Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer
Northwestern announced Friday COVID-19 testing protocols — including at-home testing and return to campus requirements — for the upcoming quarter.
The day before returning to campus or starting in-person classes, students must take and report results of an at-home COVID-19 test. Students still on campus can pick up an at-home testing kit at the Donald P. Jacobs Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekdays until Dec. 21.
Those without at-home COVID-19 tests can obtain one at Norris University Center from 10 a.m. to midnight on Jan. 2 or from 8 a.m. to midnight on Jan. 3 and 4. Students living on campus will also find testing kits available in their rooms after Winter Break.
Students are also required to take an in-person COVID-19 test at the Jacobs Center during the first week of winter classes. The testing site will be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Jan. 2 and — for extended hours — from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays from Jan. 3 to 14.
New students entering Winter Quarter must submit proof of vaccination by Jan. 7. Students with approved vaccination exceptions are expected to continue testing twice a week.
This announcement comes amid a steep increase in positive cases on campus as Fall Quarter comes to an end. The COVID-19 positivity rate rose this week to 2.48% at 113 new positive cases — the highest number of cases the University has ever reported in one week. This number is nearly double that of last week.
Non-undergraduate students continue to account for more than half of the confirmed cases this week at 72 positive cases. Undergraduate students account for 25 positive cases, staff for 23 and faculty for three.
The University advises students obtain a booster shot over Winter Break. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines, anyone ages 18 or older is eligible for a booster shot if they completed their primary Moderna or Pfizer vaccination series at least six months ago. Those who received their one-dose Johnson & Johnson vaccine two months ago are also eligible.
CDC guidelines allow adults to “mix-and-match” doses, allowing individuals to receive a booster shot from a manufacturer different from that of their primary vaccination series.
To get a booster shot over the winter break, students and residents can schedule an appointment with one’s primary care physician or online with a retail pharmacy:
— Albertsons Companies (including Jewel Osco, Safeway and Randalls)
Students can also use vaccines.gov to find other locations offering COVID-19 booster shots near them.
Most winter classes will be conducted in-person, though plans are subject to change as the University continues to monitor the situation in light of the Omicron variant.
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