Frequently Asked Questions
Below are Frequently Asked Questions pertaining to the San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses, including current information on COVID-19 safety, on-site testing, and campus entry requirements. We also encourage you to visit the University’s main COVID-19 website for additional information.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to Associate Dean Dawn Girardelli at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Campus Access Protocols: San Francisco, Silicon Valley
What are the campus access protocols for Students, Faculty, and Staff?
- Complete your Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation Form (one time action)
- Complete your Daily Wellness Check
- Ensure that you have a negative COVID-19 test result within the last seven days
- Upon arrival, wear your NUID on a lanyard and face covering, and check in with staff to complete your contactless temperature check
- Bring your access badges with you each time you come to campus
How do I make a space reservation on campus?
- The San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses are currently closed per state guidelines. Space reservations will re-open when campus operations resume. If you are a San Francisco student, faculty, or staff member, you may still utilize the WeWork community areas and amenities at 600 California Street with your building access badges.
How do I receive my building access badges?
- For the Silicon Valley Campus: You must complete and submit a Campus Access Badge form. For new students, this form is available through the online Orientation course in Canvas. For all others, please email Valerie Cruz at email@example.com to receive the form.
- For the San Francisco Campus: Students, staff, and faculty will need to be added to the WeWork member network prior to picking up their keycards. To verify your status, please email Gloria Balderas at firstname.lastname@example.org. When you arrive at 600 California Street, check in with WeWork staff on the 11th floor and provide a government-issued ID. WeWork’s hours of operations are Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm (excluding holidays).
COVID-19 Testing: San Francisco, Silicon Valley
Is testing required for Northeastern students, faculty, and staff in San Francisco and Silicon Valley?
- Yes. In addition to other safety requirements such as required masking and healthy distancing, testing is required on a weekly basis for students, faculty, and staff who are utilizing the campuses at least once a week.
- Beginning March 15th, all individuals on campus must have a negative test result within the last 7 days. We recommend that you select the same day each week to get tested so that you are always eligible to be on campus.
If I have a negative test from a medical provider in the last 7 days, can I use that test result to return to campus?
- Yes. You will need to provide proof of your negative test result and the date it was taken (it must be taken within the last 7 days) either on your phone or printed.
When is COVID-19 testing available on the San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses?
- At this time, COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff will be available on the Silicon Valley campus only. Testing will begin on the San Francisco campus prior to reopening. Reopening is subject to county and public health directives and will be announced by campus leadership. Testing will take place on the Silicon Valley campus every Monday and Thursday, from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm, beginning March 1st for faculty and staff, and March 8th for students, provided our county has been in the red reopening tier for two weeks.
- Please note that students must test at their designated campus locations. Only staff and faculty with a presence on both campuses are permitted to test at either campus when testing becomes available in San Francisco.
What are the operating hours of the testing center on the Silicon Valley campus?
- The Silicon Valley campus testing center (at 75 E. Santa Clara – Welcome Center) opens on Mondays and Thursdays at 1:00 pm. The last appointment is at 5:30 pm.
Can I be tested twice a week?
- We ask that you limit your testing to once a week. If you feel that you need additional testing, we encourage you to check with your healthcare provider or local public testing site.
- San Francisco city-run test sites , Santa Clara County testing sites
What type of test is it?
- The Color COVID-19 Test is a nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) assay that tests for an active infection of COVID-19. It is not an antibody or a PCR test. The Color Test tests for an active infection of COVID-19. It is a self-administered nasal swab that only needs to go into the nostril a little bit. It shouldn’t hurt or feel too uncomfortable.
Is testing free?
Should I come for a test if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, if I’ve had exposure to COVID-19, or if I’ve had a positive test?
- No. Please do not come to campus if you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 listed in the Daily Wellness Check, if you’ve been exposed to someone who’s had a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, or if you’ve had a positive test yourself. Follow the guidance of your local public health department and contact your medical provider.
