Expectations of a Huskie

At NIU, we value and appreciate that every Huskie contributes different experiences, perspectives and beliefs to our community. Simultaneously, we must acknowledge that the seriousness of this pandemic, especially with the prevalence of the highly transmissible Omicron variant, poses a threat to the health and well-being of many. Huskies are called to come together and unite in our effort to protect one another. In this extraordinary time, being a Huskie means committing to the following:
  • Strongly Consider Getting the COVID-19 Vaccine

    Vaccine iconAccording to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), vaccines are safe and effective at preventing COVID-19. The CDC recommends that everyone ages 12 and older receive the vaccine as soon as possible. Students must submit proof of vaccination or request an exemption.
  • Participate in Surveillance Testing

    Surveillance iconA surveillance testing program samples a specific population to be tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have a known exposure or are showing symptoms.

  • Self-monitor and Self-report

    Self-reporting iconNotify the university and follow instructed guidelines if you test positive, are exposed or experience symptoms.

  • Use Proper Hand Hygiene

    Hand washing iconWash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer (60% alcohol) if a hand-washing station isn’t available.

  • Follow Face Mask and Other Guidelines

    Face mask iconKeep current with health and safety guidance, including when and where face masks are required. We'll keep you informed through email and this website. Read more about safety protocols and guidelines.

  • Consider Getting a Flu Shot

    Flu shot iconWhile getting a flu (influenza) vaccine will not protect against COVID-19, it can reduce your risk from flu and help conserve health care resources. Having the flu and COVID-19 at the same time can be dangerous for high-risk patients.

Latest Protocols and Guidelines

SHIELD COVID-19 testing discontinued on campus and changes to weekly surveillance testing

State funding ended June 30, 2022, for the SHIELD surveillance and sick-only testing that has been offered on campus. Surveillance testing is no longer available at the Student Health Center. Students and employees who are required to participate in weekly surveillance testing have been notified of the new process for testing off-campus and providing proof of testing to NIU. Students and employees who are sick and are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 have the option to make an appointment for a nasal PCR test at the Student Health Center (SHC). We recommend confirming with your health insurance that a test at the SHC will be covered prior to testing. 

Face Coverings

Governor Pritzker lifted the mandate requiring face coverings to be worn on public transportation. Effective immediately, face masks are not required on the Huskie Bus Line, but riders are welcome to wear them voluntarily. (4/20/22)

Effective Feb. 28, NIU will only require masks in the following circumstances and/or locations: 

  • Faculty members can require masks be worn in their teaching spaces
  • Surveillance testing locations
  • Northwestern Medicine Student Health Clinic
  • NIU health clinics

Huskies are also expected to wear masks at the request of individuals when meeting in the personal work or living spaces of those individuals.

Masks will be optional in all other settings. Any member of the NIU community who prefers to continue to mask is welcome and encouraged to do so. Please refer to the CDC's latest guidance on effective masking. (as of 1/11/22)

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