Photo of a student in a laboratory looking at preparing to look through a microscope.

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, Northeastern Illinois University has consistently followed a multilayered approach to mitigation measures based on federal, state and local mandates and guidance. Based on the recommendations of Northeastern’s Emergency Management Team, the following recommendations for the University community are currently in effect.

COVID-19 vaccinations

Northeastern highly recommends that all students, faculty and staff get vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. Vaccination is the leading prevention strategy against COVID-19. Local vaccination information is available at and Chicago COVID-19 Vaccine Finder. Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is no longer required for students and employees. Student Health Services has Pfizer bivalent vaccines available for students, employees and their family members. Email for an appointment.

Diagnostic testing

Weekly diagnostic testing of unvaccinated students and employees is no longer required. Student Health Services will have COVID-19 rapid antigen tests available for symptomatic students and employees. COVID-19 at-home/rapid antigen tests are available at Student Health Services and the Student Pantry, while supplies last. U.S. residential households can also order free COVID-19 at-home test kits through the U.S. Postal Service. Additionally, many health insurance providers offer free COVID-19 at-home antigen and/or no or low-cost laboratory-based tests at local pharmacies and health centers. Please view the City of Chicago COVID-19 Testing webpage for more information or talk to your healthcare provider regarding the best testing option for you. 

Students and employees who test positive for COVID-19 should stay home for at least five days and report positive test results to Student Health Services ( and/or Human Resources (, as applicable.

Face masks

Face masks are strongly recommended to be worn indoors at all locations, particularly in situations when it is impossible to maintain physical distance. Face masks are still required in the Student Health Services and Student Counseling Services offices. Face masks will be provided at those offices. Mask requirements may vary by University location or change as deemed necessary. 

Screening and contact tracing 

Students, faculty and staff should regularly self-screen for symptoms of infectious illnesses. Northeastern recommends that individuals with COVID-19 signs or symptoms stay home and follow the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for self-testing for COVID-19 and determine whether to seek medical care. In accordance with CDC guidelines, those who are exposed to COVID-19 do not need to quarantine. However, whether you are vaccinated or not, if you are exposed to COVID-19 it is recommended that you wear a high-quality mask for 10 days and get tested on day five. 

Ventilation and disinfection

Northeastern will continue to use environmental health and hygiene measures:

  • Improved ventilation and MERV 13 filters
  • Hand sanitizers and disinfectant wipes available at all University locations
  • Plexiglass barriers
  • Periodic fogging of locations and spaces

Northeastern Illinois University has an excellent track record of mitigating COVID-19 transmission. The vast majority of student and employee COVID-19 infections are acquired while outside of the University. Only four very small clusters of positive cases have occurred at Northeastern within the past three years. Diligent and prompt contact tracing has worked to prevent transmission.

The health and safety of our University community is of the utmost importance. The Emergency Management Team will continue to regularly convene to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic and make recommendations as necessary to mitigate the spread of the virus at Northeastern.

These guidelines and links to more information about COVID-19 will be reflected on