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About Social Distancing

One way to slow the transmission of Coronavirus/COVID-19 is through proactive social distancing measures. 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet) from others when possible.” In general, it means limiting the number of people in close proximity to each other at any given time.

Social Distancing Measures

The CDC offers suggestions on how to implement social distancing measures within communities, such as Northwestern.

  • Ensure flexible leave policies for staff who need to stay home due to school/childcare dismissals
  • Review, update, or develop workplace plans to include:
    • Increasing physical space between workers at the worksite
    • Staggering work schedules
    • Decreasing social contacts in the workplace, such as in-person meetings and group lunches 
    • Considering alternate team approaches for work schedules
  • Limiting large work-related gatherings, such as staff meetings and after-work functions

Northwestern's Response

The university has taken measures to implement social distancing on campus. 

  • Spring Quarter coursework will be taught remotely. Classes that do not lend themselves to remote instruction will be addressed separately. 
  • Group gatherings of 50 people or more that occur in small spaces will be halted.
  • University recreation facilities will close and suspend programming on March 13. This includes all open recreation, competitive sports, group exercise classes, personal training, aquatics programming and wellness suite services at Henry Crown Sports Pavilion, Norris Aquatics Center, Combe Indoor Tennis Center, Blomquist Gymnasium and the Sailing Center.

Questions about Social Distancing

I am a Northwestern employee. Can I work remotely?

If you have the ability to complete your job functions remotely, you should discuss the possibility of a flexible work arrangement /telecommuting with your manager.

Additional information about working from home is available on our Work-Relaed Issues FAQs. There you can learn more about how hourly employees can track hours, and how to proceed if you are in a role that is not suitable for remote work.

What should I consider if I need to cancel my event due to the University's new guidelines?

If you are the host of a cancelled event, you will need to reach out to vendors, participants and others who will be impacted. There may also be financial implications of canceling an event. See our Events FAQs for answers to common questions about event cancellations.