COVID-19 Policies

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Testing Protocols and Expectations
Compliance and Enforcement Protocols
Non-Resident and Guest Policy


Testing Protocols and Expectations

Updated July 27, 2020

The testing protocols and expectations for all students were originally posted on July 27, 2020. There are different protocols for undergraduate, graduate and professional students.

Undergraduate Students
Graduate and Professional Students


Compliance and Enforcement Protocols

Updated August 13, 2020

Boston University has designed protocols to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and support the well-being of the BU community. These range from ongoing COVID-19 testing to limiting the density of people in our buildings, and are described in detail at www.bu.edu/back2bu.

All students returning to campus will be required, through a digital agreement, to commit to a set of Health Commitments and Expectations including face coverings, symptom attestation, testing, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation. The agreement makes clear that compliance will be a condition of being a member of our on-campus community—going to classes; studying; utilizing campus dining, recreation, and library facilities; working; and participating in activities. Students currently living in our student residences will also sign an addendum to their Residence License Agreement that requires them to adhere to all health and safety requirements. Graduate/professional students please see FAQs here for clarification on if this applies to your residence: www.bu.edu/grad/covid-19/faq/.

You have a critical role to play in minimizing transmission of COVID-19 within the University community, so the University is requiring that you make your own health and safety commitments, which we describe below.

In support of the health of the Boston University community we will require:

  • you to follow all University health requirements, including wearing a face covering, physical distancing, and hand washing or sanitizing. Information available here: bu.edu/back2bu/student-health-safety/face-coverings/
  • you to complete a symptom attestation through Patient Connect each day prior to going to campus, or, if you are a resident on campus, before leaving your room
  • that if you report positive symptoms, you will respond to the BU medical professional who contacts you for follow up, including following any instructions regarding testing for COVID-19
  • that if you are required to undergo testing as a result of reporting positive symptoms, you will remain at your residence and minimize contact with others until you test negative
  • you to schedule testing and report to an on-campus BU testing site based on an assigned test frequency
  • that if you are informed by BU medical professionals or by your own primary care provider that you have a positive result from testing, you will isolate at your residence. If you live in on-campus housing, you will move to isolation housing
  • that in order to leave isolation and return to campus, you must be symptom free for 72 hours without medication, and 10 days must have elapsed from the onset of symptoms
  • that if the University determines that you are a “close contact” of another individual in the University community who has tested positive, you will follow the University’s directive to quarantine for 14 days. If you live in on-campus housing, you will move to quarantine housing. If you live off-campus, you will quarantine at your residence
  • that you understand that, based on public health circumstances, University guidance and protocols may change, potentially abruptly. You will keep informed and follow all new guidance and protocols

The Dean of Students Office staff will enforce these rules for all students, on all campuses; and will give all faculty and staff information about how to inform us of non-compliant behavior by a student.

A student-led comprehensive public campaign to inform the community about compliance requirements has launched. And, there will be a university effort to keep compliance on everyone’s mind as we move through the semester.

Fulfilling Health Expectations and Commitments

If at any point you are unable to meet the health expectations and commitments outlined above, the University expects you to remain off campus and complete the semester remotely. If you do not take this step yourself, the University, through the Dean of Students Office, will prohibit you from participating in any in-person, on-campus activities, including classes and residency.

Compliance with Routine and Frequent Lab Testing and Daily Symptom Attestation The goal of community testing and symptom attestation is to detect cases of COVID-19 in our community and quickly move individuals who test positive into environments where they can get needed medical attention and prevent spread of the disease.

If you do not comply with your frequent lab testing and/or daily symptom self-attestation: 

  • The first time that you are overdue with your testing and/or daily self-symptom attestation, you will receive a warning message from the Dean of Students that your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access will be disabled. If you fail to schedule and complete testing, your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access will be disabled
  • The second time that you are overdue with your testing and/or daily self-symptom attestation, you will receive a final warning message from the Dean of Students and your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access will remain disabled
  • After a third time failing to schedule a test, being overdue with your testing, or failing to complete your daily self-symptom attestation, you will be prohibited from participating in any in-person campus activities, including classes and residency. You will have to remain off campus and complete the semester remotely

The above sanctions are considered administrative actions, not judicial sanctions. However, if you enter campus property after your status has been changed to remote, you will be subject to University judicial action, which may result in discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion.

Isolation or Close-Contact Quarantine Compliance

In the event that a student – graduate or undergraduate – living in an on-campus University student residence, tests positive, they will be moved into isolation housing on campus and have meals and supplies delivered. All residential students determined to be a close-contact of a COVID-19 positive individual, as a result of contact tracing, will be moved to designated quarantine housing on campus. Students in designated quarantine housing will have a private room and private bathroom and will have meals and supplies delivered to their units.

