COVID-19

Information for Feinberg

As information about the COVID-19 pandemic evolves, please continue to refer to Northwestern's university-wide guidance for the latest health and safety protocol. 

This website houses additional details specific to Feinberg and the Chicago campus for faculty, staff, and students.

A confidential monitored hotline (312-503-3437) is available to allow faculty, staff, and students to report concerns or issues that may need to be addressed by the school; in the spirit of quality improvement, it is hoped that people using the hotline will leave contact information to provide confidential follow-up. Additionally, Feinberg members can email fsm-reactivate@northwestern.edu  with general questions and concerns.

Feinberg School of Medicine Guidance

As COVID-19 vaccinations are now widely available and cases in Illinois are decreasing, guidelines have been updated to reflect increased activity on campus and participation by visitors.

In accordance with City of Chicago policy, masking is currently optional in all non-clinical Feinberg spaces. This includes administrative areas, research labs, classrooms, libraries, lobbies, and lounges.

All Feinberg students, faculty and staff are required to be vaccinated and to receive a booster shot. Clinical faculty will follow the vaccination and booster requirements as defined by their primary clinical affiliate institution. 

Request a COVID-19 Vaccine through Northwestern Self-Report Your COVID-19 Vaccination and Booster

 

The medical school has taken steps to ensure our campus is compliant and congruent with city and state policies, as well as University policies for health and safety. The school’s responsibility is to provide guidance and support for how to implement best practices for working on campus in an academic setting, as well as to ensure that our policies are equitable and flexible to the very wide span of employee roles and work settings on our campus.

 Health, Testing, and Symptom Tracking

  • Daily symptom monitoring: All unvaccinated individuals are required to use the Symptom Tracker application for entry to Northwestern University buildings on the Chicago campus. This requirement is lifted for vaccinated people in Northwestern University buildings.
  • Anyone may continue using the Northwestern Symptom Tracker to initiate a case with the COVID Response Team if they have symptoms or exposures. 
  • In clinical and non-Northwestern University owned spaces, continue to follow local requirements. 
  • COVID-19 testing information for Feinberg faculty, students, and staff members can be found on the Feinberg COVID Testing webpage. Fully vaccinated students are no longer required to complete recurring asymptomatic COVID-19 testing. 
  • Masking is optional in all non-clinical Feinberg spaces. This includes administrative areas, research labs, classrooms, libraries, lobbies, and lounges. 
  • Persons diagnosed with COVID-19 or presumed COVID-19, or who have been in close contact with someone who tests positive for COVID-19, must comply with all posted Northwestern University return-to-work policies for communicable disease reporting.

 Occupancy

  • Capacity limits and restrictions for meetings and events in Northwestern University-owned buildings have been lifted. 
  • Occupancy limits in Northwestern University research spaces have been lifted. 

 Clinical Care Information

All patient care activities will follow the lead and guidance provided by each of our clinical affiliates.

 Travel

Please refer to Northwestern University’s published COVID-19 travel policy, which includes guidance for international and domestic travel.

 Feinberg Events

  •   Feinberg sponsored events reserve the right to require all attendees to be fully vaccinated.
Northwestern University's community is fully vaccinated and boosted. At Feinberg, we maintain a commitment to the safety of our students, faculty, and staff, and we all play key roles in providing health care to and engaging with the Chicagoland community, including those most vulnerable to COVID-19, such as unvaccinated adults and children, immunocompromised persons, and persons with underlying conditions that increase risk of severe disease from COVID-19. We feel an obligation to do everything we can to ensure that our people do not unintentionally spread the virus to vulnerable persons who put their trust in us - and this includes reserving the right to require vaccinations from all attendees in order to attend special events hosted by Feinberg. Masks are encouraged.

Education Guidance for Feinberg

  • All Northwestern University students must be vaccinated and receive a booster shot. Documentation of vaccination status is required. 

