Final exams are not the only tests Northwestern University students will be taking soon.

In a website message today, NU says it “strongly encourages anyone who plans to travel or gather with friends over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend” to get a COVID-19 test both before leaving campus and after returning.

University COVID testing centers will also offer free, at-home testing kits “as an additional resource for monitoring your health,” according to NU Vice-President Luke Figora.

Classes will resume after Thanksgiving break. While some finals might be given remotely, Figora says that is not required, and “students should plan to return to campus after break and stay for the exam period.”

As for the next term in January, students will be required to take an in-person COVID test during the first week of classes.

More than 98% of students have been fully vaccinated, Figora says, and the current COVID positivity rate is 0.6%.

NU required student vaccinations, but will not mandate booster shots.

While there have been isolated coronavirus upticks among certain students, Figora says that “we are proud to affirm that Northwestern has maintained a consistently healthy community since our return to campus” this fall.

In order to keep things that way, students who come down with COVID symptoms over Thanksgiving are being told “please do not come to campus.”

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