Northeastern University—Seattle Campus Reopening

Seattle COVID-19 Vaccination FAQ's

How will Northeastern community members in Seattle get the COVID-19 vaccine? 
In Seattle, vaccines will be administered by various clinics, pharmacies, hospitals, and other healthcare offices. Washington is planning a phased approach, prioritizing groups that have been disproportionately affected by COVID-19. Visit  Washington State Department of Health  for more information on the  vaccine distribution timeline. The Washington State Department of Health recommends that you get the vaccine through an  approved vaccine distributor.   

What are the phases of the vaccine distribution timeline in Seattle? 
Visit  Washington’s COVID-19 vaccine phases chart for more information. Washington is currently vaccinating anyone in Phase 1A (Tier 1 and 2) and Phase 1B, Tier 1. As Washington progresses through its vaccine distribution phases, we will update our community accordingly.   

Are faculty and higher education staff included in a certain phase? 
The state of Washington hasn’t yet specified where faculty and higher education administrators fall in the state’s vaccination distribution timeline. Unless the state announces explicit guidance, the Washington State Department of Health suggest that anyone with co-morbidities can be included in Phase 1B, Tier 3 or Tier 4. Other faculty, staff, and students could be included in the general population in future phases.    

What are the steps Northeastern community members can take to get ready for the COVID-19 vaccine? 
We encourage you to start by signing up for Washington’s Department of Health COVID-19 vaccine eligibility form. Completing the form will determine if you are eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. If you are not yet eligible, you can provide your email or phone number so the state can contact you when you become eligible. We encourage you to resubmit the eligibility form every two to four weeks.  

Seattle Campus Testing FAQ's

Click here to check the step by step process for getting tested at Seattle Campus.

Is testing required for Northeastern students, faculty, and staff in Seattle?
Yes. In addition to other safety requirements such as required masking and healthy distancing, testing is required on a weekly basis for students, faculty, and staff who are utilizing the Seattle campus at least once a week. Beginning February 1, all individuals on campus must have a negative test result within the last 7 days. We recommend that you select the same day each week to get tested to ensure you are always eligible to be on campus.   

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. 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.  

I have not had a test in the last 7 days, can I still utilize the testing center on campus?
Yes, you can utilize the testing center but you cannot access the rest of campus until you receive a negative test result. Test results from Color are provided within 48 hours after taking the COVID-19 Test.

When is COVID-19 testing available on the Seattle campus?
Beginning February 1, COVID-19 testing for students, faculty, and staff will take place at 225 Terry Avenue N, Suite 102, Seattle, WA 98019, Monday to Friday at below timings:
Mondays 11:00 am -6:00 pm
Tuesdays 11:00 am -6:00 pm
Wednesdays 9:00 am -4:00 pm
Thursdays 11:00 am -6:00 pm
Fridays 9:00 am -4:00 pm
The testing center closes at 4 pm on Wednesday and Friday to ensure that tests can be shipped in time by FedEx (twice a week) to our third-party testing partner, Color. 

Can I be tested twice a week? 
We ask that you limit your testing to once a week. If you feel you need additional testing, we encourage you to check with King County Public Health Agency public testing sites or your local physician.     

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.  

Does the Color test recognize the new virus variant?
The Color COVID-19 test can detect the B117 variant. Color cannot identify that it is that specific variant, but people will still test positive if they have the B117 variant.

What is the specificity and sensitivity of the color test?
The Color assay’s analytical sensitivity and specificity can be measured by how often it correctly detects the presence of SARS-CoV-2 viral RNA when compared with assays developed by other labs. The Color assay has been 100% concordant with results from other labs, including over 540 samples tested at the Broad Institute. Although specific data for the Color assay does not yet exist, it is reasonable that the clinical sensitivity and specificity are comparable to those of other similar assays. A recent review of studies using anterior nasal (AN) swabs as a sample type suggests that the clinical sensitivity of SARS-CoV-2 assays may range from 87-100% and specificity may range from 99-100%.

Is testing free?

Should I come for a test if I am experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or if I’ve had exposure to COVID-19? 
No. If you are experiencing the symptoms of COVID-19 listed in the Daily Wellness Check or if you’ve been exposed to someone who’s had a positive diagnosis for COVID-19, please do not come to campus. Follow King County Public Health guidance to contact your medical provider or the King County COVID-19 call center (206-477-3977) if you do not currently have a healthcare provider.   

