Northeastern to remove indoor mask requirement for Boston campus


Marta Hill

Northeastern announced March 1 that effective March 5 masks will not be required indoors in most settings on the Boston campus. The change came immediately after Mayor Michelle Wu announced Boston’s mask mandate would also lift March 5.

Marta Hill, editor-in-chief

Effective this Saturday, face coverings will be “optional in all settings” on the Boston campus except University Health and Counseling Services, according to a News@Northeastern article.

This change, announced online Tuesday night, marks another move toward Northeastern treating COVID-19 as endemic

Northeastern’s new guidance was posted immediately following Boston Mayor Michelle Wu’s announcement that the city’s mask mandate for most indoor settings would expire March 5. The announcement lifts requirements in several indoor settings including gyms, bars and restaurants, museums and entertainment venues.

This week saw other changes in Northeastern’s COVID-19 response. As of Monday, testing for asymptomatic people is optional, the COVID-19 data dashboard will no longer be updated and students do not need to present a daily wellness check on campus, except to check in for testing.

Many of Northeastern’s other campuses have already lifted mask mandates, including campuses in Nahant, Burlington, London, Portland, Charlotte and the San Francisco Bay Area. 

Northeastern is not the only school in Boston to loosen COVID-19 restrictions today. Boston University lifted mask requirements for most indoor settings, but notably will keep masks in classrooms for another month.

Last week, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or CDC, revised its masking recommendations. The new guidance classifies counties as having low, medium or high levels of risk and advises masks for everyone in communities with high risk levels.

For communities in the low and medium risk categories, most people do not need to mask indoors, according to the CDC. Every county in Massachusetts currently has either low or medium risk levels.