BU Community Health & Safety

Public Health Policies

The University has put in place comprehensive health and safety protocols for students, faculty, and staff with the goal of decreasing the incidence of the virus in our campus community. This website is frequently updated with the latest health and safety announcements. The plan for public health interventions on campus includes the following steps:

  • Face covering by everyone inside and outside our facilities
  • Application of the six-foot distancing rule in all our classrooms, dining halls, offices, and other spaces
  • Enhanced sanitation all across campus
  • Increased ventilation and air-filtering in buildings with central air systems
  • Healthway is a portal for BU students and faculty/staff to report their daily health screening and for scheduling COVID-19 testing, with helpful tutorials and the COVID-19 Testing Data Dashboard.
  • Symptom attestation by everyone who comes to campus—students, staff, and faculty—is coupled with prioritized sample collection and testing for individuals reporting symptoms.
  • RT-PCR testing of everyone on campus
  • Contact tracing of close contacts of individuals in the BU community identified with the virus
  • Students living on campus in student residences are quarantined in designated spaces, and if tested positive or identified as a close contact, are moved to isolation housing on campus. BU also offers quarantine and isolation housing for off-campus students who are identified as a close contact or test positive. Healthway will provide further guidance on quarantine and isolation housing. Faculty and staff self-quarantine and isolate at the place where they live.

What to Expect When You Arrive

All students will be tested immediately on coming to campus. After arrival, all undergraduate and graduate students are expected to follow screening, testing, and quarantine protocols, as outlined in the Screening, Testing & Contact Tracing section of this website.

If you are arriving or returning to campus from any state or country, and have been away for more than 24 hours, you should be tested within 72 hours prior to your planned return. If you have not received a negative test within 72 hours of your arrival in Massachusetts, you should get tested at one of the COVID-19 test collection sites on the Charles River Campus or Medical Campus, whether you live on campus or off campus. The state of Massachusetts advises that you quarantine until you receive your first negative test. BU strongly advises that you practice stay in place for 7–8 days until you receive a total of three consecutive negative test results (two for graduate students) separated by at least 48 hours between each test.

Stay in place requires that you limit your movement to your BU residence or your off-campus housing until your first negative test result. You may leave your residence for essential reasons, such as picking up food, medical appointments, and testing appointments. You are strongly advised to attend classes remotely if you are in stay in place. Update your LfA status accordingly.

Effective March 22, 2021, the state of Massachusetts replaced the travel order with a travel advisory recommending a 10-day quarantine unless proof of a negative test within 72 hours prior to travel is obtained.

The state also exempts fully vaccinated travelers who are asymptomatic from needing to quarantine until receiving a negative test result. Full vaccination is achieved two weeks after the 1-dose or 2-dose series, and BU has aligned with the state’s guidance to not require fully vaccinated individuals to observe a travel quarantine.

University-Sponsored Travel Policy

The University Provost has announced that restrictions on University-sponsored domestic and international travel for faculty, staff, and students are continued through the summer 2021 semester. The University will provide an update on the status of these restrictions by August 10, 2021, taking into account COVID-19 vaccine developments. The full text of the summer 2021 policy can be found on the Office of the Provost website.

The travel policy prohibits University-sponsored domestic and international travel for undergraduate and graduate students, unless exempted by their dean. It will also strongly discourage sponsored travel for faculty and staff, granting exemptions only with the approval of the traveler’s dean or vice president. All travelers remain subject to federal, state, and local travel advisories and quarantine advisories, as well as any applicable University quarantine requirements.

If you must travel, minimize your interactions for approximately 1 week prior to travel, take a test, and wait for the results before you leave to avoid spreading the virus to other households.