Once vaccinated, will you need to get tested weekly to come to campus?
Yes! Until further notice, vaccination will not affect any decisions regarding COVID-19 testing. All members of the Seattle campus community should be tested if visiting campus, isolate if they test positive, quarantine if exposed, wear mask, and socially distance.

How should students, faculty, and staff schedule appointments to be tested? 
All students, staff, and faculty need to schedule their COVID-19 test in advance using the Acuity Reservation System. 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 social 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. 

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, make sure you have completed the COVID-19 Testing Consent form for the Seattle campus. 
  • If this is your first test on campus, create your Color account by clicking “Create Account.” 
  • Make an appointment in advance in the Acuity Reservation System. 
  • Bring your mobile device to display your completedDaily Wellness Check from the day of your testing or print the page to show your results. Warning: do not use SafeZone to complete your Daily Wellness Check. Instead, use the link above. 

What will the process look like for testing Northeastern students, faculty, and staff?
The Seattle Campus will conduct testing at the entrance to the 225 Terry N building inside Suite 102 (prior to entering the courtyard).  The following steps will take place: 

  • Arrive within your 30-minute appointment timeframe scheduled on Acuity.  
  • Complete your daily check-in by showing Daily Wellness Checkgetting your temperature checked, receiving the daily color dot on your husky ID, and checking in on SafeZone. 
  • Proceed to the testing check-in and activate your test by completing a symptom check, consent form, and activating your kit on the Color platform: 
    • Make sure you receive a confirmation from Color that your test has been activated before conducting your test. 
    • Helpful tip: Take a picture of the 10-digit barcode number on your vial to help you remember it when accessing your test result. 
  • Proceed to an available testing session and follow the steps to conduct the self-administered nasal swab test. 
  • Drop your completed test at the collection table. 
  • Make sure your mask is back up, follow signage to exit the testing area. 
  • You will receive an email from Color when test results are ready in 36 – 48 hours. The email will include a link to access your test results by logging in to the Color portal. 

If a Seattle 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. Seattle students, faculty, and staff will be using a separate scheduling process—the Acuity Reservation system—for scheduling their test. They should still mark themselves Primarily Remote in the COVID-19 Test Scheduler (which is used only for scheduling tests in Boston).  

How soon will I get my test results?
Test results will be available within 36 – 48 hours. You will receive an email and/or text from Color notifying you that test results can be viewed in your Color account. You can also visit to check if your results are ready.  

How will I access my test results? 
You will be alerted by text and/or email from Color when your test results are available. You can log in by using the email you used to create your Color account: Then you will need to input your date of birth and the ten-digit test barcode number from your test vial to access your test result.   

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 test results and discussing next steps. 

What should a student, faculty, or staff member from the Seattle campus do if they test positive for COVID-19?
All students, faculty, and staff should follow local public health guidelines. The Washington State Department of Health gives instructions for what to do if you test positive for COVID-19. Brielle Buechler, Student Support Specialist, will follow up with you to connect you to resources. 

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 individual with a follow-up to test notification.  Local 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. 

Does Color destroy the samples after processing or are they allowed to use the samples for R&D
Samples are retained for a number of days after testing, but then destroyed. Destruction of all samples and extracted RNA is defined as disposal into the biohazardous waste. Sometimes residual, de-identified samples may be used as part of validation studies for process improvement projects specifically related to improving the SARS-CoV-2 test.

Seattle Campus Covid-19 FAQ's

Are there specific entry protocols that students, faculty, and staff will follow at the Seattle campus? Yes, there are specific procedures you need to be aware of before deciding to visit campus:

  • Complete the University Expectations for Return to Campus Attestation 
  • Review the “The Seattle Campus Safe Return Guide 
  • All students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a Daily Wellness Check before coming to campus. You will need to show the results of your Daily Wellness Check when you arrive on campus, so we encourage you to bookmark on your mobile phone for convenient access to the Daily Wellness Check results page. You may also print your result page and show it on arrival if you do not have a mobile phone. Please stay home if you feel sick. Warning: do not use SafeZone for your Daily Wellness Check. Instead, use this link
  • Once you complete your Daily Wellness Check, download SafeZone from either the iTunes App Store, the Google Play App Store, the Windows Store  
  • All students, faculty, and staff will have their temperature checked before entering the building.
  • Have a negative COVID-19 test result within the last 7 days. For more information on testing, please review our testing FAQs above.
  • Always wear your Husky ID and access card on a lanyard so it is visible while on campus
  • Face masks or face coverings must be worn at all times – both inside campus buildings and in outdoor spaces on campus.
  • You are required to follow the directional signage and adhere to the stated entrance and exit door signage.
  • Stay to the right in all hallways and stairs

What should a student, faculty, or staff member in Seattle do if they need to get tested for COVID-19?
Testing is required and provided at our campus in Seattle. Please review testing FAQs above for information about on-campus testing.  