- City and County of San Francisco resources , Santa Clara County resources , California Department of Public Health
How should students, faculty, and staff schedule appointments to be tested?
- All students, staff, and faculty need to schedule their COVID-19 test in advance using the Acuity Reservation System. You will select a 30-minute block and you may show up at the testing center at any point during your reserved 30-minute block to complete the test. To respect room capacity requirements and healthy distancing protocols, you may need to wait outside briefly until space allows. There will be no walk-ups allowed at the testing center; you must have a reservation.
What do I need to do to prepare for my testing appointment?
- Please follow the below steps to prepare for your on-campus testing appointment:
- If this is your first test on campus, complete the COVID-19 Testing Consent Form and create your Color account by clicking “Create Account”
- Make an appointment in advance in the Acuity Reservation System
- Check in with staff on arrival. Bring your mobile device to display your completed Daily Wellness Check from the day of your testing or print the page to show your results.
What will the process look like for testing Northeastern students, faculty, and staff?
- The following steps will take place:
- Arrive within your 30-minute Acuity appointment timeframe
- After completing your daily check-in with staff, you will proceed to the testing area
- Activate your kit on the Color platform. Tip: Take a picture of the 10-digit barcode number on your vial to help you remember it when accessing your test result
- You will proceed to testing and follow the steps to conduct the self-administered nasal swab
- Close and seal the vial, and leave it at the collection table
- Reposition your mask and follow signage to exit
- You will receive an email from Color when test results are ready in 36 to 48 hours. The email will include a link to access your test results by logging in to the Color portal.
If a San Francisco or Silicon Valley campus student, faculty, and staff member has marked themselves Primarily Remote in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler, do they need to change their status?
- No. San Francisco and Silicon Valley students, faculty, and staff will be using a separate scheduling process—the Acuity testing system—for scheduling their tests. They should still mark themselves Primarily Remote in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler (which is used only for scheduling tests in Boston).
How soon will I get my test results?
- Test results will be available within 36 to 48 hours. You will receive an email and/or text from Color notifying that test results can be viewed in your color account. You will need to input your date of birth and the ten-digit test barcode number from your test vile to access your test result. You can also visit https://home.color.com/covid/test to check if your results are ready.
How will I access my test results?
- You will be alerted by text and/or email from Color when your test results are available. Your results will be available through the Color platform. You can log into Color by using the email you used to create your Color account.
What if I have a positive test result?
- Color will notify you of a positive test result via their web portal and will also share positive test results with local and state health agencies, as required by local and state regulations. If you have a positive test, you can expect an email from Brielle Buechler, Student Support Specialist, confirming your testing results and discussing next steps.
What should a student, faculty, or staff member from either campus do if they test positive for COVID-19?
- All students, faculty, and staff should follow local public health guidelines: City and County of San Francisco resources , Santa Clara County resources
- Brielle Buechler, Student Support Specialist, will follow up with you to connect you to resources.
What happens if someone has tested positive for COVID-19 and has been on campus? Will classmates or staff and faculty be notified?
- If students, staff or faculty test positive, our Student Support Specialist will reach out to the impacted individual as a follow-up to the test result notification. Public health authorities will conduct broader contact tracing to notify close contacts of those outside our community. To protect each person’s privacy, our team and state public health authorities cannot share the identity of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. Faculty, staff and students will be notified only if they are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19. The identity of the person will not be shared.
COVID-19 Vaccine Information
How will Northeastern community members in the San Francisco Bay Area get the COVID-19 vaccine?
- Vaccines are being distributed by healthcare providers in coordination with local county health departments, following the recommendations outlined by the CDC and state of California. Visit the following websites for more information:
What are the phases of the vaccine distribution timeline in the San Francisco Bay Area?
- Vaccine distribution will follow state guidelines and may vary by county throughout the Bay Area due to ongoing changes in availability of doses. Please visit the following websites for the most current information:
- If you reside outside of our campus counties, we recommend that you visit your local public health department’s website.
