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: Massachusetts regulations require that students returning to campus after a period when the University is not in session should be tested for COVID-19 within 72 hours prior to your planned return. Prior to arrival, the state requires that visitors from high-risk states submit a Massachusetts Travel Form. If you have not received a negative test within 72 hours of your arrival in Massachusetts, you'll be directed to get tested at one of the COVID-19 test collection sites on the Charles River Campus or Medial Campus, whether you live on campus or off campus. Thereafter, you'll practice quarantine until you receive three negative test results (two for graduate students).

  • You must 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 stay-in-place in your BU residence or your off-campus housing until you have a total of three negative test results (two for graduate students).
  • You are advised to limit your contact with others during this period (7–8 days).
  • You must attend classes remotely if you are in quarantine or stay-in-place. Update your LfA status accordingly.

Spring '21: What to expect when you arrive

University-Sponsored Travel Policy

To reduce the chances of spreading COVID-19, the University has issued an updated travel policy and has extended restrictions on University-sponsored travel of faculty, staff, and students through the end of the spring 2021 semester. Please refer to the full text of the winter break and spring 2021 policy, which 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 restrictions and quarantine requirements, 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.