 MD and McGaw Medical Center Programs

  • See the COVID-19 MD Student Resources section of the MD Education program website
  • All McGaw residency and fellowship programs are continuing clinical activities with schedules determined by the program director and department chairs.

 Other Degree Programs

  • Physician Assistant, Physical Therapy, Orthotics, and Clinical Genetics education programs will resume in-person programming for the 2021-22 academic year.
  • PhD and master’s degree students should consult their program websites for information specific to their curriculum. Northwestern University intends to be in-person for fall 2021.

Research Guidance for Feinberg

 Clinical Research Studies

  • Patient/participant and staff safety should always be the primary consideration during research visits.
  • Consideration should be given to staff and participant flow through corridors as well as within rooms.
  • Clinical research teams should follow clinical affiliate, Feinberg, and departmental guidelines for return. To the extent possible, distancing and appropriate personal protective equipment should be maintained throughout the visit.
  • Research in clinical affiliate space is generally defined as research done at Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago (Lurie Children's), Shirley Ryan AbilityLab, and Northwestern Memorial HealthCare (NMHC) clinical buildings, including the Northwestern Memorial Hospital Feinberg, Galter, Arkes, and Lavin Pavilions, and Northwestern Medicine Prentice Women’s Hospital.
  • Participant visits in clinical affiliate space may continue and/or restart as long as affiliate guidelines are followed.
  • Guidelines from the Intiutional Review Board (IRB) Office must be followed.
  • The situation is dynamic and we may need to loosen or restrict clinical research activities as needed.
  • For clinical research visits that can continue to take place virtually, please consider continuing these modified procedures. Please refer to guidance set forth by the Northwestern IRB Office
  • Guidance on remote IT resources can be found on the Feinberg Information Technology website.

 Research in University-Managed Space

  • Research that occurs in leased space must follow guidelines developed by management of those buildings.
  • Pre-visit and COVID-19 entry screening requirements of the building, clinical affiliate, or Northwestern University IRB, as appropriate, should be followed. If the building does not have screening requirements, follow the IRB recommended screening process.

 Clinic Considerations

  • Clinical research teams should follow Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and clinical affiliate guidelines for reactivating clinical care. This includes for PPE, which can vary based on the procedures performed during the clinical research visit, as well as pre-visit screening, entry screening, physical distancing, and disinfecting/cleaning with adequate time between visits. See specific affiliate information below.
  • Research that takes place within clinical affiliates’ buildings should follow the protocols for entry and conduct that the clinical space is recommending.
  • Researchers working with Lurie Children’s should refer to the following site for more information: COVID-19 Resources for Employees and Providers.
  • Those that are conducting research with NMHC units should work directly with the leadership of the clinical unit to ensure the added volume, or time of the research visit, or portion of the clinical visit can be incorporated into the overall planned volume for space and resources.

 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)/Safety Considerations

  • Before return, teams should learn about the infection control procedures for the space in which visits will be taking place in order to Consider things such as PPE requirements, room disinfection, screening requirements of participants prior to their arrival, and if there is an ability for a family member/friend or caregiver to accompany the participants from the entrance to the visit space.
  • Provide the participant with information ahead of the visit in order to prepare. If the research visit is in conjunction with a visit for clinical purposes, work with the clinical department to ensure the information is clear to the participant and does not contradict the clinical affiliate.
  • Consider if the research coordinator(s) or other study staff should meet participants at the entrance.
  • Depending on the requirements of the research space to optimize physical distancing, study staff should confirm if they can be in the room with the participant during the visit.
  • Study staff should review COVID-19 PPE requirements and relevant donning and doffing guidance.
  • When planning upcoming visits/screening visits, consider infection prevention/control procedures when establishing contact with participants.

Administrative and Technical Information for Employees Working Remotely

 

Resources

Northwestern’s Commitment to an Inclusive Environment

All members of the Northwestern University community should be free from harassment and discrimination, and we intend to uphold our values. If any member of the community feels they have been treated unfairly because of their race, country of origin or where they have traveled, please reach out to the Office of Equity.
Northwestern Office of Equity