If a student living off-campus tests positive, they will be provided instructions on how to safely isolate in their own local residence.  If an off-campus student is identified as a close contact, they will be provided instructions on how to safety quarantine in their own local residence. For any student in quarantine or isolation, Student Health Services will provide regular telehealth visits.

If you do not comply with isolation and quarantine protocols: 

  • The first time that you do not comply with isolation or quarantine protocols, you will receive a message from the Dean of Students that your Terrier ID Card and/or campus WIFI access has been disabled
  • The second time that you fail to comply with isolation or quarantine protocols you will be prohibited from participating in any in-person, on-campus activities, including classes and residency. You will have to remain off campus and complete the semester remotely

The above sanctions are considered administrative actions, not judicial sanctions. However, if you enter campus property after your status has been changed to remote, you will be subject to University judicial action, which may result in discipline up to and including suspension or expulsion.

Face Coverings and Physical Distancing Compliance and Compliance with Testing and Attestation in Classrooms and other Public Spaces

Compliance with Testing and Attestation

If you are up to date with testing and attestation you will receive a green-colored badge that appears on your mobile device:

  • Faculty concerned with your compliance may ask all students in their classes to show them your badge on your mobile device prior to starting class
  • If you are unable to show a green badge, you may be asked to leave class, to rectify any issues with your testing or attestation before your next in-person class, and, if possible, to utilize the remote LfA option for that particular class session. You should not return to that class session, and must resolve any issues you have with testing or attestation before attending the next in-person class
  • If you refuse to leave the class, the faculty member will inform the class that they will not proceed with instruction until you leave the room
  • If you still refuse to leave the room, the faculty member will dismiss the class and contact your academic Dean’s office for follow up

Compliance with Face Covering and Physical Distancing

These steps will be followed if you come to class and are not wearing a face covering or respecting physical distancing:

  • You will be asked to put on your face covering (be sure to wear one)
  • If you refuse to put on a face covering, the faculty member will inform the class that they will not proceed with instruction until you use your face covering or leave
  • If you refuse to wear a face covering or to leave, the faculty member may dismiss the class and contact your academic Dean’s office for follow up

Compliance in Public Spaces

Staff concerned with your compliance, face covering, or physical distancing will follow the same protocols as faculty in classrooms. They may ask you to leave a space or close the space entirely because of your non-compliance with these protocols. And, you will be referred to the Dean of Students for follow-up action, which may include University discipline.

We are committed to offering the best environment for your living and learning. To succeed, we need your help. We all must be responsible and respectful. If you do not want to follow these guidelines, you must participate in class remotely, via the Learn from Anywhere framework, so that you do not put your classmates or others at undue risk.

All of us — students, faculty, and staff — own the responsibility of keeping COVID-19 at bay on the Boston University campus.  We are counting on you to do your part.


Non-Resident and Guest Policy

Updated July 29, 2020

1. Purpose
The purpose of this policy is to outline temporary revisions to the University’s non-resident and guest policy. These changes align with the latest guidelines issued by state and local health and government authorities related to COVID-19, and the University’s Medical Advisory Group and aim to further assist with physical distancing efforts as the campus is repopulated. These revisions will remain in effect until further notice.

2. Covered Parties
This policy applies to all Boston University students living both on and off campus.

3. Defined Terms
A resident is a student who is assigned to a room, suite, or apartment in a specific Boston University student residence. A non-resident or guest is an individual who is not assigned to a room, suite, or apartment in said student residence, including Boston University students (living on or off campus), faculty, staff, and family members.

4. University Policy
Effective immediately and until further notice, only residents of a student resident building may go beyond the vestibule, entry-lounge, or lobby of their residential building. Non-residents of a student residence building also may not go beyond the vestibule, entry-lounge, or lobby of any student residential building.

For the purposes of this revised policy, a resident is a student who is assigned to a room, suite, or apartment in a specific Boston University student residence. A non-resident or guest is an individual who is not assigned to a room, suite, or apartment in said student residence. (A guest or non-resident may be a Boston University student, faculty, staff, or family member.) This policy applies to students living in off-campus residences. Students living in off-campus residences are considered non-residents or guests.

A resident may meet guests in the building’s vestibule, entry-lounge, or lobby and must observe physical distancing. Non-residents or guests are not permitted within the residence, beyond the vestibule, entry-lounge, or lobby at any time.

During dining service hours, a non-resident BU student with a dining plan can use their Terrier Card to access the residence with a dining room, where access through a security station is required to enter a dining room. Resident students with dining plans may not sign in a non-resident where access through a security station is required to enter a dining room.

No overnight non-residents or guests are permitted.

5. Responsible Parties
All Boston University students are responsible for adhering to the instruction set forth in this policy.

6. Related Parties and References
Current Guest Policy

7. History
Developed by the Student Residential Life Working Group, this policy revision will follow the standard eDAAP review process and be brought to the University Council by Student Life & Policies Committee.