Are faculty and higher education staff included in a certain phase?
- Per state guidelines, all university staff and faculty who are at risk of occupational exposure to COVID-19 are included in Phase 1B/Tier 1.
What are the steps Northeastern community members can take to get ready for the COVID-19 vaccine?
- We encourage you to take the following steps:
Are people still required to continue COVID-19 testing, wear masks, and practice healthy distancing even after receiving the vaccine?
- Yes. Students, staff, and faculty are expected to continue following all current health and safety protocols at our San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses.
COVID-19 Response: San Francisco, Silicon Valley
- What should a student, faculty, or staff member in our global locations do if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?
- If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you please complete your Daily Wellness Check, stay home, and do not come to campus. Santa Clara County gives advice on when you need to be tested for COVID-19 and provides testing resources. San Francisco County gives the same guidance on when to be tested and how to make an appointment.
What should a student, faculty, or staff member in our global locations do if they test positive for COVID-19?
- All students, faculty, and staff should follow local public health guidelines: Santa Clara County Public Health , San Francisco CountyIf you receive a positive test result from Color, Northeastern’s on-site test provider, Brielle Buechler, Student Support Specialist, will follow up with you to connect you to resources.
What are the building hours at the Silicon Valley campus?
- The Silicon Valley campus is currently closed. Hours are subject to change depending on current public health guidelines and operational requirements.
What are the building hours at the San Francisco campus?
- The San Francisco campus is currently closed. Hours are subject to change depending on current public health guidelines and operational requirements.
- Northeastern San Francisco members may reserve conference rooms at WeWork 600 California and they also have 24/7 access to the common areas with their access badges, including the lounges and phone booths on various floors.
Is eating allowed on the Silicon Valley Campus?
- As of January 2021, Santa Clara County directives prohibit eating and drinking in indoor breakrooms and dining areas; however, you may access these areas to use appliances (i.e., microwave, refrigerator, etc.). You will be required to clean/sanitize appliances after you finish using them to keep the area clean for the next person.
- Food and drink must be consumed outdoors and off site in accordance with public health distancing protocols and social gathering limitations. In addition, individuals must properly wash their hands with soap and water before returning to campus. In accordance with the university policy on locations for safe eating and drinking on campus, eating is not allowed in classrooms or hallways. Please note that this policy is subject to change based on current county health directives.
Is eating allowed on the San Francisco Campus?
- In accordance with the university policy on locations for safe eating and drinking on campus, eating is not allowed in classrooms or hallways. Eating will be allowed in the WeWork lounges and kitchen areas on various floors. Distancing markers have been placed in these areas to help guide you where to sit, and sanitizing stations will be available. Individuals must properly wash their hands with soap and water before returning to campus.
Are there specific quarantine guidelines students should follow when traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area campuses?
- Santa Clara County maintains a mandatory quarantine of at least 10 days upon arrival for all persons traveling into Santa Clara County, whether by air, car, train, or any other means, directly or indirectly from a point of origin greater than 150 miles from the County’s borders.
- Individuals traveling to San Francisco from outside of the Bay Area must quarantine for 10 days upon arrival. The Bay Area includes the following counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Solano, Sonoma. Visit sf.gov for more information.
- Please follow CDC Travel Guidelines, visit the California COVID website and the Visit California COVID travel website for any possible updates to this guidance.
Are there specific entry protocols that students, faculty, and staff will follow at the San Francisco Bay Area campuses?
- Yes. All Northeastern students, faculty, and staff will be required to complete a Daily Wellness Check and have a negative COVID-19 test result within the past 7 days before coming to campus. You will need to show the results of your Daily Wellness Check when you arrive on campus, so we encourage you to bookmark services.northeastern.edu/wellness on your mobile phone for convenient access to the Daily Wellness Check results page. You may also print your result page and show it on arrival if you do not have a mobile phone. Community members are also required to display their Husky IDs on a lanyard and have a space reservation.
