contact the 24/7 international assistance hotline +1.857.214.5332 (international collect calls are accepted). The existing international assistance hotline will remain active during this transition.

If you are traveling abroad on a university-sponsored program, please also keep your GEO advisor or co-op coordinator up to date on any changes or disruptions you experience.

 

 

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