End of Fall Quarter and Holiday Travel for Students
Thank you for all that you’ve done to help get Northwestern to this point in the Fall term. It has not been easy, but together we’ve been able to keep our COVID-19 positivity rates manageable as we approach the start of the holiday season.
The last day of in-person classes is Tuesday, Nov. 24, and Thanksgiving vacation is Thursday, Nov. 26, through Sunday, Nov. 29. This email outlines guidelines and expectations for your end-of-quarter holiday travel and testing. As mentioned in the Oct. 28 message, there will also be changes to testing protocols for winter term, and information about those changes will be communicated in November and December.
Holiday Travel and Gatherings
Many students will plan to travel home for the Thanksgiving holiday and not return until January for the beginning of the winter term. While we all look forward to seeing our friends and families during the holidays, we ask that you review recent guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Illinois Department of Public Health about safe practices for this holiday season.
For students planning to return to Evanston following the Thanksgiving holiday, we strongly suggest you postpone or limit personal travel to areas across the country where COVID-19 is particularly prevalent and subject to the current City of Chicago travel quarantine order. However, if you do visit one of these areas, we request that you self-quarantine for 14 days following travel before returning to either the Evanston or Chicago campus.
Graduate students who need to access laboratories or other campus facilities for research purposes following such travel will be expected to self-quarantine for one week after their return, at which time they may access campus after obtaining a negative COVID-19 test. You should arrange your test five to seven days after your return from travel.
Undergraduate Student Testing Before and After Thanksgiving
Required weekly testing for undergraduate students will continue until Thanksgiving. If you plan to leave campus and return home for Thanksgiving, we encourage you to book a test appointment approximately three days before your departure to ensure you have results before you leave. The Jacobs Center will be open Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 22, in addition to Monday, Nov. 23, through Wednesday, Nov. 25, to provide additional testing capacity for all who need a test prior to traveling.
For those of you who plan to return to or stay in Evanston between Thanksgiving and Winter Recess, asymptomatic weekly testing will remain available until Dec. 18, but it is not mandatory. To receive a test during this window of time, you can schedule your appointments as you normally do now.
Asymptomatic testing will not be available between Dec. 21 and Jan. 2, so that we can prepare for the Winter Quarter, but students exhibiting symptoms will continue to have access to testing at the Health Service by following instructions on the website.
Graduate Student Testing Before and After Thanksgiving
We will continue the weekly random sample testing of graduate students through Friday, Nov. 13.
From Nov. 16 to 25, including Saturday, Nov. 21, and Sunday, Nov. 22, appointments will be available for any graduate student who needs a test prior to traveling for Thanksgiving or the end of the term. Please review the COVID-19 site for instructions on how to schedule a test using MyNM. Please plan to complete your test approximately three days before your departure to ensure you have results before you leave.
Many of you call Evanston and Chicago home and will continue to be on or around campus between Thanksgiving and Winter Recess. For graduate and professional students remaining here during that time, testing will be available on a voluntary basis for those who would like it. We will share additional information about booking those appointments as we approach those dates.
Asymptomatic testing will not be available Dec. 21-Jan. 2 so that we can prepare for the Winter Quarter, but students exhibiting symptoms will continue to have access to testing at the Health Service by following instructions on the website.As always, we thank you for playing a role in our collective effort to protect the health and well-being of all Wildcats and the communities we live in.