Are there specific cleaning protocols that the San Francisco Bay Area campuses will follow?
- Similar to the Boston campus, the San Francisco Bay Area campuses will provide enhanced cleaning with EPA-approved disinfectant products, focusing on high-traffic and frequently touched areas. Hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes will be readily available. Community members should use the wipes provided to wipe down surfaces and equipment after each use such as classroom desks and printers.
What are the local resources available for COVID-19 information in our area?
Northeastern’s COVID-19 Response: All Regional Campuses
Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation form. We ask that all Northeastern community members—including those who may have submitted an earlier version of the attestation and those working or learning remotely—submit the attestation before their return to campus or before the start of the spring term, whichever date is earliest.
Yes. All students, faculty, and staff across Northeastern’s global campuses will follow the Northeastern face covering protocol. Northeastern requires all employees, students, vendors, and visitors to wear face coverings or face masks while they are in common spaces, including outdoor spaces on campus, and in common gathering areas, shared workspaces, shared academic spaces, or when interacting face to face with others.
Yes. All Northeastern students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a Daily Wellness Check before coming to campus. You will need to show the results of your Daily Wellness Check when you arrive on campus, so we encourage you to bookmark services.northeastern.edu/wellness on your mobile phone for convenient access to the Daily Wellness Check results page. You may also print your result page and show it on arrival if you do not have a mobile phone.
In the interest of protecting the health of our campus community at the start of the spring term, we recommend that you minimize contact with others for 14 days before travel and that you get a test 72 hours or less prior to your arrival on campus, if you are able. Please do not travel to campus if you test positive or if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19.
Testing is currently required and provided only on the Boston campus. At our other global locations, other safety precautions will be in place, including daily health assessments, entry screening, face covering protocols, healthy distancing protocols, and daily temperature checks. Each campus location has also identified a list of local testing providers and will provide resources if any student or staff member is in need of a COVID-19 test.
All Northeastern locations have adopted an advanced, highly flexible learning model called Hybrid NUflex. From week to week, Hybrid Nuflex allows some students to attend classes in-person while others join remotely via Zoom or Teams. To manage classroom density, some students will be in the classroom while others are learning remotely, in real time.
Using a dynamic scheduling app available on Northeastern’s Student Hub, students can indicate to faculty in advance their preferred mode of attendance during a given week. The classroom experience will be immersive, enhanced through video and chat tools that allow people inside and outside the classroom to see each other and enjoy lively two-way exchanges.
Faculty will decide how to best deliver their individual courses through Hybrid NUflex. Hybrid NUflex allows students to begin the term remotely and then come to campus or to begin in person and later transition to remote learning, meeting international student requirements.
All Northeastern students have access to the Student Hub, a new, highly personalized and experience-driven platform designed to help students navigate and keep track of their busy and daily lives as university students.
Yes. Northeastern will provide hand sanitizer stations and disinfecting wipes at all of its campus locations, focusing especially on classrooms, the entrances to our campus spaces, and in common areas.
Yes. Elevator occupancy is being limited to two to four people, based on guidelines of the National Elevator Institute Inc., a national trade association for the elevator and escalator industry.
Yes. Each campus will follow Northeastern’s cleaning and sanitizing protocol, using EPA approved disinfectants and cleaning high-touch surfaces more frequently.
The Northeastern Facilities team has analyzed the air quality and HVAC systems in each of our campus locations, following recommendations and best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other professional and trade organizations. Northeastern will use additional air filtration units in any buildings that don’t meet our standards for air quality.
Northeastern has installed signage to promote healthy distancing, reconfigured classrooms and common areas to reduce density and encourage six-foot distancing, and installed hand sanitizer stations throughout campus. For leased properties, Northeastern will verify that the property manager has prepared the buildings’ common spaces in accordance with state and provincial guidelines and university standards.