Northwestern provides limited COVID-19 resources for fall, citing stable campus case data


Daily file photo by Angeli Mittal

While the University continues its minimum primary series vaccination requirement and lack of indoor masking requirement amid the omicron subvariant spread, on-campus testing availability and masking resources will decline come Fall Quarter.

Angeli Mittal, Design Editor

Northwestern released updated COVID-19 guidelines in a Monday email, to take effect for the remainder of the summer and into Fall Quarter.

The University continues to require COVID-19 primary series vaccination for all students, faculty and staff. Though community members are no longer required to obtain booster doses, NU encourages individuals to receive them, if able. This requirement is subject to change due future booster rollout. As of Monday, more than 98% of the NU community is vaccinated, 

Individuals who are granted an exemption from the vaccination requirement are no longer required to partake in weekly testing.

Testing centers will continue to remain open throughout the fall, though availability for symptomatic and asymptomatic testing will vary with demand. 

The University encourages obtaining at-home testing as needed from retail pharmacies, according to the email. The federal government is also offering a third round of free at-home COVID-19 tests.

NU will no longer utilize its Symptom Tracker tool starting this fall. Those with COVID-19 symptoms are instead encouraged to seek testing.

If an individual is exposed to the virus, the University will no longer require them to quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. However, students living on campus who test positive for COVID-19 will be required to reside in isolation housing, which will be available at least until the end of the academic year.

All community members on campus are required to report positive test results, should they arise. Instructors can elect to teach up to 10% of their in-person classes remotely, as needed.

In continuation with relaxed masking guidelines from last spring, the University will not require indoor masking, though it is encouraged in areas where adequate distancing cannot be maintained during periods of elevated COVID-19 transmission. The Monday email mentioned the possibility of masking being required “more broadly” during some campus events. 

While the University encourages community members to bring their own masks, free surgical masks will be provided at the Donald P. Jacobs Center. KN95 respirator masks will be available at the front desk of the Norris University Center.

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