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Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Coronavirus/COVID-19 Updates

Return to Campus

As the course of the COVID-19 pandemic eases, Northwestern University has published comprehensive guidance for the University's phased return to campus.

This website houses additional details specific to Feinberg and the Chicago campus for faculty, staff, and students planning their return. Feinberg will return to campus in a phased manner designed to support the reactivation of the on-campus research and educational enterprises while responsibly prioritizing the health of our community. 

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 with general questions and concerns. 

General Campus Guidance

Information and resources for all faculty, staff, students, and trainees returning to campus.

Download Guidelines

Research Guidance

For investigators, staff, lab teams, cores, trainees, and other critical on-campus employees returning to lab buildings.
Download Guidelines

Education Guidance

For educators, faculty, staff, students, trainees, and other education team members returning to the Chicago campus.
Download Guidelines

Feinberg Return to Campus Step Status

Shelter-in-place except for essential personnel.

May include staff whose participation in the research or educational enterprises is significantly limited by remote working conditions, and for whom a return to campus is critical to fulfilling core job responsibilities in laboratory, clinical research environments, classroom, and other instructional settings. Given the variety and scope of research and educational activities, faculty and leadership are responsible for tailoring guidelines and recommendations based on location, type of space, number and type of personnel, and requirements of their work spaces. 

May include staff in positions with leadership responsibilities that were performed on a remote basis. With the ramp-up of research and education activities during Step 2, restoring a regular campus-based leadership presence across units and departments will become more critical to supporting Feinberg’s mission. Consideration will be given at the departmental level to office configurations, team structures, and functional necessity when planning for Step 3 returns. Step 3 may also include limited administrative staff in roles that directly support leadership or manage space resources.  

Will include staff in roles that may be sufficiently performed off-campus during Steps 1-3, and that may be gradually reintegrated into on-campus work environments and in-person teams. Departmental determinations based on function, space availability and attributes, and individualized factors will inform the sequencing and particulars of Step 4 return-to-campus decisions. Density considerations and environmental factors including local and state guidelines will drive movement from Step 4 to Step 5. 

Will include staff in roles that may be sufficiently performed off-campus during Steps 1-4, and that may be gradually reintegrated into on-campus work environments and in-person teams. Departmental determinations based on function, space availability and attributes, and individualized factors will inform the sequencing and particulars of Step 5 return-to-campus decisions. 
Aligns with Northwestern University fall return-to-campus protocol and densification requirements. Research and education ramp-ups are complete, and a high percentage of faculty and staff roles have been integrated back to on-campus and in person environments, aligned with local city and state densification capacity limits. All necessary precautions for on-campus safety remain in place, and restrictions on visitors, travel, and events remain. Step 6 continues until a vaccine is available; workplace flexibility and accommodations related to the pandemic are supported.

Northwestern Medicine Webinars

Northwestern Medicine has hosted informative webinars on SARS-CoV-2 based on the most up-to-date, trustworthy science. Watch these informative webinars to better understand the virus, its transmission and how you can return to campus safely and responsibly.

Transmission of SARS-CoV2 Testing and PPE Guidelines

Further Information on Returning to Campus

 Can Northwestern University garages provide more flexible parking options?

During the stay-at-home order, discounted daily coupons allowing Northwestern University faculty and staff with Wildcards to park for $11 per day were made available at each garage’s customer service office. Employees may now collect up to 10 coupons at a time, an increase from a maximum of three prior to the COVID-19 crisis. This arrangement will continue during campus reactivation, as long as garage capacity allows. 

 Will additional stops be added to Northwestern's Intercampus Shuttle?

Intercampus Shuttle service is offered principally as a means to transport members of the Northwestern community between the Evanston and Chicago campuses for academic and business purposes, rather than as a commuter benefit. For this reason, Northwestern does not plan to add additional stops.

 Is additional bike parking being added on the Chicago campus?

Feinberg manages an internal bike storage room in SQBRC which has limited spaces available. Contact for information on access. The university-managed bike storage room in the Erie-Ontario garage currently does not have any spaces available. To accommodate expected increased demand, however, outdoor racks have been added under the canopy at 345 E. Superior.

 Can the patch developed by John Rogers be used for monitoring symptoms and for research?

Rogers and his colleagues are trying to determine if they can produce sufficient numbers of the patch to be useful. 

 How do I obtain thermometers for monitoring?

Thermometers for temperature monitoring are in short supply nationwide. Northwestern has not identified any vendors which can supply these faster than normal commercial suppliers.

 As a supervisor, what should I do if someone shows up and is sick?

Anyone who exhibits a fever, respiratory illness, cold, or is sick must be sent home, even if symptoms do not appear to be those characteristic of COVID-19.

 How can Feinberg personnel be tested for COVID-19?

  • Medical students and clinical faculty involved in direct patient care should contact the COVIDhotline at 312-472-6843 to be routed to NM Corporate Health for testing related to a potential workplace exposure to COVID-19.
  • All other faculty, staff, and students not directly involved in patient care should follow the University’s COVID-19 testing protocol for symptomatic and asymptomatic individuals:

 What is the procedure for minimizing risk in rest rooms?

Facilities will determine and post a capacity for each rest room that accommodates social distancing guidelines and provide. This may involve reducing the number of fixtures that can be used. Custodial staff will increase the frequency of cleaning and ensure adequate supply of hand soap.

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