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What Northwest Students, Faculty, and Staff Need to Know About the COVID-19 Policy During Vacation

As Thanksgiving approaches, Northwestern has maintained a consistently healthy community since returning to campus in September, officials said in a statement to the community today, Nov. 18.

“More than 98% of us are fully vaccinated and our current COVID-19 positivity rate is 0.6%,” wrote Luke Figora, vice president of operations and Priya Harjani, interim vice president of human resources. “These reassuring numbers are no accident – they are due to your diligence and diligence as we have relied on a combination of vaccinations, testing, masking, and symptom tracking to keep our students, faculty, staff, and visitors safe.”

“If we found minor peaks in positive cases, we strategically used additional tests to prevent it from spreading in and beyond the affected communities. We will continue to closely monitor the Northwestern health landscape throughout the winter and adjust our approach if necessary in consultation with the local health authorities and our own experts. “

Here’s what you need to know about Northwestern’s plans and procedures regarding COVID-19 this holiday season.

Test before and after Thanksgiving

Officials highly recommend anyone planning to travel or meet with friends and family during the Thanksgiving holiday to test before and after the break. The test centers to the northwest in Evanston and Chicago are offering the following extended hours to meet the expected increase in visitor numbers before and after the break:

  • 8 am-5pm Monday, November 22nd to Wednesday, November 24th
  • Closed Thursday, November 25th to Sunday, November 28th
  • 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday, November 29th to Wednesday, December 1st

When visiting a testing center, it is recommended that you take a free at-home test as an additional resource for monitoring your health. And anyone experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should avoid coming on campus and follow the symptomatic testing processes for students, faculty, and staff.

The winter quarter begins on January 3rd

After the winter break, the winter quarter begins on Monday, January 3rd and the spring semester starts on Monday, January 10th. Again, we recommend anyone traveling or planning to meet up with friends and family to pick up a test at home from one of our test centers before leaving campus this fall for use immediately before your return. In addition, all students are required to take a personal COVID-19 test in the first week of class. Our test centers in Evanston and Chicago have extended hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. from January 3rd to January 7th and January 10th to January 14th.

Ask your doctor about boosters

According to the news, Northwestern is not currently planning any large-scale vaccine or booster clinics in the coming months as booster decisions are individualized and widespread in the community. Students under the care of the NU Health Service can consult a doctor regarding their COVID-19 booster options. The university recommends lecturers and staff to consult with their family doctor to discuss whether and when a booster vaccination against COVID-19 is appropriate. Additionally, you can complete the Evanston City Vaccine Booster Survey for updates on upcoming vaccination events. Most local pharmacies also offer booster appointments.

In the coming weeks, the university will update the vaccine disclosure form to allow individuals to report when they received a booster and to provide faculty and staff with copies of their vaccination records as required by the state of Illinois.

Continue current work flexibility

Northwestern is evaluating the return to campus to learn about the experiences in the schools and units. While this work is taking place, it encourages continued work flexibility in line with the Alternative Work Strategy Strategy adopted last summer. Schools and units should plan to continue their current strategies through calendar year 2022 as long as they continue to support academic, research, and administrative needs.

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