*Published June 26, 2020*

Dear Student,

As you prepare to return to the Boston campus next week for Summer II or to begin your upcoming co-op, we are writing to review important health and safety protocols and to provide additional information about the university’s required COVID-19 testing program. 

Protecting the health and well-being of Northeastern students, faculty, and staff—as well as the communities beyond our campuses—is the university’s paramount concern. To that end, Northeastern has instituted a number of health protocols to promote a safe campus environment for working, learning, and living.  

The university will be conducting an extensive COVID-19 viral testing and contact tracing program beginning this summer and continuing through the 2020-2021 academic year. All students, faculty, and staff returning to campus will be required to undergo viral testing regularly. The test uses a frontal nasal swab, which involves minimal discomfort. 


 Please read the following information carefully:

  1. Prior to move-in, you must complete the Summer 2020 Residential Life Policies and Attestation Form. 
  2. All returning students will be required to undergo COVID-19 viral testing. Tests are free, and test results will be provided to you within 36 hours. 
  3. Testing will begin the week of July 6th and will be administered by University Health and Counseling Services (UHCS) staff. Next week, you will receive an emailed invitation to a testing appointment with more information on the forms you will need to complete. 
  4. Face masks or face coverings must be worn at all times—both inside campus buildings and in outdoor spaces on campus. To promote sustainability, you are expected to bring your own reusable face covering to campus. Face masks are required in residence hallways and common areas, but may be removed inside single-occupancy rooms. 
  5. Guests are not permitted in campus residence halls at this time.
  6. Dining facilities will not be available during the summer.

Information about testing 

You will be getting a diagnostic test that indicates whether you are currently infected with SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. This test is NOT a serological test, meaning it will NOT detect the presence of antibodies for SARS-CoV-2.  

Please be assured that the university will treat test results and any information related to symptoms and potential exposure confidentially, and consistent with local, state, and federal privacy requirements. 

Any student who tests positive for COVID-19 will be required to self-isolate for 14 days within their single-occupancy campus residence. Staff will assist with receiving your food deliveries and will facilitate care and other needs during the quarantine period. Similarly, any student who is notified by contact tracing that they have been in close contact with a person that has tested positive for COVID-19 will also be required to self-quarantine within their on-campus residence for 14 days. 

Please take a moment to review the university’s COVID-19 health guidance and policies, which can be found at the university’s Reopening Northeastern website. If you have any questions, please contact Housing and Residential Life at (617) 373-2814 or housing@northeastern.edu. 

Thank you for your cooperation and commitment to keeping our community healthy by following these protocols. We look forward to welcoming you back to campus.  


Madeleine Estabrook 
Senior Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs