COVID-19 Testing for Students Living in the Residence Halls

Students moving into the residence hall for the first time or returning from the semester break must schedule and take a COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test when they return to campus in January. Tests are being provided by NIU for students and will be the only test results accepted for completing the move in process for spring semester.  

Once students have completed their testing sample and move into their residence, we ask that student quarantine in their room until their results are communicated. When students need to use rest rooms or obtain food, they may leave their rooms to go to those areas provided they are following our guidelines for face coverings and distancing. We anticipate results being turned around between 24 and 48 hours after the sample is submitted.

If a student’s test results come back positive, then the student will need to relocate to university designated isolation housing quarters. A member of the Housing and Residential Services staff will coordinate with the student what those options are and will help assist in the relocation process. Staff will also coordinate delivery of food to the student while in isolation housing. 

Spring 2021 New Surveillance Testing Plan

Beginning the first week of January, NIU will start to use the SHIELD Illinois COVID-19 Test developed by the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. The saliva-based COVID-19 test is a non-invasive test that simply requires an individual to deposit a saliva sample into a provided vial at the on-campus testing site in the Holmes Student Center. Samples are then transported to a network of lab partners that will process and return results typically within 24 hours. There is no charge to students who are required to participate.

  • Residence hall students will test prior to moving back on campus in January and every other week (bi-weekly) throughout the semester. For move-in, we are pleased to be able to offer you free, on-campus testing and results typically within 24 hours. Specific information will be sent to these students from Housing later this week, and timely responses are required.
  • Northern View apartment students will now be included in surveillance testing and will test every other week (bi-weekly) beginning in January.
  • The following groups are also required to participate in surveillance testing:
    • In-person class participants: Students, faculty, instructors or graduate assistants participating in classes that are entirely held in person will be tested every four weeks.
    • Students who work in residence halls: Student-employees in these areas will be tested every two to four weeks.
    • Child Development and Family Center (CDFC) Employees: Students who work in the CDFC will be tested weekly.
    • Student-athletes and select Athletics staff: Schedules vary as required by the NCAA.

Additional information and instructions will be emailed to surveillance participants.

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Housing and Residential Services
Neptune East 101
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