Northwestern maintains no masking or testing policy changes, does not mention uptick in COVID-19 positivity


Angeli Mittal/Daily Senior Staffer

A Wednesday email from Vice President for Operations Luke Figora made no comment about the uptick of COVID-19 cases on campus after acknowledging the “high” transmission level in Evanston.

Angeli Mittal, Creative Director

Though Vice President for Operations Luke Figora acknowledged the rise in COVID-19 hospitalizations in the Chicago-area in a Wednesday email, he did not discuss any changes to the lack of masking or testing protocols on campus. 

The email mentioned the change in Evanston’s transmission level to “high” last week, which reflects a combination of increased COVID-19 admissions to hospitals and rising case numbers. The city moved to a “medium” transmission level just the week before.

While this change in transmission level has prompted Evanston Township High School to reinstate its indoor masking, Figora said in the email that masking is still “strongly recommended” in areas where social distancing is not possible “in alignment with the city’s public health guidance.”

Evanston’s COVID-19 update recommends wearing a mask indoors “irrespective of vaccination status,” though the University has not encouraged this guideline in its own update.

Figora referenced the last Universitywide email regarding COVID-19 on campus, asking community members to be mindful of symptoms and surroundings when attending “big, end-of-year celebratory events, like Dillo Day and graduation ceremonies.”

The email made no mention of the uptick of positive cases on campus in the last month.

Free surgical masks continue to be available at the entrance of most buildings on campus. Community members can obtain free KN95 respirator masks at the Norris University Center front desk.

NU students, faculty and staff can receive free, in-person asymptomatic testing at the Donald P. Jacobs Center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m on weekdays. Those with symptoms should use the northwest side testing entrance at the Jacobs Center to receive in-person testing between 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on weekdays.

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