Updated Guidance for Bridge Phase
May 14, 2021

As the population of vaccinated residents grows and COVID-19 cases steadily decline, the State of Illinois is transitioning to the
Bridge Phase of the Restore Illinois Plan beginning today (Friday, May 14). In consultation with our partners at the DeKalb County Health Department and using the latest federal and state guidance, the university is adopting the following protocols for the duration of this phase. The university will continue to closely monitor the situation and adjust plans accordingly as new public health guidelines emerge.



Individuals ages 12 and older are now eligible to be vaccinated at multiple locations. The COVID-19 vaccine is NOT mandatory in Illinois, but health officials strongly encourage those who are eligible to receive the vaccine. Those students and employees who are part of the mandatory surveillance testing pool can be exempt from testing if they are fully vaccinated. 


For the purposes of these and future communications, the term “fully vaccinated” is defined as someone who is now past the two (2) weeks following their second injection (Pfizer or Moderna) or single injection (Johnson & Johnson).


Exposure to COVID-19

Following a potential exposure to someone who is positive, NIU employees and students who are fully vaccinated and do not have COVID-19-like symptoms do not need to quarantine, stay home from work or be tested as their risk of infection is low.


All Huskies should continue to monitor for symptoms of COVID-19 and if symptoms develop, they should isolate themselves from others, contact their medical provider and complete the Checklist for Self-Reporting.



The university is currently working with state and local public health officials on how to best update our mask policy given the recently revised CDC guidelines for fully vaccinated individuals. Updated guidance for Huskies will be issued in an announcement early the week of May 17. Until then all employees, students, vendors and visitors, regardless of whether they are vaccinated, should continue to wear face masks while on campus unless they are alone in a private office or personal workspace.



Personal and university-sponsored travel guidelines have been updated to reflect the latest public health guidance and may be found on the Protecting the Pack site.


Events & Conferences

Indoor events with a maximum attendance of 60% of the room’s capacity are permissible. Outdoor events can have multiple groups of up to 100 people as long as groups maintain a distance of at least 30 feet from each other. Outdoor gatherings on NIU property also require university permission. Student organizations that wish to host an event should use the event-registration process in HuskieLink.


Campus COVID Surveillance Testing & Dashboard

Employees who are not vaccinated and work on campus in Housing and Residential Services, Campus Dining Services, the Child Development and Family Center, Human Resource Services and the Holmes Student Center are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing throughout the summer. During this same time period, students and faculty with in-person classes who are not vaccinated will also be required to participate in surveillance testing. Surveillance testing will also be available on a voluntary basis to any NIU student or employee who would like to be regularly tested.


Testing takes place Mondays and Thursdays, and the summer dashboard will be updated every Monday.


Campus Clear App

Beginning today, May 14, the university will no longer use the CampusClear App for daily symptom surveying. Huskies should continue to self-monitor for symptoms and complete the Checklist for Self-Reporting if they have symptoms or, if they have not been fully vaccinated, have been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

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