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Update on Massachusetts Health and Safety Measures

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*Published on Nov. 4, 2020*

Dear members of the Northeastern community in Massachusetts:

On Monday, Governor Charlie Baker announced several new public health and safety measures aimed at curbing the recent rise of COVID-19 cases in the Commonwealth. I am writing to provide you with additional clarity about these changes.

Stay At Home Advisory: The Governor announced that the Department of Public Health has issued a revised Stay at Home Advisory that urges residents to stay home between 10PM and 5AM. The Advisory specifically allows residents to “leave home to go to school or work.” Though non-binding, the university strongly encourages students, faculty, and staff to use their best efforts to comply with the DPH Advisory. Please stay home between 10PM and 5AM except to go to work or school, to return home from work or school, or to get essential needs like emergency medical care or go to the grocery store, pharmacy, or pick up take-out food. 

Marino Center, SquashBusters, and Carter Field: Consistent with the DPH Stay at Home Advisory pertaining to fitness centers and gyms, the Marino Center and SquashBusters will close each day by 9:30PM. Reservations for Carter Field will also end each day by 9:30PM. 

Gathering Limits: The Governor also issued a revised order regulating gatherings. While the Higher Education COVID-19 Control Plan requires colleges to follow the state’s latest events guidance with respect to gatherings, it is the university’s understanding that the Governor’s revised order does not change gathering limits that are specific to colleges and universities. Below are the updated applicable gathering limits in the Governor’s revised order.

  • Indoor private residences – 10 person limit. Note: Current university policy on gathering limits in university housing remains in effect.
  • Indoor event venues or public settings – 25 person limit.
  • Outdoor gatherings at non-event venues – 25 person limit.
  • Outdoor gatherings in public event venues or settings – 50 person limit (restricted downward from 100 because Boston is classified as a high-risk community).

Classrooms Used for Course Instruction: Pursuant to the Higher Education Control Plan, classrooms used for in-person and hybrid instruction are exempt from the gatherings limit. Six feet of distancing and mask-wearing must be maintained, and steps to further reduce density, including holding smaller classes in larger classrooms and limiting in-person attendance, as the university already implemented, are strongly encouraged.

Office Spaces: Northeastern must continue to follow the state’s latest office space guidance, which requires social distancing and restricts total density in offices to 50 percent of maximum capacity.

These changes will take effect at 12:01AM on Friday, November 6th. 

Thank you for your attention to and cooperation with these guidelines, and for everything you continue to do to limit the spread of COVID-19 on campus and in our community.

Sincerely, 

 

Ken Henderson
Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning

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