Locally, testing is available through an individual’s primary care provider. The City of Seattle is also offering free COVID-19 testing, for all ages, at three sites across Seattle through a partnership with King County and UW Medicine. Drive-through and walk-up testing is available, but you must first register online. For more resources outside of the city of Seattle, please visit King County COVID-19 testing website. To find places to get tested in King County, you can call the King County COVID-19 Call Center at 206-477-3977 for assistance (interpreters available). 

What are the operational hours at the Seattle campus?
Beginning on September 9, campus will be open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m., on Saturday from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., and closed on Sundays.

Is eating allowed on the Seattle campus?
In accordance with the university policy on locations for safe eating and drinking on campus, eating is not allowed in classrooms or hallways. There are designated tables on each floor for eating while on campus—the only areas where eating is permitted on campus other than a private office. These tables are not meant to be used as study areas. You will need to bring your own utensils and drinking cup and take them home each day. Microwaves are also available in each eating area. Coffee & tea service has been eliminated but filtered cold/hot water is available in each eating area of campus. Eating is the only time when anyone is permitted to take off their mask off while on campus. It is recommended that people not engage in conversation while eating to help reduce the risk of spreading airborne droplets. Community style food events on campus are suspended until further notice.

Are there specific public health guidelines students should follow when traveling to the Seattle campus?
Currently, a formal quarantine is not required for travelers entering Washington state. The county is still in a phased reopening. To see current restrictions, please visit the King County Safe Start website to see our current phase and the restrictions that are in place.King County requires that all public transit commuters wear a mask while on public transit and maintain six-foot distance where possible. For more information on public transit protocols, visit the King County Metro website.

How do I receive academic advising during the winter/spring term?
All faculty and academic advising can take virtually during the winter/spring terms. Some faculty and academic advisors may have in-person advising options. Students can contact their advisor over email and schedule an appointment. 

Are there specific cleaning protocols that the Seattle campus will follow?
We have janitorial services that will clean all high-touch services in each building, including restrooms, elevators, entrance door hardware, counters, and handrails, in accordance with the guidelines of the CDC. Everyone should personally wipe off surfaces before and after using them. (Think of wiping carts when you go grocery shopping). This includes AV equipment in meeting rooms, workstations, lecterns, tables and seats in classrooms, etc. The Facilities team will install and maintain hand-sanitizer stations and cleaning materials at entrances to our spaces throughout campus to promote easy access. Shared white board markers and erasers have been removed from the classrooms and common areas. Sanitized sets are available for check out at the 225 front desk. All faculty and teaching assistants will be issued a set as part of their supplies for the term and should bring them to campus as needed. All areas, including classrooms, will have a full cleaning and disinfecting nightly. Given the number of classrooms and the time between classes, it will not be possible for facilities staff to clean classrooms between use, so each member of our community will need to share responsibility for sanitizing spaces before and after use. Campus will supply all classrooms and common spaces with sanitation wipes or cleaning spray and towels.

What are the local resources available for COVID-19 information in our area?
King County Public Health provides resource guides and a website, as well as a dashboard with current COVID-19 datasets. Information is available in multiple languages. The campus will continue to update with additional resources as they are made available.

What should a student, faculty, or staff member in our Seattle location do if they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19?
If you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you please complete your daily health assessment, stay home and do not come to campus. King County public health guidelines instruct you to contact a health provider or testing site to discuss the need for testing.

What is the visitor policy on the Seattle campus?
Visitors requests must be approved in advance by either Campus Dean or Assoc. Director Operations. All visitors will need to follow COVID-19 health guidelines in advance of coming on campus and complete a CV-19 wellness check at check in station before entering campus.

What is the event policy on the Seattle campus?
On campus Community events are currently suspended. All in person events on campus must be preapproved by Dean or Assoc. Director Operations and cannot exceed 25 people.

