COVID Testing and Arrival – Undergraduate Students

The following was sent to all undergraduate students on August 13, 2020.

Welcome to campus!

We know there is a lot of information about what steps to take to follow the guidelines established by the CDC, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and Boston University. For you to live and learn on campus, we need your help. All students returning to campus will be required, through a digital agreement, to agree to a set of health commitments and expectations, including routine and frequent testing, and, if necessary, contact tracing, quarantine, and isolation. To read more about the steps that BU is taking, and about the new healthcare organization created to support our campus during this time, please visit the new Back2BU site. In addition, please continue to read and adhere to communications from this office – a message will be forthcoming about enforcement and compliance related to attestation and testing.

Please read the following carefully and, most importantly, make sure you sign up for testing.

Scheduling your first test:

If you live in an on-campus student residence, you must schedule your COVID-19 test on the day you are moving into your assigned room, suite, or apartment. If you live off-campus, we encourage you to schedule testing on or after August 18 to satisfy your testing requirements for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and to be able to attend in-person classes or campus meetings, events, and gatherings. You can access Patient Connect to schedule your test via the Healthway website. As an undergraduate student engaged in campus learning and activities, you will be required to get tested two times per week.

As part of scheduling, you will be required to:

  1. review and agree to a set of Health Commitments and Expectations
  2. review a Consent to Testing and electronically give your consent
  3. update your contact information
  4. schedule your appointment

Living in on-campus student residences: All on-campus students must schedule and report for testing on their move-in day without exception.

  • You will check-in at the residence where you are assigned – BU Move-In assistants will help you get to where you need to go;
  • All residential students must complete your MA travel quarantine and your BU stay-in-place advisory in your assigned room with other household members. You may only leave your room to pick up food (take-out only and return to your room), for medical appointments, and your COVID-19 testing; and, during your stay-in-place period, you must use your assigned restroom – you may share living space and a bathroom with your household members.

Living off-campus: If you live off-campus, and are coming from a higher risk state, you will complete your MA travel quarantine and recommended stay-in-place in your off-campus apartment or home, which means you should limit your movement to your residence for the duration of your three tests. You should only leave your apartment or house to pick up food or for medical or testing appointments.

Many of you have asked questions about the MA quarantine requirements, the expectations for living and learning on campus, or what happens if you get sick. Our Back2BU site has all the information needed, as well as links to other valuable resources. If you have further questions please reach out to

Following these expectations will be a condition of being a member of our in-person, campus community—going to classes; studying; utilizing campus dining, recreation, and library facilities; working, and participating in activities. We wish you the best this semester and hope you do your part to keep our campus healthy and safe.

Kenneth Elmore

Associate Provost and Dean of Students

Judy Platt, MD

Director, Student Health Services

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