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Spring Quarter Summary

Read an overview of the University's status and key protocols in place for Spring Quarter 2021. 

Density on Campus

  • Students: Since Winter Quarter, all students have been welcome to be on campus. As in the Fall and Winter, students can choose to study remotely and make academic progress from afar. 
  • Faculty and Staff:  As conditions permit, both faculty and staff are encouraged to look for opportunities to continue to increase their presence on campus, in alignment with school and unit return-to-campus plans and space constraints. Managers will continue to extend flexibility for their staff, and the Alternative Work Arrangements Policy has been extended through June 20, 2021.

Health and Safety Guidelines

As Northwestern begins its Spring Quarter, the health and safety of our community continues to be our top priority. Each of these items applies to individuals who have been vaccinated as well as those who have not. Familiarize yourself with guidelines and procedures in place for those who return to campus:

  • Vaccinations
    Northwestern strongly encourages students, faculty and staff to get vaccinated as soon as they are able, and to voluntarily share their vaccination information. This will help the University better understand who has received the vaccine, appropriately strategize for the protection of our broader community, and develop a process to return to a more typical campus environment over the summer and fall.
  • COVID-19 Testing
    For undergrads: You are required to complete two COVID-19 tests each week – one Color test and one rapid test. This requirement also applies to students who have been vaccinated.
    For graduate and professional students: Most of you are required to test on either a weekly or every other week cadence, depending on the amount of time you spend on campus. This requirement also applies to students who have been vaccinated.
  • Symptom Tracker
    All students, faculty and staff are required to use a daily health monitoring application prior to attending on-campus work, programming or activities, including classes. Both a web-based version and mobile versions of the app are available.
  • Mask Mandate
    Northwestern requires that community members wear masks in all campus public and shared environments, including outdoor spaces and instructional spaces — except when in a private office, personal residence or residence hall room. Labs requiring other personal protective equipment will be exempted.
  • Classroom Guidelines
    Students and instructors are expected to follow protocols before, during and after entering instructional spaces. Additionally, COVID-19 safety guidelines will apply.
  • Gathering Restrictions
    A 50-person limit applies to all University gatherings except classes and select events that are capped by venue size. Gatherings that cannot adhere to the University criteria should plan for remote delivery.
  • Travel Restrictions
    Domestic travel is permitted when it falls within the definition of essential travel as outlined in the University’s travel guidance. International travel is not permitted with limited exceptions for essential travel that cannot be postponed.

Community Behavior Expectations

  • Students, faculty and staff returning to campus must follow certain community standards, including complying with COVID-19 testing efforts and health monitoring, while on campus. Community members are also expected to participate in the University's contact tracing efforts and comply with quarantine and self-isolation procedures. Those who violate these expectations may face disciplinary actions.
  • All visitors to Northwestern’s campus must adhere to the University’s safety protocols and follow general guidance that aligns with the nature of their reason for visiting campus as outlined below. Northwestern faculty, students or staff who invite visitors to campus are considered “hosts” and should support visitors in adhering to expectations, including guidance on community behaviors, gatherings, meetings and events. To comply the University’s public health efforts, all visitors must follow established safety protocols.

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