Information for Feinberg
Based on current health guidelines, Northwestern intends to be in-person for the start of the University's 2021 academic year, which begins after Labor Day, with a ramp-up period occuring over the summer. As information evolves, please continue to refer to Northwestern's university-wide guidance for the latest health and safety protocol. Our campus status is updated regularly using a color-coded activity level framework.
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 email@example.com with general questions and concerns.
Feinberg School of Medicine Guidance
As COVID-19 vaccinations are now widely available and serious cases in Illinois are decreasing, guidelines have been updated to reflect increased activity on campus and participation by visitors.
All students coming to Northwestern for the 2021-2022 academic year will be vaccinated, and all faculty and staff are strongly encouraged to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
The medical school is taking 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 campus 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
- 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. In clinical and non-Northwestern University owned spaces, continue to follow local requirements. Anyone may continue using the Symptom Tracker to initiate a case with the COVID Response Team if they have symptoms or exposures.
- 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.
- Those who are fully vaccinated are no longer required to wear masks in most Northwestern University-owned indoor spaces or outdoors. Anyone who is not fully vaccinated, regardless of the reason, is required to continue masking indoors. In alignment with Northwestern Medicine practice, masks still will be required at our health facilities and testing sites, regardless of vaccination status.
- 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.
- 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
Education Guidance for Feinberg
- All Northwestern University students must be vaccinated for the 2021-2022 academic year, as communicated by the Office of the Provost on May 12. Documentation of vaccination status will be required prior to registration for classes.
- Galter Library is open to Feinberg School of Medicine affiliated faculty, staff, students, residents, and fellows. Read more from the Galter Health Sciences Library and Learning Center website.
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
- Northwestern's Office for Research has published guidance for conducting research on campus.
- NUCATS has compiled a list of COVID-19 funding opportunities and resources.
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.
- 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
For Feinberg employees who continue to work remotely:
- The COVID-19 Alternate Work Arrangements policy has been extended through June 20, 2021.
- Northwestern University has compiled resources to help our community teach, learn and work during this time - including web conferencing, online chat and file sharing, and call forwarding and voicemail management. Additionally, Feinberg-specific information is available to complement these materials.
- Feinberg's Office of Finance and Administration has published interim changes to payroll transaction processing while working in a remote environment.
- Northwestern University has implemented changes to accounts payable, mailroom, and other office services that impact the Chicago campus.
- The Chicago Parking Office in Abbott Hall is open with limited staff. The office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.; it is closed from 1:00 p.m. to 2:30 p.m. for staff lunch and administrative responsibilities. Please understand the office may also need to close temporarily during break periods. Masks, social distancing and strict adherence to all University COVID-19 guidelines and policies is required. More information is available on the Transportation and Parking website.
- Starbucks in Searle and Slice in SQBRC, are open. Smart Market in SQBRC remains stocked and open as well. Beefsteak and Best of Local in SQBRC remain temporarily closed.
- Northwestern Medicine video on properly using masks
- Supervisors send questions to:
- In research areas, contact Michael Blayney, Executive Director, Research Safety, at (847) 491-4387 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or
- In non-research areas, contact Gwen Butler, Director, Environmental Health and Safety, at (847) 491-4936 or email@example.com.
- For HR issues/questions, please contact your HR Business Partner.
- Aramark cleaning protocol for Feinberg
- Northwestern University Research COVID-19 site