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COVID-19 and Campus Updates Home Page

We're N This Together

Phased Return to Campus

With safety as our guiding principle, we are implementing a phased return to campus.

See the policy and guidelines

Re-occupying the campus will occur in multiple steps. At each step, new populations may be cleared to safely return to campus.

View all steps

Prepare to Return

Our goal is to return as much of our community to campus as possible for Fall 2020. At the same time, we must continue to protect the health of our community and align with federal, municipal and local guidelines as well as COVID-19 best practices.

For Schools and Units

We are asking units to be in “fall operations mode” by August 24th. As part of that, more faculty and staff will start returning to campus over the next seven weeks as part of Steps 4, 5 and 6

All units must prepare a Return to Campus Plan, which will be reviewed by the COVID-19 Workgroup for review and approval before on-campus operations resume.

For those employees who are required to return to in-person campus work, Alternative Work Arrangements may be requested.

Learn about the Plan Approval Process

Health Monitoring

Report your symptoms or illness to the University.

After returning to campus, all community members are required to report:

  • Daily symptoms that are consistent with COVID-19
  • Positive test results for COVID-19
  • Self-isolation due to suspected or known exposure to COVID-19

Staff and faculty can also report locations or examples of social distancing congestion to assist with identifying potential problem areas. The Office of Risk Management tracks these issues; please complete an online form to share this information with the University.

Core Responsibilities

To ensure that the necessary modifications can be made quickly and effectively, the following Core Responsibilities will guide schools and units in developing and executing plans tailored to their specific operational needs.

Person standing behind taped off line

Social and Physical Distancing

In all shared spaces, the University will establish protocols and reminders to keep at least six feet of space between individuals.

See Distancing Guidelines
man walking outside wearing a face mask

Face Coverings and Face Masks

All community members must wear masks in all public and shared environments on campus and when required social distancing cannot be achieved.

See Face Mask Guidelines
man disinfecting his phone

Cleaning Protocols and Personal Hygiene

Reducing the risk of exposure to COVID-19 by cleaning and disinfection is a critical aspect of reopening our campus.

See Cleaning Guidelines
woman taking her temperature with a digital thermometer

Health Monitoring

Community members are required to report if they test positive for COVID-19, develop symptoms, or are self-isolating due to suspected or known exposure to it.

See Health Guidelines
please disinfect photocopier after each use signage


Units must develop a communication plan for providing essential information and training to community members and visitors who will occupy and visit their facilities.

See Communication Guidelines
senior woman working at desk

Protecting the Vulnerable and Community

We expect our leaders, managers, supervisors, faculty members, and researchers to model flexibility and foster a community of wellness and awareness.

See Guidelines

Latest Developments


Attend the Return to Campus Discussion

August 13, 2020

Join the discussion, which will focus on how Northwestern is planning for the Fall 2020 student experience. 

What's New

Northwestern Academic Experience in the Fall

July 22, 2020
Students can learn about the academic experience, including teaching modes, class schedules and registration; grading and enrollment deadlines; health and the classroom; and return requirements.

Student Fall Quarter Preparations

July 31, 2020
The most updated information about what you can expect so you are better able to make key decisions.