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Fall Term Requirements: Expectations and Testing


*Published on August 13, 2020*

Dear Northeastern University community,

In the coming days, faculty, students and staff will start to return to residence halls, classrooms, and offices across our global network. The university has planned for a successful fall reopening with the safety and wellbeing of our community as our top priority. It is critical that every student, faculty and staff member does their part by looking out for their own health and the health of others around them. This email shares key information on how we will ask you to do so.

For All Northeastern Campuses 

Every member of the Northeastern community is required to submit the university’s Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation form as a prerequisite to returning to campus. The attestation will go live to accept submissions this weekend and the link will be shared with you then. The expectations outlined in this form include:

  • To perform a daily self-assessment using the Daily Wellness Check. The Daily Wellness Check will go live at this weekend.
  • To follow all guidance on self-isolation and self-quarantine
  • To wear your Northeastern University Identification card and have it visible at all times
  • To wear a face mask or face covering
  • To practice healthy distancing
  • To practice good hygiene, including frequent hand washing
  • To agree to temperature checks as requested
  • To appear as scheduled and participate in COVID-19 testing as requested
  • To participate in contact tracing
  • To comply with public health guidance and university protocols and policies

When you receive the link to the attestation form this weekend, please read it carefully for additional details on each one of these items and acknowledge by submitting the form.

We ask that all Northeastern community members—including those who may have submitted an earlier version of the attestation and those working or learning remotely—submit the attestation before their return to campus or before the start of the fall term, whichever date is earliest.

If a faculty or staff member needs to petition for an accommodation in meeting these expectations, please contact If you are a student, please contact the Disability Resource Center at

For the Northeastern Campus in Boston 

Northeastern will provide free viral COVID-19 testing on its Boston campus, with the capacity to conduct up to 5,000 COVID-19 tests each day when students start to move to campus on August 29. Our Northeastern Life Sciences Testing Center is certified to analyze the tests and expects to deliver test results within 36 hours. Anyone who comes to the Boston campus will be required to undergo testing.

This morning, the university announced the protocols for testing on our Boston campus, including the guidance for testing on arrival, how to schedule a test, and the testing frequency for each member of our Boston community.

Arrival on Campus 

Each member of our campus community will need to be tested on their return to campus.

  • Staff will schedule a test on the first day they return on campus.
  • Faculty members will need to receive a negative test result in the seven day period prior to their return to the classroom—a test they can obtain on the Boston campus or elsewhere.
  • As previously communicated, students arriving on the Boston campus will be required to go through three separate tests upon arrival.
  • Students who are already living on campus will also be able to schedule the first of their initial three tests for the week of August 17.

Testing Frequency 

The testing center does not take walk-in appointments, so each member of our campus community will use the COVID-19 Test Scheduler to schedule their tests. The COVID-19 Test Scheduler will go live at this weekend, before the first testing appointments are available on August 17. Further communication regarding the launch and use of the Test Scheduler website will be sent this weekend.

  • Faculty and staff will be tested every seven days, or whenever they are on campus if their visits are less frequent than once a week.
  • Students, including students who live off campus, will be tested every five days.
  • Anyone who comes to campus periodically, less than one day a week, will be required to have a test each day they come to campus.
  • As the university moves toward reopening at the end of August, everyone will receive regular email reminders to sign up for their required recurring tests. Everyone will have the ability to use the scheduler to indicate their presence on campus—whether they are on campus regularly or not.

Testing Process 

Routine testing will take place at the Cabot Physical Education Center on the Boston campus.

  • Before you arrive for your test: Please complete your Daily Wellness Check and know your Northeastern University ID number, the nine-digit identification number available on your account. The Daily Wellness Check website will go live at this weekend.
  • Throughout the testing process: Please observe the daily safety protocols. Have your Husky Card visible on a lanyard, wear a face mask or face covering except for the brief moments during your test, stay six feet away from others, and wash your hands frequently for at least 20 seconds with soap and water, before you arrive for your test and after you leave the testing center.
  • At the testing center: You will arrive at the collection site, show confirmation of your appointment time and the results of your Daily Wellness Check on your mobile device, and receive a temperature check. 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. A qualified health professional will observe you during a self-administered anterior nasal swab test. 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 the entire process is finished within ten minutes.

Testing Results 

  • You should receive your test results within 36 hours.
  • If your results are negative, you will receive an email notification letting you know that your test results are ready, and you will be able to access your results through a secure patient portal.
  • If your test results are positive or inconclusive, you will first receive a personal phone call from a member of our case manager team with further instructions.
  • In the case of a students’ positive test result, Northeastern will activate its case management and contact tracing team to help the student move into isolation, access care, and quickly identify anyone who was a close contact. The contact tracing FAQs share additional details on the contact tracing process and how Northeastern handles positive cases.

The university announcement and our FAQs share additional details on each one of these protocols. Please check your email over the weekend for an announcement on the launch and use of the attestation, the COVID-19 Test Scheduler and the Daily Wellness Check.

If you have additional questions, please contact As always, we encourage you to read the Faculty-Staff COVID-19 FAQs and the Northeastern Reopening website for updates and answers to your questions.



David Madigan

Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs


Ken Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning


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