General Northeastern FAQ's

Are masks required on all Northeastern’s global campuses?
Yes. All students, faculty, and staff across Northeastern’s global campuses follow the Northeastern face covering protocol. Northeastern requires all employees, students, vendors, and visitors to wear face coverings or face masks while they are in common spaces, including outdoor spaces on campus, and in common gathering areas, shared workspaces, shared academic spaces, or when interacting face to face with others.

Are daily health screenings required on all Northeastern’s global campuses?
Yes. All Northeastern students, faculty, and staff are required to complete a Daily Wellness Check before coming to campus. You will need to show the results of your Daily Wellness Check when you arrive on campus, so we encourage you to bookmark on your mobile phone for convenient access to the Daily Wellness Check results page. You may also print your result page and show it on arrival if you do not have a mobile phone.

Does Northeastern have recommendations for students before they travel to our global campuses?
In the interest of protecting the health of our campus community, we recommend that you minimize contact with others for 14 days before travel and that you get a test 72 hours or less prior to your arrival on campus, if you are able. Please do not travel to campus if you test positive or if you are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19. 

Will Northeastern be requiring – and providing – COVID-19 testing at Seattle?
Testing is required and provided at our campus in Seattle. Please see the COVID-19 testing section above for additional information. 

How are classes being offered?
All Northeastern locations have adopted an advanced, highly flexible learning model called Hybrid NUflex. From week to week, Hybrid Nuflex allows some students to attend classes in-person while others join remotely via Zoom or Teams. To manage classroom density, some students will be in the classroom while others are learning remotely, in real time.Using a dynamic scheduling app available on Northeastern’s Student Hub, students can indicate for faculty in advance their preferred mode of attendance during a given week. The classroom experience will be immersive, enhanced through video and chat tools that allow people inside and outside the classroom to see each other and enjoy lively two-way exchanges.Faculty will decide how to best deliver their individual courses through Hybrid NUflex. Hybrid NUflex allows students to begin the term remotely and then come to campus or to begin in person and later transition to remote learning, meeting international student requirements.

Will students across the global campuses have access to the new Student Hub platform?
All Northeastern students will have access to the Student Hub, a new, highly personalized and experience-driven platform designed to help students navigate and keep track of their busy and daily lives as university students.

Are hand sanitizer stations and disinfecting wipes available on Northeastern’s campus locations?
Yes. Northeastern is providing hand sanitizer stations and disinfecting wipes at all its campus locations, focusing especially on classrooms, the entrances to our campus spaces, and in common areas.

Is elevator capacity limited on Northeastern’s campus locations?
Yes. Elevator occupancy is being limited to two to four people, based on guidelines of the National Elevator Institute Inc., a national trade association for the elevator and escalator industry.

Are cleaning and sanitization procedures be enhanced on all the global network campuses?
Yes. Each campus are following Northeastern’s cleaning and sanitizing protocol, using EPA approved disinfectants and cleaning high-touch surfaces more frequently.

How does Northeastern evaluate and maintain air quality in leased campus spaces?
The Northeastern Facilities team has analyzed the air quality and HVAC systems in each of its campus locations, following recommendations and best practices from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as well as other professional and trade organizations. Northeastern will use additional air filtration units in any buildings that don’t meet our standards for air quality.

How are we preparing our buildings for the return of our faculty, students, and staff?
The operations staff in each campus location are working closely with the Campus Planning and Facilities teams in Boston to prepare our campus spaces for the return of faculty, students, and staff. This includes installing new signage to promote healthy distancing, reconfiguring classrooms and common areas to reduce density and encourage six-foot distancing and installing hand sanitizer stations throughout campus. For leased properties, Northeastern will verify that the property manager has prepared the buildings’ common spaces in accordance with state and provincial guidelines and university standards.

What happens if someone has tested positive and has been on campus? Will classmates or staff be notified?
In our global network locations, public health authorities will conduct the contact tracing to notify close contacts of anyone who tests positive. It is very important—and in fact legally required by HIPAA and the Americans with Disabilities Act in the United States and PIPEDA in Canada—for Northeastern to protect the privacy of each one of our fellow Northeastern community members. To protect the person’s privacy and comply with legal requirements, our case management team and the state public health authorities cannot share the identity of anyone who tests positive for COVID-19. Staff and students will be notified only if they are a close contact of someone who tests positive for COVID-19, and the identity of the person will not be shared.