NU to discontinue COVID-19 protocols including vaccine requirement, isolation housing and on-campus testing


Daily file illustration by Olivia Abeyta

Northwestern will discontinue current COVID-19 protocols, including vaccine requirements.

Samantha Powers, Assistant Campus Editor

Northwestern will incorporate its remaining COVID-19 protocols into broader health operations beginning June 13, according to a University news release. 

Starting this summer, the University will discontinue isolation housing in 1835 Hinman, on-campus testing in the Jacobs Center and the current COVID-19 vaccine requirement for most students.

The changes follow the Biden administration’s decision to end the COVID-19 national emergency this month, with plans to end the national public health emergency in May. Other universities nationwide are adopting similar changes, the release said.

“We deeply appreciate the Northwestern community’s commitment to the mission of the University while adapting to abrupt shifts and changes in the trajectory of COVID-19 that presented significant challenges at work and at home,” Vice President for Operations Luke Figora said in the release.

While the “overwhelming majority” of the campus community is vaccinated, according to the release, the University will cease to require all students to get the COVID-19 vaccination and booster shots. This excludes students in clinical programs who need to comply with site requirements.

Students who want to be tested can contact the Northwestern Medicine Student Health Service, but NU encourages faculty to make their own testing arrangements. When students do test positive, they will not be required to report it to the University, a requirement that NU lifted for faculty in January.

The University recommends students defer to guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regarding booster vaccines and isolation protocols. With the discontinuation of isolation housing except for a few emergency spaces, the University will ask students who test positive to isolate in their own dorms going forward.

“We thank our students, faculty and staff for their sacrifices and understanding throughout our response to COVID-19,” Figora said in the release. “We will remain vigilant in monitoring COVID-19 and other threats to public health as we continue to safeguard our community in the years to come.”

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