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Fall Summary

The University's status and key protocols for Fall 2021 have been updated to align with local health guidance as Northwestern returns to in-person operations. 

Density on Campus

  • Students: All students who are vaccinated or who have an approved exception to Northwestern’s vaccination requirement are welcome to be on campus. There are no capacity restrictions, but masking is required in all indoor spaces. 
  • Faculty and Staff: Faculty and staff have increased their on-campus presence in alignment with school- and unit-specific return-to-campus plans. All faculty and staff who are vaccinated or who have an approved exception to Northwestern’s vaccination requirement are welcome to be on campus. There are no capacity restrictions, but masking is required in all indoor spaces.

Health and Safety Guidelines

The health and safety of our community is our top priority. Please familiarize yourself with guidelines and procedures in place for those who are on campus:

  • Vaccinations
    Northwestern requires students, faculty, and staff to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Only students, faculty and staff who are vaccinated or who have an approved exception to the University’s vaccination requirement are permitted to visit campus.
  • COVID-19 Testing
    All students—regardless of their vaccination status—are required to complete entry testing when they arrive in Evanston or Chicago. Students, faculty and staff who have an approved exception to the University’s vaccination requirement must complete two Abbott rapid antigen COVID-19 tests each week. Testing also remains available for vaccinated students, faculty and staff.
  • Symptom Tracker
    Students, faculty and staff who have an approved exception to the University’s vaccination requirement are required to use the Symptom Tracker application whenever they come to campus.
  • Masking
    Northwestern requires community members to wear masks, regardless of vaccine status, in all indoor campus environments, even if they can socially distance, except when in a private office, personal residence or residence hall room, or when eating or drinking. Masking remains optional outdoors, though certain outdoor events may elect to require masking based on the number of attendees and location of the event.
  • Gathering Restrictions
    There are no capacity limits or restrictions for meetings and events. Masks may be required during specific types of indoor events.
  • Travel Restrictions
    Most domestic and international travel is permitted. All travelers should familiarize themselves with and follow Centers for Disease Control guidance and protocols for domestic and international travel during the COVID -19 pandemic.
  • Visitors
    Most visitor restrictions have been lifted. The only remaining restriction is on minors in residential programs. Schools and units that plan to require vaccination or a negative test for an event should not collect nor store individuals’ protected health information.

Community Behavior Expectations

Students, faculty and staff must follow certain community standards 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.

Recently Updated Guidance