View of NIU campus with NIU Logo

Updated Facemask Policy During Bridge Phase
May 18, 2021

The university has reviewed the recent CDC guidance regarding wearing facemasks and consulted with both the state and the DeKalb County Health Department. Because there is currently no way to determine easily who has been fully vaccinated*, the default will remain that all individuals—regardless of vaccination status—must wear facemasks while indoors. The following exceptions exist:

  • Private offices or personal workspaces: Individuals are not required to wear facemasks when alone in their private offices or personal workspaces (including cubicles). Employees are not required to wear facemasks if all people in the work area have been vaccinated. Please see FAQs for information on asking about an individual's vaccination status. Employees should always have their facemasks readily available in case someone enters their work areas.
  • Meetings: In cases where all people attending a meeting in person have been fully vaccinated, facemasks will not be required. Please see FAQs for information on asking about an individual's vaccination status.
  • Research Labs: In cases where all people working in a research lab have been fully vaccinated, it is at the discretion of the Primary Investigator to require facemasks. Please see FAQs for information on asking about an individual's vaccination status.

Facemasks will not be required outdoors for anyone who is fully vaccinated or who is not fully vaccinated but can maintain physical distancing, with the following exception: Because of the large number of children younger than 12 who will be in attendance at commencement ceremonies, and the inability to determine vaccination status, all participants and spectators will be required to wear facemasks. 

Although the easing of facemask requirements is an indication that the end of the pandemic is near, we expect our university community to continue to show compassion and grace to fellow Huskies. Wearing facemasks in public has become the norm for more than a year and many people, even those who are fully vaccinated, might have understandable anxiety as we transition into a new phase in the pandemic.

The best way to end the pandemic and return to normal operations is for all Huskies to get vaccinated if they can do so. Vaccines are currently widely available for people age 12 and older.

The university is constantly monitoring the situation and will continue to update the Protecting the Pack guidelines as more information is made available from public health officials. 

* 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).

This message has been approved for distribution by the appropriate NIU party and is distributed by the Division of Enrollment Management, Marketing and Communications. Facebook Instagram Twitter LinkedIn YouTube
NIU Logo Northern Illinois University's vision is to be an engine for innovation to advance social mobility; promote personal, professional and intellectual growth; and transform the world through research, artistry, teaching and outreach.
Learn more about NIU's vision, mission and values.