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].

  1. Campus Access Protocols: San Francisco, Silicon Valley

  2. What are the building hours at the Silicon Valley campus?

  • The Silicon Valley campus is open for individual work and study, Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. Advance reservations are required. Hours are subject to change depending on current public health guidelines and operational requirements.
  1. What are the building hours at the San Francisco campus?

  • The San Francisco campus is open for individual work and study, Monday through Thursday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. Advance reservations are required. Hours are subject to change depending on current public health guidelines and operational requirements.
  • Northeastern San Francisco members also have 24/7 access to the communal areas with their access badges, including the lounges and phone booths on various floors.
  1. 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, by 5 pm the day prior
  • 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
  1. 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 – 5:00 pm. The SV campus hours of operation are Monday through Friday, 11:00 am to 9:00 pm. 
  1. 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).
  1. What is the current visitor policy?

  • Our campus locations follow Northeastern’s Visitor Protocol. All essential and non-essential visitors must be registered by the host department in advance of their visit. For more information, please review the protocol and contact the local campus operations management team.

  1. COVID-19 Testing: San Francisco, Silicon Valley

  1. 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.  
  1. 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.
  1. When and where is COVID-19 testing available on the San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses?

  • COVID-19 testing is available on the San Fransico and Silicon Valley campuses every Monday and Thursday, from 1:00 pm to 5:30 pm, excluding holidays.
  • The San Francisco campus testing center is located in room 20-107A at WeWork 600 California Street. 
  • The Silicon Valley campus testing center is located on the 9th floor at 4 N. 2ndStreet in San Jose.
  • Students must test at their designated campus locations. Staff and faculty with a presence on both campuses are permitted to test at either campus.
  1. Can I be tested twice a week?

  1. 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.
  1. Is testing free?

  • Yes.
  1. 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?

  1. How should I schedule my on-site COVID-19 test?

  • Students, staff, and faculty need to schedule their COVID-19 test in advance using the Acuity Reservation System. SV test reservations, SF test reservations 
  • 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. The last appointment slot is 5:30 pm. 
  1. 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.
  1. What does the on-site 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.
      •  Save the card within your kit or take a picture of the 10-digit barcode number on your vial to help you remember it when accessing your test result
      • 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.
  1. 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: SV test reservations, SF test reservations
  • They should still mark themselves Primarily Remote in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler (which is used only for scheduling tests in Boston).
  1. How soon will I get my test results and where can I access them? 

  • Test results will be available within 48 hours. 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.
  1. 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.
  1. What should a student, faculty, or staff member from either campus do if they test positive for COVID-19?

  1. 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.

  1. COVID-19 Vaccine Information

  2. 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.
  1. How can Northeastern community members in the San Francisco Bay Area get the COVID-19 vaccine?

  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:
    • Sign up with the state of California to get notified when you’re eligible for a vaccine
    • If you live and work in San Francisco, sign up with the city’s separate notification system
    • Check in periodically with your healthcare provider regarding appointment options
  1. 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.

  1. COVID-19 Response: San Francisco, Silicon Valley

  2. Is eating allowed on the San Francisco and Silicon Valley Campuses?

  • 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, Silicon Valley also prohibits eating and drinking in conference rooms during meetings and advises its community to eat outdoors whenever possible.
  • In San Francisco, 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.
  • On the Silicon Valley campus, indoor breakrooms are limited to the use of appliances only (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.
  • In addition, individuals must properly wash their hands with soap and water before returning to campus.
  1. What is the current event policy?

  • All in-person event requests, on or off-site, will be reviewed by a Northeastern events committee and must contain a compelling statement of why the event cannot be held virtually. Events or programming that bring visitors to the San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses must also follow the Visitor Protocol
  • For more details, please review the Event Policy.
  1. Are there guidelines students should follow when traveling to the San Francisco Bay Area campuses?

  • If you are traveling to one of our campuses from another state or country, we strongly encourage you to minimize contact with others before you travel and get a COVID-19 PCR test 72 hours or less prior to your arrival on campus. Please do not travel to campus if you test positive or if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. 
  • All travelers arriving in or returning to California should follow CDC travel guidance. For more information, please see the State’s updated travel advisory.
  1. Are masks required on the San Francisco and Silicon Valley campuses?  

  • Yes. Based on current state guidelines, Northeastern—San Francisco, Silicon Valley currently requires employees, students, vendors, and visitors to wear face coverings or masks while indoors on campus and within common building areas — both for fully vaccinated and nonvaccinated individuals. We will continue to send email announcements to the community with updates on this guidance.
  1. What are the cleaning protocols on campus?

  • Our campuses follow Northeastern’s cleaning and sanitizing protocol and 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.
  1. What are the local resources available for COVID-19 information in our area?