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 [email protected].
Campus Access Protocols: San Francisco, Silicon Valley
What are the building hours at the Silicon Valley campus?
- Effective March 22, 2021, the Silicon Valley campus is open for individual work and study, Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm. Advance reservations are required. Hours are subject to change depending on current public health guidelines and operational requirements.
What are the building hours at the San Francisco campus?
- Effective April 26, 2021, the San Francisco campus is open for individual work and study, Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. Advance reservations are required. 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.
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
- Have a negative COVID-19 test result within seven days of arriving that you can display on your phone or as a printed copy
- Make a campus space reservation for work or study, in advance
- 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?
- You should use the Acuity reservation system: For SV campus space reservations, go to the SV reservation system. For SF campus space reservations, go to the SF reservation system.
- Additionally, SF campus members with existing badge access may reserve conference rooms within the WeWork facility by using the WeWork App or member website.
- The SF campus hours of operation are Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am – 6:00 pm, effective April 26, 2021. The SV campus hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 7:00 pm.
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 protected] 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 [email protected] 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 – 5:00 pm (excluding holidays).
COVID-19 Testing: San Francisco, Silicon Valley
Is COVID-19 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, COVID-19 testing is required on a weekly basis for students, faculty, and staff who are utilizing the campuses at least once a week.
- Individuals on either campus must have a negative test result within the last 7 days, including those recently vaccinated. 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. During campus check-in, 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.
- Results will be accepted from diagnostic/molecular tests.
When is COVID-19 testing available on the San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses?
- COVID-19 testing is available on the Silicon Valley campus every Monday and Thursday, from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm, excluding holidays. Testing on the San Francisco campus will be offered under the same schedule, effective April 19, 2021.
- 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.
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.
What are the operating hours of the testing center on the San Francisco campus?
- Effective April 19, 2021, the San Francisco campus testing center (room 20-107A at WeWork 600 California Street) 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?
- Students, staff, and faculty need to schedule their COVID-19 test in advance using the Acuity Reservation System. SV test reservations, SF test reservations
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
Is vaccination mandatory for students?
- Beginning in the fall academic term, all students attending Northeastern University’s campuses will be expected to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by the first day of classes. You can find additional information in the university’s announcement of the new policy.
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.
Is eating allowed on the Silicon Valley Campus?
- Eating, drinking, and gathering within indoor breakrooms and dining areas is currently prohibited based on public health recommendations; 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. In accordance with local public health guidance, Northeastern San Francisco also prohibits eating and drinking in conference rooms during meetings and advises to eat outdoors whenever possible.
- Eating is allowed in the WeWork lounges and kitchen areas on various floors with healthy distancing. 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?
- As of April 2021, the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommend delaying non-essential travel until individuals have been fully vaccinated. All travelers arriving in or returning to California should follow CDC travel guidance. For more information, please see the State’s updated travel advisory.
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.
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 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.
In our global network locations, public health authorities will conduct the contact tracing to notify close contacts of anyone who tests positive. It is very important—and in fact legally required by HIPAA and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States and PIPEDA in Canada—for Northeastern to protect the privacy of each one of our fellow Northeastern community members. To protect the person’s privacy and comply with legal requirements, our local support specialist and the state public health authorities cannot share the identity of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. Staff and students will be notified only if they are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, and the identity of the person will not be shared.
At this time, all visitors to Northeastern University, in advance of their visit, must be determined to be essential to the university’s mission in order to be approved to visit a Northeastern campus. Approval for any visitors to the university not deemed essential is at the discretion of the appropriate senior vice president. For more details on the policy and visitors that are deemed essential, please see the Visitor Protocol.
The State of California currently prohibits indoor and outdoor gatherings of all kinds statewide, with limited exceptions for religious services, cultural ceremonies, and protest activities. Should the State of California ease these restrictions, all in-person event requests will be reviewed by a Northeastern events committee and must contain a compelling statement of why the event must be held in person and cannot be done virtually. For more details on scheduling and approving an event, please see the Event Policy.