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COVID-19

Update on Mask and Testing Protocols

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*Published on April 29, 2021

To the Northeastern University community,

Throughout the pandemic, Northeastern University has made its decisions based on guidance from public health experts and in accordance with local authorities. That approach will continue as experts adjust their recommendations based on the latest knowledge and the public health situation.

In accordance with the latest public health guidance, Northeastern will make the following changes to its health and safety protocols.

Mask Mandate

Beginning on April 30, Northeastern will ease the mask-wearing mandate on its Massachusetts campuses, in accordance with CDC guidance and Massachusetts orders. Masks are no longer required outdoors on campus, as long as healthy distancing is maintained.

Masks are still required indoors, at large outdoor events, and any time when healthy distancing can’t be maintained. In line with that guidance, masks will still be required in the outdoor processions taking place for commencement.

On our other campuses, we will ease Northeastern’s requirement for outdoor mask-wearing as state, provincial, or national orders allow. As of this sending:

  • Washington, North Carolina, and Maine do not require face coverings outdoors as long as six feet of physical distancing can be maintained
  • California is reviewing its guidance on masks
  • British Columbia, London, and Ontario do not require outdoor mask-wearing

Testing Schedule for Fully Vaccinated Individuals

Beginning on Monday, May 3, faculty, staff, and students will be able to move to a testing cadence of once every seven days after they attest that they are fully vaccinated. Visit vaccine.northeastern.edu next week to access the Self-Report Vaccination form. Submitting the form will move you to a testing cadence of once every seven days if you are marked Primarily In-Person in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler. Please note—students are required to be fully vaccinated before the start of the fall term and will still need to submit documentation of their vaccination through a separate process that will be announced in due course.  

At our other U.S. campuses where COVID-19 testing is required, fully vaccinated faculty, staff and students will continue to test once weekly.

Testing Requirements for Summer Arrivals in Boston

For students arriving on the Boston campus for courses this summer, we have updated guidance on the testing requirements. This summer, students arriving in Boston will be required to have a COVID-19 test on arrival and then move into a regular testing cadence—every three days if not yet vaccinated or once weekly if fully vaccinated. Students will not be required to quarantine upon arrival.

As we move through the summer and plan for a normal fall term, we will continue to monitor the latest health and safety guidance and adjust our protocols accordingly. Thank you for continuing to “Protect the Pack.”

Sincerely,

Ken Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning

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