Even though Illinois is expected to enter Phase 5 of coronavirus recovery, the full reopening of the state’s economy, Northwestern University is keeping its masking and COVID testing requirements in place for now.

In a message to the university community, NU Vice-President Luke Figora says while Northwestern awaits health department guidance on exactly what Phase 5 will mean for both the Evanston and Chicago campuses, “existing university guidelines on face covering and testing remain in place,” including “masking requirements for all graduation-related events this weekend.”

Northwestern’s current guidelines require masks to be worn at all indoor events except in dorm rooms and private offices..

Vaccinated individuals do not have to wear a mask outdoors, unless it is a large event with more than 25 or 50 people, depending on density.

Figora says the university should be able to share more information on future guidelines next week. He also says there should be an update on vaccination policies for faculty and staff. NU is requiring students to be vaccinated against the coronavirus in order to enroll for classes this fall, but shots for employees have not been mandated as of now.

Jeff Hirsh joined the Evanston Now reporting team in 2020 after a 40-year award-winning career as a broadcast journalist in Cincinnati, Ohio.

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