Important COVID actions required for undergraduate students
Dear undergraduate students,
As you have returned to campus over the last two weeks, the energy on campus has been a refreshing change for our community and it’s wonderful to have you here. We understand the return to Evanston and the chance to build and extend social connections is exciting, yet we must remain vigilant to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as the pandemic is not over. While the vast majority of our undergraduate students are vaccinated, that doesn’t mean that new cases on campus can’t occur and spread in our community. As such, we will institute additional testing this week for our undergraduate student community.
The initial results from entry and arrival testing were favorable, and we thank each of you for complying with our testing requirement. However, we did see an increase in positive cases toward the end of last week among our undergraduate students — primarily driven by off-campus social activity.
Extension of testing: Given the importance of ensuring our campus remains healthy, all undergraduate students are required to complete at least one COVID test at the Jacobs Center or 345 Superior this week (Sept. 27-Oct. 1), regardless of vaccination status. That test can happen any day of the week during the normal testing hours (9 a.m. to 4 p.m.). Students are encouraged to target Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday for that test, since the testing centers may be busier on Monday and Friday. Unvaccinated students must continue to test two times per week as previously communicated.
We will evaluate the number of cases as this week evolves and extend required testing for another week if warranted.
Other actions and reminders
- Please remember, all indoor events or gatherings on-campus require the use of masks. This includes any gatherings or meetings in residence hall spaces.
- While there are no current public health guidelines restricting gathering sizes or social distancing, students should still be prudent when planning events or gatherings. While 6-foot social distancing might not be required, venue sizes should be appropriate based on the number of expected attendees.
- While the weather is nice, outdoor locations are a better choice than indoor locations.
- Continue to follow all guidelines as shared on Northwestern’s COVID-19 and Campus Updates site.
We are all excited for the start of the academic year, but we need to remember that the pandemic isn’t over. Our collective actions will determine how typical of a year we can have. Thank you for your continued efforts to support a healthy campus.
Vice President for Operations
Vice President for Student Affairs