All students—regardless of their vaccination status—are required to complete entry testing when they arrive in Evanston or Chicago. Rapid testing is available from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Jacobs Center in Evanston or 345 Superior in Chicago. Students must complete their initial test as soon as possible after arrival during open testing hours. Clinical students at the Feinberg School of Medicine are not subject to arrival testing and should follow guidance from their programs on health and safety protocols. Fall starting non clinical students in Feinberg Graduate programs must test.
Please note – testing must be completed at least one day prior to attending class. Consequently, if you have a Monday class, you need to complete testing the Friday before in order to be able to attend your Monday class in person . All students must complete a second test three to four days later.
These protocols may continue to change based on public health guidance.
Student Testing Protocols
- Masking: In alignment with Northwestern Medicine practice, masks are required at our health facilities and testing sites regardless of vaccination status. This means appropriate masking protocols are enforced and required at Health Services (Searle Hall), the Jacobs Center, and on the Chicago campus at 345 E. Superior.
- All unvaccinated undergraduate, graduate and professional studies students are required to take two Abbott rapid antigen tests weekly. Based on recommendations from Northwestern’s medical experts, these tests must be completed within three days of each other. If the number of days between tests is greater than three, the Symptom Tracker application will display in yellow as a reminder to complete a new test in order to return to green status.
- All vaccinated undergraduate, graduate and professional studies students are not required to participate in recurring asymptomatic COVID-19 testing but do still need to submit to required arrival testing.
- Students are welcome to complete additional Abbott rapid antigen tests as frequently as they want.
- Unvaccinated Students Arriving After the first week of the term: If you are planning for a delayed arrival to campus, please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu to inform them of your late arrival. They will document an exception to exempt you from testing during the time you are away. You also need to get tested on your first day back, or the first day the testing center opens.
- Unvaccinated Students Needing to Temporarily Leave Campus During the Term: If you need to temporarily leave campus during the quarter, please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu to inform them of your trip. They will document an exception for you to exempt you from testing during the time you are away. Upon your return to campus or the Evanston area, you need to get tested on your first day back, or the first day the testing center opens, then follow your typical testing protocol.
- Unvaccinated Students Permanently Leaving Campus Prior to the End of the Term: If you permanently leave campus prior to the end of the term, please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu to inform them that you will no longer be on campus. They will document an exception to exempt you from testing since you are no longer on campus.
- If you are unvaccinated and living on campus and/or taking an in-person class, you are expected to take two Abbott rapid antigen tests weekly. If you are in a residence hall or taking in-person classes and are unable to test at any point, please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu with your NetID to request an exception.
- Compliance: Students who fail to abide by these guidelines or testing protocol will face sanctions up to and including suspension or expulsion.
Completing Your Abbott Rapid Antigen Test
Please see the details on the Abbott Rapid Antigen Testing website for information about rapid antigen testing and for instructions on how to:
- Download the Abbott NAVICA app or visit the NAVICA website
- Create an account with your Northwestern email address
- Connect to Northwestern via NAVICA to ensure your results are shared with Northwestern for case management and compliance tracking purposes
Once you’ve activated your NAVICA account and connected to NU, you are ready to test. All Abbott rapid antigen testing for students occurs at the Jacobs Center, using the south entrance (Deering Meadow). No appointment is needed for rapid antigen testing.
Updating Your Address in CAESAR
Before you arrive for testing, please update your local address in CAESAR. This will help ensure your test results are matched and communicated appropriately. If your address changes during the term, please update it quickly.
Please make sure to also update your Community Interaction Status in CAESAR. If you are unvaccinated and living on campus and/or taking an in-person class, you are expected to test regardless of your CAESAR status. If you are unable to test, please email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu with your NetID to request an exception.
Testing Reminders and Compliance
All local (i.e., live on- or off- campus) unvaccinated students are required to comply with their assigned testing cadence throughout the entirety of the term. As a condition of returning to campus or participating in any University program, community members must follow policies and guidance issued by Northwestern, including testing protocols.
If you do not comply with your testing protocol, Northwestern’s testing operation will notify you of noncompliance. Our team will assist you with any difficulties and work with you to ensure you return to compliance.
For the health and safety of our community, unvaccinated students that do not complete two tests per week will be promptly referred to the Office of Community Standards for firm disciplinary action.
Questions about Testing
- Questions about your testing program? Email NU-COVID-Testing-Support@northwestern.edu.
It is very important that students who have COVID-19 symptoms or who have been identified as a direct contact through contact tracing efforts follow the processes outlined below.
Do not visit an asymptomatic testing site if you have COVID-19 symptoms or if you were identified through contact tracing. Doing so may risk the health of others in the Northwestern community.
All symptomatic testing for students occur at Northwestern University Health Service (Searle Hall, 633 Emerson). To schedule an appointment, please visit our website or call our office at 847-491-8100.
Scheduling Your Test if You Have Symptoms
If you have symptoms and need to be tested, please update your Symptom Tracker app, which will turn your badge red. Please schedule your appointment with Northwestern University Health Service and self-quarantine until you testing appointment. While waiting for your test, and while waiting for your results, it is very important that you self-quarantine until you have a confirmed test result. If you’re experiencing technical difficulties with the MyNM app, please email MyChartSupportforNU@NM.org or call 1-855-457-6966.
Updating Your Address in CAESAR
Before you arrive for testing, please update your local address in CAESAR. This will help ensure your test results are matched and communicated appropriately.
Getting Your Results
You will receive your results in two to four days through your MyMN account.