Northeastern updates testing protocols, evaluates mask mandate


Marta Hill

A face covering requirement at Cabot Testing Center. Northeastern announced it is evaluating its mask mandate Friday.

Clara McCourt, managing editor

Northeastern adjusted some of its COVID-19 policies in an email Friday. Among the newly announced changes is making weekly testing optional for asymptomatic individuals and the discontinuation of the COVID-19 testing dashboard. These changes will take effect Feb. 28.

The email, sent by Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs David Madigan and Chancellor and Senior Vice President for Learning Ken Henderson, also addressed concerns regarding Northeastern’s masking requirements. Following the lifting of some indoor mask mandates across the country, the email stated the university is “evaluating” its policy based on city and state decisions. 

“Decisions to lift indoor mask requirements are informed by local public health guidelines,” Madigan and Henderson wrote in the email. “… We will continue to monitor developments and adapt our approach as needed.” 

No official changes to Northeastern’s masking requirements have been announced as of Friday. 

Massachusetts public health officials updated the state’s mask advisory Tuesday to recommend that face coverings be worn indoors by unvaccinated individuals and vaccinated persons with specific conditions. Boston Mayor Michelle Wu stated last week that she believes the city is “not ready” to lift its mask mandate.

The email follows Henderson’s Jan. 26 interview with The News in which he described the university’s endemic approach to treating COVID-19. 

“We are always ready and prepared to change as the pandemic changes,” Henderson told The News. “With the virus we have to respect that changes can come quickly. So, we are ready; if we need to pivot then we will do so.”